1850 to 1942 : Modernization

In the 19th century, Malaya became one of the captured colonies of the British imperialist power. With the increase of British intervention in the country, traditional lifestyles began to change. Many Malay rulers had lost much of their power to the British Residents, demographics were changing with huge influxes of Chinese workers working in tin mines and plantations, and villages had become bustling towns with burgeoning merchant class and European-style streetscapes. During this time, graphic design was used by the British as part of their strategy to expand its powerful enterprise, which resulted in the development of graphic design as a marketing tool. In other words, graphic design was used to create the identity and ‘face’ of British Malaya.

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