Extra Credit: Art Deco

By the 1920’s a new style of art had emerged into the design market, Art Deco. Around the 1930’s this style eventually made its way to Western Europe and the United States, becoming a major influence to designers in both regions. At this point poster style is already booming in the market for designers. Art Deco managed to take the evolution of poster style and opened up new viewpoints of advertisement. With artist exploring new ideas, this art style eventually influences the style of modern American art. A lot of artist at the time were also immigrating to the United States, which shifted the artistic perspective that America held. Over time the use of this style opened up new ideas for designers in the design world. Taking characteristics from Art Deco furthered the development of modern art. Art Deco, as well as contributing artist, helped pave the way for the designs created over the years to come.

When Art Deco began there was a drive for more modern unified designs. People didn’t want the heavily styled advertisements anymore. This need for something new shifted the focus of designs to commercial products. Designs were now geared towards decorative and industrial arts. Artist using the Art Deco style could now target consumers at a broader range. The new design tactic appeared simplistic, consisted of symmetry, planarity, and geography. In earlier years, some artwork tended to be very illustrative. The designs didn’t really focus in on the importance of products being advertised. One artist who is very influential to the Art Deco style is A.M Cassandre. He managed to successfully create visual designs that appealed to the consumer. Caddandre’s advertisement for Dubonnet liquor is a great example of how he utilizes Art Deco in his work. In the advertisement there is an apparent use of simplicity. The figures are made up of geometric like shapes, which is one of the key characteristics to this art style. There is also the way Cassandre focuses on the product being advertised. He gives a three-step illustration of a man drinking the wine with sub titles below each picture. The use of turning trendy fashions into something marketable to the public was something Cassandra was successful in, even when moving towards modern American art.

The shift from Art Deco eventually moved to the modern American art style. With America incorporating this style of art into their designs, there was now a new sense of creativity in the way artist created work. For example Fortune Magazine incorporated the Art Deco style in their 1937 issue. There was the strong use of geometric shapes, simplistic design esthetic, and mainstream focus on the consumer themselves. This technique was also seen in advertisements for the Rural Electrification Administration. Throughout the years, this style continued to be an influence to designers. Today, graphic designers tend to use a style called flat design, which is similar to Art Deco. This particular style of art utilized strong geometric shapes as well as a simple color palette. Flat design tends to be paired with san serif fonts, which was also a typeface style often paired with Art Deco designs. Some of the characteristics that came from Art Deco transpired into modern day art. The need to appeal to the consumer is one of the main characteristics. There is also the idea of “less is more” being carried over into a lot of advertisements and magazine designs done today. The simplistic straight to the point designs found in Art Deco have helped open up new ideas for graphic artist to explore in todays era of art.


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