Rick Griffith's "Definition of Graphic Design": Can you dig it?

Rick Griffith Definition of Graphic Design closeup.jpg
"Extra Bold," this week's cover story, details the creations of Denver type maestro Rick Griffith, including his "Definition of Graphic Design," a 59-word sentence he spent eighteen months crafting that now appears on T-shirts, posters and scarves. Jeremy Peterson, art director at Griffith's studio, MATTER, says it took him a year to understand it. The definition is below.

The work is comprised of two parts. The first is the formal definition, which originally appeared on a downtown wall one evening several years ago as a four-by-eight-foot stencil, to the displeasure of the local police. The second is a set of detailed annotations Griffith added when a friend informed him the definition was completely inaccessible -- annotations that might or might not elucidate the composition. (Although it is helpful that one of the annotations notes that "the message" is also the name of a very important jam from 1982.)

What do you think? Do you grasp the full meaning of Griffith's handiwork? Is it over your head? Or do you think it's all gobbledygook -- that is, except for the part about "The Message" jam? Feel free to weigh in below -- and remember, make sure your work is conditioned by the message it will convey.

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More from our Tech archive: "MapQuest's new error-reporting tool for 'neighborhood watch' not quite error-free." Follow Joel Warner on Twitter @joelmwarner

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2 comments
Robert
Robert

Urk!!! It's not a definition, and needs an Oxford comma after "concern" -- we may not know what graphic design is after reading this, but we know that it is effortful and involves "sympathetic agreements" [sic -- a vague redundancy]. How impossibly precious! The notion that this vaunted sentence requires annotations in order for the uninitiated to approach gives the final fillip to this silly conceit.

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