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Graphic Design Definition
Graphic design is a creative process, one most often involving a client and a designer, and traditionally completed in conjunction with producers of form (printers, sign makers, etc.). In the 21st century, however, graphic design may be applied directly to websites, eliminating the need for an intermediary. Graphic design is undertaken to convey a specific message (or messages) to a targeted audience, usually from the client, known as the 'brief'. The term "graphic design" can also refer to a number of artistic and professional disciplines that focus on visual communication and presentation. The field as a whole is also often referred to as Visual Communication or Communication Design. Various methods are used to create and combine words, symbols, and images to create a visual representation of ideas and messages. A graphic designer may use a combination of typography, visual arts and page layout techniques to produce a balanced, focused and symmetrical final result. Graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated.Common uses of graphic design include identity (logos and branding), publications (magazines, newspapers and books), advertisements and product packaging. For example, a product package might include a logo or other artwork, organized text and pure design elements such as shapes and color which unify the piece. Composition is one of the most important features of graphic design, especially when using pre-existing materials or diverse elements.Contents 1 History
1.1 The advent of printing
1.2 Emergence of the design industry
1.3 Twentieth century design
3.1 Visual arts
3.3 Page layout
3.4 Interface design
3.5 User experience design
4.1 Computers and the creative process
6 See also
6.1 Related disciplines
6.2 Related topics
9 External links
While Graphic Design as a discipline has a relatively recent history, with the term "graphic design" first coined by William Addison Dwiggins in 1922, graphic design-like activities span the history of humankind: from the caves of Lascaux, to Rome's Trajan's Column to the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, to the dazzling neons of Ginza. In both this lengthy history and in the relatively recent explosion of visual communication in the 20th and 21st centuries, there is sometimes a blurring distinction and over-lapping of advertising art, graphic design and fine art. After all, they share many of the same elements, theories, principles, practices and languages, and sometimes the same benefactor or client. In advertising art the ultimate objective is the sale of goods and services. In graphic design, "the essence is to give order to information, form to ideas, expression and feeling to artifacts that document human experience."
History of printing
During the Tang Dynasty (618–907) between the 7th and 9th century AD, wood blocks were cut to print on textiles and later to reproduce Buddhist texts. A Buddhist scripture printed in 868 is the earliest known printed book. Beginning in the 11th century, longer scrolls and books were produced using movable type printing making books widely available during the Song dynasty (960–1279). Sometime around 1450, Johann Gutenberg's printing press made books widely available in Europe. The book design of Aldus Manutius developed the book structure which would become the foundation of western publication design. This era of graphic design is called Humanist or Old Style.
Emergence of the design industry
In late 19th century Europe, especially in the United Kingdom, the movement began to separate graphic design from fine art.
In 1849, Henry Cole became one of the major forces in design education in Great Britain, informing the government of the importance of design in his Journal of Design and Manufactures. He organized the Great Exhibition as a celebration of modern industrial technology and Victorian design.
From 1891 to 1896, William Morris' Kelmscott Press published books that are some of the most significant of the graphic design products of the Arts and Crafts movement, and made a very lucrative business of creating books of great stylistic refinement and selling them to the wealthy for a premium. Morris proved that a market existed for works of graphic design in their own right and helped pioneer the separation of design from production and from fine art. The work of the Kelmscott Press is characterized by its obsession with historical styles. This historicism was, however, important as it amounted to the first significant reaction to the stale state of nineteenth-century graphic design. Morris' work, along with the rest of the Private Press movement, directly influenced Art Nouveau and is indirectly responsible for developments in early twentieth century graphic design in general.
Twentieth century design
A Boeing 747 aircraft with livery designating it as Air Force One. The cyan forms, the US flag, presidential seal and the Caslon lettering were all designed at different times and combined by designer Raymond Loewy in this one final design.
The name "Graphic Design" first appeared in print in the 1922 essay "New Kind of Printing Calls for New Design" by William Addison Dwiggins, an American book designer in the early 20th century.
Raffe's Graphic Design, published in 1927, is considered to be the first book to use "Graphic Design" in its title.
The signage in the London Underground is a classic design example of the modern era and used a typeface designed by Edward Johnston in 1916.
In the 1920s, Soviet constructivism applied 'intellectual production' in different spheres of production. The movement saw individualistic art as useless in revolutionary Russia and thus moved towards creating objects for utilitarian purposes. They designed buildings, theater sets, posters, fabrics, clothing, furniture, logos, menus, etc.
