More than ever, clear, well-designed and well-targeted communications are essential to the success of public and private organizations of all sizes and types. However, too few organizations realize the important role that the graphic designer plays in developing or revising communications which are effective, cost-effective and competitive.

To correct this situation, the statewide non-profit Design Michigan program is offering a host of informational and technical assistance services to Michigan business, institutions and governments through its Graphic Design Advisory Program (GDAP). Design Michigan's GDAP is conducted in collaboration with the state chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, a national society of professional graphic designers. The GDAP is staffed by Design Michigan personnel and a standing volunteer pool of professional consulting graphic designers who are AIGA members. Design Michigan is the non-profit, statewide outreach program of Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Design Michigan was established in 1976, is funded by the Michigan Council for the Arts & Cultural Affairs, and promotes the informed use of all the fields of design by Michigan business, industry, institutions and governments.


Graphic design relates to every visual component of a company or organization and its communications. This could include: visual identity, printed and computer generated communications, advertising and promotional graphics, product graphics, package graphics, point-of-purchase and exhibit graphics, and environmental graphics and signage.

Visual communications typically have either of two purposes: to inform and to persuade. Graphic design can help to fulfill these purposes because effective communication transcends mere words. Effective communication requires that the right ideas and messages are delivered to the right audiences in the proper visual forms, formats and media. The Graphic Designer possesses specialized education, training and experience which helps assure the appropriateness of business and organizational messages and improves their transmissions, reception and impact by creating communications which utilize the proper formats, colors, typestyles, symbols, photography, illustration, diagrams and materials.

Most importantly, the professional Graphic Designer is qualified to address the three major communications needs critical to organizations, their audiences and customers: Image, function, and economics. Good communications image affords organizations increased exposure, competitive differentiation, and positive reception by their audiences and markets. Improved communications function contributes to efficient organizational operation with high-performance graphic communications which are convenient, user-friendly and work well for the intended audience. Improved communications economics means reduced costs and increased sales via cost effective communications, reduced printing and implementation costs, and increased marketplace acceptance of products and services.

Go back to Main Graphic Design Advisory Program Page.