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Types of graphic

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There is always a connection between what you wish to say and how you choose to say it. Children learn the correct tones of voice to distinguish "Please can I have...?', "I do not like...' and "I will not have...'. Designers should also learn different ways of addressing various groups of people. "The medium is the message.' So choose your medium with the utmost care. In design and planning, the medium should be at the service of your ideas, never the other way about.

Drawing teachers overemphasize the virtue of individualism. I recommend a close study of other people's drawings. In due course, a personal style will develop, as it did for your handwriting. Experience in copying drawings is valuable. Quality matters more than originality. But too many designs are still represented with ink on tracing paper. Many too many. Try working on coloured paper, on cartridge paper, on wood, on glass, on watercolour paper, on canvas. Use the medium with which you feel most at home and which is appropriate to the project upon which you are engaged.

Artists often settle on a few media that suit their approach, though these may change during their lives. Goya started with brush drawings and later used black chalk; Durer used a silver point, which tarnished to a darker tone; Munch did woodcuts on planks; Degas changed from paint and pencil to charcoal and pastel; Matisse cut into coloured paper; Picasso used many techniques, including cut newsprint; Braque used sand, cork and tobacco; Gaugin used oiled charcoal; Klee could mix ink, wax, watercolour, pastel and paint in one drawing; Gris used wallpaper. Commercial artists need to be familiar with a range of different media. An art store cannot measure your ideas, as a tailor measures your waist, and sell you something that fits your needs exactly. So you must experiment. It may take years to find what suits both you and the type of work you undertake.

Traditionally, designers communicate with three different groups of people. Students engaged on projects should learn to produce drawings for the same three groups:

Medium drawing2 original

19th century drawing

Medium drawing1 original

20th century drawing

Medium community  original

Community clients

Medium draughtsman original

Draughting