Chapter One: Publication Design Within an Historical Context
Understand how written language and publishing evolved over time.
Appreciate how changing technologies have affected publication design.
Learn about important publication designers and how they have influenced the development of publication design.
Primitive Communication of the Middle Ages
The ancient Egyptians developed a writing system of hieroglyphics and combined words with imagery in early manuscripts painted on papyrus.
Cuneiform symbols evolved from pictograms to more abstract symbols and were carved into clay with a reed stylus. These tablets, sun-dried or baked in kilns, serve as a record of ancient cultures.
Typographic letterforms evolved over time from Phoenician alphabet to the letterforms we know today.
During the Middle Ages, religious scholars preserved the written word by producing early Christian doctrines called illuminated manuscripts.
Renaissance to Industrial
• Mass production of the printed word became possible with Gutenberg’s invention of movable type which he used on a crude press. The publications Gutenberg printed included the Bible.
• In the late nineteenth century, lithography came into use as a means of printing color imagery. This method was used to print posters by artists such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Twentieth Century Graphic Reproduction and Design
Technological advances in color printing allowed magazine design to flourish in the early twentieth century in the hands of art directors such as Alexey Brodovitch.
Magazine Art Directors
By the mid part of the twentieth century, New York City had become an influential design and publishing community where magazine art directors such as Cipe Pinelles, Ottos Storch and George Lois made their mark.
In the 1960s, technological advances in typesetting gave publication designers more flexibility in working with type. In addition to designing magazine, designers such as Herb Lubalin also designed fonts.
Computer’s Influence on Typography
Computer technology allowed even more advances in typographic manipulation as evidenced by David Carson’s typographic experiments in Beach Culture and Ray Gun magazines.
Computer’s Influence on Imagery
In addition to type manipulation, computers allowed designers to layer and manipulate imagery. Designer April Greiman was one of the first to experiment with imagery in this way.
• Publishing combines words and images in a multi-page format
• Graphic communication dates back to prehistoric times
• Early communication was based on symbols, symbols evolved into alphabets
• During the Middle Ages, religious scribes produced illuminated manuscripts
• The first printing with movable type was done by Gutenberg during the
• Letterpress, gravure and lithography were printing methods used in the 19 th
• During the 20 th century, offset lithography became the printing method of choice
• Magazine design flourished in New York City during the 20 th century
• The computer has given designers greater flexibility to work with imagery and