This thesis will explore the increasingly important role played by graphic design in architecture. Traditionally thought of as a two-dimensional applied art, graphic design has relevant applications in the design of places. This is sometimes known as environmental graphic design. The premise of this investigation is that by extending graphic design into the world of architecture, both disciplines are strengthened. Graphic design in an architectural context benefits from a more long-lasting medium, in material and duration, than its more common forms in print, film or digital media. Architecture, in its turn, gains another way to communicate to an audience, one that is more flexible and changeable than its otherwise static structure would ordinarily permit. The research component of this thesis will analyze the ways in which environmental graphic design is similar to and different from architecture and two-dimensional graphic design. Research will also show how and why this hybrid is important. It will analyze the ways In which graphic design in the built environment adds value or interest to a place, marks territory, acts as ornament, provides identity, and adds meaning in ways that could not be achieved by architecture or graphic design alone. It will identify a wide range of applications where this might be useful. The application of this thesis study will be a book about the subject outlined above. This book could be used as a guidebook for teaching about these disciplines. It could also be used as a reference book for designers and clients considering the incorporation of graphic design in an architectural project. This application will collect and organize information that is currently scattered, existing in pockets across disciplines and mainly in periodicals. With this collection and analysis of material new insights will be possible that will contribute to our understanding of the growing field of environmental graphic design.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Architecture--Aesthetics; Graphic arts

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CIAS)


Meader, Bruce

Advisor/Committee Member

Wetherald, Houghton


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: NA2543.G73 K36 1999


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