ART-130: History of Graphic Design

Liberal Arts
Art (art History)
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
Catalog Course Description

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

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement

To help students become better designers and/or illustrators 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.
  2. Typographic design from the Renaissance period through contemporary typographic design. Including the invention of printing and typeface design.
  3. The invention of photography and its relationship to graphic design.
  4. The use of illustration in design from mark making to present day.
  5. Major periods in the history of graphic design from Renaissance through contemporary design including the influence of the Art movements on graphic design.
  6. The digital revolution, screen based media, and its affects on graphic design.
  7. International design trends through history and the effect of the global village on design.
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  1. Identify and discuss early writing systems and their influences on design today.
  2. Identify major type design styles and their designers.
  3. Recognize illustrative techniques and understand the role of innovation in graphic design.
  4. 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. 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. Identify and discuss international trends in design in context of a contemporary design practice.*

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement
  • Contribution to class discussions.
  • Midterm and final exams.
  • Research paper or oral report.
  • Design Projects.

Text to be determined by the department/instructor

Credit for Prior College-Level Learning

Options for Credit for Prior College-Level Learning
Other Details

Determined by department.

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Fall 2018
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date