To bring shape and order to something—an idea, solution or message—that is otherwise raw and chaotic.
I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, but I recently read Explaining graphic design to four-year olds and it all came back. The above is how I make sense of it in my head; but I think the author of this post, Dean Vipond, really nails it with this:
I use colours, letters and pictures to help people understand things.
Ironically, I haven’t really tried to explain what I do to my kids, four-year old twin boys. They know I sit at a computer to work, and they see some “pictures” I make, but we haven’t really delved into it.
I’m of two minds when it comes to defining what I do. On one hand I feel it matters a great deal. The more I make sense of it for myself, the more confident I will be in selling my services to others. On the other hand, it’s easy to get caught up in this sort of meta talk, and what really matters is the actual work I do. The work itself defines what I do. Whatever.