History of graphic design

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Graphics (from Greek γραφικός) are visual presentations on some surface, such as a wall, canvas, computer screen, paper, or stone. It includes everything that relates to creation of signs, charts, logos, graphs, drawings, symbols, geometric designs and so on.

Graphic design is the art or profession of combining text and pictures in art, advertisements, publications, or websites. The aim of graphics is to brand, inform, and have a specific effect on its audience.[1][2]

History of graphics[change | edit source]

Hundreds of graphic designs of animals were made by primitive people in Chauvet cave, in the south of France, about 30,000 BC.[3] Also, similar art was done in the Lascaux cave, France, about 14,000 BC.[4] The art of primitive hunters is found in the rocks of Bhimbetka in India, drawn earlier than 7000 BC.[5] Aboriginal rock art in Kakadu National Park of Australia,[6] show that graphics has a long history in many parts of the world. This history (with writing, which emerged in 3000–4000 BC) are the foundation of graphic art.

Rock and cave art[change | edit source]

Writing[change | edit source]

Use of graphics in books[change | edit source]

Religious books have used graphics extensively. Among these books are Bibles that were created in the monasteries in Ireland, Scotland, and England. Spiralling and interlocking patterns, often including small figures, were part of the ancient graphic tradition of the British Isles. From the 6th century onwards these were applied to the decoration of illuminated gospels.

Graphics in the Quran[change | edit source]

In Islamic countries the graphic designs can be found in their holy book, the Quran. The writers used black ink and golden paper to write with an angled alphabet, called Kuffi. Such writings appeared in the 8th century, and reached their apex in the 10th century. Later on decoration of margin, page and other graphic techniques were added to beautify the book. In the 12th century the Naskh alphabet was invented that used curves instead of angled lines. Other styles such as Mohaghegh, Reyhan, Sols, Reghaa, and Toghii were added later on.[9][10]

Calligraphy and graphics[change | edit source]

Graphics and miniatures[change | edit source]

Graphic compositions in Asia[change | edit source]

Decorative graphic design in pottery[change | edit source]

From ancient times graphic design has been used for decoration of pottery and ceramics.

Birth of modern graphic design[change | edit source]

William Morris had an influence on modern graphics. In the second half of 19th century his Kelmscott Press produced many graphic designs, and created a collector market for this kind of art. In Oxford he was associated with artists like Burne-Jones, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. They formed the Pre-Raphaelites group, whose ideas influenced modern graphic design considerably.[21]

Mondrian's minimalism revolution[change | edit source]

The Dutch painter Piet Mondrian in the years 1920–21 courageously introduced the style of minimalism in painting. His simple geometric compositions, together with the use of only three basic colors, blue, yellow, and red, in combination with black and white created a new venue for the graphic designers. He demonstrated that with simple relocation of these colors, and experimenting with the proportionality of various square surfaces, one can achieve extremely different ambiances and various feelings. For the graphic designers who intend to convey a message with a minimum interference from the extraneous elements his experiment in minimalism was a valuable gift. [22]

A Mondrian-like work


Communication with pictures[change | edit source]

Logos and trademarks[change | edit source]

A trademark, identified by the symbols and ®, or mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, company or other entity to identify its products or services and to distinguish them from those of other producers. A trademark is a type of intellectual property, and typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements.[26]

Signs of culture and peace[change | edit source]

Information signs: Isotype and the Viennese method[change | edit source]

In 1921, Otto Neurath, an Austrian social scientist, introduced graphic design to help the understanding of social and economical data. In 1925, the Museum of Economy and Society used such graphics for the public. This style of presentation at the time was called the Viennese method, but now it is known as Isotype charts.[33]

Dynamic designs, and computer animation[change | edit source]

Placards and posters[change | edit source]

Placards and posters existed from ancient times. The Greek axons and the Roman Albums, with their decorative designs and announcements, were quite similar to today's posters. In ancient Greece the names of athletes and games schedules were written on columns that were slowly turning on an axis. Romans used whitewashed walls in their markets in which sellers, money lenders, and slave traders wrote their announcements and advertised for their products, and to attract the attention of customers they added an attractive design.[36]

With the invention of printing, in 1440, and particularly the development of the lithographic process, invented by a Czech named Alois Senefelder in 1798 in Austria, creation of posters became feasible. Although handmade posters existed before, they were mainly used for government announcements. William Caxton, who in 1477 started a printing company in England, produced the first printed poster.[37]

In 1870, the advertising poster emerged.[38][39]

Art nouveau posters and the impact of graphics on painting[change | edit source]

Posters after World War II[change | edit source]

