September 4, 2012 | by Liam

Graphic Design History – Late Modern

Late modernism encompasses the period from the end of World War II to the early 21st Century. Late modernism describes movements that both arise from, and react against trends in modernism. The late modern period was dominated by American innovations when following on from the war there was a need for more advertising, marketing and packaging.


This movement was inspired by European Avant-Garde early modern approaches and from this the Americans developed a unique and personal style which was very simplistic. Artists and designers merged organic shapes with simple geometry. The look of graphic design was changed through advancements in photography, typesetting and printing techniques and designers started to cut up type and images to glue down onto mechanical boards. Conceptual typography also became a popular form of expression. During the 1940?s New York became the cultural centre of the world and during this decade art, fashion, advertising and graphic design were in abundance.


An influential graphic designer of this era was Paul Rand who was the pioneer of the “New York school” and who made use of modernist techniques such as collage, photograms and cutouts. Another influential designer was Saul Bass who is best known for innovative title sequences for films by Otto Preminger and Alfred Hitchcock as well as designing famous corporate identities including United Airlines, Quaker Oats and AT&T.


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