History of graphic design
The English used in this article may not be easy for everybody to understand. (January 2012)
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 History of graphics
- 2 Calligraphy & graphics in books
- 3 Graphic compositions in Asia
- 4 Decorative graphic design in pottery
- 5 Birth of modern graphic design
- 6 Mondrian's minimalism revolution
- 7 Communication with pictures
- 8 Information signs: Isotype and the Viennese method
- 9 Dynamic designs, and computer animation
- 10 Placards and posters
- 11 Art nouveau posters and the impact of graphics on painting
- 12 Posters after World War II
- 13 Graphic design in modern life
- 14 References
History of graphics[change | change source]
Hundreds of graphic designs of animals were made by primitive people in Chauvet cave, in the south of France, about 30,000 BC. Also, similar art was done in the Lascaux cave, France, about 14,000 BC. The art of primitive hunters is found in the rocks of Bhimbetka in India, drawn earlier than 7000 BC. Aboriginal rock art in Kakadu National Park of Australia, 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 | change source]
Writing[change | change source]
The Lantingji Xu, Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion is the most famous work of Chinese calligrapher Wang Xizhi, created in the year 353.
The Papyrus of Ani is a version of the Book of the Dead for the Scribe Ani. This small scene is about not letting Ani's heart create opposition against him in God's domain.
Calligraphy & graphics in books[change | change 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.
A page from the Lindisfarne Bible, 7th or 8th century
A graphic decoration from the Lichfield gospel, 8th century
A graphic decoration in the Book of Kells, 6th–9th century
In this German document the calligraphy suggests a message of importance.
The art of calligraphy in China goes back to 2000 BC.
Graphics in the Quran[change | change source]
In Islamic countries the graphic designs can be found in their holy book, the Quran. The Quran was first wriiten an angled style called Kufi. This appeared in the 8th century, and reached its peak 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 script was invented: it used curves instead of angled lines. Other styles were added later on.
Graphics and miniatures[change | change source]
This miniature painting of Mary and the baby Jesus is in the Parc Abbey Bible of the 12th century.
In this Iranian miniature the beautiful mix of text and design have been used to communicate the message of the story in a clear way.
This 18th-century miniature shows the influence of 16th century Iranian graphic designers of the Indian court.
Graphic compositions in Asia[change | change source]
13th C. work of the Chinese painter Ma Lin. The person at the back, of greater importance, is larger. The trees in the form of an X adds to his significance.
A Chinese wall painting in the tomb of Li Xian, 7th century. The parallel lines of soldiers' boots and hats are connected by the lines of their rifles.
This Vietnamese wood print of the village of Dong Ho creates an aesthetically pleasing graphic design.
Decorative graphic design in pottery[change | change source]
From ancient times graphic design has been used for decoration of pottery and ceramics.
Birth of modern graphic design[change | change 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.
Mondrian's minimalism revolution[change | change 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. 
Communication with pictures[change | change source]
This is the heraldic sign of the Bourbons of Spain. Heraldic signs were created under strict rules and traditions.
Logos and trademarks[change | change 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.
Google logo was created by Ruth Kedar. The design is simple. "The colors evoke memories of child play... The texture and shading of each letter [lifts] it from the page, giving it... weight and lightness".
Signs of culture and peace[change | change source]
This is the UNESCO flag. Using minimalist principles, this flag uses a simplified Greek design. This suggests education, science and culture.
In this flag of Zuid-Holland the color composition and a minimalist approach have created a pleasing impact.
Information signs: Isotype and the Viennese method[change | change 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.
Typical Isotype chart showing social statistics.
Pages from the book Basic by Isotype by Otto Neurath, 1937. The book showed graphics for Basic English words.
Dynamic designs, and computer animation[change | change source]
This animation was created from photos taken by Eadweard Muybridge in 1887.
Archimedes' screw: computer graphics helps deelop images from simple line drawings to three-dimensional reconstructions of data.
A cube is seen from various angles. This can be useful in study of objects.
Placards and posters[change | change 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.
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.
Art nouveau posters and the impact of graphics on painting[change | change source]
Posters after World War II[change | change 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.
This political poster by Tiocfaidh Ár Lá, about Ulster, is a low-cost, effective poster with only a few basic ink colors.
Graphic design in modern life[change | change source]
Today graphic design has penetrated into all aspects of modern life. In particular modern architecture has been influenced by graphics.
References[change | change source]
- A history of graphic design
- see: Oxford Dictionary , 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
- 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
- The Cave of Lascaux, by Mario Ruspoli, Harry N. Abrams 1987. ISBN 978-0-8109-1267-0
- "Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka". World Heritage Site. Retrieved 2007-02-15.
- Encyclopædia Britannica : Aboriginal Rock Art, Ubirr Art Site, Kakadu National Park, Australia Kakadu National Park (national park, Northern Territory, Australia) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia
- Richard Kurt Kraus 1991. Brushes with power. Berkeley: University of California Press. 27
- 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.
- 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
- See: /11/calligraphie
- Drogin, Marc 1980. Medieval calligraphy: its history and technique. New York: Dover.
- Miner, Dorothy E. et al 1972. 2000 years of calligraphy, an exhibition organized  by the Baltimore Museum of Art. New Jersey: Rowman & Littlefield.
- 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.
- 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. Arberry, A.J., Minovi M., and Blochet E. 1959. The Chester Beatty Library: a catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts and Miniatures.
- 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.
- 1. Harold G. Henderson, Louis V. Ledoux, 1984. Sharaku's Japanese Theatre Prints: an illustrated guide to his complete work. Dover, New York.
- 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
- Art in China (Oxford History of Art), by Craig Clunas, Oxford University Press (10 April 1997), ISBN 978-0-19-284244-2
- 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
- See: Encarta , and Larousse  Archived 31 October 2009 at WebCite
- 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
- Encarta Archived 31 October 2009 at WebCite
- See: the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
- 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".
- Minority Report: The Cola clash of civilisations, by Jerome Taylor, The Independent, Thursday, 10 July 2008
- 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
- Coubertin. The Olympic Flag - The official website of the BEIJING 2008 Olympic Games
- 4. Armorial bearings, flags, emblems and names of international organisations | Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand
- South Holland (Zuid-Holland, province in The Netherlands), flag
- Stroom Den Haag
-  Archived 31 October 2009 at WebCite
- See: Isaac Victor Kerlow 2000. The Art of 3-D : Computer animation and imaging, 2nd ed, Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-36004-9
- Encarta Archived 31 October 2009 at WebCite
- 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.
- 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.
- See: Calloway, Stephen. 1998. Aubrey Beardsley. New York, N.Y.: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 978-0-8109-4009-3.
- See: Anna Dvorak. “Illustrations for books and periodicals.” in Alphonse Mucha: The Complete Graphic Works. Ed. Anne Bridges. NY: Harmony, 1980.
- 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.
- see: GUSTAV KLIMT: Art Nouveau Visionary, By Eva di Stefano, Sterling, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4027-5920-8
- See: Gustav Klimt: 1862-1918, by Gilles Neret, Taschen (August 1, 1999), ISBN 978-3-8228-5980-3
- 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