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How Different Cultures Embrace Graphic Design

Art has proven to be copious with ideas, since the times of Dadaism and surrealism, to the current world of autonomy. Despite artists having their own ideas of envisioning the pieces of art they create every day, their ideas are however bounded by their ethnicity, that is, their countries of origin and the culture around them.

This is particularly true with graphic design as well. Graphic design is more like a language – it is an identity, so beautiful and inexplicable. Just like various types of arts, graphic design also varies from one culture to another and is especially influenced by the culture, norm of life and history of a country. The aesthetics of graphic design vary and there might be certain elements present in a particular culture’s creations and absent in another culture’s.

Most people are acquainted with graphic design of the western world, especially UK and US.  So, the following text will showcase the graphic designs from other parts of the globe, particularly Latin America, Japan, China, and Middle East.  

Latin American Art Theme

This region is occupied by more than 500 million inhabitants, mostly Spanish speakers, except for Brazil who speak Portuguese. Lain America is known for some of the most unique and energetic graphic expressions ever seen in history. They ca be seen on building exteriors which are filled with stencil art and graffiti.

Their design is reflected through their street art scenes which are tantalizing, colourful and somewhat naïve.  Since the Latinos love dancing, celebration and life as a whole, most of their art themes revolve around these concepts. Most of their posters have traces of pop art as well as influence by art deco. Their art makes use of wacky typography, energetic shapes and highly contrasting colours. Their piousness ca also be traced through the inclusion of Roman Catholic themes and symbols.

Latin American’s art explains a lot to the rest of the world – relax and enjoy life. They teach the world to view art not just visually but with six senses.

Japanese Art Theme

The Japanese art has a contemporary form of expression and is evident through their architecture, video games, adverts, anime among others. The art influence of the Japanese is immense and contributes a wide range of ideas in modern art as a whole. Their art assumes a rather offbeat but urban style. Their graphic design mainly depicts an affinity for the neon colours that simulate the lights seen in Tokyo’s downtown during the night.

However, it’s important to notice that their art is mostly influenced from the traditional art of the Japanese culture. Their graphic design is charming, because it takes a different approach that’s completely different from what most people are used to from the west. Their art is highly varied and is an infusion of the old and new art of the Japanese culture. On a single side of the spectrum, it is very sleek, futuristic but minimal. On the other side, it is extremely beautiful and wacky.

Chinese Art Theme

China is considered to be one of the earliest civilization grounds for man, spanning more than 4,000 years back. During its heydays, the Chinese were among the most advanced in the world but were declined through civil wars and imperialism. However, China still has an amazing history in culture, literature and art.

The Chinese have a fairly new graphic design as compared to western countries. It is from 1979 that China welcomed new ideas and technologies in their art. The country surges with an energy of creativity that expresses a strong nationalism sense. It is no surprise that you can still come across the traditional Chinese art in their modern graphic designs. However, in the last decade, their graphic design has shown great influence from the west as they copy elements from different cultures and integrate it into theirs. But their art continues to retain the drive and soul of the Chinese. Examples include the designs used in making calligraphy, Feng shui arts and cultural festivities among others.

Middle East Art Theme

The west perceive the Middle Easterners as mystifying and alluring.  Middle East is the home to flying carpets, magic lamps and sand, the type that most people can only see in their dreams. Their culture is somewhat a paradox – it’s rich with the most extensive and oldest art forms in history.

However, graphic design is still in its infancy. It is a struggle still for the Arab world, and freelancing isn’t the best way of earning a living around there. There aren’t so many art schools in the region as such. But their graphic design is alluring. It shows strong influence by the old calligraphy, arabesque and repetition of patterns. The Middle East is slowly opening up to the consumerism culture of the west.  The Arabs are crazy about their gold, and this is very evident in their art designs. Their design is very rich in colours and prides itself in calligraphy and mysterious symbols.


Different cultures around the globe have different histories, customs and beliefs that are evident in their art. Graphic design and art in general makes us view the world at a different angle. Different artists around the globe have different approaches to their art which makes it almost difficult to cover every aspect of every community’s art theme. But a look at the four above is enough to show the world that art is extremely rich.

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