Cave paintings are the earliest known examples of what is called graphics. These paintings, as well as markings on other natural surfaces such as rocks, bones, tusks (ivory), antlers and other objects were made in the Upper Paleolithic period which spanned from 40,000 to 10,000 years ago. Recorded on these objects were information often relating to keeping track of time, whether it be the seasons, the years or the astronomical changes which these prehistoric peoples observed.
Graphics from more modern times appear about 6,000 years ago as engraved stone tablets as well as cylinder seals from ceramics, which kept track of historic periods and were used for record keeping and keeping inventories. Egyptians often used papyrus on which they graphically planned the construction of the pyramids. The Egyptians also used limestone and wood to graphically represent things of interest. Much later, from about 600BC until 250BC the Greeks used graphics to represent mathematical theories which they were developing, like the Circle Theorem and the Pythagorean Theorem.
In the very recent past graphics has entered the world of computers. Today there are two types of graphics; raster graphics, in which each individual pixel is defined separately, like in digital photography; and vector graphics, which used mathematical formulas to represent lines and shapes, which need to be interpreted at the viewer’s end to produce the graphic.