Jan Tschichold codified the principles of modern typography in his 1928 book, New Typography. He later repudiated the philosophy he espoused in this book as being fascistic, but it remained very influential. Tschichold, Bauhaus typographers such as Herbert Bayer and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and El Lissitzky have greatly influenced graphic design as we know it today. They pioneered production techniques and stylistic devices used throughout the twentieth century. The following years saw graphic design in the modern style gain widespread acceptance and application. A booming post-World War II American economy established a greater need for graphic design, mainly advertising and packaging. The emigration of the German Bauhaus school of design to Chicago in 1937 brought a "mass-produced" minimalism to America; sparking a wild fire of "modern" architecture and design. Notable names in mid-century modern design include Adrian Frutiger, designer of the typefaces Univers and Frutiger; Paul Rand, who, from the late 1930s until his death in 1996, took the principles of the Bauhaus and applied them to popular advertising and logo design, helping to create a uniquely American approach to European minimalism while becoming one of the principal pioneers of the subset of graphic design known as corporate identity; and Josef Müller-Brockmann, who designed posters in a severe yet accessible manner typical of the 1950s and 1970s era.
The growth of the professional graphic design industry has grown in parallel with the rise of consumerism. This has raised some concerns and criticisms, notably from within the graphic design community with the First Things First manifesto. First launched by Ken Garland in 1964, it was re-published as the First Things First 2000 manifesto in 1999 in the magazine Emigre 51 stating "We propose a reversal of priorities in favor of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication - a mindshift away from product marketing and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning. The scope of debate is shrinking; it must expand. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through the visual languages and resources of design." Both editions attracted signatures from respected design practitioners and thinkers, for example; Rudy VanderLans, Erik Spiekermann, Ellen Lupton and Rick Poynor. The 2000 manifesto was also notably published in Adbusters, known for its strong critiques of visual culture.
From road signs to technical schematics, from interoffice memorandums to reference manuals, graphic design enhances transfer of knowledge and visual messages. Readability and legibility is enhanced by improving the visual presentation and layout of text.
Design can also aid in selling a product or idea through effective visual communication. It is applied to products and elements of company identity like logos, colors, packaging, and text. Together these are defined as branding (see also advertising). Branding has increasingly become important in the range of services offered by many graphic designers, alongside corporate identity. Whilst the terms are often used interchangeably, branding is more strictly related to the identifying mark or trade name for a product or service, whereas corporate identity can have a broader meaning relating to the structure and ethos of a company, as well as to the company's external image. Graphic designers will often form part of a team working on corporate identity and branding projects. Other members of that team can include marketing professionals, communications consultants and commercial writers.
Textbooks are designed to present subjects such as geography, science, and math. These publications have layouts which illustrate theories and diagrams. A common example of graphics in use to educate is diagrams of human anatomy. Graphic design is also applied to layout and formatting of educational material to make the information more accessible and more readily understandable.
Graphic design is applied in the entertainment industry in decoration, scenery, and visual story telling. Other examples of design for entertainment purposes include novels, comic books, DVD covers, opening credits and closing credits in filmmaking, and programs and props on stage. This could also include artwork used for t-shirts and other items screenprinted for sale.
From scientific journals to news reporting, the presentation of opinion and facts is often improved with graphics and thoughtful compositions of visual information - known as information design. Newspapers, magazines, blogs, television and film documentaries may use graphic design to inform and entertain. With the advent of the web, information designers with experience in interactive tools such as Adobe Flash are increasingly being used to illustrate the background to news stories.
A graphic design project may involve the stylization and presentation of existing text and either preexisting imagery or images developed by the graphic designer. For example, a newspaper story begins with the journalists and photojournalists and then becomes the graphic designer's job to organize the page into a reasonable layout and determine if any other graphic elements should be required. In a magazine article or advertisement, often the graphic designer or art director will commission photographers or illustrators to create original pieces just to be incorporated into the design layout. Or the designer may utilize stock imagery or photography. Contemporary design practice has been extended to the modern computer, for example in the use of WYSIWYG user interfaces, often referred to as interactive design, or multimedia design.
Before any graphic elements may be applied to a design, the graphic elements must be originated by means of visual art skills. These graphics are often (but not always) developed by a graphic designer. Visual arts include works which are primarily visual in nature using anything from traditional media, to photography or computer generated art. Graphic design principles may be applied to each graphic art element individually as well as to the final composition.
