Ideas from the History of Graphic Design

4.6
744 ratings
164 reviews

Course 4 of 5 in the Graphic Design Specialization

This condensed survey course focuses on four key periods or themes from the history of design. Together we’ll trace the emergence of design as a recognized practice, why things look the way they do, and how designers approached specific design problems in their work. Each week, a short quiz will test your knowledge of concepts, and a short reflective assignment will give you the opportunity to analyze the questions designers ask themselves today. This is an essential course for emerging designers entering the field, or for students interested in learning more about visual culture and analysis. No previous experience is required.
Globe

100% online course

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Approx. 14 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 2-3 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Serbian

What you will learn

  • Check
    Learn about graphic design radicalism in late 1950s to early 1970s
  • Check
    Learn about the history of graphic design
  • Check
    Make informed design choices
  • Check
    Understand the emergence of design as a recognized practice

Skills you will gain

Graphic DesignArt HistoryCommunication DesignCommercial Design
Globe

100% online course

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Approx. 14 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 2-3 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Serbian

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Early Mass Marketing

This week we are going to take a look at the effects of industrialization in the late 19th century, and how goods were produced, sold, and marketed. ...
Reading
11 videos (Total 43 min), 3 readings, 2 quizzes
Video11 videos
Introduction to Early Mass Marketing1m
Form Follows Function4m
A Democratization of Choice2m
A Revival of Styles4m
Style Mash-up
4m
An Exaggeration of Type5m
Branding5m
A Household Name3m
Text and Image5m
"Words doing the work"2m
Reading3 readings
About this course8m
About the assignments8m
The Designer's Toolbox: Wood Type5m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 1 Quiz10m

2

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

The Bauhaus

This week, we'll look at how the work and teachings of The Bauhaus (1919-1933), and how design emerged as a recognized practice. ...
Reading
11 videos (Total 42 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video11 videos
Founding the Bauhaus5m
The Foundation Year6m
The Bauhaus and Architecture4m
Klee, Schlemmer & Albers5m
László Moholy-Nagy1m
Herbert Bayer5m
Color & Image3m
Textiles & Ceramics1m
Typography2m
Publications3m
Reading1 readings
Week 2 Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 2 Quiz10m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Modernism in America

Modernism in mid-century America through the eyes of four key designers. ...
Reading
13 videos (Total 41 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video13 videos
The Bauhaus influence4m
A symbolic language4m
Case Study: Scope Magazine1m
Developing corporate identities3m
A new subjectivity3m
Case Study: Fortune Magazine2m
Play and humor4m
Case Study: The Mechanized Mule brochure1m
Duality & Simplicity4m
Case Study: El Producto cigars1m
Rand’s Logo Designs3m
A clear identity3m
Reading1 readings
Week 3 Resources1m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 3 Quiz10m

4

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Graphic Design Radicalism

Design practice in the late 1950s to early 1970s was new, radical and divergent. To show you just how varied it was, we’ll look at the work of four key players/movements. ...
Reading
14 videos (Total 59 min), 5 readings, 2 quizzes
Video14 videos
The objectivity of Swiss Design6m
Incorporating abstraction1m
Josef Mueller-Brockmann4m
The Grid4m
Emil Ruder1m
Compositional Strategies2m
The subjectivity of Push Pin6m
Milton Glaser5m
“The South”2m
The Psychedelic Poster and Looking to the Past7m
The Diggers5m
Sister Corita’s Aesthetics6m
Sister Corita’s Politics2m
Reading5 readings
Week 4 Resources1m
The Designer's Toolbox: Four-color printing1m
The Designer's Toolbox: "Psychedelic" Effects5m
The Designer's Toolbox: Gestetner Machine3m
The Designer's Toolbox: Screen printing3m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 4 Quiz10m
4.6
Direction Signs

38%

started a new career after completing these courses
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By PDNov 27th 2016

Its been a great course, many info and points that are fantastic in the learning or adding new knowledge always. I will always recommend this course for those who want to know more and learn design.

By ADDec 5th 2016

Loved it and all the examples the teachers put into it, as well as the organization and evolution of themes. Big thank you to the teacher ladies. I learned a lot and enjoyed the lessons very much.

Instructors

Avatar

Louise Sandhaus

Faculty, Program in Graphic Design
Avatar

Lorraine Wild

Faculty, Program in Graphic Design

About California Institute of the Arts

CalArts has earned an international reputation as the leading college of the visual and performing arts in the United States. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

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