Graphic Design History

Art and Design

Over the course of man’s life, there have come shifts in his living standards. These changes have occurred in all sectors of his life. That is socially, economically and politically. These changes are descriptive of a man’s revolution in life. Here, the word revolution will mean a gradual or drastic change in the sectors of man’s life as mentioned above.

To this end, therefore, we need to understand the two concepts. That is the industrial and the technological/digital revolution. It is by doing this that we shall then be able to understand the relationship between the two concepts and the contrast between the technological and the ideological distances covered by both. This paper will also look at their impact on the history of design. What is technological revolution? Industrial revolution refers to that period in history when man started to mechanize.

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This was the period when man incorporated the use of machines in most of his working. This revolution started from 18th to 19th century when major changes occurred in agriculture, mining, transportation and technology (Winkler, 34).This revolution had great impact on people. This involved peoples’ social, economic and cultural aspects.

Industrial revolution signaled a major shift in people’s life. It is important to note that every aspect of man’s life underwent some change. This included peoples average income increased as well as their population. In addition, the entire living standards of the people were improved (Winkler, 34).

With the understanding of what is industrial revolution, we then ask ourselves the meaning of the term technological revolution. This is the second industrial revolution. This new revolution followed the first industrial revolution. It employed the incorporation of technology in the production process.

This was a phase of the broader industrial revolution. period is believed to correspond to the end of the 19th century up to world war 1.the raise of technological revolution was marked by the use of new technology in the mass production and production line.

Digital revolution also referred to as the second industrial revolution refers to the changes that occurred from 1980 and continue up to now. These dynamics involved the transfer from analog technology to digital technology.

In deeper meaning, the term refers to the changes brought about by the digital computing. It also refers to the changes brought about by communication technology. We note therefore, that while the industrial revolution marked the agricultural revolution digital world marked the start of information age (Meggs, 67).

It is through the analysis of the two revolutions discussed above do we look on the history of graphic design. Through an analysis of the history of graphic design, Phillip Meggs done to Saul bass, the technological, realize the contrast between the two revolutions on the interview and the ideological distance covered between the two revolutions periods are evident.

In the interview mentioned above, the impact of the computer in the design of corporate identities like company logos is evident. Saul bass a designer specialist in corporate design brings out the importance of the computers in designing his logos and trademarks.

Unlike human beings, he acknowledges that computers are more responsive to modifying factors of the design such as,” how will the design look like when turned to this angle.” like he says, though this is so, the original idea comes from the mind of the designer. This therefore puts forward the fact that though the digital world has come to refine the inventions and the knowledge of the industrial revolution, the primary design still lies with the prior(Frank, 53).

On the other hand, the Bauhaus legend though closed in the 1933-a long Time ago, has continued to influence the modern day graphic design profoundly. Though this is so, the Bauhaus teachings get sharp criticism from the designers.

This is because its design ideology was mostly derived and based on the cultural and social interests of altering the social conditions of mostly the working population. Unlike the corporate design by Bass, the Bauhaus opposed the intellectual aspect of academic education in the arts.

This notion about arts had in turn the effect of removing the peoples touch in the various designs propagated by this school during the 1930s.this school acknowledged only those intellectual activities that concerned themselves with the development of the language form. These forms refer to color, image and in object construction.

Due to social separation, the lack of understanding of the cultural experiences of the people and isolation from the public, signs of the products then skewed towards the production of products that lacked public touch and this contributed to growing of lack of interests on those products. At times, this may lead to wrong choices.

It is commonly known that the Bauhaus are the originator of product. However, the design did not get application on the primary technological area. A deeper analysis of its topography reveals deep ignorance .Bauhaus does not respond to the evolution of letterform or to the mechanics of readings as well as legibility.

From the above discussion, therefore, it emerges that the Bauhaus is an important tool useful in assessing the progress of the design profession. The Bauhaus has helped us determine the design morality .in other instances, the Bauhaus has helped the designers determine the design responsibility of the professional.

Through this school of thought, designers are able to determine whether the information is by itself neutral and supportable by a design effort. We realized that it is not every design is worth from a cultural point of view (Frank, 58).

Through our analysis of the behaviors and morality,-the Bauhaus reassessed; we get the realization that realistic side of design should be maintained by designers. Designs are made to be implemented and not merely for decoration. During this time-the period of the Bauhaus, designers developed designs, which in essence there was no genuine purpose. This is in contrary to the 21st century where the digital revolution came to revolutionize all aspects of design including designing for a specific reason.

On the other hand, other supporters of counter cultural idea such as Williams Burroughs argue that digital age does not waste their time on such matters like pecking order and guideline. It is only ineffective on disorder and possible meaninglessness of conference and disorder.

In the present time unlike the 19th century as advocated by the Bauhaus and the corporate design as advocated by Bass .Thomas frank imagines the capitalist world as endless and turbulent changes. He believes that the counterculture was antinomian business know welling understanding the new information world and its effects on design especially of the television slogans. What is evident is that the corporate world is completely controlled by the antinomianism (Meggs, 67).

In conclusion, therefore, we can comfortably say that though similarities of the distance covered in graphic design history is large based on the morality of the design at that time, differences to have been evident through the relationship of the design and the people. Questions are asked of whether the design has the peoples touch. If not, such designs are abandoned by the people of whom the design was intended.

Works Cited

Frank, Thomas. Why Johnny Cannot Dissent. Emigre, 1.49 (1999): 50-60.

Meggs, Philip. Saul Bass on Corporate Identity. Journal of Graphic Design, 8.1 (1990): 60-77.

Winkler, Dietmar. Morality And Myth: The Bauhaus Reassessed. AIGA Journal of Graphic Design, 7.4 (1990): 30-42.


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