The first thing that comes to mind when a layman hears the term graphic designing is the idea of computerized illustrations. However, in reality the process of graphic designing is far more complex than using mere designing tools to develop computer-generated images. What this term truly entails is the creation of innovative and unprecedented artwork which provides solution for visual communication. It is different from painting in the sense that it requires more than drawing and painting skills, which is the vision and motivation behind the work. Also it involves other mandatory skills such art of typography and image creation.
Graphic designing is relatively a new field that emerged as an independent subject in the mid-twentieth century. Its development dates back to late 19th century when the first printed design was published which then officially separated fine arts from graphic designing. The term ‘Graphic Design’ was coined after the publication of Raffe’s book Graphic Design (1927). Other works that play a pivotal role in the development of design industry include renowned typographer Jan Tschichold’s book New Typography. Typography is an art of organizing and setting the type in such a manner that it not only attracts reader’s attention but also appeals to their aesthetic sense. Besides Tschichold, László Moholy-Nagy, El Lissitzky and Herbert Bayer are some of the famous graphic designers and typographers who played an influential role in shaping modern graphic designing.
In its early years graphic designing was merely concerned with communicating the ideas and thoughts in a more aesthetic fashion. During first and second world war, several of graphic artists protested against the cruelty of war by designing posters depicting their anguish. Over the decades, graphic designers were being commissioned either by government or big corporations to design posters or create an artwork that would propagate certain ideology. For instance, a noted graphic designer, Erik Nitsche was hired by General Dynamics, a weapon developing corporation, to design posters that would redeem their image in public’s eye. It exemplifies how graphic designing soon became a powerful instrument for communicating ideologies. Thus the graphic art became more commercial and industrial.
This led to the emergence of professional graphic design industry. In the recent years graphic design is came to known as a creative process that fuses art and technology together to convey ideas. There are multifarious types of graphic design based on the requirement of the project, such as image-based, type-based, symbols, logos and logotypes based designs. As there are several forms of designing, similarly there are many sorts of graphic designers possessing expertise in varying domains of design. Some design logos, typefaces, pictograms, while others create book jackets, magazines, comics, thought-provoking posters, record covers, film’s campaign artworks, corporate identity solutions and more.
Across the globe from Europe, United States to Asia, countless famous graphic designers emerged and abundantly contributed to this art form. Milton Glaser is one of the celebrated graphic artists, known for designing the ‘I love New York’ logo. Massimo Vignelli’s name is associated with corporate identity creation of leading corporations; American Airlines, IBM and Bloomingdale’s. German designer, Erik Spiekermann is recognized for creating numerous fonts and launched FontShop International. A highly controversial artist Stefan Sagmeister has made a reputation by designing record sleeves for Lou Reed and poster for AIGA. Pioneering book designers, Muriel Cooper and Chip Kidd are credited for designing books jackets. The American cinema would seem tasteless without John Alvin’s inspiring input to the film’s art campaigns such as E.T, Jurassic Park, Star Wars and Batman Returns. Art director of Harpar’s Bazaar Alexey Brodovitch is another one of the seminal designer. FamousGraphicDesigners.org lists and provides biographies of influential figures who helped built the infrastructure of graphic designing today.