- Great Painters
- Accounting
- Fundamentals of Law
- Marketing
- Shorthand
- Concept Cars
- Videogames
- The World of Sports

- Blogs
- Free Software
- Google
- My Computer

- PHP Language and Applications
- Wikipedia
- Windows Vista

- Education
- Masterpieces of English Literature
- American English

- English Dictionaries
- The English Language

- Medical Emergencies
- The Theory of Memory
- The Beatles
- Dances
- Microphones
- Musical Notation
- Music Instruments
- Batteries
- Nanotechnology
- Cosmetics
- Diets
- Vegetarianism and Veganism
- Christmas Traditions
- Animals

- Fruits And Vegetables


  1. Adobe Reader
  2. Adware
  3. Altavista
  4. AOL
  5. Apple Macintosh
  6. Application software
  7. Arrow key
  8. Artificial Intelligence
  9. ASCII
  10. Assembly language
  11. Automatic translation
  12. Avatar
  13. Babylon
  14. Bandwidth
  15. Bit
  16. BitTorrent
  17. Black hat
  18. Blog
  19. Bluetooth
  20. Bulletin board system
  21. Byte
  22. Cache memory
  23. Celeron
  24. Central processing unit
  25. Chat room
  26. Client
  27. Command line interface
  28. Compiler
  29. Computer
  30. Computer bus
  31. Computer card
  32. Computer display
  33. Computer file
  34. Computer games
  35. Computer graphics
  36. Computer hardware
  37. Computer keyboard
  38. Computer networking
  39. Computer printer
  40. Computer program
  41. Computer programmer
  42. Computer science
  43. Computer security
  44. Computer software
  45. Computer storage
  46. Computer system
  47. Computer terminal
  48. Computer virus
  49. Computing
  50. Conference call
  51. Context menu
  52. Creative commons
  53. Creative Commons License
  54. Creative Technology
  55. Cursor
  56. Data
  57. Database
  58. Data storage device
  59. Debuggers
  60. Demo
  61. Desktop computer
  62. Digital divide
  63. Discussion groups
  64. DNS server
  65. Domain name
  66. DOS
  67. Download
  68. Download manager
  69. DVD-ROM
  70. DVD-RW
  71. E-mail
  72. E-mail spam
  73. File Transfer Protocol
  74. Firewall
  75. Firmware
  76. Flash memory
  77. Floppy disk drive
  78. GNU
  79. GNU General Public License
  80. GNU Project
  81. Google
  82. Google AdWords
  83. Google bomb
  84. Graphics
  85. Graphics card
  86. Hacker
  87. Hacker culture
  88. Hard disk
  89. High-level programming language
  90. Home computer
  91. HTML
  92. Hyperlink
  93. IBM
  94. Image processing
  95. Image scanner
  96. Instant messaging
  97. Instruction
  98. Intel
  99. Intel Core 2
  100. Interface
  101. Internet
  102. Internet bot
  103. Internet Explorer
  104. Internet protocols
  105. Internet service provider
  106. Interoperability
  107. IP addresses
  108. IPod
  109. Joystick
  110. JPEG
  111. Keyword
  112. Laptop computer
  113. Linux
  114. Linux kernel
  115. Liquid crystal display
  116. List of file formats
  117. List of Google products
  118. Local area network
  119. Logitech
  120. Machine language
  121. Mac OS X
  122. Macromedia Flash
  123. Mainframe computer
  124. Malware
  125. Media center
  126. Media player
  127. Megabyte
  128. Microsoft
  129. Microsoft Windows
  130. Microsoft Word
  131. Mirror site
  132. Modem
  133. Motherboard
  134. Mouse
  135. Mouse pad
  136. Mozilla Firefox
  137. Mp3
  138. MPEG
  139. MPEG-4
  140. Multimedia
  141. Musical Instrument Digital Interface
  142. Netscape
  143. Network card
  144. News ticker
  145. Office suite
  146. Online auction
  147. Online chat
  148. Open Directory Project
  149. Open source
  150. Open source software
  151. Opera
  152. Operating system
  153. Optical character recognition
  154. Optical disc
  155. output
  156. PageRank
  157. Password
  158. Pay-per-click
  159. PC speaker
  160. Peer-to-peer
  161. Pentium
  162. Peripheral
  163. Personal computer
  164. Personal digital assistant
  165. Phishing
  166. Pirated software
  167. Podcasting
  168. Pointing device
  169. POP3
  170. Programming language
  171. QuickTime
  172. Random access memory
  173. Routers
  174. Safari
  175. Scalability
  176. Scrollbar
  177. Scrolling
  178. Scroll wheel
  179. Search engine
  180. Security cracking
  181. Server
  182. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
  183. Skype
  184. Social software
  185. Software bug
  186. Software cracker
  187. Software library
  188. Software utility
  189. Solaris Operating Environment
  190. Sound Blaster
  191. Soundcard
  192. Spam
  193. Spamdexing
  194. Spam in blogs
  195. Speech recognition
  196. Spoofing attack
  197. Spreadsheet
  198. Spyware
  199. Streaming media
  200. Supercomputer
  201. Tablet computer
  202. Telecommunications
  203. Text messaging
  204. Trackball
  205. Trojan horse
  206. TV card
  207. Unicode
  208. Uniform Resource Identifier
  209. Unix
  210. URL redirection
  211. USB flash drive
  212. USB port
  213. User interface
  214. Vlog
  215. Voice over IP
  216. Warez
  217. Wearable computer
  218. Web application
  219. Web banner
  220. Web browser
  221. Web crawler
  222. Web directories
  223. Web indexing
  224. Webmail
  225. Web page
  226. Website
  227. Wiki
  228. Wikipedia
  229. WIMP
  230. Windows CE
  231. Windows key
  232. Windows Media Player
  233. Windows Vista
  234. Word processor
  235. World Wide Web
  236. Worm
  237. XML
  238. X Window System
  239. Yahoo
  240. Zombie computer