Typography is the art, craft and techniques of type design, modifying type glyphs, and arranging type. Type glyphs (characters) are created and modified using a variety of illustration techniques. The arrangement of type is the selection of typefaces, point size, tracking (the space between all characters used), kerning (the space between two specific characters), and leading (line spacing).
Typography is performed by typesetters, compositors, typographers, graphic artists, art directors, and clerical workers. Until the Digital Age, typography was a specialized occupation. Digitization opened up typography to new generations of visual designers and lay users.
Main article: Page layout
The page layout aspect of graphic design deals with the arrangement of elements (content) on a page, such as image placement, and text layout and style. Beginning from early illuminated pages in hand-copied books of the Middle Ages and proceeding down to intricate modern magazine and catalogue layouts, structured page design has long been a consideration in printed material. With print media, elements usually consist of type (text), images (pictures), and occasionally place-holder graphics for elements that are not printed with ink such as die/laser cutting, foil stamping or blind embossing.
Since the advent of the World Wide Web and computer software development, many graphic designers have become involved in interface design. This has included web design and software design, when end user interactivity is a design consideration of the layout or interface. Combining visual communication skills with the interactive communication skills of user interaction and online branding, graphic designers often work with software developers and web developers to create both the look and feel of a web site or software application and enhance the interactive experience of the user or web site visitor. An important aspect of interface design is icon design.
User experience design
Considers how a user interacts with and responds to an interface, service or product and adjusts it accordingly.
Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing on paper and other materials or surfaces. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable of producing multiples of the same piece, which is called a print. Each piece is not a copy but an original since it is not a reproduction of another work of art and is technically known as an impression. Painting or drawing, on the other hand, create a unique original piece of artwork. Prints are created from a single original surface, known technically as a matrix. Common types of matrices include: plates of metal, usually copper or zinc for engraving or etching; stone, used for lithography; blocks of wood for woodcuts, linoleum for linocuts and fabric plates for screen-printing. But there are many other kinds, discussed below. Works printed from a single plate create an edition, in modern times usually each signed and numbered to form a limited edition. Prints may also be published in book form, as artist's books. A single print could be the product of one or multiple techniques.
The pencil is one of the most basic graphic design tools.
The mind may be the most important graphic design tool. Aside from technology, graphic design requires judgment and creativity. Critical, observational, quantitative and analytic thinking are required for design layouts and rendering. If the executor is merely following a solution (e.g. sketch, script or instructions) provided by another designer (such as an art director), then the executor is not usually considered the designer.
The method of presentation (e.g. arrangement, style, medium) may be equally important to the design. The layout is produced using external traditional or digital image editing tools. The appropriate development and presentation tools can substantially change how an audience perceives a project.
In the mid 1980s, the arrival of desktop publishing and graphic art software applications introduced a generation of designers to computer image manipulation and creation that had previously been manually executed. Computer graphic design enabled designers to instantly see the effects of layout or typographic changes, and to simulate the effects of traditional media without requiring a lot of space. However, traditional tools such as pencils or markers are useful even when computers are used for finalization; a designer or art director may hand sketch numerous concepts as part of the creative process. Some of these sketches may even be shown to a client for early stage approval, before the designer develops the idea further using a computer and graphic design software tools.
Computers are considered an indispensable tool in the graphic design industry. Computers and software applications are generally seen by creative professionals as more effective production tools than traditional methods. However, some designers continue to use manual and traditional tools for production, such as Milton Glaser.
New ideas can come by way of experimenting with tools and methods. Some designers explore ideas using pencil and paper. Others use many different mark-making tools and resources from computers to sculpture as a means of inspiring creativity. One of the key features of graphic design is that it makes a tool out of appropriate image selection in order to possibly convey meaning.
Computers and the creative process
There is some debate whether computers enhance the creative process of graphic design. Rapid production from the computer allows many designers to explore multiple ideas quickly with more detail than what could be achieved by traditional hand-rendering or paste-up on paper, moving the designer through the creative process more quickly. However, being faced with limitless choices does not help isolate the best design solution and can lead to endless iterations with no clear design outcome.
A graphic designer may use sketches to explore multiple or complex ideas quickly without the distractions and complications of software. Hand-rendered comps are often used to get approval for an idea execution before a designer invests time to produce finished visuals on a computer or in paste-up. The same thumbnail sketches or rough drafts on paper may be used to rapidly refine and produce the idea on the computer in a hybrid process. This hybrid process is especially useful in logo design where a software learning curve may detract from a creative thought process. The traditional-design/computer-production hybrid process may be used for freeing one's creativity in page layout or image development as well. In the early days of computer publishing, many "traditional" graphic designers relied on computer-savvy production artists to produce their ideas from sketches, without needing to learn the computer skills themselves. However, this practice has been increasingly less common since the advent of desktop publishing over 30 years ago. The use of computers and graphics software is now taught in most graphic design courses.
