Graphic design is as old as the hills, and for millennia has been used by humans in all nations to communicate messages. A history of graphic design can be seen in almost all cultures around the world
Graphic design very varied, from architecture, paintings, drawings, sculptures all based around the creative application of human experience and imagination.
Some of the areas that design can be found would be in the following areas:
A history of graphic design can be seen in our communication. Many ancient civilizations have used pictures and symbols as part of their language. From the ancient Egyptians through to Asian civilizations pictorial images have been used to communicate messages from one to another. North America Indians used pictures in order to communicate and pass on information to each other and to record information for passing on to future generations.
A history of graphic design can be seen in art. Looking back as far as prehistoric times when ancient man would draw pictures of the animals around them as cave art; these images (from what we know) were used as a memory or even pleasure. Showing the animals that they hunted and kept these pictures give an interesting record of the variety of animals during those times. Design and skill was used not just in the paint and chalk that was used, but also the tools to shape images into the walls. Ancient man applied skill right down to the very texture and surface of the walls of the cave used to add definition and depth to their creations.
A history of graphic design can be seen in the great paintings. We all know of the great painters such as Da Vinci, Van Gogh and Monet – who using design and artwork were able to create great masterpieces of art that can be enjoyed by millions for centuries.
A history of graphic design can be found in advertising. Like graphic design itself, advertising has existed for centuries. From the very earliest street markets you can bet that leaflets were produced on papyrus paper, or banners showcasing pictures of vegetables for sale.
Since the very earliest packaging was invented, design and artwork was incorporated into it – and this has always been used in the selling process. Packaging design has indeed changed and adapted as time has ticked on – but design has always been a central component to packaging.
A history of graphic design can be found in historic flooring. The Romans and Greeks were renowned for their colourful murals which served both a practical purpose of flooring, but also a decorative and attractive design. Many flooring murals are still visible today a thousand years after they were first created – an inspiring thought considering the designer died so long ago but we have his or her legacy.
For centuries, all cultures have used design and artwork in their buildings. From the design of the architecture and shape of the buildings to the decorative artwork and inlays.
As we can see, it has been with us from the very earliest human settlements and certainly it is likely that it will remain with us. Humans by their very nature are creative beings and as such will use design and artwork both in communication and in recreation.