Inspiration and History of Graphic Design in KL

We all love a bit of creative inspiration! Any designer can tell you it’s not always easy rolling out of bed and conjuring up magical content right from the off. So what did the kind people of Content Nation do? We created a two-step story of inspiring history and future inspiration for Malaysia’s resident design wizards.

An inspiring history of Malaysian graphic design

Malaysia has a rich and exciting history of vibrant graphic design. Perhaps the most visible sign of that history can be found in the emotive symbol of our nation’s flag.

The Stripes of Glory emerged from a design competition held in 1947, with the winning designed conceived of by one Mohammed Hamzah. This national icon was actually one of two designs created and submitted by Mohammed in just two weeks. It’s unlikely the worker from Johor’s Public Works Department realised the exciting role he was to play in both Malaysia’s future, and as a lifelong answer to trivia questions about our nation’s past.

As a design agency based in Kuala Lumpur, we’re always delighted to see the history of graphic design in KL as part of that wider Malaysian design history. Thanks to the fantastic resource hosted by the fine people of Malaysian Design Archive (MDA), there’s a perfect place to explore this story.

The Malaysian Design Archive is a truly amazing resource to inspire your graphic design projects today, by immersing yourself in Malaysia’s design history. The archive explores design throughout different periods or Malaysian history, offering up the likes of beautifully designed travel posters, luggage tags, political posters and everyday product packaging. It’s a vibrant illustrated journey that mirrors the evolution of Malaysia itself.

This is a nation that’s bursting with a history of beautiful design. That’s inspiring in itself. But where do you go if you want graphic design inspiration for the future?

Inspiring your future designs

The world is full of beautiful design inspiration, from stunning natural vistas to bright and buzzing street art that livens up the urban streets. It’s not always easy to dip in and out of such places though, so here’s a quick-fire list of inspiring digital locations for your design needs.

This one really does what it says on the beautifully designed tin. Expect a list of beautiful graphic design examples from around the world, from eye-catching album covers to awe-inspiring event posters.

Global Street Art

If you can’t take to the streets to find artistic inspiration, why not bring the streets to you, with a digitally curated platform hosting amazing images of global street art.

Street art can be anything from the powerfully political to the downright majestic, but it’s nothing if not inspired and inspiring. Explore the archives to see how colours and imagination brighten up the real world.


The Dieline explores the boundless scope of graphic design away from digital delivery, in the captivating world of packaging design. Not only does The Dieline host stunning examples of beautifully designed packaging, it goes further to place itself as a champion of the graphic design industry.

Gura Fiku

We’ve already established that historical graphic design can be fascinating in itself, so why not dive into the delirious depths of Japanese graphic design history with Gura Fiku? This amazing site offers everything from iconic Japanese woodblock prints to fantastical theatre posters bursting with colour and inspiration.


Want fun with fonts? Sure you do. Fonts In Use goes beyond the imagery itself to explore the firm foundations of a marketing message – the beauty of typography. Expect the sweeping curves of a gorgeous G alongside the brutally sharp corners of a lovingly crafted L. This is typography for the obsessive designer, and it’s beautiful.


Mirador offers a tribute to design that is almost euphoric in its crisp aesthetics. The site is hosted by Say What Studio, a design agency based in Paris, and positions itself as a curator of the most inspirational design work. Explore their hallowed digital halls and I’m sure you’ll agree that they’re doing a fantastic job.

Google’s Art Archive

Why restrict yourself to exploring the history of graphic design, when you can dive deeper into the history of art itself. Google’s Art Archive provides a wonderful inspiration that explores the most famous heroes of artistic creativity in all its forms. Immerse yourself in the captivating brush strokes of Van Gogh, or delight in the stunning detail of Nihal Chand. This is art for the lovers, and inspiration for anyone with a creative soul.

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