Nearly all of the popular and "industry standard" software programs used for graphic design since the early 1990s are products of Adobe Systems Incorporated. They are Adobe Photoshop (a raster-based program for photo editing), Adobe Illustrator (a vector-based program for drawing), Adobe InDesign (a page layout program), and Adobe Dreamweaver (for Web page design). Another major page layout tool is QuarkXpress (a product of Quark, Inc., a separate company from Adobe). Both QuarkXpress and Adobe InDesign are often used in the final stage of the electronic design process. Raster images may have been edited in Adobe Photoshop, logos and illustrations in Adobe Illustrator, and the final product assembled in one of the major page layout programs. Most graphic designers entering the field since about 1990 are expected to be proficient in at least one or two of these programs.
Graphic Design Occupations
Graphic design career paths cover all ends of the creative spectrum and often overlap. The main job responsibility of a Graphic Designer is the arrangement of visual elements in some type of media. The main job titles within the industry can vary and are often country specific. They can include graphic designer, art director, creative director, and the entry level production artist. Depending on the industry served, the responsibilities may have different titles such as "DTP Associate" or "Graphic Artist", but despite changes in title, graphic design principles remain consistent. The responsibilities may come from, or lead to, specialized skills such as illustration, photography or interactive design. Today's graduating graphic design students are normally exposed to all of these areas of graphic design and urged to become familiar with all of them as well in order to be competitive.
Graphic designers can work in a variety of environments. Whilst many will work within companies devoted specifically to the industry, such as design consultancies or branding agencies, others may work within publishing, marketing or other communications companies. Increasingly, especially since the introduction of personal computers to the industry, many graphic designers have found themselves working within non-design oriented organizations, as in-house designers. Graphic designers may also work as free-lance designers, working on their own terms, prices, ideas, etc.
A graphic designer reports to the art director, creative director or senior media creative. As a designer becomes more senior, they may spend less time designing media and more time leading and directing other designers on broader creative activities, such as brand development and corporate identity development. They are often expected to interact more directly with clients, for example taking and interpreting briefs.
Business Card Definition
Business cards are cards bearing business information about a company or individual. They are shared during formal introductions as a convenience and a memory aid. A business card typically includes the giver's name, company affiliation (usually with a logo) and contact information such as street addresses, telephone number(s), fax number, e-mail addresses and website. It can also include telex, bank account and tax code. Traditionally many cards were simple black text on white stock; today a professional business card will sometimes include one or more aspects of striking visual design.
3 Global variations
4 Other formats
5 Special materials
6 Business card software
9 See also
Business cards are printed on some form of card stock, the visual effect, method of printing, cost and other details varying according to cultural or organizational norms and personal preferences. The common weight of a business card varies some by location. Generally, business cards are printed on stock that is 350 g/m² (density), 45 kg (100 lb) (weight), or 12 pt (thickness).
High quality business cards without full-color photographs are normally printed using spot colors on sheet-fed offset printing presses. Some companies have gone so far as to trademark their spot colors (examples are UPS brown, Los Angeles Lakers' purple, and Tide's orange). If a business card logo is a single color and the type is another color, the process is considered two color. More spot colors can be added depending on the needs of the card. With the onset of digital printing, and batch printing, it is now cost effective to print business cards in full color.
To simulate the "raised-print" effect of printing with engraved plates, a less-expensive process called thermography was developed that uses the application of a plastic powder, which adheres to the wet ink. The cards are then passed through a heating unit, which melts the plastic onto the card. Spot UV varnish onto matte laminate can also have a similar effect.
Full color cards, or cards that use many colors, are printed on sheetfed presses as well; however, they use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) four-color printing process. Screens of each color overprinted on one another create a wide gamut of color. The downside to this printing method is that screened colors if examined closely will reveal tiny dots, whereas spot color cards are printed solid in most cases. Spot colors should be used for simple cards with line art or non-black type that is smaller than 5 points.
Some terminology in reference to full-color printing:
4/0 - Full Color Front / No Print On Back
4/1 - Full Color Front / One color On reverse
4/4 - Full Color Front / Full Color Back
These names are pronounced as "four over zero," "four over one," or in some cases "four over four".
