Although the roots of activities similar to graphic design span the history of humankind, the field as we know it today is a rather new term first coined by William Addison Dwiggins in At the hand of famous graphic designers, the industry has been growing and changing ever since. At the turn of the 20th century, designers across the disciplines of architectural, fashion, graphic, and product design searched for new forms of expression. Fed by concerns of technological and industrial advances, they explored the potential of abstract and reductive drawing and design as they sought a new aesthetic philosophy to address the changing social, economic, and cultural conditions. Having a desire for expressive and symbolic images, but also interested in the total visual organization of the picture plane, graphic design artists created a dialogue between communicative imagery and design form that generated the energy of pictorial graphics.
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Although the roots of activities similar to graphic design span the history of humankind, the field as we know it today is a rather new term first coined by William Addison Dwiggins in At the hand of famous graphic designers, the industry has been growing and changing ever since. At the turn of the 20th century, designers across the disciplines of architectural, fashion, graphic, and product design searched for new forms of expression. Fed by concerns of technological and industrial advances, they explored the potential of abstract and reductive drawing and design as they sought a new aesthetic philosophy to address the changing social, economic, and cultural conditions.
Having a desire for expressive and symbolic images, but also interested in the total visual organization of the picture plane, graphic design artists created a dialogue between communicative imagery and design form that generated the energy of pictorial graphics. In the years after the World War I, visual arts moved beyond the threshold of pictorial imagery towards the invention of pure form.
Frank Lloyd Wright, the Glasgow group, the Vienna Secession, Adolf Loos, Peter Behrens, and other graphic designers, architects, and product designers began challenging prevailing notions about form and function.
The emergence of the Bauhaus allowed for the modern design aesthetic to emerge, and some of the most famous graphic designers to emerge. Developed in Switzerland in the s, its visual language was characterized by cleanliness, readability, and objectivity.
In these post-war years, an idea that the good design meant good business also emerged. Many famous graphic designers such as Frank Stanton or William Golden started creating corporate identity for brands that still remain today. In the second half of the 20th century, designers started introducing more personal images and pioneered individual styles and techniques. With the arrival of the digital age, computer graphic art experimentation allowed for the exploration of electronic techniques while moving through modern and postmodern design ideas, retro revivals, and eccentric work that brought a period of pluralism and diversity in design.
With so many styles of graphic design and different schools of thought, there are countless creatives who have done their part in shaping the industry in some way. We have compiled a list of famous graphic designers working in different styles that were regarded pioneers of this profession, changing the way graphic design is seen in the contemporary world with their iconic works.
Featured images: Armin Hoffmann — Giselle, via jasonweinberger. His iconic s movie posters and motion picture title sequences include Psycho, The Man with the Golden Arm, North by Northwest, and Spartacus, among others.
Featured images: Sual Bass, via knolaust. Immensely creative and articulate, this famous graphic designer brought a depth of understanding and conceptual thinking combined with a diverse richness of visual language into his unique body of work.
Through expressive typography, bold colors and strong visual language, Fletcher changed the way design was thought of, positioning it as a key element to businesses. A celebrated teacher at Allgemeine Gewerbeschule Basel School of Art and Craft, his teaching methods were unorthodox and broad-based. His timeless aesthetic was characterized by power and elegance of simplicity and clarity.
This famous graphic designer consistently emphasized that design should have a context and meaning, making his work a paragon of effective, timeless and thoughtful design. Relying on the fundamental elements of graphic form — point, line, and shape, Hofmann created a body of work enormously varied — books, exhibitions, stage sets, logotypes, symbols, typography, posters, sign systems, and environmental graphics. Shaping contemporary design and illustration, he has developed an expressive and iconic style that combined both disciplines in a playful way.
His methods were unapologetically rooted in vintage-style decorative traditions, but his work has always synthesized, reinvented, and often parodied the past. Your Body and You, , via design-is-fine. April Greiman was among few visionaries who recognized the vast potential of this new medium.
She established herself as a pioneer of digital communications design, inspiring and encouraging the acceptance and use of technology in graphic design and the arts. Curious and fascinated with everything digital, she explored and inspired the cutting-edge design work that places her at the helm of integrated design at the close of the twentieth century. A thinker and artist, her transmedia projects, innovative ideas and projects, and hybrid-based approach, made her work influential worldwide over the last 30 years.
An iconic record and album cover designer, Saville helped establish a new standard by which album covers were to be judged. Having a bold, expressive and elegant style, he had a remarkable ability to identify images that epitomize the moment. Designs he created were so compelling that they struck the same emotional resonance as the music on these albums. He created a stunning visual identity where he boldly used pictograms, a bright palette developed from the color of the Bavarian countryside and a strict grid system.
A co-founder of the legendary Ulm School of Design in Germany, his work since the fifties of the last century presents a major achievement in the visual communication of our times. He is also famous for creating an influential public signage system that utilized simple stick figure graphic that has made a great impact on graphic design. Capturing the essence of Swiss design, his work is characterized by the geometric shapes, clean sans-serifs and the vibrant colors.
Among his most decisive work was the one done for the Zurich Town Hall as poster advertisements for its theater production. Having dabbled in just about every facet of the design industry, he worked as an art director, book designer, illustrator, typographer, graphic designer, photographer, advertiser, and packaging designer.
His work included promotional and advertising campaigns for a host of different clients including department stores, feature films, record companies, and the New York Transit Authority. His unique visual language had a great influence on the young generation of designers in America in the midth century.
Josef Muller Brockmann – grid-based layout and web design
What does this have to do with software development? There will be well-defined relationships between each element. The overall purpose will be clear. Most people who have worked in web development have been forced into making visual choices somewhere down the line. Rigging up an interface without any appreciation of design basics is a bit like trying to hack together an application without any coding skill.
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