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

2,098 ratings
439 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

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.

Dec 4, 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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51 - 75 of 434 Reviews for Ideas from the History of Graphic Design

By Aimee L

Jun 15, 2020

Really enjoyed this course - a good introduction to some of the historical roots of graphic design. I did this as the 4th course in the design specialization. If anything, I think it would be useful to do at the beginning of the course.

By Angelica B

Feb 12, 2017

I learnt so many things in this course and it has given me a new perspective when looking at graphic design. Through thus course I have learnt the importance of looking at the history of graphic design and learning from other designers.

By Ana P B

Oct 25, 2016

It was very interesting to know this different periods and specific designer's works. I was surprised to know Sister Corita, her work is awesome. And the assignments were another very nice way to know other cultures and points of view.

By Juan C E

Dec 19, 2016

It is a powerful tool for anyone interested on Visual Arts. The way this course is designed and curated, allows the student to expand the scope of the matter and get some inspiration to pursue his own sources of knowledge. Good work!

By Ahmed H K

Aug 29, 2020

At first was confuse what I was going to learn from here. But through out the course I accumulated a basic knowledge of the history and not only that using the past we can also create a unique style design in the respective field.

By Fer G

Jul 27, 2020

This course will give you a good reference to navigate you way around the main pillars of graphic design. After this course you will be able to distinguish elements that come from certain subcultures in a piece of graphic design.

By Pietro C

May 21, 2020

I learned many interesting things about the history of graphic design, I met designers and artists I didn't know, the course left me with the curiosity to investigate the cultural references of contemporary visual communication.

By Ruth J

Aug 16, 2018

This has got to be my favorite among the specializations as it provides context for present and future thoughts and movements of design. The instructors were very good and succinct. The movements discussed were very interesting.

By Anna E T

Jan 1, 2017

I learned a lot about the history of graphic design through this course and I really enjoyed the research assignments which encouraged us to delve more deeply into the history, the changes, and the ideas behind so many designs.

By Esther B

Jan 20, 2021

This is a fantastic course. The teacher is very pleasant andthe pace and content of the individual is very interesting and easy to follow. It inspires me to do more research on the designers and design periods taught in class.

By Mariana M d O

Mar 29, 2021

A course full of content and activities is interesting. It makes a general mapping of the design history, allowing the connection with the current design. It was very interesting and good to take this course, I learned a lot!

By Elsa P

Dec 15, 2017

This is a great introductory course in the history of design. The material was presented clearly and it's very well planned and organized. I had some issues with the audio but this is a minor issue that can be easily fixed

By John R W

Mar 11, 2020

Loved the discussions and examples of different schools of graphic design thought. For me, this was the most intellectually stimulating of the four courses I have taken so far in pursuit of the Graphic Design Certificate.

By Lakhi K D

Aug 12, 2020

The course is quite well-structured in 4 weeks. I couldn't relate much with the 4th-week topic 'Subcultures in Graphic Design. Maybe a global approach to that instead of focussing only on America would be helpful.

By Itika A

Aug 5, 2020

I'm a person who's afraid of history as a subject but this was so insightful and interesting!! Researching was the best part about this course which helped me connect the present and the past of graphic designing.

By carla b

May 26, 2021

This course is very interesting because it demonstrates in the historical line how the techniques and proncipios of Graphic Design were developed, inaugurated and applied over time. I loved! Thank you !

By Pablo B D

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.

By Bonnie K

Jan 11, 2018










































phic design history. The classes would easy to understand and assimilate. The assignments were very helpful to understand the lessons. Many thanks!

By Rachel Y

Sep 18, 2019

I think learning from the history is really important for graphic designers, as inspirations or reference! This course does a great job covering different styles and schools of graphic design!

By Sreyas S

Apr 7, 2018

Fantastic Course! It helps you build a deep insight into the evolution of graphic design and also as a process of the assignments helps you understand local graphic practices and subculture!

By Sanda L

Jul 15, 2016

A more theoretical Cours that I really enjoyed and made me search for different artists. I started researching more and discovered how valuable this can be. Thank you for all the resources.

By Suzanne A V

Nov 8, 2020

This is another awesome course that I enjoyed thoroughly! I loved and enjoyed learning about the awesome people and institutions of the past that made graphic designing what it is today.

By Martin S

Aug 23, 2017

This course gives us opportunity to explore within us that creating a project based task for a client or own startup. It can also be used as our portfolio. Opens up door for the career.

By Sue H

Jul 20, 2020

I really enjoyed this course. The lectures were interesting and I have a better understanding of design styles and their influences. I enjoyed completing the assignments too. Thank you!

By Jen A

Oct 23, 2016

very informative course, it's very good to know the inspiration of contemporary art cultures. it opens up more creativity and out of the box thinking for new artists like me. Thank you