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  • Writer's pictureMakalla Shernick

Connecting with the Past to Design a Better Future

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

Finding inspiration for modern designs within contemporary art movements of the past.


Graphic design is separate from traditional art because graphic design invariably requires a purpose. Thus, it is the chief concern of every professional graphic designer to create beautiful designs that can seamlessly carry out a greater agenda. What makes something a good and influential design? Creative and innovative thinking? Or perhaps our universal rules and principles of design that include elements such as: Emphasis, Balance and Alignment, Contrast, Repetition, Proportion, Movement and White Space. The simple answer is: all of the above and more!


Our modern notion of graphic design is built on a foundation of art and design movements throughout history. Graphic designers of the past and present rely on the consistent ebb and flow of contemporary art movements as a continuous supply of inspiration. Everything from manuscript illuminations to the grunge aesthetic of the 90’s can be useful in a designer's arsenal of art history knowledge.

Here are some influential art movements that are worth adding to your repertoire of design inspiration:

  • Fauvism

  • Impressionism

  • Pointillism

  • Art Nouveau

  • International Typographic Style

  • Art Deco

  • Memphis Design

  • Pop Art

  • Minimalism


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