A business card can also be coated with a UV glossy coat (offset-uv printing). The coat is applied just like another ink using an additional unit on a sheetfed press. That being said, UV coats can also be applied as a spot coating - meaning areas can be coated, and other areas can be left uncoated. This creates additional design potential.
Business cards can also be printed with a digital copier, which uses toner fused onto the surface of the card, however many modern printing firms instead utilise high end "Digital Presses," now distinct from office copiers, which range from light production units such as the Bizhub 5500 from Konica Minolta, to state of the art units such as the latest HP Indigo Digital Presses.
While some of the older office copiers may have had problems running heavy business card stock, the newest digital presses can print on stock as heavy as 407 g/m2 (150# cover stock), and special substrates such as polypropylene. Available in both sheet-fed and web-fed models, many modern digital presses can emulate Pantone spot colours, print in up to seven colours in one pass, and some even contain embedded spectrophotometers and air-assisted feeding systems.
UV coats, and other coatings such as Aqueous Coatings are used to speed manufacturing of the cards. Cards that are not dry will "offset" which means the ink from the front of one card will end up on the back of the next one. UV coatings are generally highly glossy but are more likely to fingerprint, while aqueous coatings are not noticeable but increase the life of the card. It is possible to use a dull aqueous coating on uncoated stock and get some very durable uncoated cards, and using UV coating or plastic lamination can also be applied to thicken thin stocked cards and make them more durable as well.
When cards are designed, they are given bleeds if color extends to the edge of the finished cut size. (A bleed is the extension of printed lines or colors beyond the line where the paper it is printed on will be cut.) This is to help ensure that the paper will cut without white edges due to very small differences in where the blade cuts the cards, and it is almost impossible to cut the cards properly without. Just being a hair off can result in white lines, and the blade itself will pull the paper while cutting. The image on the paper can also shift from page to page which is called a bounce, which is generally off by a hairline on an offset press, but can be quite large on lower end equipment such as a copier or a duplicator press. Bleeds are typically an extra 3.175 (1⁄8) to 6.35 mm (1⁄4 in) to all sides of the card.
Bleed size: 95.25 × 57.15 mm (3.75 × 2.25 in) (1⁄8 in bleeds)
Standard cut size: 89 × 51 mm (3.5 × 2 in)
Bleed size: 91 × 61 mm (3.58 × 2.40 in)
Standard cut size: 85 × 55 mm (3.35 × 2.17 in)
Fold-over or "tent" cards, and side fold cards are popular as well. Generally these cards will fold to the standard size.
For non-English locales, cards can also be printed with English on one side and a local non-English language on the other.
A Japanese business card is called a meishi (名刺?). It typically features the company name at the top in the largest print, followed by the job title and then the name of the individual. This information is usually written in kanji on one side and Latin characters on the reverse. Other important contact information is usually provided, such as business address, phone number and fax number. Meishi may also contain a QR code to provide contact details in a machine-readable form, but this has not yet become a widespread practice. According to a 2007 survey, fewer than 3% of Japanese people own a meishi with a QR code printed on it.
The presentation of one's meishi to another person is more formal and ritualistic than in the Western world. The card should be held at the bottom two corners, face up and turned so that it can be read by the person receiving the meishi, who takes it by the top two corners using both hands. Placing one's fingers over the name or other information is considered rude. Upon receiving the meishi, one is expected to read the card over, noting the person's name and rank. One should then thank the other person, saying "choudai itashimasu" or "choudai shimasu", and then bow. When meishi are being exchanged between parties with different status, such as between the president of a company and someone in middle management, it is proper that the person of lower status extend his or her business card in such a way that it is underneath or below the meishi being extended by the person in a higher position.
Meishi should be kept in a smart leather case where they will not become warm or worn, both of which are considered a sign of disrespect or thoughtlessness. A received meishi should not be written on or placed in a pocket; it is considered proper to file the meishi at the rear of the leather case. If the meishi is being presented at a table, the recipient keeps the meishi on top of the leather case until they leave the table. If several people are involved in the meeting and one receives several meishi, the one with the highest rank is kept on the leather case, and the others beside it, on the table.
The manner in which the recipient treats the presenter's meishi is indicative of how the recipient will treat the presenter. Actions such as folding the card in half, or placing the presenter's meishi in one's back pocket, are regarded as insults.
Business card size CD.
