Rick Griffith's "Definition of Graphic Design": Can you dig it?

"Extra Bold," this week's cover story, details the creations of Denver type maestro Rick Griffith, including his "Definition of Graphic Design," a 59-word sentence he spent eighteen months crafting that now appears on T-shirts, posters and scarves. Jeremy Peterson, art director at Griffith's studio, MATTER, says it took him a year to understand it. The definition is below.

The work is comprised of two parts. The first is the formal definition, which originally appeared on a downtown wall one evening several years ago as a four-by-eight-foot stencil, to the displeasure of the local police. The second is a set of detailed annotations Griffith added when a friend informed him the definition was completely inaccessible -- annotations that might or might not elucidate the composition. (Although it is helpful that one of the annotations notes that "the message" is also the name of a very important jam from 1982.)

What do you think? Do you grasp the full meaning of Griffith's handiwork? Is it over your head? Or do you think it's all gobbledygook -- that is, except for the part about "The Message" jam? Feel free to weigh in below -- and remember, make sure your work is conditioned by the message it will convey.

More from our Tech archive: "MapQuest's new error-reporting tool for 'neighborhood watch' not quite error-free." Follow Joel Warner on Twitter @joelmwarner

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner