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

2,228 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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251 - 275 of 464 Reviews for Ideas from the History of Graphic Design

By Abdullah B G

Sep 3, 2020

Amazing journey, learned allot of new things.

By Mr. C k c

Aug 31, 2020

Great! I learn so much at the course! Thanks!

By Polina

Nov 10, 2016

Super cours ! It is very interesting ! enjoy!

By Hien N

Oct 19, 2021

Would be great to have more female examples.

By Sol R

Jul 9, 2017

Excelente curso! muy completo e interesante!


Jul 23, 2021

muy bueno y rico en informacion y contenido

By Bambang P

Dec 3, 2019

this is really great, small bites at a time


Oct 1, 2020

great course, full of information and fun!

By Haidar A

Jan 30, 2021

super helpful and relevant to all levels

By Laura H

Jun 19, 2020

Enthusiastic teachers and solid material

By Justyna B

Sep 5, 2019

Very interesting and informative course!

By Chris M

Mar 11, 2021

Great teachers and interesting topics!

By Thiruvikraman S

Oct 1, 2019


By Rebecca K

Aug 29, 2016

Very informative and full of fun facts

By Stewart G

Aug 7, 2020

Well taught and valuable information.

By Muhammad U

Feb 18, 2020

I would really recommend this course!

By Rinzn J

Aug 18, 2016

its really an awesome course for all.

By Daniel D

Jul 10, 2016

Great course!! Thank you, Coursera!!!

By David K

May 12, 2021

very informative and inspirational.

By Demion C

Apr 22, 2020

wonderful class! thank you so much.

By Israel T

Oct 5, 2016

I definitely recommend this course!

By Irene A S A

May 18, 2020

Very educational and enlightening.

By jose m m

Apr 26, 2020

Muy bueno , altamente recomendable

By drewmunro

Mar 19, 2017

An excellent intro to the subject.

By Monali K

Jul 30, 2020

Nice course and wonderful trainer