Beginning in the Victorian age, Sean explores the need for design in Industrial age advertising, the use of graphic design as propaganda during the two world wars, and the rise of the massively influential Bauhaus school. He sheds light on the development of poster, film-title, magazine, and album-cover design; the changing relationship between design and typography; and graphic design's role in various art movements, ranging from Art Nouveau to new wave. Get started with Foundations of Graphic Design History and discover the power of imagery.
- Why study graphic design history?
- Art Nouveau
- The Arts and Crafts movement
- The Soviet Revolution
- European avante-garde
- New Typography
- The great age of posters
- American modernism
- Post-war optimism
- The rise of the corporate identity
- Exploring the fused metaphor and the "big idea"
- Reviewing Swiss typography
- The West Coast shift
Skill Level Beginner
- I'm Sean Adams and I'd like to welcome you to the Foundations of Graphic Design History. I've been studying and teaching graphic design history for three decades and I've helped build and manage the largest collection of graphic design history in the world, the AIGA Historical Archives. One of the first questions you might ask is why should I care about graphic design history? It's the past. And I would answer that one of the best tools to be a great designer is to have a wide visual vocabulary.
And history gives us that. Having a visual library of images stored in your memory, gives you a smarter and more varied toolbox. The other point is that design is not Darwinian, that is, it doesn't get better over time. Design simply reflects the culture and the period of time in which it was created. This course is created to provide a solid foundation of the highlights in our graphic design history. I'm not interested in talking about history, like your third grade history teacher.
I'm more interested in why something looks the way it does and what was happening to influence that? Whether it's a unique way of using contrast or an unexpected approach with typography, the examples we'll explore will always be inspirational. I'm sure you'll finish with more appreciation for some of the great designers in the past and it will hopefully spark your curiosity to dig deeper. Welcome to the Foundations of Graphic Design History.