We found them on Design Facts, which is a stellar website that’s compiled a slew of interesting and little-known design factoids from all over the place. We’ve picked out the ones that interested us the most.
Try these on for size:
In the early 1970s, it was Richard Nixon who promoted the Federal Design Improvement program, which was an initiative meant to upgrade federal design.
- In his “Essay on Typography”, published back in 1931, English typeface designer Eric Gill advocated for the then-controversial idea of “justified” typesetting.
- Swiss typeface designer Adrian Frutiger took three years to finish designing the Univers family of typeface, which includes 21 sans-serif fonts.
- American graphic artist Ethel Reed was a pioneer in graphic design and illustration, noted for being the first American woman to get widespread recognition in both disciplines.
- Semiotics is defined as the study of signs and symbols, as well as their application and interpretation.
- CBS headquarters’ cafeteria wall, which is covered with more than 1450 letters, was conceived by Lou Dorfsman back in 1965.
- Sans-serif typeface debuted in print way back in 1816 when it was first featured in a specimen book by one William Caslon IV.
- Italian Renaissance printers came up with so-called printers’ marks designed to identify and protect their works, much like watermarks on images are used today.
- Carl Sagan and Frank Drake designed the Pioneer plaque, which was the very first physical message that was sent into space in 1972.
- Chinese alchemist Bi Sheng was the first in history to use movable type in approximately 1045, when he used wood and then clay to create type.
- The original Apple Macintosh icons were designed by one Susan Kare; a lot of these visual metaphors are still being used in the present.
- Information design was pioneered by Czech designer Ladislav Sutnar.
- Diminuendo, which is the principle of diminishing scale, was applied to typography by Irish monks.
- Wolfgang Weingart, the renowned typographer and graphic designer, established the foundation for the New-Wave typographic movement when he rejected the International style.
- The world-famous CBS eye logo has an unusual design inspiration: It came from the Pennsylvania Dutch, who painted hex signs on their barns to repel evil forces.
- MTV’s logo was designed in 1981 by Manhattan Design, which was a New York City studio famous for its controversial work in the music industry.
- There were approximately 286,100 graphic designers who were employed in the U.S. in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Wolff Olins, a London Design company, had a huge role in making the use of pictorial symbols in branding more popular.
- Plantin, an early type of font, was the inspiration for Times New Roman, which itself was created for the Times of London back in 1931.