What Helen Armstrong, Ellen Lupton, and J. Abbott Miller, were all trying to explain in their readings was how Graphic design came to be and why it is important to look back at what lead to it becoming such a complex part of society. Learning about how far people have come in graphic design from ancient writings, counting, and printing techniques is just another example of how people have progressively evolved in our ability to invent things and improve them. Back then design was almost an afterthought, what ancient people thought of first was the message along with a way to jot down said message, they wanted a way to record a specific thing, be it a name, year, or story, etc.
As designers we tend to often forget that these ancient practices still influence the way we design today. For one, our designs and their recordings share the same purpose, to convey a message. Not to mention many of the fonts used in typography hail from ancient typefaces such as, Garamond, Blackletter, Calibri, and even Helvetica. Using illustrations is an even older practice that can be dated back to cave paintings when ancient people used pictographs to record their lives and beliefs. The term ‘Graphic Design’ wasn’t even coined until the 20th century.
It is always good to be able to look back in the history of design and acknowledge it. It allows for us to understand things we could of forgotten, like the purposes or importance of certain elements. It is a refresher to go back to the very basics of design for it has grown so large and complex that it can sometimes become frustrating for aspiring designers. It can also work as a form of inspiration, perhaps an ancient design can inspire a modern idea, but it can also inspire in the way it shows how people have adapted throughout the years to the changes brought up by society. If people then could make a design that allowed for them to convey what they wanted, so can you. You too can adapt.