After the Second World War, with the emergence of new color printing technology and particularly appearance of computers, the art of posters underwent a new revolutionary phase. People can create color posters on their laptop computers and create color prints at a very low cost. Unfortunately, the high cost of sophisticated printing processes can only be afforded mostly by government entities and large corporations. With the emergence of the internet, the role of posters in conveying information has greatly diminished. However, some artists still use chromolithography in order to create works of art in the form of print. In this regard the difference between painting and print has been narrowed considerably. The following files show some of the post-WWII posters. MoMA | The Collection | Claes Oldenburg. Store Poster. 1961 [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

Graphic design in modern life[change | edit source]

Today graphic design has penetrated into all aspects of modern life. In particular modern architecture has been influenced by graphics.[46]

References[change | edit source]

  1. A history of graphic design
  2. see: Oxford Dictionary [1], Merriam Webster Dictionary Graphic design - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and Random House Dictionary Graphic_design | Define Graphic_design at Dictionary.com
  3. Chauvet, Jean-Marie; Eliette Brunel Deschamps, Christian Hillaire (1996). Dawn of Art: The Chauvet Cave. Paul G. Bahn (Foreword), Jean Clottes (Epilogue). New York: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 978-0-8109-3232-6
  4. The Cave of Lascaux, by Mario Ruspoli, Harry N. Abrams 1987. ISBN 978-0-8109-1267-0
  5. "Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka". World Heritage Site. http://whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31&id_site=925. Retrieved 2007-02-15.
  6. Encyclopedia Britannica : Aboriginal Rock Art, Ubirr Art Site, Kakadu National Park, Australia Kakadu National Park (national park, Northern Territory, Australia) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  7. Richard Kurt Kraus 1991. Brushes with power. Berkeley: University of California Press. 27
  8. See: 1. R.O. Faulkner 1985. The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead (revised ed C.A.R. Andrews) British Museum, London. 2. R.B. Parkinson and S.Quirke 1995. Papyrus, Egyptian bookshelf. British Museum, London. 3. S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer1992. The British Museum Book of Anc. The British Museum Press.
  9. Drogin, Marc 1980. Medieval calligraphy: its history and technique. New York: Dover.
  10. Miner, Dorothy E. et al. 1972. 2000 Years of calligraphy, an exhibition organized [1965] by the Baltimore Museum of Art. New Jersey: Rowman & Littlefield.
  11. 1. A History of Calligraphy، by Gaur, Albertine, and Guar, Cross River Press, 1994, ISBN 978-1-55859-870-6. 2. Ludwig Fort: Deutsches Wechselbuch, oder praktischer Unterricht über die Wechselbriefe. Haendel, Leipzig 1855. 3. Ernst Ludwig Jäger: Die ältesten Banken und der Ursprung des Wechsels. 1879
  12. See: /11/calligraphie
  13. 1. Bomford, David, et al. Italian Painting before 1400. Exhibition catalogue. London: National Gallery Publications, 1989. 2. Robert S. Nelson 1981. A Thirteenth-Century Byzantine Miniature in the Vatican Library. Gesta, 20, #1.
  14. 1. Norah M. Titley 1984. Persian Miniature Painting and its influence on the art of Turkey and India. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-76484-2 2. Arberry, A.J., Minovi M., and Blochet E. 1959. The Chester Beatty Library: a catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts and Miniatures.
  15. 1. Beach, Milo Cleveland 1992. Mughal and Rajput Painting. In The New Cambridge History of India. Cambridge, 1992. 2. Losty, Jeremiah P. The Art of the Book in India: London, 1982.
  16. 1. Harold G. Henderson, Louis V. Ledoux, 1984. Sharaku's Japanese Theatre Prints: an illustrated guide to his complete work. Dover, New York.
  17. 1. Richard Barnhart 2002. Three thousand years of Chinese painting. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-09447-3 2. Anne Farrer 2007. The British Museum Book of Chinese Art,British Museum. ISBN 978-0-7141-2446-9
  18. Art in China (Oxford History of Art), by Craig Clunas, Oxford University Press (10 April 1997), ISBN 978-0-19-284244-2
  19. Dong Ho Folk Woodcuts: A Large Portfolio, 3 Woodcut Prints. Vietnamese Title: Tran Dan Gian Viet Nam, by Dong Ho Village, North Vietnam, Dong Ho n.d.ca. 1970, Vietnam. Asian Art. History, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Calligraphy, Publisher: MobileReference, ISBN 978-1-60501-187-5
