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

2,251 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


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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376 - 400 of 474 Reviews for Ideas from the History of Graphic Design

By Vinh Đ Q

Sep 23, 2021

So good

By Doaa M M

Aug 3, 2019

جيد جدا

By Enas A M T

Feb 23, 2019


By alaa m A

Jul 13, 2021


By Taju A

Aug 18, 2020


By Nadia A M

Aug 28, 2017


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Jul 2, 2016


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By Iftikhar B

Oct 18, 2020


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Jul 13, 2020


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By chise

Feb 9, 2020


By ognjen r

May 7, 2017


By Vandana B P

Mar 7, 2022


By Jai C

Aug 2, 2017

It was a wonderful course. I have designed things but never took a formal design education. I think knowing the history of a particular field helps. It gives you a picture of how things evolved to be what they are today. I would not have known where to start even if I wanted to learn history of graphic design. This course has given me a good start. Now I can go deeper in that study. Thank you

By Maneesh P

Jun 4, 2017

It was interesting learning about the history of graphic design the only reason I didn't give the course 5 stars is the course didn't really have many opportunities for students to work on their own graphic design. Courses 1 through 3 were all about creation this felt more like a survey course studying the history of the field, while interesting I am more fascinated with the art of making.

By Tereza M

Aug 13, 2018

I've learned a lot thanks to this course. It is a great part of whole specialization because of the brief introduction to the history. It is very clearly described and inspiring. Actually I would appreciate to continue with my education about history :) So I can just recommend this course.

By Sushen W

Sep 5, 2017

It was great learning all about the foundation of Graphic Design,how it originated,where it started,about Bauhaus,about all the famous graphic designers of the 19th century,about the subcultures etc. It was a course that made me take a step back and learn about history.:)

By Delia C G

Apr 2, 2020

This was a good course all in all. I really enjoyed the assignments and the lectures were quite instructive. I think I would have liked it to be even more instructive with more info and more videos and examples. In other words, more content would have been appreciated!

By Dina M

Mar 22, 2021

Very interesting addition to Graphic Design Specialization, it's important to learn the history of the field you're studying. I recommend taking it with other courses of Specialization, or as a separate if you are just curious about the history of graphic design.

By Indah P

May 18, 2017

I learned many things from this lecture! Not just the information about the history itself, but also how those graphic designer in late era came out with ideas. Their thinking, their purpose, their effect and inspiration to the new designer. Great!

By Sayeed H

Mar 17, 2022

I had a lot of trouble completing the course.

The worse thing that happened was someone rated my submission with all NO answers. He does not have a name.

I could not find a place to write this injustice. I had to submit the assignment again.