Evolution of Graphic Design

From time immemorial, people around the world have been naming their favourite artists, signers, and novelists – but have you ever heard someone say, “he/ she is my favourite graphic designer.”? NO. People give far less credit to graphic designs than they deserve.

From the billboards along the roads to online and offline games, websites you surf, and quirky wall paints – graphic design is a much more significant part of our lives. Speaking of its importance, the evolution of graphic design since its beginning is peculiar. Graphic designs have surrounded us for far too long to imagine a life without them, and the evolution of graphic design has roots buried across different centuries. From the cave paintings, historians’’ studies to Instagram’s like button – everything is begotten by graphic design. Here, look at the vast spread history and evolution of graphic design.

 

Genesis Of Graphic Designing – The First Graphic Designer

Graphic design is a profession that has changed the visuals of the world superfluously over time. However, it officially dates back to just a century. Moreover, people worldwide associate graphic design with digital designs and believe it came into existence after the evolution of technology. Speaking of the evolution of graphic design, William Addison Dwiggins was the first person to claim the profession of a graphic designer officially. In 1922, he became the first graphic designer in the world and marked the beginning of the remarkable evolution of graphic design through illustrations and advertising.

William enjoyed a varied and fascinating career and is best known for his typography works. His facework includes Electra, Eldorado, Caledonia and Metro – which are still famous. William did everything from lettering and book designs to advertisements and illustrations. However, he didn’t introduce things to the world, they already existed. He was just the first to give it a separate name. Moreover, the earliest forms of graphic design have roots spread across ancient times – as far as 38000 BCE. The evolution of graphic design is documented back to cave paintings, written language, paper and printing.

 

The Rise of Design and Visual Propaganda – 20th Century

The 20th century is a unique period in the evolution of graphic design. From the first decade of the 20th century, a turning point was set and gave rise to modern graphic design. Graphic design really started taking form in the 1900s. In the 20th century, the designs were more like picture books and advertisements including short passages. The early 2oth century also brought technological and industrial advancements, resulting in the incredible evolution of graphic design.

Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Art Deco, Bauhaus and Modernism, Glasgow style, Secession and Liberty style existed before the 1900s. However, they were distinctly segregated in the 20th century. The era gave rise to poster designs which faded after World War II. However, they were back in the game during the civil war. Moreover, the century gave rise to pictorial logos.

 

Advertising Boom

It is nearly impossible to cover the evolution of graphic design without shedding light on the advertising boom. Though many people associate the advertising boom with television, it started years before. After World War II, when the world was rebuilding itself, the lines between fine and graphic design were also blurred by the introduction of Pop Art. It allowed designers with an enormous spectrum to derive inspiration and many famous pop artists such as Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol began their careers as graphic designers.

Then came televisions which further increased the scope of playing with creativity. Televisions allowed graphic designers to be inspired by literally anything and steered their creativity towards the art of storytelling. It won’t be wrong to say that the advertising boom opened the gates to an entirely different evolution of graphic design.

 

The Modern Graphic Design

Before technology, graphic design was more of a pen and paper job. However, the digital era has become a frontier for the evolution of graphic design. Photoshop, now one of the basic graphic design tools, was first launched in 1990, and since then, both- software and graphic design have been continuously evolving. Moreover, in the 2000s, the technology for graphic design became even more robust.

 

The Digital/ Computer Age 

The launch of computers didn’t immediately skyrocket the future of graphic design. In fact, up until the 1970s, computers were nothing more than gimmicky and big calculators. Even though graphical computers like Xerox Alto and Apple Lisa were launched to assist the graphic designers, they didn’t bag many possibilities for the designers. It won’t be wrong to say that the simplest designs were not the best designs of the era but the only options available.

However, with time, computers became more powerful, giving graphic designers the leverage needed for outstanding designs and experimentation with their creativity. Moreover, with Steve Jobs’s first Apple iPhone in 2007, an ultimate spectrum of possibilities was unlocked for the evolution of graphic design. Furthermore, it also gave rise to the first ever and a primary design-based debate – skeuomorphism v/s flat design.

 

Material Design With Modern Interface 

The debate between skeuomorphism (Apple design) and flat design (Android design) resulted in solid arguments from both ends – Apple and Windows. However, both bagged their own set of advantages and disadvantages, resulting in the rise of material design. Material design takes the best features from skeuomorphism and flat design.

For instance, the material design uses visual metaphors like shadows and containers from skeuomorphism and wisdom to create an interface and visual language from flat design. Material design is the most recent phase of the evolution of graphic design.

 

The Bright Future Of Graphic Design

Needless to say, the evolution of graphic design is never ending and goes hand-in-hand with the development of technology. The rise of virtual and augmented reality is opening up an entirely new and vast horizon for graphic designers. Today, you can develop an interface through which you can create artistry icons floating across the room. With technology, almost anything is possible in the field of graphic design. With the buzz of the metaverse, though the evolution of graphic design can’t be specific, one thing is for sure – a new level of creativity is unlocked. If you want to enjoy the wonders of graphic design, connect with Aadharshila today!

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