Graphic Design as a means of extending the human capacity to communicate | Humanity's entanglement with technology and how this in turn alters Graphic Design

Some time , around 70,000 years ago, an evolutionary change occurred in the dimensions of the skull of the homo-sapiens species. Cieri, (see McName, 2014) suggests that this change facilitated a development in brain capacity that enabled the homo-sapiens species to join other hominid species in the development of tools. It is commonplace to describe the development of tools as a deliberate attempt to extend the range and capability of the body; this is born out by evidence of how Palaeolithic tools were initially fashioned to extend the capability of the human hand. The evidence we have suggests that unlike other hominid species, homo-sapien development of tool use coincided with the development of image making and in particular the deployment of graphical forms of symbolic meaning, (Drinnon, 2014). Can we usefully discuss the use of image making to deploy symbolic meaning as a means to extend the body. What does this imply for contemporary practices such as graphic Design; for our histories of communication and furthermore what insight can contemporary design bring to our understandings of Palaeolithic image making.


DRINNON, D. (2014) ‘Geometric Signs from Genevieve Von Petzinger’ [Online] Available at: (Accessed 16 November)


MCNAMEE, D. (2014) ‘Softening of human features 'coincided with technological breakthrough' [Online] Available at: (Accessed 16 November 2014)