Influencing the Future: Communication Design of 19th-Century U.S. Magazines and its Impact on 21st-Century Innovations for American Lifestyles




Wingfield, Teresa Wittenbach

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The role of communication design as key to the diffusion and adoption of innovation has yet to be examined. The relationship between communication design and innovation is critical to developments in many diverse fields. This paper explores the relationship between communication design and innovation with a review of U.S. historic popular magazines and current media. The review shows that communication design was well developed in the late 19th century in the U.S. Through design, imagery, and message, communication design of these popular magazines reflected concerns of the day and educated readers about new ideas and inventions. The Ladies Home Journal, 1889–1899, exemplifies ways that communication design engaged the public and helped mainstream new ideas and technologies. By looking at two different developments in the 19th century, and their counterparts in the 21st, this research supports the historical influence of communication design on the adoption of new ideas and inventions, which in turn drives the design cycle of innovation from past to present.



Communication design, Innovation, Design cycle, Nineteenth century, Twenty-first century, Magazines, Media, Magazine design, Advertising design, Design history, Editorial, innovation diffusion, United States magazine design, American design history, Mass communication, Graphic design, Graphic design history, American studies


Wingfield, T. W. (2020). <i>Influencing the future: Communication design of 19th-Century U.S. magazines and its impact on 21st-century innovations for American lifestyles</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


Rights Holder

Rights License

Rights URI