One concern many designers have is that misinterprations of their designs occur by people from other cultures. There are three common approaches to intercultural graphic design:
1) Graphic designers attempt to translate their own visual language into another culture’s visual language. This becomes more and more outdated because the same idea is often translated into multiple languages. But „many ideas do not clearly translate from one culture to another. Visual language, just like verbal language, has a specific grammatical structure. Whereas verbal language cannot be translated word for word, visual language cannot be translated image by image“ the article states.
2) Graphic designers focus on transforming their ideas rather than translating. They apply images or ideas only because of aesthetic reasons without really understanding them and copy specific styles of design. A designer should go further and rather „understand the images and ideas of different cultures, and then merge these with their own cultural knowledge to create an entirely new visual message.“ The article suggests the designer to be a chameleon and reflect local color but retain their form.
3) Graphic designers gain an understanding of the audience’s culture, because they want to avoid offending the audience. It’s important to not only avoid offending but to connect and look deeper.