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5 Art Movements to Inspire Your Next Design Project


5 Art Movements to Inspire Your Next Design Project

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Finding inspiration for your design projects, whether it’s a logo or a website, can be a difficult process. Where do you find inspiration? How can your design stand apart from the crowd? Art movements reflect a cultural moment in time. Each reflect certain ideological and visual principles you can use based on the motivations behind your design: luxurious and elevated vs bold and eccentric? By learning basic concepts behind key movements, you will have the knowledge needed to create depth to fuel interest behind anything you create.  



Bauhaus was a revolutionary school of art, architecture and design established by Walter Gropius at Weimar in Germany in 1919 (Source: Tate).Bauhaus can be defined by the use of functional and abstract shapes with an emphasis on simplicity and effectiveness. Often featuring primary colors and bold typography, “form follows function” was a defining principle.


The concept of clarity above everything and effective use of color and typography are excellent elements to draw upon for your own designs.  


Herbert Bayer “BAUHAUS”, 1966 

Source: Freepik



Art deco

Art deco is a design style from the 1920s and 1930s in furniture, decorative arts, and architecture characterized by its geometric character (Source: Tate). Art deco was strongly influenced by modern technological advancements of the time and often evokes a sense of luxury.


It is instantly recognizable by the use of clean lines, thick stroke typography, and an overall sleek and streamlined look. Art deco’s distinctive elements are perfect to communicate extravagance, glamour, and modern progress.


Tamara de Lempicka, “Self Portrait in a GreenBugatti”, 1929.
Source: Strahinja Markovic via Dribble


Pop Art

Pop Art was the dominant movement in early 1960s American art.Short for “popular art,” it featured common household objects and consumer products like Coca-Cola and Campbell’s Soup cans, as well as forms of media that were familiar to the public. (Source: Artsy). Pop art is characterized by bright colors, use of repetition, and clear lines. Combining dissimilar images, usually through collage, was also popular.


While eye-catching and vibrant, pop art was also a means of critiquing celebrity culture, mass production, and mass media. Infusing pop art’s bold imagery with meaning or humor can make for an impactful design.  

AndyWarhol, “Flowers”
Source:The Die Line


Surrealism was a twentieth-century literary, philosophical and artistic movement that explored the workings of the mind, championing the irrational, the poetic and the revolutionary (Source: Tate). Surrealist works often incorporated dream like situations with distorted figures and scenes with symbolic imagery.  


While sometimes considered unsettling, pushing beyond the boundaries of reality and utilizing unexpected combinations of elements can create dynamic and thought-provoking designs.



By Vladimir Kush
By Magdiel Lopez


Minimalism is an extreme form of abstract art developed in the USA in the 1960s and typified by artworks composed of simple geometric shapes based on the square and the rectangle(Tate). Minimalist artists did not attempt to replicate reality, although divisive, their work is still highly influential today.


Minimalism often features simplistic forms and shapes, use of white space, and an overall reduction of complexity.People may assume minimalism equates to boring, however that is rarely the case.Using color, lines, and space in a purposeful way can elevate and enhance your designs.


FrankStella“Harran II”, 1967


(Source:UX Collective)

Overall, there are many unique and inspiring art movements throughout history. Understanding the background behind art movements and styles can help you make more informed and impactful choices.Communicating a specific brand voice or visual concept is much easier when you understand the links between art and design of the past — and the present.


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Tuesday, July 27, 2021




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