Various technological advances made Compact Disc "business cards" possible, which could hold about 35 to 100 MB of data. These Business Card CDs may be square, round or oblong but are approximately the same size as a conventional business card. CD business cards are designed to fit within the 80 mm tray of a computer's CD-ROM drive. They are playable in most tray computer CD drives, but do not work in slot-loading drives. Despite the ability to include dynamic presentations and a great deal of data, these discs were never in common use as business cards, though they are still available.
With handheld computers and smartphones becoming more ubiquitous, business card data is increasingly exchanged electronically via direct wireless connections (e.g. infra-red, Bluetooth, RFID), SMS, or specialized apps (e.g. Bump). Once again however, these new methods of transmitting business information have yet to completely replace the traditional physical business card.
Apart from common business cards made of paper/card there are also special business cards made from plastic (PVC), especially frosted translucent plastic, crystal clear plastic, white or metallic plastic. Other extraordinary materials are metal, rubberized cards, rubber, magnets, poker chips, wooden nickels, and even real wood. For the most part those special material business cards are of standard format, sometimes with rounded corners. These new materials are popular among companies that wish a unique and eye-catching look.
Business card software
Business cards can be mass produced by a printshop or printed at home using business card software. Such software typically contains design, layout tools, and text editing tools for designing one's business cards. Most business card software integrates with other software (like mail clients or address books) to eliminate the need of entering contact data manually. Cards are usually printed on business card stock or saved in an electronic form and sent to a printshop. Multiple programs are available for users of Linux, Mac and Windows platforms.
In addition to business card software, many printing firms now offer a web-to-print service, which allows the customer to choose from a selection of stock design templates, customise online using their own logos and imagery, select quantities, view pricing options and request them for delivery to home or business addresses. Often this process is applied not only to business cards, but also to letterheads, notepads, labels and compliments slips.
There are several hundred known collectors of business cards, especially antique cards, celebrity cards, or cards made of unusual materials. One of the major business card collectors' clubs is the International Business Card Collectors, IBCC. IBCC members exchange cards with other members, simply for the price of postage. Collectors often shorten the words "business card" to BC to make e-mail discussion easier.
A logo is a graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition. Logos are either purely graphic (symbols/icons) or are composed of the name of the organization (a logotype or wordmark).
In the days of hot metal typesetting, a logotype was a uniquely set and arranged typeface or colophon. At the level of mass communication and in common usage a company's logo is today often synonymous with its trademark or brand.
2 Contemporary logos
3 Logo design
3.1 Logo design process
3.2 Dynamic logos
3.3 Internet-compatible logos
4.1 Corporations, businesses and products
5 Design protection
7 See also
10 External links
Numerous inventions and techniques have contributed to the contemporary logo, including cylinder seals (c.2300 BCE), coins (c.600 BCE), trans-cultural diffusion of logographic languages, coats of arms, watermarks, silver hallmarks and the development of printing technology.
As the industrial revolution converted western societies from agrarian to industrial in the 18th and 19th centuries, photography and lithography contributed to the boom of an advertising industry that integrated typography and imagery together on the page. Simultaneously, typography itself was undergoing a revolution of form and expression that expanded beyond the modest, serif typefaces used in books, to bold, ornamental typefaces used on broadsheet posters.
The arts were expanding in purpose—from expression and decoration of an artistic, storytelling nature, to a differentiation of brands and products that the growing middle classes were consuming. Consultancies and trades-groups in the commercial arts were growing and organizing; by 1890 the US had 700 lithographic printing firms employing more than 8,000 people. Artistic credit tended to be assigned to the lithographic company, as opposed to the individual artists.
A coin from early 6th century BC Lydia bearing the head of a roaring lion with sun rays
Innovators in the visual arts and lithographic process—such as French printing firm Rouchon in the 1840s, Joseph Morse of New York in the 1850s, Frederick Walker of England in the 1870s, and Jules Chéret of France in the 1870s—developed an illustrative style that went beyond tonal, representational art to figurative imagery with sections of bright, flat colors. Playful children’s books, authoritative newspapers, and conversational periodicals developed their own visual and editorial styles for unique, expanding audiences. As printing costs decreased, literacy rates increased, and visual styles changed, the Victorian decorative arts lead to an expansion of typographic styles and methods of representing businesses.
The First logo to be trademarked was the Bass red triangle in 1876
The Arts and Crafts Movement of late-19th century, partially in response to the excesses of Victorian typography, aimed to restore an honest sense of craftsmanship to the mass-produced goods of the era. A renewal of interest in craftsmanship and quality also provided the artists and companies with a greater interest in credit, leading to the creation of unique logos and marks.
