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niks1112's avatar

How is math used in Graphic Design?

Asked by niks1112 (410 points ) June 6th, 2010

what kind of math is used in graphic design, what it is used for, and so on.

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9 Answers

earthduzt's avatar

I studied graphic design when I was in college and we didn’t really use any math except learning about picas and points when I took my typography class. Also just knowing dimensions for layouts but other than that math was bare minimum in GD, I may be wrong but that’s the way it was for me. I took mostly art classes like Elements of design, art history, color theory, digital imaging, digital illustration, etc, etc. I was never really good at math so I tried to go a route that used it minimally haha. I love graphic design though

holiwi's avatar

My older brother, who’s studying Graphic Design right now, is taking only one math class: an obligatory Geometry course (which includes higher level math such as Calculus).

cookieman's avatar

I use mostly basic geometry on a regular basis. Units of measure and (of course) addition/subtraction, division/multiplication also.

Been a graphic designer for 16 years.

anartist's avatar

The computer is changing a lot of this but originally working with hardcopy only, scaling things was important. We used scaling disks. Also picas and points and conversions to inches [6 picas one inch] and conversion of inches/feet to metric. These still crop up and you don’t always have a tool handy [I try to have scale conversion sheets at easy access but can never find them]. Also, before programs improved, we used to do word counts by hand by averaging words and lines on a typical page.

perspicacious's avatar

When it wasn’t all computerized it was all about space and scale. I’m sure now it’s mostly computerized, but I suspect you will be required to do some work without the computer in a degree program. I would think the best work is not done on the computer, but I could be wrong.

cschack's avatar

Take your student loan, subtract your income. Realize why you hate the combination of math and graphic design.

niks1112's avatar

thankk you all for responding.
and yea that is also what i thought about math in graphic design…. cause i have been in graphic design for about a year and a bit now, and yes there is scaling and what not, but im currently in a math class right now and as our math project we were asked to do a project related to our major, so that is my problem i see number and math in graphic design but i do not speciffically think of equations and figuring stuff out, so that is my problem, i dont think there is a certain way to do something, i could be wrong, but that is why im asking. because i do not know what to do my project on. its hard to think because there isnt like an equation or much that you really have to figure out in order to get something done. there is some scaling and stuff like that and to what i know ive been eye bawling it, not really used any math… so that is why i am confused.

anartist's avatar

Equations [as a graphic designer] are one of the more difficult things to typeset and layout both correctly and attractively on a page, although Word is coming to terms with that—some of the Adobe programs still iffy.

Some heavy-duty equations go into making Mandelbrot imagery
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandelbrot_set
most of the math is usually done by developers, not designers.

For instance, interactive websites can use several languages to create interactivity, but one, PhP [and it may be true for others] uses arrays and other quasi-mathematical concepts to set up multiple choices on web site forms for example.

Mitchell_Lewis's avatar

Five words:

The Grid, The Golden Mean

Look into them, they’re consistently used by those working in the industry and require some fairly elementary (though very important) math. The better you know math, the faster your initial layout processes for posters and publications will go.

It is also used extensively for efficient, quality website design.

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