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Great Examples of Art Deco in Modern Graphic Design

written by: Michael Guerrero•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 5/29/2011

Art deco examples are incredibly common in modern designs. It's such a unique and interesting style that it has been the inspiration of several design movements. In this article we feature the unique style of art deco in all its glory.

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    What is Art Deco?

    Art deco is a style of design that was introduced in the 1920s; it has an easily recognizable style. The principles behind art deco are heavily based on the usage of mathematical shapes, particularly rounded edges mixed in with blockier shapes, to create a style that seems far too modern for the time period in which it flourished.

    Art Deco Entrance, Casablanca 

    Art deco is considered a form of modernism and helped to inspire the pop art movement and post-modern designs through the 1970s. The most iconic excamples of this style is the Chrysler Tower in New York.

    Chrysler Building by David Shankbone Retouched 

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    Art Deco in Advertising & Themes

    Graphics for advertisements have sparsely begun adapting art deco traits such as fonts, backgrounds, colors and themes to capitalize on the uniqueness of this style. As you can see in the example provided, the gas station chain Sheetz has begun to adopt some art deco style to advertise their made-to-order products. Sometimes companies that were established when art deco was at its most popular will have throwback promotions--they replace their most current product with one that has a similar or identical look to what it was previously.

    Sheetz Art Deco HotDogz Promo 

    Additionally, some restaurants and bars have completely adapted the style. They use the 1920s feel created by art deco designs in their signs, menus, advertisements or even decorations hung in their establishments to try and recreate the past in the atmosphere of their businesses. This is incredibly novel, especially when paired with dishes or drinks that were popular at the time, allowing for patrons to live a bit of the history behind the style.

    Shaw's Oyster Bar in Chicago 

    It's also easy to find art deco fonts, which are often heavily relied upon to achieve the look and feel that designers are seeking.

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    Video-Games Using Art Deco

    Video-game design is fast becoming a recognized art form since artists have to create a wide variety of assets to make a complete game, and you'll see many art deco examples. Buildings, textures, posters and models all fit a certain theme in order to breathe life into a video-game setting that makes it unique and interesting to look at and explore. Art deco and the '20s and '30s are fast becoming some of the most popular settings for video-games because they've never been touched on before and are therefore fresh and unique. There are several games that have begun to borrow influence from the art deco style, but one series in particular stands out.

    Chryslus Ad 2 from the Fallout Universe 

    It's the Fallout series, which is a post-apocalyptic representation of Earth in the 2440s. The game heavily adopts a 1920s art deco feel, but with futuristic elements peppered throughout. Everything from the rocket cars based on classic cars or the brand Nuka Cola adopting Coca Cola's classic graphic design are all based on something in the '20s but with the Fallout Universe's own spin on it. Of the few standing buildings shown, they feature the distinct architecture found amongst the art deco periods. The most noticeable use of the style is in the game's various propaganda and ad posters littered throughout the game that depict what life was like before the apocalyptic event that shapes the game's universe.

    The Vault Of The Future Poster from Fallout