Evolving Commercial Art of the Late 1800s

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.

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