Art Deco, originating in the 1920s and flourishing until the 1940s, served as a pivotal branding foundation. It significantly impacted art forms like graphic design and advertising. Emerging in response to World War I’s chaos, it introduced optimism, luxury, and modernity, elements that continue to influence and inspire contemporary design and designers today.

Origins and Characteristics of Art Deco

Art Deco, a highly decorative and luxurious style, embraced geometric shapes, bold colours, and streamlined forms, making it a prime example of agile brand design. It drew inspiration from ancient Egyptian design, Cubism, and the machine age, incorporating clean lines and symmetry while emphasizing materials like chrome, glass, and marble. The movement’s focus on modern technology and industry, including elements of agile brand design, reflected the rapid progress of the era.

The Impact of Art Deco on Graphic Design

Art Deco’s influence on graphic design was widespread, with its impact seen in everything from typography to packaging and advertising. The movement brought a new sense of elegance and sophistication to design, with its use of geometric shapes and bold colours.

Art Deco graphic design also popularised the use of stylised lettering and streamlined illustrations, which became an important element in modern graphic design. Art Deco also played a significant role in the development of advertising, as companies sought to appeal to the modern and affluent consumer market.

Notable Examples of Art Deco in Graphic Design

One of the most iconic examples of Art Deco in graphic design is the poster for the 1929 film “Metropolis” by German designer Heinz Schulz-Neudamm. The poster features a stylised figure in a futuristic cityscape, with sharp lines and bold colours that capture the essence of the Art Deco movement.

Another notable example is the cover design for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby,” created by Cuban-American artist Francis Cugat in 1925. The image of a face adorned with jewels and a cityscape in the background perfectly encapsulates the glamour and excess of the Jazz Age, which was heavily influenced by Art Deco.

The Impact of Art Deco on Advertising

The Art Deco movement had a major impact on advertising, with its sleek and modern aesthetic perfectly suited for promoting products and services to the growing consumer market of the 1920s and 1930s.

Art Deco graphics were used to create eye-catching advertisements for everything from fashion and beauty products to household appliances and automobiles.

The use of stylized typography, bold colors, and geometric shapes helped to create visually striking ads that appealed to consumers’ desire for modernity and luxury. 

Notable Examples of Art Deco on Advertising

One of the most celebrated examples of Art Deco in advertising is the work done for the French luxury ocean liner, the SS Normandie. Launched in 1935, the SS Normandie was not only a marvel of engineering but also a floating showcase of Art Deco design. Advertisements for the Normandie prominently featured its sleek, streamlined silhouette, complemented by stylized fonts and geometric motifs that epitomized the Art Deco aesthetic.

Another notable example is the Coca-Cola advertising campaign of the 1920s and 1930s. The iconic red and white logo was given an Art Deco makeover with a bold, stylized font that captured the energy and modernity of the era. This helped to establish Coca-Cola as a beloved American brand associated with progress and sophistication.

Art Deco in the Digital World

Although the Art Deco movement reached its peak in the 1920s and 1930s, its influence can still be seen in graphic design today. Many contemporary designers continue to incorporate elements of Art Deco into their work, whether as a nod to the past or a way to create a modern yet timeless aesthetic.

The rise of digital design has also allowed for greater experimentation with Art Deco elements in graphic design. With tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator, designers can easily create bold geometric shapes, intricate patterns, and striking typography reminiscent of the Art Deco style.


The Art Deco movement left a lasting impact on graphic design, advertising, and popular culture in general. Its distinct aesthetic continues to inspire designers and captivate audiences, proving that the allure of Art Deco is timeless.

From its origins in Europe to its spread across the world, this influential style has cemented its place in history as a defining feature of the modern era. So the next time you see a sleek and stylish design with bold geometric elements, take a moment to appreciate the lasting legacy of Art Deco.

Whether in fashion, architecture, or graphic design, its influence is undeniable and continues to inspire creativity today.  Keep an eye out for Art Deco references in contemporary designs and advertisements – you never know where you might find a touch of old-world glamour in the digital age.

For those inspired by the timeless elegance and dynamic energy of Art Deco, and are looking to infuse these qualities into your brand or website, our expertise can help bring your vision to life.

Contact us at DesignBull to start the exciting journey of creating a brand and website from scratch, perfectly tailored to your needs.

This article was written by Zoubir Kaci

Andy Fuller

Andy Fuller

Hi, I'm a logo, brand and UX/UI designer, brand strategist and general blogger. Passionate on helping creative entrepreneurs and ecomms launch and grow their digital experience. As well as drumming on me bongo drums by night :)

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