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  • Creative Design - ETISALAT SUPER CUP

Creative Design Primer - The History of Creative Design

The Art of Selling through Images and Words

Go for a walk in your local mall. Look around, and you’ll see a plethora of advertising, mixing colors and text into one dynamic mix that, to the untrained eye, is just part and parcel of advertising.For a Dubai graphic designer, this cannot be more obvious, but even in the more discreet corners of the world, I wouldn’t be surprised if the long arm of consumerism isn’t present in one way or another.

That, however, is part of a bigger whole. In the creative process, these graphics that you see all around you—anywhere from the overall motif of a billboard to the template of a letterhead—is part of a big process called creative design.

In a nutshell, creative design is the process—and the results of this process—in which images and text are put together in such a way that the completed result becomes a creative draw for the general public.

There’s a reason why so much money goes into advertising every year. Businesses usually lack the creative manpower to come up with compelling designs that will help them target and attract the market niche they’re aiming for. To supplement this need for a creative arm, ad agencies employ artists and writers who work on the text and graphical layout of the material to be used by marketing.

If there are multiple disciplines that cover the whole gamut of the visual, literary and musical arts, creative design is the art of competent dissemination of information, or the art of selling through images and words.

Before the Printing Press

But that’s only the twentieth-century application of creative design. Back in the day, before the advent of the movable printing press, creative design was mostly unheard of as a discipline. However, evidence of pre-fourth century creative design processes can be found in a variety of sources.

For example, the cave paintings of Lascaux, while often used as an example of primitive art, could also be used as a prehistoric attempt of creative design. The attempt of cave painters to communicate to their peers through a visual medium is in line with the prime directive of creative design.

For example, the cave paintings of Lascaux, while often used as an example of primitive art, could also be used as a prehistoric attempt of creative design. The attempt of cave painters to communicate to their peers through a visual medium is in line with the prime directive of creative design.

For example, the cave paintings of Lascaux, while often used as an example of primitive art, could also be used as a prehistoric attempt of creative design. The attempt of cave painters to communicate to their peers through a visual medium is in line with the prime directive of creative design.

The papyri manuscripts of the Middle Ages also exhibited detailing that one would usually expect to see from advertorials and press kits of the modern age. Pages from the Book of Kells, for example, contained handwritten textual stylistics created by monks to give the pages a sense of elegance.

Of course, since most of the population back then didn’t have the capacity to read, it only goes to show that most of the creative graphic design within the pages were put there primarily for the nobility. One could assume that early proponents of creative design were geared towards providing pleasing visual aids for the rich and the powerful.

From the Tang Dynasty to the Twentieth Century

During the Tang Dynasty in ancient China, a method of printing using wooden blocks was developed to produce patterns on textile. Later on, this method was used to print the first printed book in history—a collection of Buddhist scriptures.

This method of printing was so popular that it evolved to a movable type of printing press. This was used for large-scale printing jobs on long scrolls as well as books. With this technology, the early Chinese started printing books.

Then Johann Gutenberg and his printing press came about in the 1400’s. Of course, with the widespread availability of books came the widespread availability of readers. This was the first widespread medium of marketing available; once businesses realized the power of the written word, it was only a matter of time before advertising agencies started tapping into the medium.

The real design industry started in the 19th century in the United Kingdom when folks started discerning the difference between creative design and fine art. The grid layout that newspapers, books, and later on, the Internet, started using was introduced at the time.

The term “graphic design,” the proper subject used by advertisers who dabble in creative design and advertising, was coined in the early 20th century. The dividing line between art and commercial design became more and more defined as more and more experts entered the field. Initially, the acceptance of creative design as a field completely different from the visual arts, but after the Second World War, the booming economy in the U.S. propagated the need for graphic designers.

The World Today

Today, everything you see in the world around you is affected by the work of creative designers. We virtually live in an era where the carefully planned integration of images and words—just step outside, and the decals you see in the hood of your car, the layout of the corner-store’s signage, are the results of a hard-working creative team.

I hope you learned something about creative design in this post. Next issue, we’ll be discussing the basic elements of the design process. Until next time!