Early pre-flight methods were largely manual, and typically relied on checklists that highly-skilled prepress operators would use to verify the production readiness of each incoming job. As desktop publishing and graphics applications, PDLs, RIPs, and output devices evolved, the process became more complex. Software plug-ins and stand-alone applications that supported the major desktop publishing applications were then developed to meet that need, along with proprietary tools made by hardware manufacturers and commercial printers and service bureaus. The developers of the major applications then began to incorporate functionality in their applications, leveraging their knowledge of their own file formats.
The term graphic design can refer to a number of artistic and professional disciplines which focus on visual communication and presentation. Various methods are used to create and combine symbols, images and/or words to create a visual representation of ideas and messages. A graphic designer may utilize typography, visual arts and page layout techniques in varying degrees to produce the final result of the project. Graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated.
In late 19th century Europe, especially in the United Kingdom, the movement began to separate graphic design from fine art. Piet Mondrian is known as the father of graphic design. He was a fine artist, but his use of grids inspired the modern grid system used today in advertising, print and web layout.
In 1849, Henry Cole became one of the major forces in design education in Great Britain, informing the government of the importance of design in his Journal of Design and Manufactures. He organized the Great Exhibition as a celebration of modern industrial technology and Victorian design.
From 1892 to 1896 William Morris' Kelmscott Press published books that are some of the most significant of the graphic design products of the Arts and Crafts movement, and made a very lucrative business of creating books of great stylistic refinement and selling them to the wealthy for a premium. Morris proved that a market existed for works of graphic design in their own right and helped pioneer the separation of design from production and from fine art. The work of the Kelmscott Press is characterized by its obsession with historical styles. This historicism was, however, important as it amounted to the first significant reaction to the stale state of nineteenth-century graphic design. Morris' work, along with the rest of the Private Press movement, directly influenced Art Nouveau and is indirectly responsible for developments in early twentieth century graphic design in general.
A Boeing 747 Air Force One aircraft. The cyan blue pattern, the US flag, presidential seal and the lettering were all designed at different times and combined in this one final design. Graphic design is applied in virtually every organization or society. There are virtually no limits to the size and applications of graphic design.
The term graphic design was first coined by William Addison Dwiggins, an American book designer in the early 20th century. The signage in the London Underground is a classic of the modern era and used a font designed by Edward Johnston in 1916.
In the 1920s, Soviet constructivism applied 'intellectual production' in different spheres of production. The movement saw individualistic art as useless in revolutionary Russia and thus moved towards creating objects for utilitarian purposes. They designed buildings, theater sets, posters, fabrics, clothing, furniture, logos, menus, etc.
Jan Tschichold codified the principles of modern typography in his 1928 book, New Typography. He later repudiated the philosophy he espoused in this book as being fascistic, but it remained very influential. Tschichold, Bauhaus typographers such as Herbert Bayer and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and El Lissitzky are the fathers of graphic design as we know it today. They pioneered production techniques and stylistic devices used throughout the twentieth century. The following years saw graphic design in the modern style gain widespread acceptance and application. A booming post-World War II American economy established a greater need for graphic design, mainly advertising and packaging. The emigration of the German Bauhaus school of design to Chicago in 1937 brought a "mass-produced" minimalism to America; sparking a wild fire of "modern" architecture and design. Notable names in mid-century modern design include Adrian Frutiger, designer of the typefaces Univers and Frutiger; Paul Rand, who, from the late 1930s until his death in 1996, took the principles of the Bauhaus and applied them to popular advertising and logo design, helping to create a uniquely American approach to European minimalism while becoming one of the principal pioneers of the subset of graphic design known as corporate identity; and Josef Miller-Brockmann, who designed posters in a severe yet accessible manner typical of the 1950s and 1960s.
Critical, observational, quantitative and analytic thinking are required for design layouts and rendering. If the executor is merely following a sketch, script or instructions (as may be supplied by an art director) they are not usually considered the author. The layout is produced using external traditional or digital image editing tools. Selecting the appropriate tools for each project is critical in how the project will be perceived by its audience.
In the mid 1980s, the arrival of desktop publishing and graphic art software applications introduced a generation of designers to computer image manipulation and creation that had previously been manually executed. Computer graphic design enabled designers to instantly see the effects of layout or typographic changes without using any ink, and to simulate the effects of traditional media without requiring a lot of space. However, traditional tools such as pencils or markers are often used to develop ideas even when computers are used for finalization.
Computers are generally considered to be an indispensable tool used in the graphic design industry. Computers and software applications are generally seen, by creative professionals, as more effective production tools than traditional methods. However, some designers continue to use manual and traditional tools for production, such as Milton Glaser.
New ideas can come by way of experimenting with tools and methods. Some designers explore ideas using pencil and paper to avoid creating within the limits of whatever computer fonts, clipart, stock photos, or rendering filters (e.g. Kai's Power Tools) are available on any particular configuration. Others use many different mark-making tools and resources from computers to sticks and mud as a means of inspiring creativity. One of the key features of graphic design is that it makes a tool out of appropriate image selection in order to convey meaning.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”