They say that the purpose of graphic design is to aid in the transfer of knowledge. This is the process whereby we can use images to relay a message to another person without having to use verbal words. There have been plenty of speculations as to what this may turn in to for the future. One Hollywood movie depicts life about fifty years in the future. A man was walking along a city street and the various stores identified him and would call him by name, soliciting various products to him. In that case, the visual sense was limited, just like it was in times long before. Thousands of years ago, merchants and salesmen would stand out in the street and call to people in order to attract them to their business. This is still done in many places, but as the years went on people started to rely more on the visual aspect.
But how? Not many people would read during the Medieval ages, so the individual businesses would place signs featuring the logo or the symbol of their business to that people could more easily identify the place. The blacksmith would have an anvil and a hammer, the baker would have a loaf of bread, and the scholar would have perhaps a book and a magnifying glass. New York was first established in the 1600’s and became more established in the 1700’s. People were becoming more sophisticated and more learned. As reading became more commonplace, the signs of Manhattan graphic design started to feature text.
The locations of the signs began to change as well; they were starting to appear more in the places that horses would encounter them so that the customer would see them while on their way to wherever. Whereas before, they would be in the town square or just above the business itself because people would just be walking everywhere. During the industrial revolution when businesses for the same trade became much more prevalent, the individual businesses started to distinguish themselves from others of the same trade by making it more distinguishable to the customer. They wanted the customer to know that they were different from the usual run-of-the-mill business. They started to make themselves more appealing and affordable and accommodating to the customer. They would change the appearance of their logo to feature more elaboration. The advent of the automobile was one of the things that changed Manhattan graphic design forever.
The birth of the billboard was a huge success for many businesses. Their graphic designers included artists and psychologists that would work together to get the best and most appealing design possible. That amount of progress is nothing compared to today. The introduction of the internet made businesses flourish and boom in a way that was completely unanticipated. All of the work done from centuries past, from the carved signs with logos to the billboards could now all be accessible to the average person with an Internet connection. Since people are constantly bombarded by these graphic designs everyday, they are looking for ways to avoid them.
The Manhattan graphic designers of today have so little time to catch the eyes of the casual Internet surfer. They are now developing advertisements that deliver the message in as few as one second, for that is all the time that they may have before the surfer decides to close out the window or go to another web page. Manhattan graphic design shows the efficiency that is required to really catch the eyes of the customer. Those that are successful have sound a very efficient way to be captivating to the customer but at the same time to not be invasive.