  20. Campbell, Stuart. "The Halaf Period in Iraq: Old Sites and New." Biblical Archaeologist 55 (1992), pp. 182–87.
  21. See: Encarta [2], and Larousse [3] Archived 31 October 2009 at WebCite
  22. See: Piet Modrian, Colour, Structure and Symbolism: An Essay, by Hans Locher CH-3006 Bern, Switzerland, Verlag Gachnang & Springer, Switzerland. 1994. 3906127443, Piet Mondrian, life and work, by Michel Seuphor, Harry N. Abrams (1955), ASIN: B0007EHNVI. Complete Mondrian, by Marty Bax, Lund Humphries Publishers (January 2002), ISBN 978-0-85331-803-3. Mondrian, The Transatlantic Paintings, Harry Cooper and Ron Spronk, ISBN 978-0-300-08928-8. Piet Mondrian: 1872-1944, by Yve-Alain Bois, Angelica Zander Rudenstine, Joop Joosten, Hans Janssen, Bulfinch Press; 1st edition (May 1995), ISBN 978-0-8212-2164-8
  23. Larousse
  24. لاروس
  25. Encarta Archived 31 October 2009 at WebCite
  26. See: the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
  27. There is no proof as to who designed it. Master penman Louis Madarasz (1859–1910) said the work was his. The writing style is similar to his. In An Elegant Hand by William E Henning, it states that Frank Mason Robinson, the bookkeeper of the firm, invented the name Coca-Cola, and said it should be written in Spencerian script. In a 1914 court case, Robinson testified that he was "practically the originator" and that "some engraver by the name of Frank Ridge was brought into it".
  28. Minority Report: The Cola clash of civilisations, by Jerome Taylor, The Independent, Thursday, 10 July 2008
  29. Google Logo Design and History, Google Logo Design and History Read the Kedar interview here: The Brains Behind Google's Primary Logo | Underwire | Wired.com
  30. [Coubertin. The Olympic Flag - The official website of the BEIJING 2008 Olympic Games
  31. 4. Armorial bearings, flags, emblems and names of international organisations | Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand
  32. South Holland (Zuid-Holland, province in The Netherlands), flag
  33. Stroom Den Haag
  34. [4] Archived 31 October 2009 at WebCite
  35. See: Isaac Victor Kerlow 2000. The Art of 3-D : Computer animation and imaging, 2nd ed, Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-36004-9
  36. Larousse
  37. Encarta Archived 31 October 2009 at WebCite
  38. In the 19th and 20th century artists like Jules Chéret, Daumier, Manet, Picasso, Ben Shahn, Norman Rockwell, Alexandre Steinlen, Alphonse Mucha, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec made compelling posters, advertising products, entertainment, and restaurants. Matt Morgan's circus advertisements (c. 1890) started the American poster, and this was followed by Edward Penfield, Will H. Bradley, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Chandler Christie, James Montgomery Flagg, Charles Dana Gibson, and Harrison Fisher.
  39. See: M. Rickards 1971. The rise and fall of the poster; J. Barnicoat 1972. A concise history of posters: 1870–1970; D. Ades 1984. The twentieth century poster; J. Barnicoat 1985. Posters: a concise history.
  40. See: Calloway, Stephen. 1998. Aubrey Beardsley. New York, N.Y.: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 978-0-8109-4009-3.
  41. See: Anna Dvorak. “Illustrations for books and periodicals.” in Alphonse Mucha: The Complete Graphic Works. Ed. Anne Bridges. NY: Harmony, 1980.
  42. see: Pamela H. Simpson, Reviewed work(s): The Studios of Frances and Margaret Macdonald by Janice Helland, Woman's Art Journal, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Spring–Summer, 1998), pp. 44–45. Charles Rennie Mackintosh, by: Pamela Robertson, Pavilion Books, 1997, ISBN 978-1-85793-912-5.
  43. see: GUSTAV KLIMT: Art Nouveau Visionary, By Eva di Stefano, Sterling, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4027-5920-8
  44. See: Gustav Klimt: 1862-1918, by Gilles Neret, Taschen (August 1, 1999), ISBN 978-3-8228-5980-3
  45. # "A Heritage from Ancient Persia" A critique of Guity Novin's exhibition Lost Serenade at the Brock street Gallery by Don McCallum, The Whig-Standard, Vol.2, No. 51 Kingston, Ontario, October 3, 1981. "See: Artistic Underground Surfaces" on Brock Street, by Frank Berry, The Queen's Journal, October 9, 1981. "Circles of Time, A Conversation with Guity Novin", by S. Motazedi, Shahrvand, Toronto, Vol. 10, No 532, Nov. 2000, P. 30.
  46. See: A History of Modern Design: Graphics and Products Since the Industrial Revolution, by David Raizman, Laurence King Publishing (February 9, 2004), ISBN 978-1-85669-348-6