10. Kateri Gemperlein Schirm



At its origin, graphic design is first and foremost about communication—how we can translate an idea to the masses with visual appeal. But secondly, I argue, design is about emotion and beautification, creating not just to relay a message, but to connect with others on a broader level whether that is socially, politically, or emotionally. As humans, we connect our emotions to everything and we created visual dialogue to share with each other long before our modern era of social media, film, ‘quick design,’and publications. We do this through skilled representations of emotional content such as imagery and language. Without specific representations and thoughtfulness, design loses the ability to perform its main function.

Graphic design, in my practice and definition, can be the creation of opportunity for mutual experiences and dialogue to exist. I’m interested in my relation to this outlook on design as an emotional connector and community builder through the lens of graphic design history and our current era of hyper specialization, accessibility, and branding. I engage in the visual dialogue humans have shared with each other throughout history, the interpretations that connect us in modern day design, and how that may create a better connection between creator and audience.