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Ideas from the History of Graphic Design, California Institute of the Arts

1,072 ratings
214 reviews

About this Course

This condensed survey course focuses on four key periods or themes from the history of design. 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. 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....

Top reviews


Nov 27, 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.


Dec 05, 2016

Loved it and all the examples the teachers put into it, as well as the organization and evolution of themes. Big thank you to the teacher ladies. I learned a lot and enjoyed the lessons very much.

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207 Reviews

By Eularia Silveira

May 21, 2019

Amazing course.

By Iskra Dimitrova-Mineva

May 21, 2019

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

By Maya Roeder

May 20, 2019

Very nice overview over the history of graphic design!

By Guthrie Allen

May 13, 2019

Great course!

By Nicholas Seth Hemenway

May 06, 2019

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

By Tudor Cristian Gall

Apr 17, 2019

Useful information and a guide to further reading

By Samantha Ferello

Apr 05, 2019

This course provided a solid foundation in graphic design - though limited to a Western history. Today it seems as though Bauhaus-influenced minimalism is an all-encompassing design approach. As a new designer, it would have been beneficial to understand alternative or reactionary approaches (maximalism is a new design buzzword, for example) and traditions from outside the USA/Western Europe schools of design - especially as these are difficult things to research independently.


Apr 02, 2019

Great information.

By 瞿睿

Apr 01, 2019

I really think the materials are well organized. For beginners like me, it offers so much inspiration. Good course!

By Fatima Hussien Saad El-Dien Ibrahim Sobeh

Mar 13, 2019

Perfect course and very useful