To give order to information, form to ideas, expression and feeling to forms that document human experience, is the essence of Graphic Design. Graphic design-like activities can be dated back to before ancient times. Cave paintings, depicting animals and daily life, are one of the earliest forms of documenting human experience and the expressing of feelings.
Ancient civilisations used all kinds of materials, methods and techniques to ensure the information that they deemed important, was communicated to later generations. Inscriptions on Clay bricks or tablets were used for construction in Babylonian times. The bricks gave information such as the name of the reigning monarch, a city’s name or a road sign.
The Egyptians communicated through their hieroglyphics. They also invented papyrus, paper made from reeds, on which they transcribed advertisements. During the ‘Dark Ages’, elaborate, illustrated manuscripts were created. Printing of texts on textiles started as early as 618-907 and evolved to movable print and later the printing press.
In both the lengthy history, and in the recent modern explosion of visual communication, the distinction there was between, art, graphic design, and fine art and advertising disappeared. All these mediums share many elements, theories, practices and principles.
We can conclude that Graphic Design is the process of visualising communication and bringing order to symbols, images and text through problem-solving, using different forms of art.