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The History of Graphic Design

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While digital graphic design offers the immense possibility, flexibility and precise control, it was soon realized that this perfection of form was somehow lacking in aesthetic appeal. Images created solely on the computer in graphics programs that can produce flawless vector curves and impossibly straight lines retain a perfection that most artists and clients are uncomfortable with because it is lacking that same human quality the products of the earlier machine age were found to lack by the founders of Arts and Crafts. “ There’ s something slightly embarrassing about it – slightly too good, too smart, too egotistical.

We like the work to be slightly imperfect, humble if you will, then the client likes that” (cited in Hall, 2001). This seeming lack was recognized first in Japan but was soon a subject discussed among graphic designers and artists throughout the world. With the advent of these new technological tools, the illustrative world became dominated by the perfect images the computer could produce but was quickly exposed as lacking an essential spark, ushering in a new revolt against the power and perfection of the machine.

“ Everything was just so slick for a while – it was all so process-led. I think that it just led straight up a blind alley and as the process itself couldn’ t change, it was the artist that needed to initiate that change” (Craig Atkinson cited in Hand Made, 2007). The lack of the human element within the art itself could not remain unanswered by those who appreciate the subtleties of professional illustrations nor could society completely ignore the various imperfections and vagaries of the human condition. “ Design and the creative disciplines as a whole is beginning to have a resurgence in popular estimation.

Ad campaigns that might at one time have been purely live action are incorporating animation. The illustration is strong across editorial, advertising, and TV” (Penfold, 2006).

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