How Graphic Design Has Changed Over Time

Have you ever been intrigued by how graphic designs came to be? These days, it’s impossible to miss out on a graphic design hanging on a wall, a window, or even when you’re scrolling through your phone. With eye-catching appearances, graphic designs aim to communicate with the audience using visual properties that capitalize on spaces, images, and typefaces. This type of visual communication has long been evolving, and technology has played an undeniably large role in its growth.


From cave art to wall graphics on ancient temples, the fate of graphic design has undergone several changes. Gone were the days that designers manually crafted their illustrations and relied on limited materials to make things easier. With advanced tools such as computers and high-end software, designers are now able to create graphics without having as many limits as before.


The graphic design industry entered the digital age with the introduction of computers. But before this new age started, the industry went through a thorough development process.


Let’s run through the key styles or periods that transpired before the digital age:



Before images were considered one of the focal points of graphic design, letters and words were all there was. The development of typeface has been as massive as the turn of trends is. Transcending from print to digital, typeface has been an inevitable part of the industry. With fairly new styles of typeface arising regularly to keep up with the ever-changing trends, typography continues to be a staple in almost every graphic design.



From typography came photos that provided more depth to what these visual messages aimed to show. The ability to print in color allowed advertisements to capitalize on some degree of realism. This then was a huge step in the graphic design industry, as designers were no longer limited to the use of letters, rather they used images to emphasize what they were trying to amplify.


Modern Era

In the modern era, graphic design leaned more on the use of actual photos rather than illustrations following the invention of chromolithography. Designs then were highly driven by carefreeness and lavishness that banked on cubism and the use of technology for artistic gain. The trends then mostly revolved around the use of bold geometrics, mainly. High contrasting designs also made a huge exposure in the early 20th century.


Height of Pop Culture

With the rise of pop culture was the demand for designs that showcased high contrast and bold colors, fantastic imagery, and illustrations of dramatically posed people, and the love for psychedelic style.


Digital Revolution

Now in the 21st century, computers have emerged as valuable tools in the graphic design industry. Works nowadays revolve around the use of numerous styles such as grunge, punk rock, texture, flat style, and minimalist in keeping up with the ever-changing trends and demands of the people.


Throughout the years, graphic design has had one purpose and that is to capture the attention of its viewers while effectively relaying the ideas that it wishes to without sacrificing the visual aspect. The industry has gone through a lot of changes to make this possible, but it does not stop. Graphic design continues to change and grow to meet the hunger of people for innovative designs that endlessly transcends limits.