Archive for April, 2011

Contemporary Corporate Design

April 25, 2011

Today’s corporate design is the result of an evolution of design that draws from each design era. The growth of advertising and the ideas of layout and composition to make products stand out in a visually cluttered environment that developed in the late 1800s are essential to contemporary corporate design. The new approach of quality design and the idea of taking pride in one’s work that proliferated during the Arts and Crafts movement also carry on today. Furthermore the modern approach of integrated design that developed through design schools helped shape contemporary corporate design.

This example of contemporary advertising displays the common use of bold colors and strong figure and ground contrast to make bold statements.

Grid systems are a vital part of contemporary design. They are often used in web design to layout information in an understandable and navigable way.

Corporate logos like the UPS logo are continually evolving to match a corporation’s growth and differentiation as well as society’s attitudes.

The Modern Approach of Integrated Design

April 25, 2011

The Bauhaus was a radical experiment in design education that began in 1919. The Bauhaus established a concept of design that meaningfully closed the gap between formal ideas and existing conditions. The Bauhaus provided a pedagogical laboratory in which the formal innovations of early avant-garde experiments were absorbed and systematically applied to architecture, graphic design, and industrial design.

The Johnston Sans typeface was designed by Edward Johnston for the London Underground in 1915 and 1916 and has been dubbed the “people’s typeface” as it is the first typeface designed for day-to-day use.

In 1907 Peter Behrens was appointed artistic director of the giant German industrial combine AEG business heralding a new day in marketing and advertising. Behrens took a systematic approach of integrated design as he established an overarching image of the electric company through a series of logotypes and lettering designs that produced an impression of continuity.

The Arts and Crafts Movement

April 25, 2011

The Arts and Crafts movement was an international design movement that originated in England and flourished from 1880-1910. The idea behind the movement was that good design was linked to reformers’ notions of good society.

This image shows collaboration by two lead players in the Arts & Crafts movement, thinker John Ruskin and designer William Morris. The design was created by Morris and is used in a chapter of Ruskin’s treatise on Venetian architecture, The Nature of Gothic (1892).

Players in the Arts and Crafts Movement strived to bring art into the daily life of all classes. Therefore artists of the movement often devoted much attention to design for textiles and wallpapers, such as this “Trellis” wallpaper design by Morris.

The Arts and Crafts movement had a major impact on the design of fine press and trade books. The movement brought about increased production values and the idea of “the book beautiful.” Walter Crane produced exceptionally beautiful children’s books including “A Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden” pictured here.

Evolving Commercial Art of the Late 1800s

April 25, 2011

The late 1800s were a period of rapid industrialization and social change that brought about an evolution in graphic design. All aspects of society began to demand print products and as a result the field of graphic design evolved and became increasingly important.

Along with industrialization came more discretionary earning and as a result more leisure time. Many graphic magazines were created to cater to these audiences with new interests. The image above displays an example of a famous magazine during the late 1800s known as the “Boys Own Paper.”

The late 1800s were an era of mass production and advertising became a fully established professional service. As a result the first trade journals like The Inland Printer began to appear to serve the graphic industries with technical information as well as advertisements for products and services.

Artists began to work within the commercial environment of advertising in order for products to draw more attention to in an increasingly cluttered visual environment. Posters were an especially aesthetic medium that bridged the gap between fine art and commercial art as seen in this famous painting by Everett Millais turned poster by Pears Soap in 1886.

The Evolution of Design Online Experience

April 25, 2011

Welcome to the online version of the Museum of Design Atlanta’s “Evolution of Design” exhibit that takes viewers through a history of graphic design. The shifting economic and social attitudes of the late 1800s instigated a graphic design movement that has evolved and grown over time through the influences of the Arts and Crafts movement to the modern approach of integrated design to the corporate design of today.

Click through each of the four eras of design to learn more about what characterized each era and to see examples of design during each period: