As a means of communication through words or images, it is only natural for graphic design to evolve in the same way that human communication develops and changes over time.
Its evolution also stems from the fact that an effective graphic design uses various aspects of human behavior, psychology, technology, environment, trends, communication platforms, and social and cultural context. Since none of these factors stay the same, graphic design has to change as well, so a message would reach its intended audience and produce the desired results.
How has graphic design changed over the years?
The best word to describe it would be striking, in a sense that the first known visual communication between 15000 and 10000 BC is no longer evident in the graphic designs of today. Technology, the internet and design trends definitely contributed to a significant change in graphic design.
Take for example, the Starbucks logo, which has undergone five changes between 1971 and 2011. The logo conceived in 1971 was nothing like the one used today, but it set the trend of its evolution. The first logo design may have worked in the past, but not today. Thus, the need to make changes, whether big or small.
What trends spurred the evolution?
There’s now an increase in the number of fonts available.
Times New Roman and Arial used to be two of the popular font choices. But not anymore. The proliferation of fonts, particularly web fonts, have opened different avenues for creativity. If brands were to compete, they need to come up with more aesthetic headers and logos using fonts that are available today.
The internet demands a new way of thinking and viewing things online.
Not all fonts, colors, layout design, and technologies will work on a website or other materials designed for online consumption. This demands that web designers and marketers think differently and treat online materials as distinct from offline materials or print. They need to make improvements in logo design, if they are to boost their online presence, while ensuring better website performance.
There’s now a need to adapt to a mobile environment.
With more people using mobile devices to perform a wide range of online transactions and activities, there’s now a need to design websites and other online materials in such a way that they adopt to a mobile environment – smaller screen sizes, limited input options, etc. The screen sizes of mobile devices alone demand the kind of graphic designs that maintains readability and accessibility, despite the limited space for navigation and the absence of a mouse as an input device.
It also calls for website designs that make mobile devices, such as tablets, mobile phones and other gadgets, compatible with existing online technologies and those that will emerge in the near future.
The demand for social media integration has increased.
The popularity of social media continues to rise, which guarantees improvement on a website that integrates it into its overall layout. Given the tools used in social media, graphic design must evolve to make room for videos, blogs, pictures and chat rooms. It must take into account mobile access as well, which throws graphic designers more challenges along the way.