June '22

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6 2 G R A P H I C S P R O J U N E 2 0 2 2 G R A PH I C S - PR O.C O M S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G S I G N D E S I G N | M A T T C H A R B O N E A U SIGN DESIGN AND GRAPHIC DESIGN THE CORE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO AND WHY THOSE DIFFERENCES MATTER G raphics have been around since the days of early man, when cave walls were used as the canvas in which to document the events that were impor- tant in their lives. e cave wall was their newspaper — their iPad — and it was ev- erywhere. Put away the red pen, history professor, and bear with me a moment. ese cave walls were the places where thoughts were pondered, and creative cave dwellers transformed their ideas into artistic depictions of the thought that needed to be communicated. Over time, as languages formed, these cave drawings began to include information that could more easily be described in words along with drawings, rather than with drawings alone.As time went on, ideas that needed to be communicated were getting deeper, and more complex, and a lighter-weight cave wall was needed — one that could be carried around from cave to cave (like an iPad, newspaper, or magazine). Ta-da! e book was created, but not right away because paper hadn't been invented yet.So, for thousands of years the process of guring out "what paper was" brought lots of other lightweight substrates (one can only presume) to the forefront. ey were likely tried and ex- perimented with, like tree bark or dried animal hides and papyrus scrolls, as a more transportable "cave wall," to keep track of important details relating to food or melting glaciers. Making the substrate out of something lightweight had a lot of advantages. It could be easily transported to another cave to inform them of the location of the herds migration route so they could help with the hunt. e point is that ideas were being written down onto hand-held items, which were much easier and practical to move from cave to cave than moving the actual cave wall. en there's stone tablets, which you could think of as the rst-generation full- size iPad. ey were only used for really important, long-lasting messages that never changed, and which needed to be communicated forever; for all of time. Wow... I think I see the beginnings of the graphic design industry, and the birth of the sign industry. e tree bark material was so much easier to pass around at those cave night- clubs that it no doubt led to the develop- ment of the rst business card. Along with that came slightly larger pieces of tree bark worn by cave dwellers who walked up and down the game trail adver- tising the new animal hide re- moval service now available at "Groggo's Big Cave" on the hill. Groggo needed a sign to do a specic job, and that job was to "persuade" the hunter to take his animal to HIS cave for processing. After the hunter got to the cave, Groggo needed a poster to inform the hunter of which line to stand in, what the charges would be, how long it would take and most importantly to go to town to give Groggo's Hide Service a 5-Rock review on the big stone wall in town. Are you starting to see the dif- ferences between signage and graphic design and identifying Stone tablets were just one of the earliest forms of mobile communication; however, it wasn't very user friendly. It pretty much is what it is. (All images courtesy Matt Charboneau)

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