LT 2.3 History of graphic design

LT 2.3 History of graphic design

«In the lesson, we looked at some articles that focus on key events in the past century that have impacted modern graphic design. Choose five of these key events and do more research on each. In your own words, using the extra knowledge you have gained in your research, write a paragraph about each, explaining what impact it had on graphic design. Include visual examples if you have.«

The swiss style of design

The keywords to the swiss style of design is blocky layout, minimalism and sans serif typography like Helvetica. Swiss design was a movement that started in the 50´s in two different art schools in Switzerland. At that time the style was called the International Typographic Style and it was all about the design being so invisible as possible, and rather let the message or content shine. It was the use of asymmetric layouts, sans serif typography, how the text was aligned and the use of photos instead of illustations that made this style different to others. Many of this traits is «standard» in graphic design now.


Postmodern design began in the late 1960´s in America. The design style was made by a new wave of open minded persons that were against the boring and simple ways of modern design. Post modern design often uses collages with both pictures and text, often ironic quotes. Usually a mix of both black and white and strong colors. It was influenced by pop-art, cubism and comic art.

Art deco

The style originated in the 1920´s and became major in Europe and USA in the 30´s. The key elements to art deco design is clean geometric shapes, symmetry and a lot of gold and metals. The look is very expensive. The design style was often used in ballet posters and fashion catalogs at the time. It was also big in architecture, fashion etc, not just graphic design.

 Digital drawing (wacom, iPad)

One of the biggest key movements in the history of graphic design was when digital drawing became availabe. Wacom released their first digital drawing tablet in 1984 and it had a huge impact on digital design. It made the process a lot easier and of course you could get a lot more creative.

Psychedelic style

Psychedelic style became popular in the late 60´s, and was heavily influenced by the hippe movement. The name comes from psychedelic drugs like LSD etc, and that’s mostly the reason why the style looks the way it does. Intense colors, wavy typography, weird shapes and overall trippy elements is the key to this style.


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