By the 1950s, Modernism had shed its roots as an avant-garde artistic movement in Europe to become an international, commercialized movement with adherents in the United States and elsewhere. The visual simplicity and conceptual clarity that were the hallmarks of Modernism as an artistic movement formed a powerful toolset for a new generation of graphic designers whose logos embodied Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s dictum, "Less is more." Modernist-inspired logos proved successful in the era of mass visual communication ushered in by television, improvements in printing technology, and digital innovations.
Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems
The current era of logo design began in the 1870s with the first abstract logo, the Bass red triangle. Today there are many corporations, products, brands, services, agencies and other entities using an ideogram (sign, icon) or an emblem (symbol) or a combination of sign and emblem as a logo. As a result, only a few of the thousands of ideograms people see are recognized without a name. An effective logo may consist of both an ideogram and the company name (logotype) to emphasize the name over the graphic, and employ a unique design via the use of letters, colors, and additional graphic elements.
The Coca-Cola logo is identifiable in other languages, here written in Cyrillic.
Ideograms and symbols may be more effective than written names (logotypes), especially for logos translated into many alphabets in increasingly globalized markets. For instance, a name in the Arabic language would be of little help in most European markets. By contrast, ideograms keep the general proprietary nature of the product in both markets. In non-profit areas, the Red Cross (known also as Red Crescent in Muslim countries and Red Star of David in Israel) is an example of a well known emblem that does not need an accompanying name. The red cross and red crescent are among the best recognized symbols in the world. On their own, they signify protection of medical personnel in war time, dating back 150 years. They also signify the protection of victims of armed conflict and those who try to help them. National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and their Federation as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross include these symbols in their logos.
Branding aims to facilitate cross-language marketing. The Coca-Cola logo can be identified in any language because of its standard color and well known "ribbon wave" design.
Logo design is an important area of graphic design, and one of the most difficult to perfect. The logo (ideogram), is the image embodying an organization. Because logos are meant to represent companies' brands or corporate identities and foster their immediate customer recognition, it is counterproductive to frequently redesign logos.
Color is considered important to brand recognition, but it should not be an integral component to the logo design, which could conflict with its functionality. Some colors are formed/associated with certain emotions that the designer wants to convey. For instance loud primary colors, such as red, are meant to attract the attention of drivers on highways are appropriate for companies that require such attention. In the United States red, white, and blue are often used in logos for companies that want to project patriotic feelings. Green is often associated with the health and hygiene sector, and light blue or silver is often used to reflect diet foods. For other brands, more subdued tones and lower saturation can communicate reliability, quality, relaxation, or other traits.
The logo design profession has substantially increased in numbers over the years since the rise of the Modernist movement in the United States in the 1950s. Three designers are widely considered the pioneers of that movement and of logo and corporate identity design: The first is Chermayeff & Geismar, which is the firm responsible for a large number of iconic logos, such as Chase Bank (1964), Mobil Oil (1965), PBS (1984), NBC (1986), National Geographic (2003) and others. Due to the simplicity and boldness of their designs, many of their earlier logos are still in use today. The firm recently designed logos for the Library of Congress and the fashion brand Armani Exchange. Another pioneer of corporate identity design is Paul Rand, who was one of the originators of the Swiss Style of graphic design. He designed many posters and corporate identities, including the logos for IBM, UPS, and ABC. The third pioneer of corporate identity design is Saul Bass. Bass was responsible for several recognizable logos in North America, including both the Bell Telephone logo (1969) and successor AT&T Corporation globe (1983). Other well-known designs were Continental Airlines (1968), Dixie (1969), and United Way (1972). Later, he would produce logos for a number of Japanese companies as well. Charmayeff, Rand and Bass all died in 1996.
Logo design process
Designing a good logo is not a simple task and requires a lot of involvement from the marketing team and the design agency (if outsourced). It requires clear idea about the concept and values of the brand as well as understanding of the consumer or target group as marketers call. Broad step in logo design process would be formulating concept, doing initial sketch, finalizing the logo concept, deciding the theme colors and format.
Nunc est bibendum (now is the time to drink), 1898 poster of the Michelin.
In 1898 the French tire manufacturer Michelin introduced the Michelin Man, a cartoon figure presented in many different contexts, such as eating, drinking and playing sports.
The MTV logo. It has been modified to include images within the black areas from time to time.
By the early 21st century, large corporations such as MTV, Google, Morton Salt and Saks Fifth Avenue had adopted dynamic logos that change over time from setting to setting.
