Graphic Design of Yesterday and Today

As it turns out that artists through the ages have a lot in common…

Whether we’re working with paints and brushes, or computer programs and tablets, the creative impulse is always to push our medium to the furthest reaches of our imagination, which turns out to be…a land where beautiful women frolic in fantastic settings? Wow, who'da thunk it?

I came across a nice post in Smashing Magazine today compiling the work of a bunch of really brilliant graphic designers. Although none of our Hotcards designers are on there, it’s still worth checking out.

SM has framed the post as a great source of inspiration for other designers. The first thing I noticed when scrolling through the images was that 60 – 70% of them are built around scantily-clad women. This, I think, is a fairly good indicator of what the truest source of design inspiration is for many graphic artists.

The pattern-based vector art trend seems to get the artistic imagination heading in the direction of the fantastic, envisioning worlds without barriers, scenes rich in color and unexpected detail, and subjects, of course, that seem to beckon the viewer into realms of pure imagination.

The style of art in the post actually brought to mind some of the great working artists that preceded the Illustrator gurus of today. I’m thinking, of course, of the likes of Boris Vallejo and Frank Frazetta, fantasy and sci-fi artists who used paint on canvas to produce their bodacious babes.

Okay, okay, these guys don’t have the nicest websites you’ve ever seen, but that’s probably because they didn’t get their start selling art online. Vellejo and Frazetta have graced hundreds of book covers, movie posters, and magazines over the years, and they did it all with paint on their fingers and dust on their shoes from hitting the pavement.

I thought this was worth mentioning because of the clear artistic tradition that you can see being carried on in the works of the great graphic artists of today. Their mediums might be very different, but clearly their motives, and their muses, are the same.

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