ART-130: History of Graphic Design

Liberal Arts
Fine & Performing Arts
Graphic Design
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
History of Graphic Design
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Eligible to take ENG courses at HFC
Catalog Course Description

Explores design through the ages and the various contexts in which it developed. Studies the evolution of the letter form, the emergence of type and printing, and the history of design and illustration.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement

To help students become better designers by giving them a historical context for their field of study as well as a look at how the field is changing through technology and the growing global design environment.

Core Course Topics
  1. Early writing, mark making, the invention of alphabets, and the use of words to communicate through illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages to present day.
    • Identify and discuss early writing systems and their influences on design today.
  2. Typographic design from the Renaissance period through contemporary typographic design. Including the invention of printing and typeface design.
    • Classify major type design styles and their designers.
  3. The use of illustration and photography, and the relationship of both to graphic design.
    • Recognize illustrative techniques and understand the role of innovation in graphic design.
  4. Major periods in the history of graphic design from Renaissance through contemporary design including the influence of the Art movements on graphic design.
    • Classify work and artists from important artistic movements and discuss their relevance to graphic design, including Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Cubism, Futurism, Dada, and the New York School.
  5. The digital revolution, screen based media, and its effects on graphic design.
    • Analyze the relevance of important typographic movements and the work of significant graphic designers through history. Understand the importance of technology and historic influences on design today.
  6. International design trends through history and the effect of the global village on design.
    • Identify and discuss international trends in design in context of a contemporary design practice.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement
* Class Participation includes discussions and critiques * Unit tests and final exam. * Research paper or oral report. * Written and designed projects as described in the course syllabus.
Meggs’ History of Graphic Design


General Education Categories
  • Humanities and Fine Arts
Institutional Outcomes
  • Humanities
MTA Categories
  • Category 5: Humanities and Fine Arts
Satisfies Wellness Requirement
Effective Term
Winter 2022