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

2,231 ratings
464 reviews

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


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.


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.

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176 - 200 of 465 Reviews for Ideas from the History of Graphic Design

By Le D

Aug 20, 2016

An excellent course for those who know more.

Very well presented, quite easy to understand.

By Katsiaryna K

Jan 24, 2021

Very nice and condenced course that makes introduction into the history of graphic design.

By Brenda R

Jun 7, 2018

I thought it would be boring, but they made it very fun and interesting! Enjoyed it a lot!

By Aryan I

Jun 8, 2020

This was one of the most inspiration and informational courses on graphic design history


Jul 15, 2020

The course is excellent. Very varied and dynamic. The teaching platform is sensational.

By Yudi Y S

Jun 2, 2020

This course improve my knowledge about history of Graphic Design. This course is great!

By Valentina S

Dec 5, 2019

That was very informative and inspiring. I wish all the courses could be like this one.

By Michael L

Apr 21, 2020

Well presented ideas that provide a foundation of understanding visual communication

By Lisa P

Apr 11, 2022

It was great to learn the background of graphic design, interesting and not boring.

By Soh W K

Oct 26, 2018

Insightful understanding of Bauhaus and it's philosophy and Teachers and Artworks.

By yash

Jul 26, 2020

It was so inspiring and got to learn so much about the history of graphic design!

By Hanif R

Dec 19, 2020

I learned a lot of history from this course. Graphic Design had come a long way.

By Renee T

Feb 11, 2018

I've learned so many new design ideas. The history behind it all is fascinating.

By Astrid S

Feb 14, 2017

Loved this course! Super interesting content and motivating lecturers! Awesome!

By Sion J

Jun 18, 2020

I learned a lot that I'd not known about specific logos and who created them.

By Iskra D

May 21, 2019

The course gives good basics on the design development throughout the years.

By Mubashir Z

Dec 25, 2020

this course is well designed, helps to rethink the ability for image making

By Deleted A

Aug 2, 2018

My favourite of the courses in the Graphic Design Specialisation thus far !

By Hương N

Jun 1, 2022

I'm so impressed because of how specific the knowledge of the course is ^^

By Ephraim N

Dec 13, 2019

Very interesting and definitely feels like it helps my approach to design.

By Mariagabriella L

Jul 2, 2017

I learned a lot, especially how to research and understand other designers

By Christina A

Dec 26, 2021

I thought the teacher was incredibly clear and n oint. Thank you so much!

By Piotr

Jan 28, 2021

I enjoyed this course thoroughly. I'm giving it 5 stars and recommend it.

By Guilherme R P

May 11, 2020

Thank you very much dear teachers. I have loved learning from you!


By Ar. S D

Oct 12, 2020

very interesting course, learned the basic about graphic design history.