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History of Visual Communications by Mind Map: History of Visual
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History of Visual Communications

Cave Paintings 55,000 years ago

common themes: large animals, tracings of human hands, abstract patterns

first form of visual communication

cave painting sites

Lascaux, closed b/c paintings were being damaged by carbon dioxide emitted from tourists, created the Lascaux II, most famous cave painting site, located in France

Almira cave, has a red hue b/c of red soil, located in Spain, discovered by Marcelino

Chauvet Pont d’Arc, painting techniques different b/c 3D effect was created

The Egyptians

Tombs, Great pyramids, temples


Rosetta Stone, Deciphered by Jean Francois Champollion, has 3 languages: Greek, Demotic, Heiroglyphics, resides in the British Museum

contained logographic and alphabetic elements, logogram: visual symbols representing ideas or objects

derived from 2 Greek words "hiero" meaning sacred and "glyphic" meaning engraving/writing



to help keep track of business transactions

began as a series of pictographs

Evolution, became more abstract, # of characters grew, characters became wedge shaped

chose sumer region to settle b/c of fertile ground

Things we know

Theocratic culture ruled by a priest king

skilled artisans

music=important part of life

Phonetic Alphabet

theories of origin

direct variation of heiroglyphics

hypothesized ties with Cuneiform

one sign represents one spoken sounds


used in many different languages due to simplicity

disintegrated class divisions between royalty and the common man

Greek language adopted Phonetician letter forms

parts of the letters

Serif, finishing off strokes

Baseline, the line upon letters sit, ensured the type was perfectly aligned in rows

Descender, part of letter that goes under the baseline

was very simple

The Book


Construction, long continuous pieces of papyrus, separate sheets glued together at the edges

simply rolled or had wooden rollers at each end


Definition:a covered and bound collection of hand written pages

Advantages over scroll, compact,sturdy, and ease if reference, can be opened flat to any page, easier use in libraries b/c title could be written on the spine

adopted by Christianity, used in churches for Bibles and scriptures


Definition:a substrate made from animal skins

replaced papyrus b/c was more durable

How to make it, 1. remove hair and fat and smooth the skin, 2. soak hide in water solution; calcium, flour, salt added, 3. hide stretched out, flattened, and dried

Illuminated Manuscripts

word "illumination" refers to the borders, illustrations, and ornamentation added to each page of text

reserved for religious texts b/c were so laborious

creation of illuminated manuscripts declined b/c of printing press

The Printing Press

Johannes Gutenberg

motivation: love of books & spending time with father at the mint watching goldsmiths and jewelers

created oil-based ink

experimented w/ metal topography

introduced modern book printing

agreement w/ John Fust stated that if Gutenberg couldn't repay the loan after 5 years, Fust could get the press, tools, and materials, agreement violated and Fust and Schoeffer took credit for the press

hand press in which ink is rolled over the raised surface of movable handset letters held within a wooden frame

Movable Type

1st movable type system developed in China, carved from wood

Advantages of metal or wood, could be produced quicker once single mold was made, was quicker, more durable, and lettering was more uniform

Gutenberg made metal type out of an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony

Bible: 1st book to be printed

Major Printing Processes





The Linotype Machine

invented by Christopher Sholes

tested by Clephane

name comes from the fact that it produces an entire line of metal type at once

first installed in The New York Tribune

Keyboard Layout

90 character keyboard

arrangment based on letter frequency

upper/lowercase keys were separate (no shift key

Black key: lowercase; White key: uppercase; Blue key: punctuation, digits, etc.


Camera Obscura

Joseph Niepce created 1st successful photograph


created by Louis Daguerre

image was exposed to a light-sensitive metal sheet

Calotype Process

created by William Fox Talbot

image was exposed onto a light sensitive paper producing a paper negative

Wet Plate Process

created by Archer

glass plates were used for the negative to capture the image when exposed to light

Dry Plate Process

created by Richard Maddox

glass plates coated in gelatin, gelatin: a colorless water-soluble glutinous protein obtained from animal tissue


established by Eastman

James Clerk Maxwell took 1st color photograph

Muybridge paved the way for motion picture photography

zoopraxiscope: a device used to project a series of images in successive phases of motion


Univac= 1st commercial computer

created by John Preseper Eckert and John Mauchly

letters stand for Universal Automatic Computer


letters stand for International Business Machine

developed IBM701 EOPM Computer

developed first memory disk(floppy disk)

Douglas Engelbart invented the mouse

named mouse b/c of the "tail" connected to the computer

first internet= ARPANET

developed to protect flow of info b/w military installations

first memory disk= floppy disk


introduced Apple Lisa in 1983, 1st PC with a GUI, GUI developed by Xerox

introduced Apple Macintosh Computer in 1984


introduced MS-DOS, a computer operating system

introduced Windows in response to Apple's operating system