A Brief History of Graphic Design
Graphic design is known as the art or skill of combining texts and pictures, typically for advertisements, magazines, books and now, websites.
While we’ve seen graphic design transform into the modern and innovative industry that it is today, it (like most things in life) had humble and organic beginnings. Here is a brief history of graphic design and some of the moments that have led to where the industry is at today.
The first known form of visual communication took place during 15,000 to 10,000 BC through pictographs in caves. While this was a natural, instinctual form of graphic design, it wasn’t until around 1440, when Johannes Gutenberg introduced movable type printing through his invention of the printing press, that graphic design truly started to form into a functional medium.
We can thank Gutenberg and this major innovation for the ability to transfer ink to paper -- a pretty important step towards producing and spreading printed work!
A Modern Century
Starting in the 1920s, graphic design began to take shape as a profession as advertising and propaganda became increasingly important and frequent. In 1919, the first graphic design school, Bauhaus, opened in Germany and marked the beginning of modern design.
During this time period we start to see new typography and design styles emerge, setting the foundation for the fonts and styles we know today (Times New Roman, anyone?). The styles that were popular in the 1900s drew upon Art Deco and Swiss designs; they were clean, asymmetrical, geometric, and used bold colors.
If you look back on some of the designs from the 1900s, it’s clear that everything old is new again -- we’re starting to see these design styles come back into play in a fresh, modern way.
Enter: the computer. While computers originated in the 1960s, it wasn’t until the 1980s that they made their mark in the design world in a professional way. This digital revolution led to the creation of many tools, including Adobe Photoshop, that transformed the way graphic designers work and set the standard for the designs and processes we use today.
And while it can be creatively freeing to put pen to paper when brainstorming, it’s hard to imagine a graphic design world without computers or digital tools.
All of these moments led to the industry we know today. Much like food, clothes, and anything else you consume in life, it’s easier to appreciate the graphic design industry when you know where it came from.
Contact a Graphic Designer in Denver, CO
Val Dudka Design Company creates websites, logos and brand books that help businesses in the Denver area and beyond tell their story. Let us manage your graphic design needs so you can continue doing what you do best. Reach out to us online to get started today!