The Hammer Museum is an art museum in the Westwood district of Los Angeles, California operated by UCLA’s School of the Art and Architecture. The museum’s shows are focused on key-single artist and thematic exhibitions of historical and contemporary art. Recently they opened an exhibit focused on the evolution of graphic design. Below is a very brief summary of their exhibit and a little information on the history of graphic design.
The exhibit covers everything from posters, magazines, books, information design, branding, typography, storefronts, to film and television titles. One thing is clear, which many people probably don’t know, print isn’t dead; the methods to the madness certainly have though.
The first form of graphic design came as cave art dating back as far as 30,000 BC. Then came writing, most notably the Egyptian hieroglyphs. From there we have many branches, including books, maps, playing cards; the list could go on forever until finally we come to what we have today.
Now, graphic design has become an important part of everyday life. It communicates messages (road signs), influences our decisions on what we buy, and conveys information for us in a way that is easier to digest (infograhics, pie charts).
One of the most recent developments has been the importance of good design in presidential campaigns. It is no doubt in my mind that the involvement of the art community in President Obama’s campaign played a significant role. As design progresses it will be interesting to see what other facets of life will be influenced in such ways. Check your blogs people!
Like I said, this is a very brief history of design meant to spark your interest. There are many great resources online regarding the history of graphic design but if you want an in-depth look, a college course would be ideal.