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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Ideas from the History of Graphic Design by California Institute of the Arts

2,329 ratings

About the Course

This condensed survey course focuses on four key periods or themes from the history of design in the West. Together we’ll trace the emergence of design as a recognized practice, why things look the way they do, and how designers approached specific design problems in their work. Students will develop an understanding of where the wide variety of today’s design practice comes from. By participating in this survey of the works of innovative groups and individuals, we outline the process by which graphic design moved from a purely instrumental practice, to becoming a demanding creative and hybridized field. Each week, a short quiz will test your knowledge of concepts, and a short reflective assignment will give you the opportunity to analyze the questions designers ask themselves today. This is an essential course for emerging designers entering the field, or for students interested in learning more about visual culture and analysis. No previous experience is required. A note about this course: This course is taught from the perspective of contemporary design, to connect ideas that helped formulate design practice from the 1850s through the 1960s to the ways that designers think today. The relationship of words and pictures in graphic design is looked at through the ever-changing social and cultural contexts, technologies, aesthetics, and politics of their eras. The definition and practice of graphic design includes all public visual communications, which is a global practice. It was the evolution of mass production and communication in the West that specifically redefined graphic design as a professional practice and is this course’s particular narrative. We hope students will consider how to connect the themes and ideas offered in this course to your own culture....

Top reviews


Nov 26, 2016

Its been a great course, many info and points that are fantastic in the learning or adding new knowledge always. I will always recommend this course for those who want to know more and learn design.


Mar 21, 2022

I was a little bit nervous about this course, I always hated History in school, but surprisingly this was very good! I enjoyed it! The assignments were easy to understand and managebale to complete.

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426 - 450 of 488 Reviews for Ideas from the History of Graphic Design

By Clara

Jul 27, 2016

it gives a good understanding of graphic design evolution from post second WW to contemporary time. Very focused on American design.


Dec 22, 2022

It was interesting to learn about the history of graphic design, however, I would have loved to go back further into history.

By Egle

Sep 1, 2016

Really interesting and useful. Although some more information about the more post-modern approaches would be also great.

By Tigran G

Nov 12, 2017

All was very good, but if after every video put a little quiz it will be better to understand and remember the material

By Nene W

Feb 22, 2017

I learnt quite alot about design luminaries. Would prefer if it was truely global but still a very interesting course

By Joy S

Oct 1, 2018

I am not into art. Nevertheless, this class and the others in this specialty were surprisingly interesting.

By Vijayasundaram M

Feb 28, 2017

The course was well structured; and provided opportunity to seek and learn more on the topics dicussed

By Ibrahim N

Jul 18, 2016

Too example based course but indeed very interesting for exploring the ages of graphic design hitory

By Kolya K

Mar 30, 2018

Great Course, got lot of knowledge. A little short and required to continuing studying on your own.

By Camila L

Jan 11, 2017

I would like to have more materials. See more work, read/listen about more design movements.

By Christine

Jun 21, 2016

Excellent presentation, engaging content, interesting and relevant assignments and quizes.

By Lucas B V

Aug 7, 2020

O curso é muito bom, particularmente os dois primeiros módulos são bastante instrutivos.

By Nicholas S H

May 6, 2019

I would like to know about how graphic design occurred in non-US or European countries.

By Virginia L

Nov 17, 2017

I love the examples, the theory behind without being too didactic. It could be longer

By E. C C

Apr 6, 2017

Solid, if minimal introduction to some points from the History of Graphic Design.

By Louise O

Jun 7, 2020

I found this course very interesting! I loved learning where it all started.

By Aishwarya V

Dec 8, 2016

Great content. There is a lot to learn from this course. Excellent lectures.

By Amor S

Oct 15, 2019

If there are some recommendation for reading, it would be better.

By Nicole S

May 24, 2018

Good course, wish had more time to get a big picture perspective.

By Julie C

May 17, 2021

Overall content was good but assignments often lacked clarity

By Olena T

Jun 29, 2017

The course is informative and develops analysis skills.

By Aldair A I L

Oct 24, 2022

Me ayudó bastante a poner en practica mi creatividad

By Robert D

Feb 4, 2021

A good introduction to the history of graphic design

By Maria B

Sep 12, 2017

i would prefer more insight into the european design