This week I wanted to talk about graphic design and focus on some of the art movements that have had the most influence on graphic design. Starting off with its definition, graphic design is the art and craft of bringing organized structure to a group of diverse elements, both verbal and visual. Although graphic design is usually thought of as an art form for print, because of the spread of design applications to all the media, its meaning has expended to include the use of words, pictures, and sounds in motion pictures, on television, and through computers.
Most of the trends in graphic design initially began as styles for political and advertising posters that were nailed to walls in cities with large numbers of pedestrians. After a time, other designers and mainstream media outlets adopted the technique. The art movements that influenced graphic design that I’m going to touch on in this post are art nouveau, dada, art deco, pop art, punk, and new wave. These free-form artistic styles are noted for their free-flowing placement of text and other graphic elements within a design’s frame.
Art nouveau was the first commercial art style intended to make products and their advertisements more beautiful. Art nouveau was highly influenced by traditional Asian vases, paintings, and screens, particularly from Japan and Korea.
In 1916, Europe was preoccupied with World War I. Dada emerged as a critical examination of the social structure that allowed such an event to occur. It expressed artists’ rage with political leaders by the use of absurd, asymmetric designs. Dada graphic design consisted of typography of different sizes and styles randomly distributed on a page.
Art deco united buildings, objects, fashions, and typographical and graphical designs by its stylish and distinctive look. The distinctive art deco style was noted for its streamlined shapes and curved sans serif typographical lettering that presented a modern graphic look.
The pop art movement combined the organic vines of art nouveau designs and the rebellious philosophy of dada. The style was connected with alternative lifestyle and rebellion against authority demonstrated by the “beatnik” culture.
Creators of punk placed typographical and other visual elements on pages in angry, rebellious, and random ways in the style of “ransom note” cutouts. In that way, punk was greatly influenced be the earlier dada movement. Punk artists were critical of the lavish spending habits of the wealthy, as were their dada predecessors.
New wave was highly influenced by the ease of typographical and visual manipulations made possible by computer technology. It was connected with a youthful culture that viewed all new technology as exciting.
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