Design through the ages...

  • Jun 19, 1000

    Cave symbol's

    Cave symbol's
    Cave painting from Lascaux, c. 15,000–10,000 BCE. Random placement and shifting scale signify prehistoric people's lack of structure and sequence in recording their experiences.
  • Jun 19, 1000

    Early prehistoric markings

    It is the prehistoric world where we find early human marking, found in Africa that are over 2000 years old. Throughout the world prehistoric people where know to leave numares petroglyphs which are carved or scratched symbols in rock.
    the earliest written records that have been found are on tablets that list commodities by pictographic drawings of objects.
  • Jun 19, 1000

    Archaic Tablet

    Archaic Tablet
    Archaic tablet fragment from the late fourth millennium BCE. The drilled hole denotes a number, and the pictographs represent animals in this transaction of sheep and goats.
  • Jun 19, 1000

    Petroglyphic Figures

    Petroglyphic Figures
    Found carved and sometimes painted on rocks in the western United States, these petroglyphic figures, animals, and signs are similar to those found all over the world.
  • Jun 19, 1000

    Blau Monument

    Blau Monument
    The Blau monument, early Sumerian, third quarter, fourth millennium BCE. Etched writing and carved relief figures are combined on this early shale artifact.
  • Jun 19, 1000

    Ur III period

    Ur III period
    Ur III period, dated to Amar-Sin (2039 BCE) in Sumerian. Balanced silver account of Ur-Dumuzi, the merchant.
  • Jun 19, 1001

    Early visual language

    Now that civilizations have been evolving, the writing systems have changed drastically. Early visual language systems, including cuneiform, hieroglyphics, and wirtten chinese, contained a built in complexity.
    Since we don't know the alphabets inventors we can asume that the Northwest semitic people are believed to be the source. Geography and commerce wield were a great influence on the people. Even the development of te alphabet may have been an act of geometry.
  • Jun 19, 1001

    Western Alphabets

    Western Alphabets
    This diagram displays several evolutionary steps of Western alphabets. The controversial theory linking early Cretan pictographs to alphabets is based on similarities in their appearance.
  • Jun 19, 1001

    Etruscan Bucchero vase

    Etruscan Bucchero vase
    Etruscan Bucchero vase, seventh or sixth century BCE. A prototype of an educational toy, this rooster-shaped toy jug is inscribed with the Etruscan alphabet.
  • Jun 19, 1001

    Gujarati Type Foundry,

    Gujarati Type Foundry,
    Gujarati Type Foundry, Bombay. 1930. Indian Sanskrit type.
  • Jun 19, 1001

    Bodoni

    Bodoni
    Giambattista Bodoni, page from Manuale tipografico, 1818. Arabic type specimen.
  • Jun 19, 1001

    Korean Woodblock

    Korean woodblock book translation, c. eighteenth century, of The Interpretation of Mencius's Theory by Liu Chunji (1607–1675). Reading from right to left and top to bottom, single Chinese symbols are followed by Korean alphabetic translations.
  • Jun 19, 1002

    The Asian Controbution

    Western civilization dawned from obscure sources along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia and along the course of the Nile River in Egypt. Paper, a magnificent and economical substrate for transmitting information, and printing, the duplication of words and images, made possible the wide communication of thought and deed.
  • Jun 19, 1002

    Chinese Calligraphy

    Similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics and Mayan writing in Central America, the Chinese writing system is a purely visual language. It is not alphabetical, and every symbol is composed of a number of differently shaped lines within an imaginary square. The earliest known Chinese writing is called chiaku-wen, or “bone-and-shell” script used from 1800 to 1200 bce. It was closely bound to the art of divination, an effort to foretell future events through communication with the gods
  • Jun 19, 1002

    The invention of paper

    Records say that the invention of paper was by a eunuch and high governmental official Ts'ai Lun. It is unknown whether he really did invent it or not though. However he was named the god of papermaking.
  • Jun 19, 1002

    The Love of Lotus

    The Love of Lotus
    Shi Tao, the Love of Lotus landscape, Qing dynasty. Simple and refined, the painting displays both personal expression and reality.
  • Jun 19, 1002

