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 …
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.
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).
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.
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.
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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