History of Business » Graphic Design: the 1900s
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A Brief History of Graphic Design: the 1900s

The 1900s was a time when graphic design really came into its own and many advances were made both in the way that books and posters could be printed and the techniques that could be used for graphic design purposes.


As the 1900s progressed new typefaces and new innovations were coming to the forefront of the graphic design world.

Before the 1900s graphic design was an area that was gaining interest yet lacked the techniques needed to expand its use. As the 1900s progressed new typefaces and new innovations completely changed graphic design.

Important Figures

One of the most important figures in the history of graphic design was Jan Tschichold who wrote a book called New Typography which looked into the philosophy behind modern typography and put it into some kind of system. It was written in sans-serif typeface which was one of the most early modern fonts and was seen as something of a trademark for graphic design.

Other typographers which were seen as the forefathers of what we know as modern graphic design include: Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, El Lissitzky and Herbert Bayer. These three men were incredibly innovative when it came to stylizing and building new techniques for typography.

After the Second World War the American economy started to go through something of a boom and as a result advertising was in great demand. With the demand for advertising came a demad for graphic design. It was one section of the employment sector that began to flourish significantly.

While many 20th century designers 1900s made significant contributions to design, some people stand out as masters of design. Some of themost famous designers from this period included:

Rob Janoff

Rob Janoff is involved in creating corporate identities and logos and also for working on television commercials as well as printed advertising. While he has created many modern logos throughout his long and illustrious career, his most famous is probably the Apple logo which is one of the most simple yet stylish logos in use today. It shows an apple with a bite taken out of it and is instantly recognizable.

Ruth Kedar

Ruth Kedar is a graphic designer and artist and she is probably most well known for creating the logo for Google. She has also been involved in creating commissioned work for Adobe Systems and continues to create logos and advertising today.

Paul Rand

Paul Rand was a corporate designer who created logos for UPS, ABC, IBM and many more. His designs were always incredibly simple yet very effective and he stressed that minimalism was something that all graphic designers should strive for as this was something that would never go out of fashion.

Milton Glasser

Milton Glasser is probably most well-known for his I Love NY logo which showed the word love as a red heart. This logo is used on posters, clothing and more. He was also responsible for the DC Bullet logo that was on the front of old DC comics for nearly 20 years as well as the Brooklyn Brewery logo. He was also responsible for founding New York magazine in partnership with Cley Felker.

Bill Cleary

Bill Cleary designed the eBay logo that is currently in use today. He has a background in marketing and advertising and used to be a high school teacher. He went on to work for advertising firms in New York as a copywriter.

By the middle of the 1980s desktop publishing was at the forefront of everyone's minds. Computersand the internet changed design forever. Programs like PageMaker and Illustrator were being used by everyone and anyone who was into graphic design. Yet the contributions from these masters of Graphic Design continued to shape the modern world. No technology can change or diminish the genious of quality design.

Internet Resources

This website: http://www.fastcompany.com/1611030/american-trademarks-logo-design has an article on the origins of logos and is written by a graphic designer. It has quite a lot of useful information on logos and helpful way you can read more on this subject.

Another really helpful website can be found here: http://www.historysanjose.org/labellegacy/places/trademarks_and_logos.html it goes into more information about various logos that have been used for many years in the United States.

For a really comprehensive overview of some of the most well-known logos in the world take a look at this website: http://www.logoorange.com/logodesign-A.php. As you can see it is an absolute treasure trove of logo information and gives anyone reading it a really great history of the logos shown and the people who were behind them.

To find out a little more about the history of logo take a look at this website: http://www.logoworks.com/logos.html it also gives examples of some of the logos that are in existence today to give you an idea of what logos look like, should you need it.