How Graphic Design Has Influenced Our World

Now imagine a world with no design. The would mean everyone’s home is the same shape and size. It would mean that all cars are the same and have no distinct band to differentiate them from one another. It would mean we would have the same brand for products and one type of retail. Ultimately we would be living in a world with no color, no character, and no authenticity.

We would be in continuous confusion and that would be unpleasant. Let’s explore the beauty that graphics as brought when it started and how it has influenced the world we live in.

Design can be dated back as the prehistoric period when the early men drew figures of animals in caves. Those drawings probably could have been for aesthetics, many historians agree they were tools for their hunting games. From then on design has always been in existence and playing vital roles. Ancient Egypt in 500 BC used pyramid engravings and artistic illustrations to convey messages. The art of calligraphy in China in 2000 BC, the Designed opening page of the book of Durrow  (Northern England) in the 7th century, and the 15th-century German block printing for cards cannot be overemphasized

Graphic design has been developing through these years till the 19thcentury when designers began to spring up with many styles and movements like Avant-garde which was considered to be the hallmark of modernism. Jan Tschichold came up during this era and made a great contribution that influenced design in his use of typography.  His posters which were graphically designed with typography and images carried messages that enhanced changes in political polarisation and instability. Tschichold moved the limelight of graphic design based on his exclusive use of asymmetrical design and sans serif typefaces and he also gave more attention and care to the tracking and kerning of all the text.

Basically, typography is the process and use of typefaces put together to communicate a message. According to an article in Wisegeek, “a quality typography makes a big difference in communications because it can impact the way the reader sees and feels about the topic”.    To support this, Beatrice Ward argued that Typography is for a modernist designer is not the question of “how it should look” but “What must it do?” 

Many Designers like Jose Muller-Brockmann, Alan Fletcher, Colin Forbes, Paul Rand, and many others emerged in the 1940s and 1950s. According to an article from Design Museum “Design in Britain, it is declared that Alan Fletcher is one of the most influential figures in post-war British graphic design The American pop culture has a great influence in his distinct approach and that made him a pioneer of an independent graphic designer in Britain. Fletcher helped to establish a model of combining commercial partnership with creative independence.  Paul Rand was famously known for corporate logo design, he designed the famous logos for IBM, ABC, Cummins Engine, UPS, Westinghouse, and many others. The American who was also influenced by the art and design movement like cubism, constructivism, Bauhaus, etc, expresses his works by the combination of Typography, objects, and fun. He also engaged himself in painting and other aspects of design and art.

The studies of these legends and their works prove to the fact that Graphic design developed gradually over the years and has enhanced the diversity of changes to every society as far as printing technology, art and design is concerned.

The London Underground is another aspect where Graphic Design is demonstrated to be a very vital tool in the development of an industry, economy and the society. In order to achieve the highest efficiency in operating the services and for the users to gain the greatest possible amount of pleasure as they visit the new modern world, the London Underground uses guidebooks, maps brochures etc.

An article written by Adrian Forty stated that between 1906 and 1940, Franck Pick an architect dedicated his whole life to improve the system. As an architect, Pick knew the value of Design and typefaces he was able to transform the whole idea by the use of the logo, maps, and Signs that were clearly designed to identify every station. The map was a great advantage because it was designed and made easy to read, and it presented the Underground as a single network. With the collaboration of Charles Holden, another architect whom Pick chose, he went on to design the stations differently but having distinctly same features. This purpose was to improve the life of the city and also for the users to know it at a glance without confusing them. Pick used different methods to influence the design of the London transportation system. One of the ways was to commission young Avant-garde artists, and he also used dramatic posters to advertise pleasant travels.

Graphic Design is not limited to a piece of artwork on the wall alone, neither is it a composed object put together just for the beauty of it nor an abstract and philosophic instinct. It cut across the aesthetic values to pass a clear message to the viewer like Beatrice Ward, a modern designer argued in her article “a container is calculated to reveal and not to hide the beautiful thing which it was meant to contain”

Another area where Graphic design has gain high prominence is the Digital Media which is a range of discipline grouped together; this includes Graphic design, art, sound production, sound media, film production, web publishing, etc.  Modern Computers has grown so fast and wide in this information age and has developed into Digital Media which has opened doors for Artists, designers, writers, publishers, etc; across the globe to work easily and efficiently.

In this exposition, it is discovered that graphic design has always been in existence from the prehistoric world to this modern world, and it will continue to be around us. It has influenced every society in many different societies, for instance, the transformation of the London Underground. It is also deduced here that Graphic design is seen as water is to life, unavoidable and vital.  It is meant to beautify and to solve the problems of communication, information, awareness, clarification of views whether abstract or philosophic and to pass future knowledge. Graphic design has also improved the presentation of science, opinion, and facts through high thought compositions of visual information called Information design. Graphic design enhances the transfer of knowledge through the presentation of text which is being used for packaging, branding logos and all media productions with the enhancement of computer technology.

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8 Responses
  1. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

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