This article is from:

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: 


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Graphics are visual presentations on some surface such as a wall, canvas, computer screen, paper, or stone to brand, inform, illustrate, or entertain. Examples are photographs, drawings, Line Art, graphs, diagrams, typography, numbers, symbols, geometric designs, maps, engineering drawings, or other images. Graphics often combines text, illustration, and color. Graphics design may consist of the deliberate selection, creation, or arrangement of typography alone, as in a brochure, flier, poster, web site, or book without any other element. Clarity or effective communication may be the objective, association with other cultural elements may be sought, or merely, the creation of a distinctive style.

Graphics can be functional or artistic. Graphics can be imaginary or represent something in the real world. The latter can be a recorded version, such as a photograph, or an interpretation by a scientist to highlight essential features, or an artist, in which case the distinction with imaginary graphics may get blurred.


The earliest graphics known to anthropologists studying prehistoric periods are cave paintings and markings on boulders, bone, ivory, and antlers created during the Upper Palaeolithic period from 40,000 - 10,000 B.C. or earlier. Many of these were found to record astronomical, seasonal, and chronological details. Some of the earliest graphics and drawings known to the modern world, from almost 6,000 years ago, are that of engraved stone tablets and ceramic cylinder seals, marking the beginning of the historic periods and the keeping of records for accounting and inventory purposes. Records from Egypt predate these and papyrus was used by the Egyptians as a material on which to plan the building of pyramids; they also used slabs of limestone and wood. From 600-250 BC the Greeks played a major role in geometry. They used graphics to represent their mathematical theories such as the Circle Theorem and the Pythagorean theorem.


Main articles: Drawing and Technical drawing.

Drawing generally involves making marks on a surface by applying pressure from a tool, or moving a tool across a surface. Common tools are graphite pencils, pen and ink, inked brushes, wax color pencils, crayons, charcoals, pastels, and markers. Digital tools which simulate the effects of these are also used. The main techniques used in drawing are: line drawing, hatching, crosshatching, random hatching, scribbling, stippling, blending and shading.

Drawing is generally considered distinct from painting, in which colored pigments are suspended in a liquid medium and usually applied with a brush. Many great drawers include Sir Michael Ash and Leonardo da Vinci.


Main article: Painting

In the Middle Ages paintings were very distorted, for example with people on a castle wall disproportionately large because they were what was important in the painting. Later realism and perspective became more important, symbolised by the use of a frame with a wire mesh that the painter would look through at the scene to precisely copy those dimensions on the canvas that had a corresponding grid drawn on it. During the Renaissance artists took a non-mathematical approach to drawing. Giotto di Bondone and Duccio di Buoninsegna made great advancements in graphics by using perspective drawing with the use of symmetry, converging lines and foreshortening. Many renaissance painters also used fresco - painting directly onto walls - a technique which finds its prototype in cave and rock art. Graphics of this kind from 30-40,000 years ago have survived in Australia and France. A modern day equivalent would be the mural.


Main article: Printmaking

Printmaking originated in China after paper was invented (about A.D. 105). Relief printing first flourished in Europe in the 15th century, when the process of papermaking was imported from the East. Since that time, relief printing has been augmented by the various techniques described earlier, and printmaking has continued to be practiced as one of the fine arts.

Line Art


Main article: Etching

Etching is an intaglio method of printmaking in which the image is incised into the surface of a metal plate using an acid. The acid eats the metal, leaving behind roughened areas, or if the surface exposed to the acid is very narrow, burning a line into the plate. The process is believed to have been invented by Daniel Hopfer (circa 1470-1536) of Augsburg, Germany, who decorated armour in this way, and applied the method to printmaking. Etching is also used in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards and semiconductor devices.


