ABSTRACT

This article explores the meaning of response events in the historiography of graphic design. The demonstration is based on a statement formulated by Jean-François Lyotard in “To Intrigue or the Graphic Designer’s Paradox,” where he defines the poster as an object made to “suspend the sight.” This article introduces a difference in the French uses of graphisme (graphic art) and design graphique (graphic design),1 to develop a historical point of view about Lyotard’s definition of graphic design. Lyotard questions the necessity for graphic designers to conceal aesthetic and political statements. Looking through the history of twentieth-century graphic design, we can identify moments where designers chose to stand for their political views through aesthetic statements. What Lyotard identifies as response events in graphic design are what we could call graphisme (graphic art).

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