Graphic design is a talent and an art that many try for but are unable to ever master. Normal graphic designers are able to do basic poster designs, creative designs, digital designs, and some of the more talented graphic designers are able to do motion graphics on top of normal standard art. There are no graphic design courses that can bring talent to the top and bring your graphic design to life like the designers at Just Graphics dot art.
In previous articles we made it out of the caves of 3,600 BC all the way to the worlds first storefront signs. Today we are going to begin the Another Spin on the History of Graphic Design by taking us first to the medieval times!
Renaissance and Industrial Era: the beginning of graphic design
The invention of the printing press in Europe allowed people to reproduce text, artwork, and designs on a large scale and at a low cost. Modern graphic design was created when the forerunners of modern businesses, who were also expanding, realized how these graphics could influence consumer behavior and boost sales.
The Gutenberg press was created in 1439.
Moveable type was introduced to Europe by Johannes Gutenberg in 1439, revolutionizing civilisation by bringing mass communication to the West. With the invention of the Gutenberg press, readers could access literature (and literacy) on a more inexpensive basis without having to rely on laborious scholarly replicas of books. The Gutenberg press opened the door for more industrial design applications, ushering in the modern era of graphic design.
Late in the fifteenth century, these were the first logos.
The printing business was the first to employ logos, however they were only used as marks on their own documents at initially. Not only was it a marketing tool, but it was also a way to demonstrate your printing prowess as the quality of your logo reflected the quality of all other printed materials.
1620s: First printed ads
The “coranto,” a forerunner of the newspaper, replaced the printing press. These corantos also contained the first printed ads in the early 1600s.
(To be honest, written advertisements have existed since the time of ancient Egypt, but this is the earliest instance of mass-produced ads with visuals.)
Chromolithography – 1837
Graphic design continued to advance as a result of technological developments like chromolithography, which allows for color printing. Chromolithography brought up new opportunities for advertising even though it was largely employed to recreate paintings for home décor.
Many of the well-known marketing strategies we are all familiar with, such distinctive color palettes and creating emotional connections through slice-of-life imagery, were now available to brands. In the past, images were constrained by the technology of the day (see the ink blot coranto image in the preceding section) and placed a higher priority on fundamental clarity than they did on evoking subtle emotions. However, chromolithography allowed for a certain amount of realism, allowing advertisements to profit from attractive people, current clothes, and creative color use.
Modern-day graphic design
The development of graphic design as we know it now may be traced to the modern era, roughly from the late 1800s to the end of World War II. The modern age was about understanding how to use these improvements for more creative purposes, whereas the 19th century was more about technological advancements and new capabilities. As printing became more widely used and competition encouraged innovation, artists and designers were compelled to experiment with novel styles and methods, which swiftly filtered into branding and advertising.
The Wiener Werkstätte (1903), the first graphic design firm
It was just a matter of time before the first graphic design agency appeared as more and more businesses began to see the value of graphic design. The Austrian organization known as the Wiener Werkstätte deserves to receive this accolade for its achievements to both business and design.
The Wiener Werkstätte, which translates as “Vienna workshop,” was the first association of visual artists of this kind to include painters, architects, and early graphic designers. It established the organizational standard that all other joint agencies have since followed.
Its most notable contribution to style was perhaps cubism. Additionally, they had a lot of influence on developing design guidelines for subsequent generations of artists because they were a group of professionals working together, especially in the years following World War I when global cultural attitudes were shifting. The popular Bauhaus and Art Deco styles that shortly followed were made possible by the work produced at the Wiener Werkstätte.
Staatliches Bauhaus founded – 1919
The Staatliches Bauhaus, also referred to as the “Bauhaus,” originally established its doors in Weimar, Germany, in 1919, continuing the work of the Wiener Werkstätte. Their grandiose objective was to produce a Gesamtkunstwerk—a perfect work of art that unites or synthesizes all previously existent art forms. The amazing thing is that they were genuinely successful: Bauhaus was a major driver in the modernist movement’s rise to popularity.
In 1922, the phrase “graphic design” first emerges.
Book designer William Addison Dwiggins coined the phrase “graphic design” in his article “New Kind of Printing Calls for New Design” (posted in the Boston Evening Transcript, August 29, 1922) to express precisely what his job was in organizing and managing the visuals in book design. From the beginning, designers found it difficult to describe their work to people who were not designers.
Thoughts on Design is published by Paul Rand in 1947.
Legendary designer Paul Rand contributed to the development of graphic design in its present form, with one foot in modernism and the other in post-modernism. He published his ideas in the ground-breaking book Thoughts on Design, which had a significant impact on the development of the entire graphic design sector.
In his book, he explains his design philosophies, including the need for “functional-aesthetic perfection,” or striking the right balance between a logo’s aesthetic appeal and its ability to effectively convey a message. This is demonstrated in his well-known logo designs for companies like Ford, Westinghouse, Yale, ABC, UPS, and IBM.
A look at the digital age
The world started moving slowly toward the digital era we are currently living in starting in the 1950s. Comparable to the introduction of the printing press, the widespread use of home computers has ushered in a new era of mass communication and opened the door to esoteric art forms and digital software for novel ways of producing art.
Even by itself, the 1990 release of Adobe Photoshop altered the course of graphic design. Photo manipulation, which combines aspects of photography, illustration, and CGI, gave rise to a completely new subcategory of graphic design (it would have made the Gesamtkunstwerk artists proud).
The nature of branding changed concurrently to keep up with the times. We may thank MTV in part for this because they introduced a novel approach to the use of logos, particularly in how they changed theirs frequently while maintaining recognized elements.
Designers chose youthful and occasionally edgy looks when the internet first gained popularity around the turn of the century in an effort to appeal to the younger population. Online trends like flat design, which features vivid colors and comical images, demonstrate this.
Graphic design’s history is still being written
That basically takes us up to speed with graphic design, but one thing is still unknown: what will graphic design look like in the future?
Whether you’re the next generation of designers or the customer whose brand might lend itself to a new leap in design thinking, you decide what fruit the history of visual communication from cave drawings to digital software bears. Though the process today requires a lot of effort, harsh criticism, and endless late nights in front of a screen, the outcome might perhaps inspire tomorrow’s Bauhaus or Thoughts on Design.
That about does it for our journey down the rabbit hole when it comes to graphic design. We hope you learned as much as we did by researching these topics. The bottom line is that you need a creative designer who is able to manipulate every facet of the digital world. Its not just about a graphic design computer and someone that paste images, its about a team of individuals who are able to bring an amazing studio of tools to the table to develop and design the ultimate graphic for you. Thanks for stopping by!