The History Of Graphic Design

Before the emergence of photoshop and our dear illustrator, the history of graphic design dates way back, thousands of years ago, before the invention of the computer. If you were to jump in a time machine and travel two thousand years in the past, you’ll witness incredible cave illustrations with faint colors made from plants.

What is graphic design?

In this age, graphic design is often used to refer to the various disciplines of design, including web design, print, and digital designs. Traditional designs refer to designs like posters, advertisements, magazine layouts, book covers, including branding designs like logos.

What a graphic designer does is take visual content and combine it with topography to pass a message. The key to every design is communication, and this has evolved over the years from hand imprints in caves to incredible designs on screens and prints.

Before the printing press: Prehistory

Before the invention of the printing press in 1440, visual communication has always been in place, from symbols in ancient caves to abstract paintings. One thing is clear, humans have always had an inherent need to express themselves through visuals.

The earliest languages were logographic, symbols that represent words instead of phonetic sounds. It implies that humans have been using visual representation to communicate before the dawn of civilization.

In the middle ages, topography started taking off as we started to expand the aesthetic symbols into letters and words themselves. 

The birth of graphic design

With the invention of the printing press in Europe, a whole new world opened as humanity begin recreating text, art, and design on magnificent scales. Soon, took notice of how visuals impact customers’ behavior and used them to increase profit, leading to the birth of graphic design.

Although the 19th century was more technologically focused, it paved way for creating graphic designs using these advancements. With prints and digital, artists and designers pushed the boundary of their creativity, exploring new styles and techniques for branding purposes and adverts.

It wasn’t until 1903 that the first graphic design agency emerged, known as The Wiener Werkstätte. It was the first of its kind, with artists, architects, including painters, and early graphic designers working together for businesses.

In 1922, the term ‘graphic design’ appeared for the first time. In an article, William Addison Dwiggins first used the term to describe his role in managing the visuals in book designs. From 1950, the digital era slowly crept in, and the mass adaptation of computers ushered in a new age of communication through visuals.

From cave paintings to visuals on screens and prints, they also discovered how to use human psychology to create designs that compel actions, an ultimate marketing strategy. 

This is where we come in, as we've been creating amazing graphic designs for numerous of our clients, and the conversions are astounding. Get in touch with us by calling or filling out our contact form to begin.

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