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Six perspectives. One goal.


Critical Design sensibilites are shaped by societal values

Technical Arrangment of ideas is essential to conveying a message

Personal “Design is thinking made visual” -Saul Bass

Historical Addisson Dwiggins first introduced “graphic design” in 1922

Staff: Samantha Mendoza, Patricia Tsai, Christine Vu, Jonathan Wold

Ethical “Sometimes we design for our peers and not to solve communucations priblems” -Saul Bass


Graphic Design Perspectives

Free-form and grid approaches

what’s inside...

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Culture Through Time Never give someone a piece of your mind without first stopping to consider if



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Art Nouveau


1890. Art Nouveau was the first commercial art style intended to make products and their advertisements more beautiful. Art Nouveau draws its inspirations from Asian vases, paintings, and screens, particularly from Japan and Korea. This particular image was created by artist Alphonse Mucha in 1896, using lithography.

1916. Dada was created in Europe during the horrors of World War I. It was an outburst of artists’ rage with political leaders by the use of absurd, asymmetric designs. Dada can be seen as a free art form, where the artists believed that the war was a direct result of capitalism and materialism. This, ABCD, was made by a leading Dada artist, Raoul Huasmann.


Da Stijl 1917. De Stijl graphic design is based off of a grid approach. Dutch painters such as Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian were pioneers of this art form. In the eyes of these artists, grid form is seen as a way to search for universal harmony during World War I. The grid artwork shown above is Piet Mondrian’s composition with Red, Blue, and Yellow.


Bauhaus 1919. Architect Walkter Gropius founded Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar when Germany was bankrupt after a devastating World War I, and the younger generation was eager to make positive changes.



Art Deco

Pop Art

Art Deco united buildings, objects, fashions, and typographical and graphic designs. This art form takes its name from a 1925 exhibition in Paris titled “Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes,” which covered both banks of the Seine River.

1950s. This style of graphic design was connected with alternative lifestyles and rebellion against authority demonstrated by the “beatnik” culture. This piece was made by Andy Warhol, an iconic pop artist.



New Wave

Hip Hop

This type of design was influenced by the music and the fashions of such bands as Depeche Mode, Devo, and the Pet Shop Boys.

1970s. Hip hop started as a fashion, graphic design, graffiti art, and dance accompanied to rap music. This form of graphic design is usually expressed through graffiti, especially on walls of public spaces.


Punk Late 1970s. Creators of punk placed typographical and other visual elements on pages in angry, rebellious, and random ways in the style of “ransom note” cuotouts. Punk was greatly influenced by the earlier dada movement.


Ethics in graphic design:




“Issues of morality comes up in all areas of ethics in graphic design. Copyright infringement is a violation of law, but it can also be viewed as not being a “good” thing to do. Downloading fonts is a similar problem. However, there are some issues that point directyl to issues of morality and the role that graphic design plays in influencing culture. Graphic designers regularly create visual communication that’s consumed by the masses. Issues like brand stretching, social responsibility, sustainability, and greenwashing all are examined through the lens of morality.”

“One of the listings for the dictionary definition of ethics is “the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group.” In graphic design, this includes copyright law, piracy plagiarism, fair use, and photo manipulation.”

For more information on ethics in graphic design, visit www.

integrity “By definition, integrity means the quality of being honest adn having strong moral principles. When looking at issues of integrity in graphic design, the focus turns to how graphic designers conduct themselves professionally-- the principles of right conduct that are understood and supported within the profession. Within graphic design, crowdsourcing, working on speculation, corporate sponsorship, certification, and photo manipulation are some of the issues that graphic designers can expect to face during their careers. “


Right: Graphic design can be used to spread positive messages. As shown here on the right, graphic design is used to promote Earthday and facts about pollution to hopefully help make the earth better.



Stereotypes have long existed in the media and in our society. As graphic designers, one must pay careful attention to what he or she is designing. Because the combination of text, graphic elements, and images forms a powerful communications link, a pring of screen media can easily persuade a viewer by its content. A graphic designer’s choices can reinforce stereotypes in the media that can leave lasting and harmful impressions.

certain product promotions As a graphic designer or any companies for that matter, the individual must always realized what he or she is promoting. Many products sold legally to consumers are harmful if used regularly and over a long period of time. Cigarettes, alcohol, and other drugs easiily fall into this category. The production and use of some products harms the environment. Every graphic designer must decide whether to work for a company that sells such products to consumers or crosses the line when it comes to legal issues. There is a growing trend among graphic designers to pay attention to this issue when selecting clients.


1. Treat others as you would like to be treated with your work. 2. Recognize graphic design for the immensely powerful tool. 3. Define your code of ethics. 4. You are responsible for your own professional choices and for the effects of your work. 5. You are however, not responsible for unforseeable consequences, so don’t beat yourself up about those. 6. Unless you absolutely cannot, you will say no to any projects that may be harmful to society. You will however, find a way to make amends in future. 7. Be mindful of the environment in your design process. Don’t use more resources tan you really need to. 8. Being ethical means respecting the views of others. 9. It’s unrealistic to expect yourself to be 100% ethical all the time, but nevertheless, it’s the goal to strive for. 10. And likewise, do not assume moral superiority and expect those you work with to be ethically perfect. People make mistakes. Right: In the U.S., each year 25,692 people die from alcohol induced deaths, excluding accidents and homocides. Would you feel comfortable designing for an alcohol ad? This can be an ethical problem for graphic designers when deciding whether or not to promote harmful products.

