Term Paper: History of Graphic Design Technology

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History Of Graphic Design Technology

In today's world, everything seems to be easily done with the use of computers. From writing stuffs, to presentation and even communication, computers really paved the way. One of the latest movements in computer technology use is the introduction of graphic designs.

Graphic designing is the 'art and profession' of choosing and organizing visual elements to transmit a message. The various types of visual elements involved in this are typography, images, symbols, and colors. Graphic design is also commonly called as "visual communications" which can be attributed to that collaboration of disciplines involved in this method such as the writers' production of words, the photographers' and illustrators' creation of images and the designers' incorporation of all these things into a 'complete visual message' (Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2006, para 1). With the advent of graphic design technology, the world of art, advertising, education and even marketing became more colorful.

This paper is aimed at highlighting the history of graphic design technology. Specifically, this paper is intended for:

Identifying the proponents of the use of graphic design technology

Classifying the milestones related to the use of such technology (from the date it was introduced to the dates of its modifications)

Discovering the future that lies ahead for graphic design technology

Graphic Design

Graphic designing is a method of incorporating images and texts to express a single meaning to the viewers or audience. The very purpose of graphic designing is to convey a message to the target audience. This message should either attack the audience psychological, emotional and physiological well being. Graphic design should than have all the factors needed to make it understandable for the audience.

To come up with a suitable graphic design, there are a number of things that must be done first. First is knowing all the information related to the design that should be made. This includes the subject of the design, the target audience and the type of design suited for the subject and the audience (Rieber and Kini 1991, p 85). These are all important information because to these lie the very idea of the design to be made. More so, this information will be the sole basis for the design and will be the deciding factors if the graphic design made is effective and efficient or not.

Second thing to ensure is the people that will be involved in designing. It must be noted that the graphic design does not only contain text nor pictures alone. Sometimes a combination of these two is needed. Hence a right and effective concept must be incorporated in the design so reach the target audience (Rieber and Kini 1991, p 85). The most common people involved in graphic designing are the writers (who think of the texts to use), the artists or the designers (who analyze the apt images for the texts) and sometimes the models that are used as part of the designs.

The information above has just reiterated how important graphic designing is. Graphic design is a very good method that aide in the information dissemination to a wider set of audience.

The Initiator of Graphic Designing

The use of text and art to produce to convey a message was a common thing in the world of communication but it was William Addison Dwiggins who started the use of graphic designing. In 1922, he made use of his professional experience and his deep passion and interest with designs. This paved the way for graphic designing and a number of graphic designers designer (Dwiggins, 1922, p 121).

Dwiggins initially worked as an illustrator, advertising artist, typographer, and book designer. He was a participant in the Boston printing renaissance and a founding member of the American Institute of Graphic arts (ALGA) in 1914 (Dwiggins, 1922, p 121). Two of the most disturbing questions he had in mind back then were (Dwiggins, 1922, p 123)::

Was 'art' something applied for added value?

Was it something used to make a product easier to sell?

In trying to find answers to such questions, he was able to distinguish the three classes of printing: practical printing (which according to him was without art); bookmaking (which he considered as the work of great art); and printing for the purpose of advertising (which is now known as the 'graphic design'). In that same year (1922), Dwiggins coined the term 'graphic designer' and he urged the 'graphic designers' to uphold standards of their 'profession.' (Dwiggins, 1922, p 123). By upholding, he meant looking for every possible means of continuously upgrading that method of art and trying out every ways of conveying better messages to the audience.

The Start of Graphic Design Technology

The use and method of graphic designing were already used even before 1950s. The approach was a bit easier and less complicated then. People were using the designs to express information which could not be expressed by words or by pictures alone. Graphic designing was very creatively done by real artistic people. However, these artistic people came to a point where they could no longer get any satisfaction with the kind of designs there were having. This was the time that designers themselves think of better ways and newer methods to create variation in their designs, thus the changes in graphic designs methods, approaches, techniques, tools and equipments and even on graphic design education.

Such changes marked the birth of graphic design technology.

Changes in the Methods

The idea of improving the methods of designing came up on early years of the 1950s. Several young designers of that time were trying to position themselves as commercial artists who were trained in studio art programs as either painters or printmakers. These drastic changes in goal was inspired by several European designers who ensured that their practice is used in more ways than just by appending artistic devices in selling soaps or other consumer products. The said designers were also the ones who revealed that they serve as between the client and the public. They filter information with the pursuit of placing the contents into visual contexts thereby enabling broader understanding. The same designers from Europe paved the way for other designers and aspiring ones to earn deep respect from their predecessors and colleagues particularly during the 1950s up to the 1960s (Thornton, 1996 para 4).

On the years that followed (1970s-1980s) the new generation of designers raised some issue regarding the International Style that promoted structured, anonymous designs. The said inquiries were insinuated by some architects who were then trying to redefine modernism by calling it Post-Modern designs. Thus, various inspirations, patterns and models were then studied and used as the new basis for use in graphic designing. Some used the concept of Russian Constructivism (from the 1920s) and others used the same development of technology as inspirations (Thornton, 1996 para 5).

However it was during the era of the 1980s when the bigger change to graphic designing came into being. During this time, computer prototypes and imaging software was introduced and became the primary tool for the professional designers. Eventually, designers learned how to use photographic imaging and digitizing it through the Scitex Response System. Such procedure is used and found to be capable of manipulating colors, dimensions, and even content of the designs (Thornton, 1996 para 6).

Designers were already enjoying the new approach of graphic designing. They were already maximizing the capabilities of such approach to make their designs more expressive and of course more saleable. However, curiosity never ceased. They eventually search for other ways to improve an already usable and advanced approach. On mid-1980s, another milestone of graphic imaging was designed and this time, it was in the form of storing and further changing or reforming the images. More so, text and electronic images were being used and combined as layers of information. This further improvement is now coined as the 'New Wave Design' (Thornton, 1996 para 6).

Changes in Text Tools

Changes in methods were already being established. But enhancements in graphic designing will not be successful if the other aspects of designing will not be improved also. This is the very reason why the elements of graphic designs were also further enhanced and developed.

In graphic designing, images are not the only important aspects of the designs. Texts also play a pivotal role and to emphasize text, fonts are then used. The advent of the computer also enables dramatic changes in the type of fonts.

During the early years of designing, there are very few choices of typefaces. Consumers or viewers were limited to what the common print shops and/or stores could offer them. Much worst, if the designers do not have any connections with larger type house, the alternatives were even more restricted. Today, this is not a problem anymore. There are thousands of sites who offers download of lots of typefaces and there are some who are only requiring not-so-big amounts to get access with the numbers of typefaces and/or styles… [END OF PREVIEW]

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