The History of Graphic Design Descriptive Essay by Nicky

This paper looks at the underlying messages within graphic design and the understanding of the various sign systems therein.
# 146622 | 1,491 words | 1 source | APA | 2010 | US
Published on Jan 05, 2011 in Architecture (European) , Art (History) , Art (Other Mediums)

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This paper studies early graphic design systems and the power attached to it. The paper discusses how graphic design in the written form was utilized by the Catholic Church to control culture. The use of images as a tool of communication and how it helped different cultures evolve is also discussed. The writer, in a comparison of medieval monastic scribes and the contemporary graphic designer, focuses on the creative aspect of graphic designers. The paper concludes by discussing the positive contributions that graphic design has made to society.

Table of Contents
Graphic Design: Space and Power
Graphic Design, a Symbol for Democracy and Citizenship
The Communities and Belief
Now and Then: The Medieval Monastic Scribe versus the Contemporary Graphic Designer

From the Paper:

"In the early centuries, as graphic design systems emerged and developed, knowing and understanding them meant having access to culture and hence, to power. For example, people were taught which are the social norms and conventions through stories and myths such as the Iliad.
"Signs also had an intrinsic value. For example, a stone which was carved with an inscription in Latin was a symbol of the political and cultural expansion of the Roman empire. It was not even necessary for one to be able to understand the literal meaning of the inscription, since its symbolical power was strong enough to mark a territory and transmit a clear idea about a certain entity."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Drucker J., McVarish E. ( 2008) Graphic design history. Prentice Hall

Cite this Descriptive Essay:

APA Format

The History of Graphic Design (2011, January 05) Retrieved June 10, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The History of Graphic Design" 05 January 2011. Web. 10 June. 2023. <>