Terminology in design

I’m stuck with terminology when it comes to design, page particularly between graphic design, visual design and communication design. As I’m doing this PhD under Communication Design I wonder what it really means. What I’m trying to say here is do we have a clear definition of what do we all mean when we claim we’re doing a study under communication design?

My whole academic and practice background is very much related to Graphic Design, but then I’m a bit bewildered between the terminology and the practice. One of the few reasons that makes me puzzled with the graphic design term is it’s roles. Please correct me one but I think the classic reason is most of graphic designers ‘like to play safe’ when they’re in the act of designing and indirectly point the finger at the client and the purpose of the design artifacts, when it comes to the impact of their own reproduction.Perhaps it is because, I was one of them not sure now but at least now I’m taking full responsibilities of my work and would argued and questioned my client when it comes to the designing process. I used to think that ‘ the client is always right’, who the hell created this term anyway?

Well,  at this moment, I’m not comfortable to use the communication design term. I guess the term is too broad and vague. What we have as a reference is very much Frascara term. Is that really what is communication design, as Frascara stated, I’m not that sure anymore. Poynour’s term of visual communications makes me at ease, but still not very sure why. Perhaps because literally it means using ‘visual to communicate (transfer ideas/message)’, I mean he did stated more than just as the message translater, but I feel much more confortable with this term.

At this point, I’m juggling between the theminology between graphic design and visual communication, but I guess Yoko’s advice could be handy ‘it is just the term and what define it is your understanding of it’. I’m hoping to get some of your point of view about this, any thought?