My name is Andrew Palios, a communication designer from New Berlin, Wisconsin. I believe that design is a universal language. Successful design communicates across all language barriers and can teach us nuances of different cultures never seen before. Think about it, even in America there are vastly different cultural values between state lines. This culturally diverse quality within a single country's borders is anything but new within human society. Our earliest and most prosperous civilizations, such as Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece, were made up of city-states as well, each having extremely different cultural values and practices within their own borders.
Taking into account the vast cultural differences within the United States, not to mention the even greater cultural differences in the global community, one sees how the understanding of cultural differences is essential in the design profession. Don't take my word for it, before a single sketch is drawn or computer program opened, the first thing most designers will do is research their subject matter. Because without a strong foundation of research, even the most beautiful artwork will crumble under the indifferent force of irrelevance.
Who, What, When, Where, and Why? Those are the questions a designer will ask in the beginning of a project. Who am I talking to? What do they need to know? When is the proper time to tell them? Where is the proper place to tell them? Why should they care? If there was ever a formula that one could measure the success of a piece of graphic design before it is implemented, an answer to these questions would be it. There are many different principles to follow in making a piece of visual art look beautiful, but there is only one way to make a piece of successful communication.