As I was doing my research into the topic of Design Style, I started to investigate influences. There are several factors that influence Design Style… some of the ones that jumped out right away for me were Art and History. In fact, they may be the two MOST influential factors in establishing a particular Design Style. Take, for example, Victorian… The name itself is even derived from the monarch Queen Victoria. But there are other elements of history and art that both establish the major characteristics of that style. The color pallet, fonts and flourishes, imagery and illustration style, all come from a symphony of elements (art, music, fashion, architecture, cuisine, politics, industry, entertainment, religion, technology, etc.) that were popular at that time. The “Popular Culture” of the day.
Which actually brings up a couple of other major influences in establishing a Design Style… the location and time period. Continuing with our example, the Victorian style emerged from a period in time in Britain known as the Victorian Era, 1837 to 1901 during the reign of Queen Victoria. Both location and time period play a role… the Victorian style could not have emerged from any other time period or location. And the same is true with other styles; all of which have major contributors that fall under the umbrella of the “Popular Culture” of the day… The specific time period and location, along with the major movements happening in both the art world and the historical events of the day, all contribute to creating a set of visual characteristics that get grouped together under a specific design term.
The final influence on the development of a style is in the interpretation of those cultural microcosms by historians and educators. Without academic research performed, identifying and tying together similarities, there would be no set of visual characteristics to make up that movement.