Main article: Illustration
An illustration of a character from a story; also, an illustration of illustrations
An illustration of a character from a story; also, an illustration of illustrations

An Illustration is a visualisation such as drawing, painting, photograph or other work of art that stresses subject more than form. The aim of an Illustration is to elucidate or decorate a story, poem or piece of textual information (such as a newspaper article) Traditionally by providing a visual representation of something described in the text. The editorial cartoon, also known as a political cartoon, is an illustration containing a political or social message.

Illustrations can be used to display a wide range of subject matter and serve a variety of functions like:

  • giving faces to characters in a story;
  • displaying a number of examples of an item described in an academic textbook (e.g. A Typology);
  • visualising step-wise sets of instructions in a technical manual.
  • communicating subtle thematic tone in a narrative.
  • linking brands to the ideas of human expression, individuality and creativity.
  • making a reader laugh or smile.


Main article: Graphs

A chart or graph is a type of information graphic that represents tabular numeric data. Charts are often used to make it easier to understand large quantities of data and the relationship between different parts of the data.


Main article: Diagrams

A diagram is a simplified and structured visual representation of concepts, ideas, constructions, relations, statistical data, anatomy etc used in all aspects of human activities to visualize and clarify the topic.


Main article: Symbols

A symbol, in its basic sense, is a conventional representation of a concept or quantity; i.e., an idea, object, concept, quality, etc. In more psychological and philosophical terms, all concepts are symbolic in nature, and representations for these concepts are simply token artifacts that are allegorical to (but do not directly codify) a symbolic meaning, or symbolism.

Geometric design


Main article: Maps

A map is a simplified depiction of a space, a navigational aid which highlights relations between objects within that space. Most usually a map is a two-dimensional, geometrically accurate representation of a three-dimensional space.

One of the first 'modern' maps was made by Waldseemüller.


Main article: Photography

One difference between photography and other forms of Graphics is that a photographer, in principle, just records a single moment in reality. There doesn't seem to be any interpretation. But a photographer can choose the field of view and the angle and can use other techniques, such as various lenses to distort the view or filters to change the colours. In recent times digital photography has opened the way to an infinite number of fast but strong manipulations. Even in the early days of photography there was controversy over photographs of enacted scenes that were presented as 'real life' (especially in war photography, where it can be very difficult to record the original events). Shifting someone's pupils ever so slightly with simple pinpricks in the negative could have a dramatic effect.

Just the choice of the field of view can have a strong effect, effectively 'censoring out' other parts of the scene, in other words cropping out selected parts or just avoiding including them in the photograph. This even touches on the philosophical question what reality is. Our eyes have their own way of recording visual information and our brains process that information based on previous experience, making us see just what we want to see or what we were taught to see. Photography can do (and even necessarily does) the same, except that someone else interprets for you. Of course, the same applies to other forms of graphics, but there it is obvious and accepted, and even expected because one wants to see not so much what an artist sees but how he sees it. In a different way this applies to technical and scientific drawings such as biological drawings, where one wants to see the essentials of something, say, an insect, not the specifics of this one insect (genotype in stead of phenotype).

Engineering drawings

Main article: Engineering drawings

An engineering drawing is a type of drawing that is technical in nature, used to fully and clearly define requirements for engineered items, and is usually created in accordance with standardized conventions for layout, nomenclature, interpretation, appearance (such as typefaces and line styles), size, etc.

Computer graphics

A graphic from the video game OpenArena.
A graphic from the video game OpenArena.
Main article: Computer graphics

In computer graphics there are two types of graphics: Raster, where each pixel is separately defined (as in a digital photograph), and vector, where mathematical formula are used to draw lines (eg 'take two points and draw a parabole between them'), which are then interpreted at the 'receiving end' to produce the graphic. Vectors make for in principle infinitely sharp graphics and usually smaller files, but when complex might render slower.

In 1950 the first computer-driven display was attached to MIT's Whirlwind I computer to generate simple pictures. This was followed by MIT's TX-0 and TX-2- interactive computing which increased interest in computer graphics in the late 1950s. In 1962 Ivan Sutherland invented Sketchpad, an innovative program that influenced alternative forms of interaction with computers.

In the mid-1960s large computer graphics research projects were begun at MIT, General Motors, Bell Labs, and Lockheed Aircraft. D. T. Ross of MIT developed an advanced compiler language for graphics programming. S.A.Coons, also at MIT, and J. C. Ferguson at Boeing, began work in sculptured surfaces. GM developed their DAC-1 system and other companies, such as Douglas, Lockheed, and McDonnell, also made significant developments. In 1968 Ray tracing was invented by Appel.

