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A Brief History of Graphic Design (5) history of graphic design - A Brief History of Graphic Design 5 - A Brief History of Graphic Design

Nature, humans, and everything in between thrives on visual pleasure and communication. The details and precision of what one sees fill colours in life. No wonder the history of graphic design traces back to the time of cave paintings. There is no denying that humans evolved and innovated ideas because of visual communication.

But where did it all originate? How did graphic design begin? Knowing UI/UX is a modern principle, it would be amazing to understand what graphic design looked like before computers. Dive into the graphic design history timeline with this blog.

Read on to understand how an ancient concept became a popularly practised modern principle.

Understanding the Early Roots of Graphic Design

Prehistoric times are a clear indication of the primary development of visual communication – how the core principles were established many thousand years ago. The inspiration and innovative ideas have come to life after studying the trends of the past. Thus, with the current fast-paced evolution, it is likely that young designers are creating their footprints for the future generation.

To study this development of visual communication as a field, the history of graphic design book suggests the following timeline division:

Cave Paintings – 38000 BCE

A Brief History of Graphic Design (4) history of graphic design - A Brief History of Graphic Design 4 - A Brief History of Graphic Design

How did graphic design begin? The answer lies in the popularity of a visual form of communication since the beginning – with the early cave paintings! The subjects for these paintings vary from animals to hand and foot imprints. Additionally, these paintings are not confined to one country or state as they have been found all over the world.

Sumerian alphabet – 3300 to 3000 BCE

When did the first language emerge? The reading of the history of graphic design Meggs reveals that Sumerians came up with the first written language. There is a common understanding among historians that the Latin alphabet was present in abstract form, which was combined to create words and sentences. Moreover, the core purpose was to prevent the loss of deliveries from traders.

Thus, the Sumerian era, between 4500 BC to 1900 BC, which was the Middle Bronze Age, was the pioneer in the design and development of a logographic language. Here, one icon represents an entire word – how interesting is that!

Paper and Printing – 105 AD to 1530 AD

The invention of paper and the concepts of print has a Chinese origin. Only after this invention came the popular paper mills from Fabriano, Italy, which made the printing culture widely important and known.

Different places used to have their characteristic way of practising visual communication through prints. While Korean graphic design history involved the use of aesthetic symbols which are difficult to understand if you are not well-versed in Hangul, the Dutch graphic design history reflects the principles of modernism in print.

Similarly, the history of graphic design in India speaks of storytelling concepts and medieval calligraphy.

Signages on Storefront – 1389

A Brief History of Graphic Design (1) history of graphic design - A Brief History of Graphic Design 1 - A Brief History of Graphic Design

A popular book, a history of graphic design by Philip Meggs, explains briefly the history of signage hailing from England. With Beer and Ale being consumed instead of the polluted water, there also grew an acute housing crisis. As a result, King Richard II passed a law to add signages for easy identification of ale houses.

This practice gave rise to the industrial use of graphic design for marketing, which is popular to this day.

The Rise of Graphic Design

Graphic design history timeline explains how the rise of innovative techniques, like lithography, gave a new dimension to printing technologies and popularized Graphic Design after the industrial revolution.

Soon, advertising and colour printing became popular, and companies came up with logos. As a result, the concept of branding slowly surfaced, and businesses focused on making an impression on the customers.

When did Graphic Design Become Popular?

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Modern-day Graphic Design captures attention and delivers its message – the primary reason for its popularity. Many youngsters are learning graphic design courses professionally as it is a creative and rewarding career.

Today, the core purpose of graphic design lies in designing visuals for ads, marketing materials, and magazines. However, artistic representation and the principles of the profession are still the same as the historic times. The only difference is the advancement in the technologies to complete a task digitally.

There is no denying that graphic design is here to stay and expand. Hence, some of the amazing reasons a creative individual must opt for a career in this niche are:

  • Multiple job opportunities: As a graphic designer, you can enter any industry of your choice and excel. Additionally, they can switch between industries if the core expertise is applicable in different sectors.
  • High potential for remote work: As long as graphic designer understands the requirements, they don’t need to be present in the offices. Since many individuals are associated with agencies and freelancing, they look for the comfort of their homes.
  • Stable working schedule: Once a professional cracks the routine, sticking to the timeline is a cakewalk. The working hours can vary as per the convenience and suitability of their clients. Thus, a job in this niche is mostly about being creative and not chasing targets and working overtime.
  • Endless demand: As mentioned earlier, the concept is here to stay, and the opportunities will never deplete. Moreover, an individual in this profession has a huge potential to build their unique identity and attract high-paying clients.

Learn more about career opportunities in design, to get a headstart in this field of design.

Wrapping Up 

History never lies! Time and again, this article has emphasised the history of graphic design. Thus, it is safe to conclude that you can experience impressive career growth as a graphic designer.

To take up an opportunity is as easy as taking one step at a time. To see if this career is perfect for you, you can opt for a professional course in graphic design available at the JD School of Design. You can choose an undergraduate or a postgraduate course in prime locations across India.

So, enrol in graphic design today, and witness significant growth in your career!