This paper will, from a visual communication perspective, explore the role over the last 40 years of the graphic designer within graphical user interface design. I am specifically interested in how graphic design has had to respond to designing for interactions in the new digital media. To do this I will also examine how interactive design has impacted upon graphic design and vice versa. In order to conclude on the present position I will explore the roots and formation of the graphic design discipline formed sixty-six years prior to the formation of the new discipline of interaction design. There are parallels between the two. Focusing upon a literature review of academic visual communication literature this paper scrutinizes limited writing within it on graphical user interfaces. It analyses and evaluates the visual communication literature dialectically through a filter of interaction design writers’ selected writings. In tone and structure this paper is designed to address a proposition that has seldom been addressed fully from my chosen perspective. My research position is shaped by a desire to explore the graphic aspect of graphical user interfaces rather than from the technology/HCI/computer science disciplines. This paper adds to the discourse on how interactions can be facilitated by better graphic design in order to expand visual communication literature and application to practice. The conclusions in the paper set the context for a deeper enquiry into graphical user interfaces from a visual communication perspective, as part of my continuing PhD research.