Graphic Design A New History, written by Stephen J. Eskilson covers the history of graphic design, from the expansion of graphic design in the 19th century to contemporary graphic design. In the preface of this book, Eskilson addresses the significance of digital technology:
“This book emerged in the context of the radical changes that have revolutionized graphic design over the last few years. Digital technology, which had already substantially influenced the field for two decades has transformed the way in which many designers conceive of and execute their work” (Eskilson, 10).
Even though Eskilson talks about digital technology and the development of it, and there are parts that this book introduces contemporary(digital) graphic design around the 90s and 2000s, I personally find the content for these chapters are little informationally lacking compared to the other parts of the graphic design history (understandable since the book was published in early 2010s). We live in an era where smartphones and internet, social media are part of our lives. Due to these enhancements of digital technology, the trend and the technology used for graphic design nowadays has a wide variety, and is changing quite quickly and radically. Therefore I believe that the history of graphic design development in the past 10 years is just as important as the history of the past graphic design development.
There is a part that introduces digital graphic design trends in this book, but I thought that it could address more various types of trends and styles by introducing new, active, and relevant graphic designers and designs and at this moment. For example:
- David McLeod, 3D Typography
According to his Behance page, he is “a 3D Illustrator and Artist. Originally from Australia, he now lives and works in New York City. His work is focused on experimental and textural CGI illustration, bespoke typography and lettering”.
- Isometric Design, Jing Zhang
Isometric design is “a method of drawing/creating a three-dimensional object in two dimensions”, quoting from Isometric Design & Illustration: An Eye- Catching Trend, by Carrie Cousins.
According to her website page, Jing Zhang is: “Originally from mainland China, Jing is an illustrator living in England, the epicentre of eccentricity and creativity.With her clients mostly from the advertising industry, she has been working for clients including the European Parliament, General Electric, HSBC, IBM, Canon, Samsung, Adobe and many others”
In conclusion, these artists I mentioned above are active and have worked with major companies such as Adobe, Toyota, Canon and more. They could be a good example to show the development of tools and programs used for graphic design. Also could portray the history of trending styles of graphic design past few years, and may help filling more missing information on contemporary graphic design in Graphic Design A New History.
Eskilson, Stephen J. Graphic Design: a New History. Yale University Press, 2012.
Behance. “David McLeod on Behance.” Behance, www.behance.net/davidmcleod.
Cousins, Carrie. “Isometric Design & Illustration: An Eye-Catching Trend.” Design Shack, Design Shack, 5 June 2019, designshack.net/articles/trends/isometric-design-illustration/.
“About & Contact.” Jing Zhang Illustration, www.mazakii.com/About-Contact.