Learn about the history of the Arts and Crafts movement, including leading designers such as William Morris and Gustav Stickley, and its influences on contemporary design.
- I'm Sean Adams, and I'd like to welcome you to the Foundations of Graphic Design History, The Arts and Crafts Movement. In my course, Foundations of Graphic Design History, I introduce the basics of the Arts and Crafts Movement. In this course, we'll dig deeper, looking at the importance of the movement, how it influenced all design in the 20th century, and how it impacts the way we work today. When I have mentioned that I was working on this course, several people asked me why macrame and making bird feeders from soda bottles mattered.
That's a different kind of arts and crafts. What I'm talking about here is the Arts and Crafts Movement in capital letters. This is the first major movement that changed design, and saved it from coming a banal machine-made process, and mass production. Design is a reaction to the time and place it inhabits. The Arts and Crafts Movement began in the midst of The Industrial Revolution, a time of massive technological and social change, just like today.
Its founders looked at the low quality of design in mass production, lack of skill, and loss of pride in workmanship, and said no. The result was a body of work across all media, graphic design, architecture, furniture, product, and lighting that was beautiful and unique. Their philosophy is the first step, the core from which all other design movements spring. To understand the Arts and Crafts Movement is to note the genesis of who we are, and what we make today.
I've taught graphic design history for over two decades. I continue to be amazed when a designer begins to learn about this movement, and is transformed. They expected a tour through old stuff, but instead see amazing ideas and remarkable work, and understand, for the first time, why design matters. We live in a world surrounded by the influences of the Arts and Crafts Movement. It's the beauty and function of your iPhone, the care for typography on a beautiful book, and your kitchen, with simple lines and well-made materials.
The Arts and Crafts Movement may not have car chases and explosions, but the solutions and concepts were Earth-shattering. Welcome to the Foundations of Graphic Design History, The Arts and Crafts Movement.
Sean reviews the factors leading to the rise of Arts and Crafts, and the designers and companies who led the charge, including William Morris, Gustav Stickley, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Since Arts and Crafts spanned more than print, Sean reviews its impact on architecture, textile and furniture design, ceramics and glasswork, and bookmaking. He also explains what led to the decline of the Arts and Crafts movement , and how its influence on contemporary design lives on.