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3 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design

August 26, 2013 IADT General, Graphic Design 0 Comments

Ideas That Changed Graphic DesignThe design techniques and elements you are learning today were once cutting edge ideas. In fact, some were entire cultural movements that rocked the United States.

In their new book 100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design, Steven Heller and design critic Veronique Vienne discuss these cutting edge movements and their lasting impact on Graphic Design. Here, we’ve researched three popular topics from the book. Read more about these design elements – and get inspired for your next Graphic Design project:

1. Psychedlia

Defined by Graphic Design History, psychedelia “was born within the hippie subculture of the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco. It had a brief flowering in the 1960s, but was almost immediately appropriated by mass marketers.” The hippie subculture and resulting art form was heavily influenced by the prevalence of hallucinatory drugs, such as LSD. Marketers were inspired by this influence – especially by rock concert posters, which tried to visually express the feeling of tripping out.

Psychedelia is characterized by abstract swirls of intense color and curvilinear calligraphy (which is reminiscent of Art Nouveau), according to Assistant Professor of Art and Design Renee Tafoya

2. Triangulation

Triangulation was first introduced by Paula Scher in The Best of Jazz in 1979. Scher has recently discovered Aleksander Rodchenko and El Lissitsky – she was inspired by the pioneers of the Russian avant garde.

Triangulation was acclaimed as “new wave” and “postmodern” when introduced by Scher. She used bold typography, moving in different directions and overlapping, to convey a sense of rhythm and movement. Her design used bold colors – red, black, orange and light grey – which contrasted and drew in the eye.

3. White Space

White space has been called the most underutilized design element. It is often called negative space as it refers to the space between design elements.

White space can be either active or passive, argues graphic designer Kareen Liez. It can be used to attract the eye and balance your design. It can improve readability and make your designs seem more professional, sophisticated and elegant.      

Graphic Design has a long history of incorporating cultural elements and new ideas. Learn more about Heller and Vienne’s research by talking to your Graphic Design program advisor about the history of Graphic Design for more information today.


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