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Graphic Design 101: The Evolution of Graphic Design

by Grace Rouse

Just like any other industry, graphic design service has its own history. The industry “officially” started in 1922, but the practice has dated even far back before 1922. That’s pretty far, isn’t it? Don’t worry, because we’ll tell all about graphic design’s history in this article!

Graphic design in early age

Before, graphic design was presented in the form of typography in newspapers. Later on, posters became the means of communication later in the 1900s. One of the most famous posters around that era is the “We Can Do It!” poster, proving that graphic design works can be everlasting if they are done right.


The 1960s is the era where people were starting to own television. As common people were able to get their television, advertising became a common occurrence in the advertising world.

Besides television, posters were starting to re-emerge. There were no terms related to graphic design, but most of the posters created tend to be minimalist, with the object of the focus being in the middle in black and white (pencil sketch style).


The 1970s is the era where people started to experiment with advertisement. They were no longer in the traditional format, and designers started to venture outside their common box.

One of the new styles of advertisements is the usage of notable figures in the advertisement. One of the notable figures at that time was Ray Charles. People could see his image everywhere in big size. There are writings, but they are mostly in black-and-white traditional style and placed next to Charles’ image.


If 1970s was the era of neutral and calm colors, then 1980s was the era of bright and bold colors. Combinations of all bright colors were used, and typography was mostly in white blocky fonts.

The 1980s was also the era where people used computers, and the technological advance of graphic design service can be felt. Thanks to MacPaint, designers were able to use graphic tablets for designing. People were able to design on the same page instead of assembling them into one.


Photoshop 1.0 came into existence in 1990, creating yet another revolutionary in the graphic design world. Designers were finally able to do digital overlays, overlapping texts, and other technical terms we consider as normal nowadays.

The trend of color also changed. The 1990s was all about grunge and the combination or black, red, and white. Posters were mostly raw-looking, and graffiti typography can be seen everywhere.


The 2000s marked the era of technological advancement. New designing tools and updates allow designers to keep evolving their skill, and they were able to experiment freely. All because of technology.

The various devices also helped designers to realize that responsive layout is important. Designers were starting to design not only on smartphones but also for smartphones.

Graphic design has gone through a progressive development, from newspaper typography to what we have now. The development is a proof that graphic design has evolved and will always evolve to keep up with the time and technology.

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