WHAT IS A PRINT? (MOMA Link added Sept. 1)
Welcome to GCOM 305, History of Graphic Design.
Requirements and expectations:
This course provides an overview of the historical styles, movements, people, and events of design to help inspire one to design more creative, appropriate, and intelligent solutions to visual communications and design problems of all kinds.
The course consists of lectures, projects, homework assignments and one essay. There will also be two quizzes. It is expected that additional time, on a weekly basis, will be spent on projects and homework assignments, and reading.
Tom’s Rule of Three: Watch it, Read about it, Do it…(lecture, reading, assignments, tutorials)
Introductions; syllabus review and expectations; the textbook, online resources.
Please read the ENTIRE syllabus. You should have a hard copy. Note: The SYLLABUS is subject to change and it is on this weekly lecture page where changes will be mentioned. You MUST check this site every week for updates etc.
Assignments for this coming week:
Get the Textbook: Meggs’ History of Graphic Design, 6th Edition – it is a printed or e-textbook and runs about $60-90. It can be purchased or rented either in the College Store or online at places like Amazon. NEW or USED, doesn’t matter, as I provide all of the digital files. Get the Textbook on Amazon
There is one copy on reserve in the LRC (Learning Resource Center) on campus.
Here is the call number: Z 246 .M43 2016 “Meggs’ History of Graphic Design”
There will be one copy on reserve in the Design Lab soon also.
After you get the book, go over the “front matter,” the Contents page, the Preface and the Preface to the First Edition. In the first two weeks of the semester, read Chapters 1-4, pages 1-67.
Part One: The Prologue to Graphic Design: The visual message from prehistory through the medieval era
Chapter 1: The Invention of Writing
Chapter 2: Alphabets
Chapter 3: The Asian Contribution
Chapter 4: Illuminated Manuscripts
As population groups the world over have vastly increased their ability to create and distribute all manner of communications to each other over the course of the last century, and particularly over the course of the last decade, the work produced by visual communication designers has become an ubiquitous part of the synthetic living environments of people in all parts of the world. This work both contextualizes and is contextualized by the cultural, political, economic, religious, ethnic, racial and sexual factors that affect how we perceive ourselves and other citizens of the world. The power of visual communication design lies in its ability to impact how we “place,” or categorize, each other in the increasingly complex array of societies that now comprise the global community. The work of visual communication designers informs, directs, and evokes powerful emotions: any or all three of these objectives affect both group and individual behaviors everywhere, all the time. Understanding how visual communication design accomplishes this, and how it has accomplished this in the past 150 years is the primary objective of this course, and the majority of the content you will encounter during your enrollment in this course has been structured to achieve this end.
Humans have been creating visual communications for almost 13,000 years, beginning with images scrawled on cave walls and evolving to our current ability to disseminate digitally con gured and facilitated media across interconnected networks to anyone in the world with access to electicity and an internet connection.4 Within this time period, and particularly in the years since the industrialized mechanization of printing, this course will survey the aesthetic traditions, conventions and theories, as well as the technologies and the means for structuring written language, that all types of people
(but most particularly visual communication designers and their collaborators) have used to convey information by visual means. This course will explore the mechanisms through which humans have documented their cultures, and how and why they have chosen speci c, visually communicative means to address and redress each other to express various desires, needs and concerns. The essential content of this course will challenge the students enrolled in it to examine the political, philosophical and socio- economic aspects inherent in the processes that inform and have informed visual communication design decision-making, and on the array of responsibilities visual communication designers must assume because of the in uential social, economic and even political power they wield in contemporary society.
Much of the semester schedule for this course is devoted to the study of the development of visual communication design since the Nineteenth Century, when widespread industrialization and the division of labor it instigated created the need to market goods and services, and to communicate political, social and cultural ideas on a massive scale. This need could only be met by a large-scale printing industry and, in turn, by the people who ran and serviced this equipment, and by the people who wrote and designed that which was to be printed. This latter group was not even referred to as “graphic designers” until 1922, and even this term was not widely used until after World War II, but it is their work that will comprise the bulk of the material that will be covered in this 16-week survey. The terms “visual communication design” and “graphic communication design” have only been popularly used since the mid 1980s.
Michele Lee talked to class about submissions to Susurrus, see details below!