During the late 1970s personal computers began to become more powerful and capable of drawing basic and complex shapes and designs. In the 1980s artists and graphic designers began to see the personal computer, particularly the Commodore Amiga and Macintosh, as a serious design tool that could save time and be used to draw more accurately than other methods. 3D computer graphics became possible in the late 1980s with the powerful SGI computers, which were later used to create some of the first fully computer-generated short films at Pixar. The Macintosh remains one of the most popular tools for computer graphics in graphic design studios and businesses.

Modern computer systems dating from the 1980s and onwards often use a graphical user interface (GUI) to present data and information by using symbols, icons and pictures rather than text. Graphics is one of the five key elements of multimedia technology.

3D graphics became more popular in the 1990s in gaming, multimedia and animation. In 1996 Quake, one of the first fully 3D games, was released. In 1995 Toy Story, the first full-length computer-generated animation film, was released in cinemas worldwide. Since then computer graphics have become more accurate and more detailed because of more advanced computers and better 3D modeling software applications such as Cinema 4D.

Another use of graphics on computers are screensavers, that originally had (and still have) the purpose of preventing the layout of much-used GUIs 'burning into' the computer screen, but have evolved into true pieces of art. The actual practical use of screensavers is now obsolete since modern screen are not susceptible to such "burning".

Web graphics

Signature art used on web forums
Signature art used on web forums

In the 1990s Internet speeds increased, and Internet browsers capable of viewing images were released, the first being Mosaic. Websites began to use the GIF format to distribute small graphics such as banners, advertisements and navigation buttons on web pages. Web graphics are useful in providing a truly graphical user interface to websites rather than plain text. Modern web browsers now support the use of JPEG, PNG and increasingly SVG images in addition to gifs on web pages.

A program like MS Paint in Microsoft Windows can be used by anyone, and more professional programs like Adobe Photoshop and Corel Paint Shop Pro can give you more abilities but may be harder to use.

Numerous websites have been created to host communities for web graphics artists. A growing community consists of people who use photoshop or paint shop pro to create forum signatures and other digital artwork.


Graphics are visual elements often used to point readers and viewers to particular information. They are also used to supplement text in an effort to aid readers in their understanding of a particular concept or make the concept more clear or interesting. popular magazines, such as TIME, Wired and Newsweek, usually contain graphic material in abundance to attract readers, unlike the majority of scholarly journals. In computing, graphics are used as an interface for the user; and graphics is one of the five key elements of multimedia technology. Graphics are among the primary ways of advertising the sale of goods or services. It could be painted or drawn by hand, computer-generated graphics or photographed.


Graphics are commonly used in business and economics for financial charts and tables to represent Price and Quantity of a product. The term Business Graphics came into use in the late 1970s when personal computers became capable of drawing graphs and charts of data usually only displayed in tables, Business Graphics can be used to more easily notice changes over a period of time.


This is probably where most money is to be made with Graphics, to the extent that artists need to do advertising work beside the artistic work or even take advertising potential into account when creating art to increase the chances of selling the artwork.


The use of graphics - cartoons, graffiti, poster art, flag design etc - for overtly political purposes is a centuries old practice which thrives today in every part of the world. The Northern Irish murals are one such example.


Graphics are heavily used in education in textbooks for subjects such as geography, science and math to illustrate theories and concepts. Diagrams are also used to label photographs and pictures. A common example of graphics in use to educate is diagrams of human anatomy.

Educational animation is an important emerging field of graphics. Animated graphics can have advantages over static graphics for explaining subject matter that changes over time.

The Oxford Illustrated Dictionary uses graphics and technical illustrations to make reading material more interesting and easier to understand. In an encyclopedia graphics are used to illustrate concepts and show examples of a particular topic being discussed.

In order for a graphic to function effectively as an educational aid, the learner must be able to interpret it successfully. This interpretative capacity is one aspect of graphicacy.

Film and animation

Computer graphics are often used in the majority of new feature films, especially those with a large budget. Films to heavily use computer graphics include the Harry Potter films, Spider-Man and War of the Worlds.

Graphics education

The majority of schools, colleges and universities around the world educate students on the subject of graphics and art.

Famous graphic designers

Aldus Manutius designed the first Italic type style which is often used in desktop publishing and graphic design. April Greiman is known for her influential poster design. Paul Rand is well known as a design pioneer for designing many popular corporate logos including the logo for IBM, NeXT and UPS. William Caslon during the mid-18th century designed many typefaces including ITC Founder's Caslon, ITC Founder's Caslon Ornaments, Caslon Graphique, ITC Caslon No. 224, Caslon Old Face and Big Caslon.


See also

Look up graphics in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
  • Center for the Study of Political Graphics
  • Editorial cartoon


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