The 1950s was an exciting and transformative decade for graphic design.
New styles emerged that broke from previous decades.
And paved the way for contemporary graphic design.
Here are some of the key features that defined 1950s graphic design:
Sans-serif typefaces became very popular in the 1950s as a clean, modern alternative to serif fonts.
Helvetica, designed in 1957, would become one of the most ubiquitous and influential sans-serif fonts.
Other popular sans-serifs included Univers, Akzidenz-Grotesk, and Folio.
Serif fonts like Times New Roman were still widely used for body text.
Script and handwritten fonts also emerged as a relaxed, casual style often used for advertising and display purposes.
Overall typography in the 1950s trended towards high contrast, bold letterforms and visual impact.
The 1950s saw the rise of bright, saturated primary colors across graphic design.
Pantone solid unmixed colors provided a very vibrant look.
Pastels also became popular for a softer, lighter feel.
Contrasting and complementary color combinations created eye-catching designs.
Black and white minimalist designs continued to be an impactful style.
Color gave designers new flexibility to capture viewers' attention like never before.
Graphic design layouts broke free from symmetry and traditional grids in the 1950s.
Asymmetrical layouts became popular as an avant-garde style.
Designers leveraged white space in new creative ways to draw focus.
Headings and images were often very large and bold, commanding the viewer's attention.
Text was often aligned in vertical columns or staggered blocks rather than justified rows.
And page layouts became more dynamic and expressive.
Abstract geometric shapes, patterns, lines and photography started being incorporated into layouts.
Nature, atomic, and space age imagery appeared reflecting societal fascination with science and technology.
High contrast and solarized imagery created bold graphic effects.
CMYK printing expanded the color palettes available for images.
Image usage became more experimental and impactful thanks to new styles and printing capabilities.
Posters promoting films, propaganda, and products showcased innovative graphic design to the public.
LP album covers became an important new visual medium.
Paperback book covers and magazines adopted bold new styles that aligned with their content.
Corporate branding and packaging also became an outlet for graphic design.
The 1950s opened up many new avenues for graphic designers to apply and showcase their craft.
The 1950s was a highly innovative decade for graphic design.
Typography, color, layout, imagery and applications all saw major development that paved the way for subsequent decades.
The 1950s saw major steps taken in establishing graphic design as a vital creative discipline.