    Album of Eight Leaves

    Album of Eight Leaves
    Li Fangying (1696–1755), from Album of Eight Leaves, ink on paper, Qing dynasty, 1744. The design of the total page, with the bamboo bending out into the open space in contrast to the erect column of writing, ranks among the most outstanding examples of Chinese art.
  • Jun 19, 1002

    Li-shu tablet

    Li-shu tablet
    Li-shu tablet of Hua Shan Pagoda, example of Han style from Eastern Han Dynasty (165 CE). Each character displays well-balanced and elegant strokes.
  • Jun 19, 1002

    Zhao Meng-fu

    Zhao Meng-fu
    Zhao Meng-fu, a goat and sheep, fourteenth century CE. Chops were used to imprint the names of owners or viewers of a painting.
  • Jun 19, 1002

    Li (three-legged pottery vessel)

    Li (three-legged pottery vessel)
    Li (three-legged pottery vessel), late Neolithic period. The evolution of the calligraphic character Li stemmed from this pot: oracle bone pictograph; bronze script, 1000 BCE; and regular style, 200 BCE.
  • Jun 20, 1003

    Illuminated Manuscripts

    Gold Leaf with vibrant luminosity that reflected light from handwritten pages gave the sensation of it actually being illuminated. This is how Illuminated manuscript got its name. We use this name today for all decorated or illustrated handwritten books that were produced from very late in the Roman Empire until printing replaced these wonderful manuscripts. The production of these lovely manuscripts was very costly and very time consuming. It took hours to prepare parchment and vellum.
  • Jun 20, 1004

    The Vatican Vergil

    The Vatican Vergil
    The Vatican Vergil, the death of Laocoön, early fifth century CE. Two scenes from the life of Laocoön are shown in one illustration.
  • Jun 20, 1004

    Coronation Gospels

    Coronation Gospels
    Coronation Gospels, opening pages of Saint Mark's Gospel, c. 800 CE. The author sits in a natural landscape on a page of deep crimson-stained parchment; the facing page is stained a deep purple with gold lettering.
  • Jun 20, 1004

    The Book of Durrow

    The Book of Durrow
    The Book of Durrow, the man, symbol of Matthew, 680 CE. As flat as a cubist painting and constructed from simple geometric forms, this figure, facing the opening of the Gospel of Saint Matthew, wears a checkered pattern of red, yellow, and green squares and tile-like patterned textures.
  • Jun 20, 1047

    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the Beatus of Fernando and Sancha, 1047 CE. Unlike other interpreters of the Apocalypse, Beatus saw the first horseman as God's envoy, whose arrows pierce the hearts of nonbelievers.
  • Jun 20, 1340

    Savoy Book of Hours

    Savoy Book of Hours
    Page spread from the Savoy Book of Hours, Paris c. 1334–1340. Illuminated and written in French and Latin and on parchment.
  • Jun 20, 1400

    Jack of Diamonds

    Jack of Diamonds
    Jack of Diamonds, woodblock playing card, c. 1400. The flat, stylized design conventions of playing cards have changed little in over five hundred years. Visual signs to designate the suits began as the four classes of medieval society. Hearts signified the clergy; spades (derived from the Italian spada [sword]) stood for the nobility; the leaflike club represented the peasantry; and diamonds denoted the burghers.
  • Jun 20, 1454

    Johann Gutenberg

    Johann Gutenberg
    Johann Gutenberg, thirty-one-line letters of indulgence, c. 1454. The written additions in this copy indicate that on the last day of December 1454, one Judocus Ott von Apspach was pardoned of his sins.
  • Jun 20, 1459

    Rationale Divinorum Officiorum

    Rationale Divinorum Officiorum
    Jan Fust and Peter Schoeffer, page from Rationale Divinorum Officiorum, 1459. The innovative small type is combined with wonderfully intricate printed red and blue initials that evidence the early printer's efforts to mimic the design of the manuscript book.
  • Jun 20, 1470