A company that use logotypes (wordmarks) may desire a logo that matches the firm's Internet Address. For short logotypes consisting of two or three characters, multiple companies are found to employ the same letters. A "CA" logo, for example, is used by the French Bank Credit Agricole, the Dutch Clothing Retailer C&A and the US Software Corporation CA Technologies, but only one can have the internet domain name CA.com.
In today's interface adaptive world, the use of a logo will be formatted and re-formatted from large monitors to small handheld devices. With the constant size change and re-formatting, logo designers are shifting to a more bold and simple approach, with heavy lines and shapes, and solid colors. This reduces the confusion when mingled with other logos in tight spaces and when stretched and squeezed between mediums.
Corporations, businesses and products
Due to the design, the color, the shape, and eventually additional elements of the logotype, each one can easily be differentiated from other logotypes. For example, a box of Kellogg's cereals will be easily recognized in a supermarket's shelf from a certain distance, due to its unique typography and distinctive red coloring. The same will be true when one is at the airport looking for the booth of the Hertz Rent-A-Car company.
Some well-known logos include Apple Inc.'s apple with a bite taken out, which started out as a rainbow of color, and has been reduced to a single color without any loss of recognition. Coca-Cola's script is known worldwide, but is best associated with the color red; its main competitor, Pepsi has taken the color blue, although they have abandoned their script logo. IBM, also known as "Big Blue" has simplified their logo over the years, and their name. What started as International Business Machines is now just "IBM" and the color blue has been a signature in their unifying campaign as they have moved to become an IT services company.
There are some other logos that must be mentioned when evaluating what the mark means to the consumer. Automotive brands can be summed up simply with their corporate logo—from the Chevrolet "Bow Tie" mark to the roundel marks of Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, to the interlocking "RR" of Rolls-Royce—each has stood for a brand and clearly differentiated the product line.
Other logos that are recognized globally: the Nike "Swoosh" and the Adidas "Three stripes" are two well-known brands that are defined by their corporate logo. When Phil Knight started Nike, he was hoping to find a mark as recognizable as the Adidas stripes, which also provided reinforcement to the shoe. He hired a young student (Carolyn Davidson) to design his logo, paying her $35 for what has become one of the best known marks in the world (she was later compensated again by the company).
Another logo of global renown is that of Playboy Enterprises. Playboy magazine claims it once received a letter at its Chicago, Illinois offices with its distinctive "bunny" logo as the only identifying mark, appearing where the mailing address normally appears.
Corporate identities are often developed by large firms who specialize in this type of work. However, Paul Rand is considered the father of corporate identity and his work has been seminal in launching this field. Some examples of his work were the UPS package with a string (replaced in March 2003 with the "shield"), IBM and NeXT Computer.
An interesting case is the refinement of the FedEx logo, where the brand consultants convinced the company to shorten their corporate name and logo from "Federal Express" to the popular abbreviation "Fed Ex". Besides creating a shorter brand name, they reduced the amount of color used on vehicles (planes, trucks) and saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in paint costs. Also, the right-pointing arrow in the new logo hints at motion.
Recent registration at Logo of Facebook Inc.
Starting about four years ago, certain companies, especially online technology companies, began to adopt a common look and feel. Many people refer to that standard as "web 2.0", but there is no official "web 2.0" standard. Web 2.0 logos often use small chunks of large type, with bright and cheery colors. Although there are literally hundreds of fonts used by web 2.0 companies, the logos are generally dominated by soft, rounded san serif fonts such as VAG Rounded (Crowdspring) and Helvetica Rounded (Skype). There are, however, numerous exceptions, as some web 2.0 companies have used classic fonts (Trade, News Gothic, Frutiger, Helvetica), while others have chosen to differentiate completely, using custom lettering like (Facebook).
Logos and their design may be protected by copyright, via various Intellectual Property organisations worldwide which make available application procedures to register a design to give it protection at law. For example in the UK, the Intellectual Property Office (United Kingdom) govern registered desgins, patents and trademarks. Ordinarily the trademark registration will not 'make claim' to colours used, meaning it is the visual design that will be protected, even if it is reproduced in a variety of other colours or backgrounds.
For many teams, a logo is an important way to recognize a team's history and can intimidate opponents. For certain teams, the logo and colour scheme are synonymous with the team's players. For example; the Toronto Maple Leafs, Cleveland Indians, or New York Yankees all have highly recognizable logos that can be recognized by nearly any fan of the respective sport.