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

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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.

Rick Griffith Definition of Graphic Design1.jpg

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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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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