I have been contemplating a lot about what graphic design means this week. I want to go walk around a gallery and see the works of all of my favorite designers in the same way that I do with my favorite painters. However, this is not really the way design works. It is much more industrial; we are exposed to it in a different way than art forms like painting and sculpture. Designs like magazine spreads or illustrated cards are not hung in galleries in big frames with spotlights. They are bought or published, possibly printed thousands of times, or used in websites etc. etc. I know that there are graphic designers who have gallery shows and I don’t want to make any generalizations; but, the nature of graphic design is more utilitarian and productive. Which is something that I usually really like about graphic design.
Yesterday I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum; I didn’t really know anything about it before I went. At this museum, they have a lot of stuff! I mean stuff, as in everything—furniture, fashion, shoes, curtains, sculptures, tapestries. There were many rooms and historical items everywhere and it was a very different experience from the other museums I have been to. I finally found a room with design! I was so excited! It was a beautiful room that was a two story library. They had some cool pieces from the 1940’s-50’s that were really neat. Although, it didn’t really feel like art to me, more just like collected objects. So now that I have seen some historical stuff I want to find where all the current graphic design is happening in London! It’s been harder to find than expected but I’m going to keep searching and asking around so that I head in the right direction.