Friday, October 31, 2008

1850 - 1900

Chapter 7
Mass Mediation

Charlie Chaplin - Mothern Times 19

Industrial Revolution - The term denote the process of unprecedented technological development facilitating manufacture in such dramatic way so it had a huge social effect.
As a result many things changed:
- the way of production- more easy
- the price of production
- the accessibility of consumption - (in near future the way of consumption- more careless)
- the urban architecture - building fabrics, smoking chimneys.
- the way of working - with machine, not on the field, new professions
- the family organization - children knows more than their fathers, broken traditions
- the place living - process of urbanization
- the communication - it is more easy than ever before, more news

This is a process that still continue.
We are so fascinated by the machines. This is part of man's desire to overcome his weakness
Better, stronger, faster, smarter...
This is a competition with our imagination- what we could be. A race that had no end.

How it Industrial Revolution affect on Graphic design?
- the war for attention - The increased manufacture create the need of advertising. There are created new fonts to answer the needs of
- the illustrations - first used to support graphically the written information, later to add romantic or comic feeling
- the photography - add new criteria for realism.
- the distinction between fine arts and art for trade
- the birth of ephemera - low cost, standard, mechanical production, not personal

Industrial Revolution and Graphic design in Bulgaria.
Although Bulgaria was under the Ottoman Rule until 1878 the process of industrialization also affect the country. The new liberated Bulgaria opens to Western Europe to catch up what she had lost. The social and cultural live, and technical development is strongly influenced by the West and especially by France.

Bulgarian currency
100 leva

Check for payment

Certificate for baptism

1800 - 1850

The Graphic effects of Industrial Production

Nineteenth century is a period of big changes in the manufacture processes.
The machine production muster up strength affecting over everything.
Along that in this period emerge an interesting style, named after The Queen Victoria.
She rule United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The style could be characterized with rich ornaments, laces, flower decoration and sweetens.
It affect not only dresses, but also houses, furniture, hair dresses

And for those who like Jane Austin

Decoration- flowers, ribbons, swirls... the empty space is blasphemy.

Of course this beauty had an other side

Bulgaria will feel wind of this changes at the end of the 19 th century.

Book with health advices
Published in 1846

1660 - 1800

Modern Typography and the Creation of the Public Sphere

Seventeenth century is the down of what we call today modernism. The science and philosophy get more contemporary form.

Key words:
luxury, science, rationalism, religion, discovery, inventions, new world, literacy, print
Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, Galileo Galilei, Thomas Hobbes

With the development of the natural science, philosophy and literature rise the needs of books, maps and print design

... what is that time that we live in?

Beautiful and strange mix of everything.

Late 17th century fashion


The desire for scientific understanding and rationalization brings new, more geometric approach to gardening.

Gardens of Versailles

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

1450 - 1660

Renaissance Design: Standardization and Modularization in Print

After the invention of the printing machine from Gutenberg in 1439 the method of book creating changed. At that time the power was still shared between the church and royal families and this define the way technology could be used. As we can expect one of the first and most printed books will be the Bible.
Along that the fifteenth century become a critical time for the political power of the church.
After more than 1000 years of "dark ages"starts The Enlightenment. First in Italy and later in whole Europe begins changes in the fashion, science, politic power, religion. The christian church lose its influence, the power of monarchy diminish opening the door for questions.
The fearful, religious and superstitious mentality meets education.

The easiness of distributing information had incredible impact over the human mind and over the visualization of the ideas.
Printing became more diverse and more entertaining. New fonts, arranegements and media emerged.

read more → know more → want more → produce more → fight for attention
Enlightenment appeared to be very fertile soil for it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

400 - 1450

Medieval Letterforms and Book Formats

Johannes Gutenberg - invents first movable type printing and mechanical printing press around 1439. As we may expect for that time one of the fist books printed with the new technology is the Bible.

This is the Gutenberg's bible

Bulgarian print
This is one of the first printed Bulgarian books.

One of the first printed books on
Cyrillic alphabet.

At this time Bulgaria and Balkans are part of the Ottoman empire.
Christianity had been pursued and for sure it hadn't been easy to publish Christian book.

