October 5, 2012 | by Liam

Graphic Design History – Postmodern

The term postmodern has been used in the graphic design world since around the 1980?s and is used to describe an art movement that contradicted the established forms of modernism. Post modernism is also used to demark a period in art, design and architecture and is characterised by the abandonment of strong divisions of genre.


Many designers thought post modernism was just disruptive self-indulgence made up of a mixture of styles, with no formal characteristics. It was soon considered though that it was a new way of thinking about design.


British writer on design, graphic design, typography and visual culture wrote “The products of postmodern culture may sometimes bear similarities to modernist works, but their inspiration and purpose is fundamentally different”. Then he went on to say “Where modernism frequently attacked commercial mass culture, claiming from its superior perspective to know what was best for people, postmodernism enters into a complicitous relationship with the dominant culture. In postmodernism, modernism’s hierarchical distinctions between worthwhile ‘high’ culture and trashy ‘low’ culture collapse and the two become equal possibilities on a level field”.


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