The graphic language and design

The old saying necessity is the mother of invention “continues to be true, and a new machine, structure, system, or device is the result of that need. If the new device, machine, system, or gadget is really needed, people will buy it, providing it does not cost too much. Then, naturally, these questions may arise.

Is there a wide potential market? Can this device or system be made available at a price that people are willing to pay? If these questions can be answered satisfactorily, then the inventor, designer, or officials of a company may elect to go ahead with the development of production and marketing plans for the new project or system.

A new machine, structure, or system, or an improvement thereof, must exist in the mind of the engineer or designer before it can become a reality. This original concept or idea is usually placed on paper and communicated to others by the way of the graphic language in the form of freehand idea sketches. These idea or design sketches lead even more sketches, such as computation sketches, for developing the idea more fully.
The engineer or designer must be able to create idea sketches, calculate stresses, analyze motions, size the parts, specify materials and production methods, make design layouts, and supervise the preparation of drawings and specifications that will control the numerous details of production, assembly, and maintenance of the product. In order to perform or supervise these many tasks, the engineer makes liberal use of freehand drawings.
He or she must be able to record and communicate ideas quickly to associates and support personnel. Facility in freehand sketching, or the ability to work with computer controlled drawing techniques, requires extensive training in drawing with instruments and a thorough knowledge of the graphic language.

A typical engineering and design department, many of the staff has considerable training and experience; others are recent graduates who are gaining experience.

There is so much to be learned on the job and it is necessary for the inexperienced person to start at a low level and advance to more responsibility as experience is gained. Very much to the point is the following statement by the chief engineer of a large corporation: “Many of the male and female engineering students whom we interview have the impression that if they go to work at the drafting board, they will be only draftspersons doing routine work. This impression is completely erroneous. All of our engineers work at the board at least occasionally. Actually, drawing is only one phase of responsibility, which includes site evaluations, engineering calculations, cost estimates, preliminary layouts, engineering specifications, equipment selection, complete drawings (with the help of detailers), and follow-up on construction and installation. “Our policy is to promote from within, and it is our normal practice to hire engineers at the time they finish school, and to give them the opportunity for growth and development by diversified experience. These newly hired engineers without experience are assigned to productive work at a level, which their education and experience qualify them to handle successfully. The immediate requirement is for the young engineer to obtain practical engineering experience, and to learn our equipment and processes. In design work, these initial assignments are on engineering details in any one of several fields of engineering study (structural, mechanical, electrical, etc.). Our experience has shown that it is not wise to give a newly graduated engineer without experience a problem in advanced engineering, such as creative design, on ‘the assumption that quick sketches or layouts can be made and then have them detailed by someone else. Rather than start a young engineer at an advanced responsibility level where he or she may fail or make costly mistakes, we assign the engineer initially to work which requires complete and accurate detail drawings to be made, and the assignments become increasingly complex as the ability to do work of an advanced engineering caliber is demonstrated. If the capacity to assume design responsibility is shown, then the direction of other engineers with less experience is given who in turn do the detailed engineering.”
Many of the troubles of the world are caused by the fact that the various peoples do not understand one another. The infinite number of languages and dialects that contributed to this condition resulted from a lack of intercommunication of peoples widely separated in various parts of the world. Even today when communication is so greatly improved, the progress toward a world language is painfully slow, so slow, indeed, that we cannot foresee the time when it will be a fact.

Although we have not been able to get together on a world language of words and sentences, there has actually been a universal language in use since the earliest times: the graphic language. The idea of communicating thoughts from one person to another by means of pictures occurred to even the earliest cave dwellers, and we have examples still in existence to prove it. These earliest men communicated orally, undoubtedly by grunts and other elementary sounds. However, when they wished to record an idea’ they made pictures upon skins, stones, walls of caves or whatever materials they could find. The earliest forms of writing were through picture forms, such as the Egyptian hieroglyphics. Later these forms were simplified and became the abstract symbols used in our writing today. Thus, even the letter characters in present word languages have their basis in drawings.

A drawing is a graphic representation of a real thing, an idea, or a proposed design for construction later. Drawings may take many forms, but the graphic method of representation is a basic natural form of communication of ideas that is universal and timeless in character.

Two Types of Drawings Man has developed graphic representation along two distinct lines, according to his purpose: (1) Artistic and (2) Technical.


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