At first, I didn’t understand much about these two key movements in graphic design. But, when I began looking further into it for this post, it opened up a whole world of interest to me.
According to visualartdepartments, it all began with the abstract movements for modernism. Modernism began to rise with artists such as Pablo Picasso experimenting with cubism and fauvism. Another interesting thing about modernism is how the artists in this movement kept everything clean and on a grid. Modernism was rejected by many, with some calling it narcissistic.
Postmodernism changed all of this, getting rid of the grid and neatness ideology. According to the Emigre essays, postmodernism began to have an impact in the 1980s.
“Postmodernism didn’t have much impact on graphic design until the middle of the 1980s. Initially, many designers thought it was just undisciplined self-indulgence. A hodgepodge of styles, with no unifying ideals or formal vocabularies, dreamed up by students in the new graduate programs. But in fact it was a new way of thinking about design, one that instigated a new way of designing. Designers began to realize that as mediators of culture, they could no longer hide behind the “problems” they were “solving.” One could describe this shift as a younger generation of designers simply indulging their egos and refusing to be transparent (like a crystal goblet). Or you could say they were acknowledging their unique position in the culture, one that could have any number of political or ideological agendas.” (Source: http://www.emigre.com/Editorial.php?sect=1&id=20)
I feel that both systems have had their impact on art, both in a positive and negative light, with both adding their own respective famous works and artists.