5 Infographics about the Development of Graphic Design

In our digital world, graphic design reigns as one of the most important and relevant industries. It’s hard to imagine a time when graphic design didn’t even exist. If you’ve ever wondered how graphic design as we know it came to be, check out the infographics below. They contain tons of useful information about the history of graphic design and its more specific developments – as well as the current state of graphic design today.

The History of Design

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This infographic shows a chronological outline tracing the development of design. While it is not limited to graphic design per se, the infographic is a good way to get a basic understanding of how our use of visual design got to where it is today. The infographic starts with cave paintings and goes through things like the development of Garamond typography, famous logo creations (Vogue Magazine, IBM) and the invention of famous appliances and toys. This infographic is a good way to understand how graphic design came naturally in a long line of artistic developments.

History of Graphic Design

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If you are more interested in the development of specifically graphic design, this infographic from Casey Webb will be useful to you. The infographic has a bunch of components – one of which is a timeline outlining when famous graphics, logos and brands were developed – chronologically. It also contains a mindmap showing actor network theory and how the user, graphical user interface, and designer work together in graphic design. Finally, it contains a glossary of useful terms, defintions and short histories to get a better understanding of what’s involved in graphic design and how to best understand its development.

A visual history of design tools

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Are you interested in the nuts and bolts of how graphic design actually happens? This visual history of design tools shows how the tools graphic designers used to come up with their designs since one of the very first computer-based design programs – Microsoft Paint. The infographic traces the development from Paint in 1985 through Photoshop in 1990 and all the way to iDraw in 2010. Obviously, it’s not a comprehensive history, but it’s a good way to see how technology of major programs has come along.

The State of Graphic Design

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To learn more about the current state of graphic design, check out this infographic from smartpress.com. Although it was created in 2012, it gives a pretty good idea about where the graphic design industry has reached today. Included in the infographic are statistics about graphic design education, necessary skills, employment statistics, and helpful tools. This infographic is a pretty useful one for anyone considering a career in graphic design, or anyone who is currently a graphic designer and interested in the state of their field.

Trends that Forever Altered Design Topography

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If you want to know more about how and when famous designs got to look the way that they do today, this infographic will be an interesting one to you. It’s also pretty fun and packed with tons of interesting and (most likely) little-known info.



  1. Derek - Creativenauts

    I started my career as a graphic designer when I was 14 years old and at 15 I started an internship with a company called EXI Technologies. Now I do graphic design on the side as my fulltime job mainly deals with Digital Marketing.

  2. Beth Rufener
    • Staff

    Very interesting! I would have thought that Photoshop was more popular than illustrator (even though I use illustrator more.) maybe in 2013 the numbers changed a bit.
    I also LOVE old-fashioned pointing hands. Thanks for the article!

  3. Felix Brown

    I love this list, definitely one of the best resources on the web for examples of infographics and with a wide variety of topics.

  4. Abhijit Gupta

    All of these Info graphics are great! This is one of the finest and detailed articles detailing the process of Infographics. Thank You for the share!

  5. Miguel Garcia

    glad somebody has some real statistics not just beautiful graphics portraying statistics that look so great they can be misconstrued for being true. Ai really is the apex of graphic design tools. As I always say "if you can make it in illustrator you can make it in any other adobe program," actually I never say that but i believe it.

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