    Pages from Ars Memorandi per Figuras Evangelistarum

    Pages from Ars Memorandi per Figuras Evangelistarum
    Pages from Ars Memorandi per Figuras Evangelistarum (Book of Notable Religious Figures), c. 1470. Each image became a visual cue for the speaker and a symbolic illustration for the audience.
  • Gutenberg's system for casting type

    Gutenberg's system for casting type
    These early-nineteenth-century engravings illustrate Gutenberg's system for casting type. A steel punch is used to stamp an impression of the letterform into a softer brass matrix. After the matrix is slipped into the bottom of the two-part type mold, the mold is filled with the molten lead alloy to cast a piece of type. After the lead alloy cools, the type mold is opened and the type is removed.
  • Saville Lumley

    Saville Lumley
    Saville Lumley, “Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?” poster, 1914. The direct appeal to sentimentality and patriotism is illustrated in this family scene.
  • Martinez Ortiz

    Martinez Ortiz
    Martinez Ortiz, “Discipline,” poster, c. 1937. This Nationalist poster is a clear expression of brute power.
  • The New York School

    Artist's and designers alike saw steps to modern design in the 1940's. As American artists they added new forms and concepts as well as freely borrowing from European designers. Their were a lot of differences though, to American and European design. While European's was often more theoretical and highly structured, American design was more pragmatic , intuituve and less formal. The center of most of this creativity was in New York City during the mid 20th century.
  • Paul Rand

    Paul Rand
    Paul Rand, cover for Direction magazine, December 1940. The red dots are symbolically ambiguous, becoming holiday decorations or blood drops.
  • Niklaus Stoecklin,

    Niklaus Stoecklin,
    Niklaus Stoecklin, Bi-Oro poster, 1941. Beneath a pair of sunglasses, the tube of sunscreen lotion becomes a nose.
  • Paul Rand

    Paul Rand
    Paul Rand, cover for Thoughts on Design, 1946. A photogram, with several exposures of an abacus placed on photographic paper in the darkroom, becomes a metaphor of the design process—moving elements around to compose space—and provides a visual record of the process.
  • Alvin Lustig

    Alvin Lustig
    Alvin Lustig, cover for Tennessee Williams's 27 Wagons Full of Cotton, 1949. Lustig understood the frail human spirit and brutal environmental forces articulated in Williams's plays.
  • Alex Steinweiss

    Alex Steinweiss
    Alex Steinweiss, album cover for Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, 1949. This collage of diverse elements typifies Steinweiss's album covers.
  • The International Typographic Style

    A design movement had suddenly emerged in the 1950's. It was actually being called Swiss design (most likely because it originated from Switzerland and Germany), but it's most likly known as the International Typographic Style. Some of the charateristics that this style included was a unity of design and was acheived by asymmetrical organization, verbal and visual information of photography and copy, anything that was free from propoganda and advertising.
  • Max Huber

    Max Huber
    Max Huber, yearbook cover, 1951. An informal balance of halftones printed in red, black, and blue combines with yellow rectangles to turn the space into an energy-charged field.
  • Adrian Frutiger

    Adrian Frutiger
    Adrian Frutiger, schematic diagram of the twenty-one Univers fonts, 1954. Frutiger systematically altered the forms of fonts located on this chart above, below, and to the left or right of Univers 55.
  • Armin Hoffmann

    Armin Hoffmann
    Armin Hofmann, logotype for the Basel Civic Theater, 1954. This hand-lettered logotype anticipates the tight spacing and capital ligatures of phototypography. The control of spatial intervals between letterforms is magnificent.
  • Ernst Keller

    Ernst Keller
    Ernst Keller, poster for the Rietberg Museum, 1955. Emblematic images are energized by repetitive geometric elements.
  • Bradbury Thompson

    Bradbury Thompson
    Bradbury Thompson, pages from Westvaco Inspirations 210, 1958. A multiple-exposure photograph of a saxophone player is reversed from a black circle on the left and overprinted in primary colors on the right.
  • Hermann Zapf

    Hermann Zapf
    Hermann Zapf, page from Manuale Typographicum, 1968. Jan Parandowski's thoughts concerning the power of the printed word to “govern time and space” inspired this graphic field of tension radiating from a central cluster.