Graphic design is a process concerned with using images as an effective form of communication. Some of the most common examples of such informative graphics are street signs, map markers for things like hospitals and parks, and indicators for public washrooms. Each of these symbols were designed to be simple enough to be easily to recall, instantly and universally recognizable, and relevant to that which they represent.
However, graphic design is a much wider field than just the creation of markers for bathrooms, the term is also applied to the development of corporate branding, such as logos and product packaging. There are also educational uses as you might see in a textbook. A fully labeled diagram of the human anatomy was also designed (hopefully) to be easy to read, remember, and understand.
Essentially, any image created with the intent to communicate some piece of information can be said to have been created using graphic design techniques. Graphic design can be said to have existed since the the dawn of civilization, when early humans developed symbols intended to represent their surroundings which often ended up painted or carved into cave walls or on tablets.
Having said that, the term graphic design was itself only coined in 1922. Since that time, graphic design has become an increasingly relevant career choice in the modern world due to the more and more widespread use of graphics as corporate logos, TV show title cards, and more.
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