When Did Graphic Design Become Popular?

Graphic design has become an essential part of modern life, but it’s difficult to pinpoint when exactly the practice became so popular. It’s likely that the practice of using visuals to communicate ideas and information has existed since the dawn of civilization, but it wasn’t until the 20th century that graphic design as we know it today began to take shape.

The invention of lithography in 1796 marked a major turning point in graphic design history, as it allowed for mass production of printed materials. This process made graphic design more accessible to a wider audience and opened up new possibilities for visual communication. Then in the late 19th century, German typographer and designer Rudolf Koch developed his own style of typeface which was heavily influenced by calligraphy and blackletter typefaces. This style would later be known as “Koch-style” and inspire many other typeface designers throughout the 20th century.

At around this same time, modern advertising was beginning to emerge, with companies like J Walter Thompson becoming pioneers in the field. This new industry relied heavily on graphic design to create eye-catching visuals that would grab people’s attention and persuade them to buy a product or service. Graphic design was also used to create logos, magazine covers, posters, packaging and much more during this period, helping shape our visual culture as we know it today.

In the mid-20th century, Swiss designers such as Max Bill, Armin Hofmann and Josef Muller-Brockmann helped bring Modernism into graphic design with their clean lines and use of grids as a way to organize information visually. The 1960s saw a major shift in graphic design towards more experimental approaches with Pop Art gaining popularity and further pushing boundaries in visual communication.

Graphic Design first emerged at the end of the 18th century with lithography allowing for mass production of printed materials making it more accessible for everyone. However, it wasn’t until the mid-20th century with Swiss designers bringing Modernism into graphic design that Graphic Design truly became popularized throughout society.