"Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se."

- Charles Eames

"For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate."

- Margaret Heffernan

For those who did not pay $$$$$$ and spend many sleepless nights crafting your portfolio for design school, I encourage you to read this quick history of the graphic arts and design as we know it.


Of course there are missing elements and details in every point of this history lecture, but the milestone eras and styles are well noted. If you look closely and begin to think about how our graphic designer ancestors created such altering works, you begin to join them together. They are not separate vacuums of inspiration, but a building of and learning from one another. I am what I am today because of who came before me.


Graphic design has always been a touchy subject in the art world. Going to school with other artists (painters, sculptors, jewelers, &c), I was reminded often that I was a sell-out. Creating for money and for clients. I obviously didn't care in the end what they believed because I think there is a higher purpose of Graphic Design.

As you can see in this shortened history, there is always a cause and a reaction to these new styles. These previous graphic designers were innovating alongside world events. Our beautiful printed typefaces emerged for the literacy boom, because of the wonderful printing press; Dada-ism was in direct emotional and cynical response to the great loss and shift of the old paradigms caused by WWI; Futurism became the visual form of the hard and human-less Fascism in Italy during WWII; Minimal design in advertising and typefaces (Swiss-style) refreshed a mid-century society, war-fatigued, in it's simplicity; And to end this by speaking of the greatest technological advancement in human history—computers—and the profound effect it has had on our knowledge and art. If these weren't emotional, meaningful, impactful artistic responses similarly exalted by those in the fine art world, I give up.


Design is how we interact with the world. Now for your homework: