History of Graphic Design - Paper Example

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609 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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Graphics is the production of statements which are visual on surfaces such as paper, pottery, or landscape. They include everything that relates to creating signs, symbols, charts, and designs which are geometric. Graphic design can be described as the art of combining ideas and text in the advertisement, website, or publication. It includes the history of art as a whole despite that painting is treated as art history. This paper is going to discuss the revolution in printing and photography as a tool of communication. Also, it is going to talk about the development of the graphic design which was so important in the twentieth century.

Development of the graphic design

Sans serif was the third major topographic innovation which was buried among display fonts of capitals in the back of the book. It became an important graphic design on the twentieth century and had a beginning which was tentative. Philip argues that "The San serif was used in subtitles and descriptive material mainly under excessively bold fat faces and Egyptians." They were not noticed a lot until on the early 1830s when Sans Serif styles were introduced by several type founders. German's printers became interested in this San Serif, and there was an issue by 1830 of the very first San serif fonts which had fonts with lowercase alphabets.

The wood type poster

As the display expanded in size, more problems were being faced by both printer and founder. Many printers were made of large metal types which were expensive and very heavy. This made it difficult to cool and maintain the metal in a liquid state. Later it was when using curved wooden types a rooter was invented that enabled economical mass manufacture of the wood type for display printing. They were durable, light, and not as expensive compared to those made of metals. These wood designs widely spread from Europe and by the midcentury Americans were creating alphabets of their own as a way of becoming innovative.

Revolution in printing.

The relentless progress of the industrial revolution altered the evolution of printing. Inventors used mechanical theory and the metal parts this was to increase the efficiency and the size of its impression. Meggs and Purvis see the several improvements to make the hand press more efficient and strong it led to producing a press for printing. There was a metal screw mechanism which reduced the manual force needed to print on the wooden press. This industrial revolution in printing continued, there was the development of a prototype for a papermaking machine. This invention made it possible to make papers in single sheets without necessarily joining them. The first production paper machine was in England, and it poured a suspension of fiber and water in a stream which was thin upon vibration leading to the manufacturing of the paper.

Photography as a tool of communication

Making images in the form of pictures and preparing printing papers to produce them it remained handwork until the arrival of photography. Ashwin notes The camera which is used in making images through photochemical processes was known in the fourth century." These cameras have been used by artists to aid them in drawing over the past centuries. Graphic communication and photography have been linked with the first attempt to capture an image of nature with a camera. The first research began by seeking an automatic way to transfer the drawings onto printing plates.3


Clive, Ashwin. History of graphic design and communication: a source book. London: Pembridge Press, 1983.

Meggs, B. Philip. A history of graphic design. New York: J. Wiley & Sons. 1998

Philip B Meggs and Alston W Purvis. Meggs' history of graphic design. Hoboken, New Jersey. 2016.

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