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history of graphic design

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									                      History of
 The                Graphic Design


By: Mike Cordeiro
 Table of Contents

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 1
Prehistory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 2
The Rennaisance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 5
Industrial Revolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 11
Resource Listing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 13

Cover Image: Takenobu Igarashi, poster for the Kanagawa Art Festival, 1984.

Image 1: Cave painting from Lascaux, France. Circa 15 000-10 000 B.C.
                                                 History of
                                               Graphic Design

  In 1922, book designer William Addison Dwiggins coined the
term “Graphic Designer”. A Graphic Designer is someone who
brings together the various elements of a page (words, pictures,
colours) to form a visually attractive page.

Image 1


Image 2: Cuneiform       Prehistory               invented the first true
tablet, c. 2100 B.C.
This clay tablet lists
                           Graphic Design         written language
expenditures of grain    actually began           around 3000 B.C.
and animals.             millennia earlier with   Their civilization
                         the invention of         flourished thanks to
Image 3: These
Egyptian hieroglyphs
                         writing. With the        their ability to write,
illustrate the rebus     creation of a written    and while they were
principle. Words and                              conquered many
syllables are repre-                              times each conqueror
sented by pictures of
objects and by                                    took the written
symbols whose names                               word with them. So
are similar to the                                the ability and idea
word or syllable to be                            to preserve the
communicated. These
hieroglyphs mean bee,                             spoken word for
leaf, sea, and sun. As                            posterity began to
rebuses (using the                                travel throughout the
English language)                                 world. And the need
they could also mean
belief and season.                                for someone with the
                                                  skills to record that
                                                  information traveled
                                                  with it. Due to the
                                                  complexity of early
                         Image 2                  writing systems
                                                  scribes held a
                         language, people now
                         had to combine both
                         text and pictures for
                         the first time. Taking
                         centuries to develop
                         the techniques we
                         now take for granted.
                         The Sumerian’s           Image 3

                                               History of
                                             Graphic Design

position of great       combining the            Image 4: Chinese
                                                 movable types, c. 1300
honour amongst          symbol for “sea” with    B.C. This group of
societies. In some      the symbol for “sun”,    carved wood types
civilizations they      creating a new word,     ranges in size from
were even exempt        “season”. The            about 1.25 to 2.5 cm
                                                 in height.
from taxation! In       Egyptians are also
3100 B.C. the           credited with creating   Image 5: Woodblock
Egyptians began         the first major          image of a revolving
using written           advancement in           typecase, c. A.D. 1313.
                                                 This quaintly stylized
hieroglyphs. A          writing surfaces from    illustration shows the
pictorial language,     the papyrus plant.       revolving case
each symbol was a                                designed to make
representation of an                             typesetting more
item. In order to
create words that
were not described by
a single symbol,
scribes had to
combine two or more
symbols to get the
desired word. Such as   Image 5

Image 4


Image 6: The Diamond      With a variety of
Sutra, A.D. 868. A
Chinese spiritual text.
                          grades, papyrus was
                          used for everything
Image 7: Dharani          from royal
Buddhist charms, c.       proclamations to
A.D. 770. Rolled up
and inserted in little    daily accounting. The
pagodas, these early      next step occurred in
specimens of relief       105 A.D. with the
printing had the text     invention of paper by
printed in Chinese
calligraphy on one side   Ts’ai Lun in China,
and in Sanskrit on the    and then relief
other.                    printing around 770
                          A.D. In 1040 A.D. P.
                          Sheng invented the
                          first movable type in
                          Korea, 400 years
                          before Gutenberg
                          would use movable
                          type in his presses.

                                                  Image 7

                          Image 6

                                                   History of
                                                 Graphic Design

Renaissance            were produced on            Image 8: The Book of
                                                   Durrow, opening
  The Renaissance      parchment or vellum,        page, the Gospel of
brought about great    which was created by        Saint Mark, c. A.D.
changes in European    treating the skins of       680. Linked into a
society, and graphic   animals. These books        ligature, an I and an
                                                   N become a beautiful
design was one of      were in such demand         form of interlaced
those areas that       that the time it took a     threads and coiling
experienced a great    scribe to write a           spirals.
revival. Illuminated   simple two hundred
manuscripts are        page book caused a
handwritten books      great shortage in
that were decorated    supply. With four to
and illustrated from   five months of labour
the late Roman         per book, typography
Empire until around    soon emerged. While
1450. These books      the concept of relief
                       printing and movable
                       type had been known
                       for some time,
                       Johann Gutenberg is
                       the first person
                       credited with
                       bringing together all
                       the complex systems
                       necessary to print a
                       typographic book.
                       Gutenberg was a
                       goldsmith by trade
                       and this gave him the
                       skills to create the
                       metal blocks of type
                       used in his press.
Image 8


Image 9: Page from
the Ormesby Psalter, c.
early 1300s A.D.
Composed of red and
blue inks the
decoration, illustra-
tion, and initials are
joined into a single
complex text frame.

                          Image 9

             History of
           Graphic Design

             Image 10: The
             Lindisfarne Gospels,
             carpet page facing the
             opening of Saint
             Matthew, c. A.D. 698.
             A mathematical grid
             helps bring structure
             to the contours and

Image 10


Image 11: These early-
engravings illustrate
Gutenberg’s system for
casting type. A steel
punch is used to stamp
an impression of the
letterform into a softer
brass matrix. After the
matrix is slipped into the
bottom of the two-part
type mold, the mold is
filled with the molten
lead alloy to cast a piece
of type. After the lead
alloy cools, the type mold
is opened and the type is
A. Punch.
B. Matrix
C. Type Mold (with
matrix removed to show
a newly cast H)
D. & E. Type Mold
(opened so that the newly
cast H can be removed)

                             Image 11

             History of
           Graphic Design

             Image 12: Woodcut
             illustrations for Jost
             Amman’s Book of
             Trades. The occupa-
             tions of the graphic
             arts are shown here.

