In architecture, the emphasis is usually placed on the physical structures – their form, construction, materials, and utility. However, another equally vital aspect forms the image of architectural wonders—graphic design. Graphic design in architecture is not limited to signs and logos – it is a composition of various elements within a single visual narrative, representing the soul of the place. Whether it is a world-known skyscraper, a monument, or a social space, the amalgamation of architecture and its graphic component creates an impact that stays with the occupants and visitors.

The synergy between graphic design and architectural design-Sheet1

Signages are the entryways to the architectural spaces, providing a preview of what awaits inside, signages can be a well-crafted typography of a corporate office or a colourful canvas of a cultural house; signages are a precursor of things to come. In contrast, the signages of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City are splendid; the New York-based artists Sagmeister & Walsh designed most of the signages. Its grandiosity is brought about by a combination of clean lines, popping fonts, and perfect typography, all resonating with the museum’s abstract architecture and creative art. Also, the minimalistic signs on the exterior of the Apple store have been carefully designed to blend with the Apple store’s modernistic architecture. This cautious use of typography, colour schemes and compositions not only navigates people but also plays an important part in revealing the identity of the store.

The synergy between graphic design and architectural design-Sheet2
Guggenheim Museum Signage_©
The synergy between graphic design and architectural design-Sheet3
Apple store Signage_©istock

The architectural street interventions and deliberate graphic design integrate diverse elements like graphics on the walls graphics, floor tile patterns, street art window decals and digital display boards to enhance functionality and navigability and also create memories for the locals and the visitors to that place. By incorporating these elements once an ignored or neglected area can be transformed into a vibrant, cheerful and colourful area. This can also achieved by collaboration with local stakeholders and the graphics output reflects the desire of the locals and also becomes their local identity. An area that has been ignored or neglected can be rendered into a space that is radiant, optimistic and vibrant by incorporating these components. The involvement of graphic design in such projects not only gives rebirth to the place but also ensures social cohesion and a positive impact on the urban environment.

Branding: the establishment of an emotional bond and commitment to a brand depends extensively on branding. Today, no building has been constructed without branding; every building, regardless of institutional or commercial, needs branding to promote itself. The exceptional graphic design of the McDonald’s golden representation fosters consistent branding experiences amongst the various restaurants. Using standardized colour schemes, typography, and iconography, McDonald’s fosters a feeling of familiarity and acceptance.

The synergy between graphic design and architectural design-Sheet4
McDonald’s golden Branding_©istock

The myth that graphic design is solely 2D has been dispelled with the use of murals and art installations. Today’s buildings and complexes have been engraved with mural facades which attract the locals and engage them in conversation with the locals. The famous Wynwood Walls, Miami is an outdoor art museum which exhibits the vibrant murals on the walls of the revitalizing project. This mural had a great impact which transforms the ignored area into a bustling cultural hub where the locals and the art enthusiasts get together and acknowledge the local identity.

The synergy between graphic design and architectural design-Sheet5
The Wynwood Walls in Miami_©

The field of architecture has seen a new dimension in graphic design due to the rapid advancement of technology. These days, websites, apps, virtual tours, interactive displays, and other media function as digital spaces in architecture. These days, these amenities are a part of every modern building, and a strong graphic design is essential to their success. One of the admirable examples of the virtual tour is The Louvre Abu Dhabi offers visitors a virtual tour that guides them through its galleries and incorporates elegant graphic design, encouraging them to actively and trouble-free use technology. People can enjoy stunning imagery, compelling storytelling, and a futuristic experience thanks to this.

Candy Chang’s “Before I Die” project is an excellent illustration of a minimal urban intervention that has a significant social impact. As previously indicated, there is very little in the way of intervention or graphics, but a significant amount of public participation. The words “Before I Die” have been used in a legible font that is bold and easily readable, drawing in readers from a distance. This was once an abundant space where the artist used this intervention to increase communication, and public participation which can be an inspiration to one another and a radiating activity space.

The synergy between graphic design and architectural design-Sheet6
”Before I Die” Project _© Candy Chang
The synergy between graphic design and architectural design-Sheet7
Public Participation intensity in the Project_© Candy Chang
The synergy between graphic design and architectural design-Sheet8
The Louvre Abu Dhabi, virtual tour_© Roland Halbe

Whether intentionally or not, graphic design has always been a part of architecture. Graphic design has been integrated into a variety of architectural behaviours, from large-scale branding, art installations, and digital environments to small-scale sheet compositions, typographies, and abstract drawings of people and trees. Combining graphic design and architecture can highlight their aesthetic or graphical qualities as well as encourage community involvement and relationships. The partnership between architecture and graphic design will continue to improve people’s experiences and the spaces around them in this ever-evolving environment.

References :

  1. (2022). Architecture and Graphic Design | Life of an Architect. [online] Available at:
  2. ‌ Anon, (n.d.). Candy Chang» Before I Die. [online] Available at:

Muthu Malliga is a passionate architecture student, deeply interested in architectural research and writing. She is dedicated to enlightening and inspiring a diverse audience by conveying intricate concepts, theories, and practical applications within the realm of designing and planning urban spaces.