Graphic design is the art or profession of combining text, pictures, and ideas to create a visual statement. Graphic design uses pictures to convey a message, whether it is to buy a product, promote a feeling, or to tell a story. From the picture presented to the layout of the design, all aspects of the design were thought out and put there for a reason. Graphic design first started out in the pictures primitive people drew on the caves, and continued on to pottery of the Native Americans. Maps became an important development of graphic design, which precedes graphic designs that we see today such as stop signs. The first uses of graphic design were meant to convey stories of how early people caught their food and the Native Americans used their pottery designs as a way to tell their history. Maps were used to guide people to their destinations, while most of the graphic designs we see today are to promote products. Graphic designs have evolved from simple hand-drawings to more complex computer generated pictures. Graphic design as we know it today is largely due to the art movement Art Nouveau. It popularized the combination of words and images to convey a specific message.
Today, we have become influenced by visual culture. Visual culture can be defined as any visual form of media, communication, and information in the postmodern world. We are bombarded with visual culture all the time, and every day. It can be in the form of a billboard you pass on the way to school or work, or to the TV commercial you see when watching your favorite show. They influence they way you perceive things, such as a product they want you to buy, to the way you view yourself. Even in software design we encounter graphic designs meant to influence our decisions. Although there are negative aspects to visual culture, they improve communication and are a part of our advancing world.