Graphic design is the art of arranging elements to create a message and includes everything from typography to logos. Pick up a graphic design book to learn its history as an art form and a marketing tool, and discover how this profession fits into the art world. Sometimes referred to as visual communication, graphic design is art that must communicate a specific message to people, often as part of marketing or advertising efforts.
While the term graphic design was coined less than a century ago, these artists have existed for hundreds of years, adding visual elements to things like posters and books, and more recently, to digital media such as email and websites. Illustrated manuscripts and hieroglyphics from ancient China, Greece, and Egypt feature early examples of the art form, with typography and images paired together to convey important information. This practice continued with manuscript designs in the Middle Ages and into early book printing. As print advertising began to take off in the 1900s, graphic design became more the art form we know today, as professionals worked more on ads and magazine layouts. You can find out more about its background through the 20th century in our vintage graphic design books.
Today, graphic designers rely on programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to do much of their work, allowing them to easily move elements around and try out different images and fonts. If you are considering this as a career, learn the basics of these programs and the skills that go with them with our selection of essential graphic design books. Pairing these tutorials with books on typography, commercial design, visual communication, and marketing can help give you a good basis for the art of graphic design. As an aspiring artist, buy graphic design books that teach you the history of design and the skills needed to pursue your career.