Graphic Design Through the Years …

Truthfully, back in art school, history of graphic design was not my thing. I couldn’t wrap my head around it all … the wall writings and scrolls, the evolution of handwriting right through to Art Nouveau and Bauhaus to now in which have evolved into beautifully created pieces of digital artwork. I just couldn’t comprehend the drastic changes in the evolution of it all and not to mention at the speed it was evolving.

In reality the true purpose of graphic design is to communicate. Any design can truly be stunningly beautiful to look at, but if it does not send across the right message it really isn’t accomplishing anything now is it?

When you take a look back at the history behind graphic design, especially advertising, you will notice that the designs largely reflect what was going on in the world at that specific time. Through some of the most iconic designs through the decades, it is easy to see how much graphic design truly has evolved as the world literally changed around us. I have much more understanding and respect for design’s evolutionary ways.

Let’s take a visual dive back at some of my most favourite design eras …

The 1920’s:
Art Deco (aka. the Gatsby era), filled with new social freedoms an economic growth which was shown in a luxurious yet vintage style defined by modernistic geometric designs and glamourous colour palettes.

The 1940’s:
Stylistic modernism, the influential movement at the time due to the outbreak of the Second World War which was shown through visible brush strokes, witty designs and a richness in colours (to mark the end of the “dark days” of war).

The 1980’s:
Eighties design, domination of commercial design to spill over into music and the arts which was filled with garish, neon-saturated styles with sharply italicized fonts and exaggerated light and shadow.

The 2000’s:
Digital Design Age (aka. the “Boom Years” for branding), filled with great political and social change world-wide with representation of older street styled art with strong sans serif typefaces.

The 2010’s:
Vintage Mania, with only being a handful of years into this decade I can say for sure that it has and will continue to be an exciting one for design and illustration. With the domination of trends overlooking one another … with the internet becoming an all-encompassing influence … who knows what will be on the very next design page, or shall I say “screen.”

If you truly sit back and think about it, a lot can change in a century. I hope that you found this trip back in time inspiring for your own creative work. If you are interested in furthering this conversation, let me know which eras get your creative juices flowing in the comments below.

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Picture of Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal is an artist, a writer, an organizer, a dreamer, a doer, and down-right proud of it NERD!.

Struck with a love for #AllThings creative at a very young age, Crystal dreamed of a life fueled by her passion for creating and bringing the stories and images in her mind into reality.

As she worked toward her dreams, she earned a diploma as a Computer Applications Specialist then another in Graphic Design and from there began to develop her extensive background in multimedia and the arts. She began her worked in the magazine industry as a layout designer and had a succession of design jobs thereafter. It was her role as a graphic/web designer that gave her the first real glimpse of her future. Soon she began a side job as a freelance designer while keeping one foot in the corporate world. A spark was lit! She turned her freelance gig into a full-time business combining design work with her other passion: creating organization from virtual chaos.

Crystal is one of the most organized individuals on the planet. She is by all means a Zen master of her crafts. She excels at helping others become “untangled” and provides her clients with tools to run their businesses smoothly while she takes care of the details behind the scenes. Thus Virtually Untangled was born. A successful business where her work as a top notch creative in graphic and web — with a twist of virtual assistant — married into one amazing place where clients can come with their virtual messes and become magically untangled. Crystal can always make sense of even the most unorganized chaos and offers a virtual detox of order and peace, so her clients can get busy doing the work that they love the most.

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