Five Eras of Graphic Design


1984 Artistic

Egyptians were among the first to develop manuscripts and wall decorations. During this time the Greeks also developed a combination of nature and art.



1891 Industrial

1761 Gutenberg

1456 As the printing press was invented, it took less time to do lettering by hand. Discoveries in typography expanded.

Combination of computers and printers raised the possibilities in graphic design.

Steam-powered printing preses made production much quicker and more efficient. Printed, colored cards became popular.

Graphic design art styles began merging with technological advancements.


Saul Bass

In Hockey, Even the Logos are Competitive by Jon Wold


s a a hockey fan, the way I see graphic design is mostly in team logos. And with about a century of NHL history, there is a rich tradition of great hockey logos. But what is it that makes a hockey logo good? And which is best? Back in 2007, a young graphic designer named Chris Smith created a blog to settle those questions. The NHL Tournament of Logos pit every logo against the others in head-tohead polls to determine the best. In a short time, the popularity exploded, and Smith exxpanded focus on ‘the aesthetics of hockey’ with concept art. “I only kept doing it because there was such a following for the site,” said Smith. Now, over six years later, the rebranded, gets about “fifteen to twenty thousand page views a day”, according to Smith, to go along with over five thousand followers on Twitter (@icethetics). In that time, Smith has run three NHL tournament of logos. And each time, a different team’s logo has won. The Montreal Canadiens won the first time, followed by the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks (seen from left to right at the bottom of the page). But what makes these logos

Smith’s Favorites Smith’s favorite logos belong to the Minnesota Wild and Hartford Whalers. Both logos use the idea of gestalt - the sum being more than their parts. The Whalers logo uses negative space to form a ‘H.’ This idea was not lost on the San Jose Sharks when they re-designed their logo in 2007.

O so popular? “I think it’s probably in their simplicity,” said Smith. “A lot of people don’t like the complicated, cartoony logos.” That simplicity is very evident in the Canadiens’ and Blues’ logos, but maybe less so in the Blackhawks’ logo. All three logos do have history on their side. According to SportsLo-

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V., the Canadiens’ and Blackhawks’ have barely changed their their look since the 1920’s, while the Blues have used the same basic logo since 1967. This consistent branding has endeared the logos and the teams to many generations of hockey fans.”

BELOW Follow to an animation of the evolution of the Maple Leafs’ iconic logo.

ABOVE Can you see the ‘SJ’ hidden in the logo? Follow if you need a hint!

ne of the greatest designers of corporate logos was Saul Bass. He created iconic logos for many companies, including: Quaker Oats, the United Way, United Airlines, the Girl Scouts, AT&T, and many more! Bass was also the graphic designer for the title sequences to great movies like Psycho and Vertigo. Google recently celebrated Bass’ birthday with a doodle homage.

GETTING Technical

Graphic design incorporates technical aspects such as contrast, balance, rhythm and unity

Scan the QR code below to learn more about technical aspects from Alysa Trinidad


Looking with a critical eye “B

eauty is in the eye of the beholder” - These familiar words ring true in many aspects in our life and graphic design is no exception.

Graphic design can appear in many forms that we may not notice in society.

When it comes to what we see and interpret in graphic designs, it is almost entirely up to the audience to make the decision whether this is good design or not. Lester comments that the process of viewing and judging graphic design is almost like that of music. Different generations may appreciate musical tastes in certain ways and these values may be shaped from other cultures.

Although graphic design is viewed as a purely visual field, graphic design is looked at critically to make sure it delivers the intended message of the company. Because of this business aspect, graphic design education becomes very important to help students and designers understand not only technique but their client’s needs. Education helps designers translate ideas into design.

In a similar way, what may look good in graphic design to one person doesn’t neccessarily mean it looks good to all. There has been a shift over the years from traditional print design to web design. With internet popularity exploding, there is been a high demand for good graphic design. It can either make or break a website.


Graphic design on an ad can help companies capture the attention of their audience.

Careful placement of graphic design becomes esential for websites to best convey their values and services as a company.

is especially In an interview with graphic It designer Vivian Nguyen, important to take time to several topics were disussed look at graphic critically in regards to how you look at because doing so will help graphic design from a critical keep the field progressive. Critical view of this will standpoint. Questions like “What is help target weak spots and considered to be good graphic identify trends that will design?”, “How important is affect the way the audience graphic design education?”, recieves a message now and and “How do you look critically in the future as well. As graphic design at graphic design?” are just some of the many questions continues to be a part of our discussed during the interview. lives, it is essential that we Getting the viewpoint from continually look at it with a an actual graphic designer critical eye. helps viewers see things from a professonal point of view. From an audience point of view, there For the full interview with Vivian Nguyen, scan the QR code below. are several things that are not taken into consideration. Color, concept, and format are just a few things that influence the graphic designing process.

Graphic Design: Six Perspectives, One Goal  

A deeper look into the personal, ethical, cultural, critical, technical and historical aspects of graphic design.