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Grids In Graphic Design: A Quick History, and 5 Amazing Tips

Design History

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Grids In Graphic Design: A Quick History, and 5 Amazing Tips

Take a design course today, and one of the first things you'll learn about is the concept of a “grid”. But things can quickly get fuzzy. Grids come in all shapes and sizes, and they have a long and complex history, stretching back to humankind’s very earliest manuscripts.... Read more

The Dada Movement: 5 Lessons For Today’s Designers

Design History

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The Dada Movement: 5 Lessons For Today’s Designers

Picking up where we left off with our pieces on the Bauhaus and Brutalist movements and what they mean for today’s designers, this week we’re taking a look at the Dada phenomenon that emerged during the first world war, and considering what lessons we might (or might not) take from it.... Read more

How The Thanksgiving Covers Of These 3 Magazines Show 110 Years of Social Change

Design History

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How The Thanksgiving Covers Of These 3 Magazines Show 110 Years of Social Change

If you’re anything like me, over the past few days you’ll have grown pretty tired of the promotional visual language around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But a look at history proves that these kind of informal, throwaway graphics can serve as significant documents of the times in which we live. In this piece, we’re taking a look at the cover designs of 3 twentieth-century magazines — Good Housekeeping, Saturday Evening Post, and American Weekly. You’ll be fascinated not only by the evolution of their graphic language, but also by how they reflect changing social norms around the family and gender roles.... Read more

The Picasso You Didn't Know: Pablo Picasso's Illustration and Design Work

Design History

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The Picasso You Didn't Know: Pablo Picasso's Illustration and Design Work

As the Picasso Cohort of UX Academy get started this month, we thought we’d take a closer look at the story of Pablo Picasso’s life and work, and pay tribute to his extraordinary range of talents. Primarily famous as a painter and sculptor, he also left a lesser-known body of work as an illustrator, graphic designer, and political activist. In this piece, we briefly tell the story of Picasso’s career, present a showcase of some of his book illustrations and poster designs, and provide a heap of links to more of this great artist’s prolific output.... Read more

What On Earth Is A Brutalist Website? 5 Things Today’s Designers Can Learn From Brutalism

Design History

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What On Earth Is A Brutalist Website? 5 Things Today’s Designers Can Learn From Brutalism

Last year, the Washington Post reported that “the hottest trend in Web design is making intentionally ugly, difficult sites”, an approach which they called “web brutalism”. Since 2014, the site Brutalist Websites has been collecting examples. But is this what Brutalism, a twentieth-century architectural movement, was really about? In this article, we’re going to take a look at the history of Brutalism, examine the principles behind the movement’s architectural designs, and see how those compare. To round up, we’ll set out 5 key lessons that Brutalism could offer to today’s designers.... Read more

Learning in the Bauhaus School: five lessons for today’s designers (and five ways the web still is Bauhaus)

Design History

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Learning in the Bauhaus School: five lessons for today’s designers (and five ways the web still is Bauhaus)

The news that Harvard University has put over 32,000 digitised Bauhaus School works online set the creative world buzzing recently. In the 1920s and 30s, Bauhaus teachers and students challenged the conventions of fine art, architecture and design by advocating a return to individual craftsmanship, and seeking designs that were simple, rational, and functional. In this article, we’ll explore what the movement was about, outline five lessons the Bauhaus School can offer to today’s designers, and demonstrate how contemporary web design continues to show Bauhaus influences.... Read more