Looking at how graphic design has changed through the years and in response to the addition of new technologies.
The 1960s was the beginning of the end of only using analog tools as part of the design process. Starting in the late 60s, phototypesetting machines were introduced, which used projection of glass discs on light sensitive paper to create type. In the mid 60s, Ivan Sutherland invented the first digital drawing surface called Sketchpad, which was a large push for design as it was the first graphical user interface.
With the digital door now open, the 1970s gave rise to some iconic designs that played with color and type in ways that could not be done before. The 1970s was a period that saw the creation of many logos that are still in use today. The first apple computer was also built in the 1970s, which would lead to personal computers becoming an affordable and sought after technology.
Though computers were still considered very new in the 1980s, more and more people began to buy them, increasing their popularity as a commercial product. The 1980s introduced several types of software that allowed designers to play and explore in ways they couldn’t before, including layering, 3D graphics, and printing from home.
With the final years of the century came great technological booms, including the release of Adobe Photoshop to the masses. With these tools quicking the design process, the 90s saw a surge in the breadth and amount of design created, including album covers, magazines, and other mediums. However, designers also explored the mix between digital and analog methods, using a lot of handwriting and more grunge-style treatments.
The 2000s mark the age where design became a shared activity due to the evolution of the world wide web. With email and websites galore, people could search anything they wanted, create material, and share it with the world. Known for lots of color, glam, and disorganization, the age of 2000s design is still heavily referenced and enjoyed today.
Today, there are countless technologies that designers can use, including iPads, tablets, printers, and more. However, there have been recent trends to mix these new technologies with the founding principles of design, creating fun and interesting mixed media art. With so many advances, many more people are classifying themselves as designers, and the profession as a whole has boomed.