Date Presented

Spring 4-1-2006

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Beverly Rhoads

Second Advisor

Kate Gray

Third Advisor

Delane Bovenizer


The main purpose of graphic design is to communicate a message to an audience. This message must state something about a product or provide information in order to inform or persuade the viewer. A designer uses three components to communicate a message: the content, the form, and the “channel” or method of delivery, i.e. the media1. The content is the copy within a design; it expresses all textual information. The form, on the other hand, consists of the visual elements in the design that helps determine the content. Form is how the content is presented to the viewer. Thus, the treatment of content and form dictates how the message will be communicated and how well it is communicated. The relationship between form and content has evolved over the years. Traditionally, as evidenced in the International Typographic Style, form was handled in a manner which made it subservient to the content. However, contemporary styles such as New Wave Design and Deconstruction have rejected the more traditional form and content relationship. Currently form has become an inherent part of the content and plays a major role as part of the message. Thus, this new relationship between content and form, when balanced carefully, enhances the content and heightens the message.