Right now, during the "age of information," combinations of pictures and words are all around us. We use them to communicate with one another in a kind of a emotional shorthand. Because there's just so much information out there, speed of communication is vital to anyone who wishes to get a message across: there is simply too much competition to allow for a lack of clarity and readability in one's message. More often then not, this kind of clarity and readability requires manipulating pictures and words such as to achieve the optimal effect. Graphic design is the discipline of learning to manipulate pictures and words in such a way as to optimally communicate with those around us.