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Graphic Design History

This course covers the history of graphic design from the mid-19th century through the digital revolution. Influential movements are examined, including arts and crafts, art nouveau, Dada, Constructivism, De Stijl, Bauhaus, Neue Grafik, DIY Punk, and today’s digital landscape. Students explore the evolution of the discipline from typesetting to lithography to digital design and investigate the relationship of the graphic design discipline to propaganda, advertising, branding, personal expression, and social change. Prerequisites: none.

Oct 07 - Dec 15
Fall 2019
CRN 7824
What you will learn
  • The Soul of Graphic Design: A meditation on the ideals of graphic design and its role as a tool of education, revolution, and commerce.
  • The Machine Age: Design before and after the Industrial Revolution.
  • Here Come the Modernists! Social factors between the two World Wars.
  • Utopian visions: the Bolshevik Revolution and its effects on today’s image world
  • More Modernists!
  • From Agitprop to Advertising -The International Style
  • World War II advertising comes of age.
  • The International Typographic Style: the politics of Paul Rand’s ABC logo.
  • The New York School: Pop Art “Consumer engineering”
  • Postmodernism: Designer as Author, Viewer as Author
  • Postmodernism.
  • The Digital Age
  • ”If you use it and it’s free, you are the product.”: social media and politics of culture and the self; default systems design.
  • Recognize the intentions, values, and effects of past design movements on today’s image world.
  • Understand the social, political, and economic forces that shape the way our world looks and vice versa.
  • Enter the debate about the inherently political aspects of graphic design.
  • Develop a unique philosophical stance as a graphic designer.
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