A History of Graphic Design

Design, and our ability to enjoy it, has been around as long as man. From the most crude cave drawings utilizing dyes and chalks found in nature, to the most elaborate computer generated graphics, design is all around us in many forms. Graphic design of today is normally a collaborative effort between client and artist to communicate a message visually. Whether branding, logos, or ad campaigns, graphic designers speak in a language that we read through color and shape.

Graphic design is predominantly the use of text and pictures in advertising. Some argue that paintings and other such art objects fall within the same category, but as they are not created for the purpose of advert, it is most widely thought that they are better suited under the heading of art history rather than graphic design. Design shapes our lives in a multitude of ways, some subtle, some front and center and billboard sized. Design gives us information, options, and hopefully, ideas. The actual creation of graphic design didn’t happen with one particular event. It’s has been a long time coming and taking little steps forward like Pi Sheng inventing the first movable type in 1045 AD to the art-decorating firm set up by William Morris in 1861.

Art and design changed radically with the Art Nouveau movement beginning in 1890, adding design to all types of commercial art and expanding the idea of graphic design to what it is today. It’s a diverse field with unending potential as well as nurturing the limitless creativity of the artist. Those wishing the break into the profession that dates its roots back to the dawn of man have multiple options including an on-site graphic design school or the flexibility of attending a school online. Whichever route you go, you’ll be entering a vast stage of color, design and text that will continue to shape the world around us.