Btw logic, secularism, commercialism - this rational approach oversaturated the human mind at such level that some desired to escape. An they did it in the dreamland of Romanticism.
Just right now :)
But for The New Wave and etc next time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

700 BCE - 400 CE

Chapter 2
Classical Literacy

After the discovery of the writing the hieroglyphs were replaced by alphabets.
Around 700BCE one of the first alphabets (Phoenican) arrived to Greece and was not only adopted but also improved. They added tellers for vowels and this made the alphabet more easier to learn. At that time education started to flourish.

That was the begging of Classical Literacy.
Because at that time Greece was not one state but many separated city states
they begun to make different versions of the script.

Greek alphabet

Around the the 600 BCE from the Greek alphabet appeared the Latin alphabet.
At 862CE Greek alphabet was used as a base for Cyrillic alphabet. Actually fist it was created Glagolitic (from "glagoli"- speak) alphabet by the two brothers Saints Cyril and Methodius.
Later in north Bulgaria Glagolitic alphabet was improved to Cyrillic and named after the one of the brothers.
The reason of creation was most likely political.
The new alphabet was a way to distinguish Slavic language from Greek and Roman influence.
First it was accepted by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church that become independent from Byzantines a century after the invention of the Glagolitic alphabet - 919.
With the spreading of Christianity and the need of adapted alphabet the other Slavic nations also accept it.

Glagolitic alphabet is used at IX, X, XI century. There are two versions: Bulgarian- more round and Croatia more angular.

XI century
Bashchan stone- one of the oldest text on Glagolitic alphabet.

Here is the result of my research for Cyrillic alphabet. You could see the development from Glagolitic to Cyrillic and then to mothern Bulgarian alphabet.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

35 000 - 27 000 BCE | 3000 - 500 BCE

Prehistoric Prelude to Graphic Design History
Early writing: Mark Making, Notation Systems, and Scripts

"A mark that is a sign of the self is also always other than self"

Abstract thinking is specific for humans. Abstract could be considered as opposite of concrete, i.e general. This way of thinking allows us to create specific signs that are not closely related with the concrete reality.
I suppose the step between concrete and abstract actually has been a big jump. Not only because of the generalization but because it is the begging of MINE- YOURS way of thinking.

With development of the spoken language came the need to "save" the all brilliant ideas that we have.

So here comes marking.
Thousand of years we have been producing marks. And we still do it. With everything and everywhere.

On stones

On streets

On our hands

Or with them

On faces

And on food

It seems like we had marked the whole world.

May be because we have too much stuff :) or we tend to forget easily.
With time marks became not only simple representation of a concrete objects but also abstract representation of an ideas.

Historians said that after we started to make signs they became so much that we developed systems for them. And here came the writing.

Thousands of years after the first marks people still like to use them.
A bit more developed, and sophisticated - one of the most notorious forms of marks today is the logo.

A logo is a sign that that is used as a trade mark.
To make a good logo is not an easy job.
It has to be easily recognizable, related with the company's activity and original.
Here are few samples of very famous logos and their development.

Left is the classic and well known trefoil with 3 stripes. I still don't have a good explanation about those stripes. But for sure the name comes from the founder Adolf(Adi) Dassler.
It is one of very successful logos and also companies.

What do you need for a brilliant idea - an apple and a smart head where to fall.
So Apple came literally with this idea. The problem was that it was too literally and when symbols are too obvious they are no more symbols.
On top of that the logo was very complicated and unclear. Imagine if you have to see this on one square inch. It will be completely unrecognizable spot
Soon after creating this Apple's people realized that it does not work.
So they came up with another idea.

First Apple's logo

This logo survived 22 years. Can you imagine?

Second Apples logo
1976 - 1998

This one is the newest.
Pure, simple, minimalistic - as the contemporary tendencies.

Third Apples logo

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


The power of visual communication

Graphic design is a form of visual communication.
What does it mean?
The word visual is kind of easy to explain: it is about what we see (not what we hear)
We have six senses to perceive the world. As the vision gives us more than 50% of the information
it is one of the most important channels of communication.