             A. The parchment
             maker is shown
             scraping animal skins
             to produce a smooth
             B. The papermaker
             lifts his mold out of
             the vat as he forms
             each sheet by hand.
             C. The typefounder is
             depicted pouring the
             melted lead into the
             type mold to cast a
             D. One printer is
             shown removing a
             newly printed sheet
             from the press while
             the other one inks the
             E. The designer is
             drawing an image for
             an engraving.
             F. The woodblock
             cutter cuts the
             G. The illuminator
             applies colour and
             gold leaf to the
Image 12
             H. Bookbinders are
             collating pages and
             applying the cover.


Image 13: Geoffroy        With the creation of      typography. With
Tory, construction of
the letter Q from
                          Gutenberg’s press         thousands of new
Champ Fleury, 1529.       and the Renaissance’s     fonts being
Tory used five            demand for                developed for the
compass centres in his    intellectual growth,      needs of a wide
effort to construct a
geometrically ideal
                          the fields of graphic     variety of people.
roman O, and he used      design exploded.          With graphic design
an additional two         With the printer, type    centres now in
compass centres to        designer, author, and     France and England
add a tail for the Q.
                          artist working            there were fonts for
Image 14: Geoffroy        together in close         every need. From
Tory, fantastic           collaboration many        fanciful and delicate
alphabet from Champ       written works were        to strong and crisp.
Fleury, 1529. It
included this             created that are still    Many of the fonts
whimsical sequence of     admired today. The        created during this
letterforms composed      1700’s brought about      time are still in
of tools. A is a          a stunning growth in      regular use today.
compass, B is a fusy
(steel used to strike a
flint), and C is a

                          Image 13                 Image 14

                                                     History of
                                                   Graphic Design

Industrial Age                                       Image 15: Louis
                                                     Jacques Daguerre,
   The Industrial                                    Paris boulevard, 1839.
Revolution brought                                   In this early
about high speed                                     daguerreotype the
printing presses                                     wagons, carriages,
                                                     and pedestrians we
which initially                                      recorded because the
doubled the output of                                slow exposure could
a typical hand press.                                only record stationary
With the invention of                                objects. On the lower
                                                     left street corner, a
the Linotype by                                      man stopped to have
Ottmar Mergenthaler                                  his boots polishes and
in 1886 the second                                   became the first
problem of having to                                 person ever to be
manually typeset a
page was also solved.   Image 16
                                                     Image 16: Ottmar
A typesetter could      correct letter fall into     Mergenthaler demo-
now simply punch a      place. With the              nstrates the Blower
                                                     Linotype, the first
key and have the        invention of the             line-casting keyboard
                                                     typesetter, to editor
                                                     Whitelaw Reid on 3
                                                     July 1886.

Image 15

    Industrial Age

Image 17: Ad for the                               technological
Kodak camera, c.
1889. George
Eastman’s camera,                                  developed for
simple enough for                                  warfare were put to
anyone “who can wind                               new uses in
a watch,” played a
major role in making
                                                   industries. Graphic
photography every                                  design tentatively
person’s art form.                                 began to adopt some
                          Image 17                 of the new
Image 18: Hugh
Dubberly, Clement         photo-graphic            technology available
Mok, and Doris Mitch      camera, graphic          to them. In the
(graphics designers),     designers could now      1960’s pioneering
Apple Computer                                     work was being done
annual report supple-     incorporate a new
ment on Hypercard,        level of reality into    at MIT and other
1987. This very early     their work. The war’s    institutions in the
use of hypertext          near the beginning of    realm of computer
enabled stockholders                               engineering. In the
to navigate the data in   this century brought
an interactive manner.    out some of the most     early 1980’s that
                          creative work in the     work came to
                          graphic arts. With the   fruition with the
                          conclusion of the        introduction of the
                          second world war, the    Apple Macintosh.

                            Image 18

                                                 History of
                                               Graphic Design

While not the first                              Image 19: Cover for
                                                 Emigre 10 magazine,
computer to be used                              1989. Traditional
in the graphic design                            typographic rules
field, it’s ease of use                          yielded to an experi-
and relatively                                   ment in unconven-
                                                 tional sequencing for
inexpensive cost                                 a special issue about a
allowed many users                               graphic design
to become desktop                                exchange between the
publishers. Producing                            Cranbrook and Dutch
newsletters and other
printed material from
their homes this
revolution proved
infectious to more
traditional design
                          Image 19
houses. Until today,
when one designer         Bibliography
does the work that        Meggs, Philip B. A
once took dozens of       History of Graphic
skilled tradesmen to      Design, New York,
accomplish. Perhaps       New York: John
in the near future that   Wiley, c1998.
one designer,
working wherever is       Thompson, Bradbury.
convenient, will send     The Art of Graphic
a completed job to be     Design, New Haven,
printed without the       Conn.: Yale
use of any plates, and    University Press,
we will leave the last    1988.
of Gutenberg’s legacy
behind us.

This booklet was produced in March 2001 by Mike Cordeiro at
 Mohawk College. Images were scanned on an Agfa SnapScan
1212 and processed in Adobe Photoshop. Layout was completed
      in QuarkExpress 4.1 for Macintosh and Windows.

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