The History of Graphic Design course
Graphic Design in social media from Cave marks to Digital web; the History of Graphic Design is an overview of the historical styles, movements, people, and events of design to help inspire one to design more creative, appropriate, and intelligent solutions to advertising and design problems.

Course components
  • 12 lectures
  • 9,914 images
(average 800 images/lecture)
  • 6 tests
  • StyleBook
semester project
  • Final Exam


Dates and locations
1984-1987: Brookhaven College, Dallas County Community College District: History & Psychology of Visual Communication, 3 sections
1987-2008: University of Central Oklahoma History & Psychology of Graphic Design, History & Theory of Graphic Design, History of Graphic Design, 28 sections.
2000-2003: University of Oklahoma, History of Visual Communication, 4 sections
2004: Scanned all slides to digital images; Built lectures in Keynote, added text.
1998-2016: Oklahoma State University: History of Graphic Design, 19 sections

Stats
  • 54 total sections
  • 2,400+ students
  • Student evaluations

Course syllabus


Course objectives
The goal of the course was for the student to be inspired or fascinated by some person, movement, style, company, event, or logo.
• Provide exposure to images and information to inspire great work, further study, and exploration.
• Identify influences and characteristics of design styles.
• Recognize significant contributors to design.
• Observe and discuss examples of effective design.
• Recognize prevalent historical design themes.
• Help students to see and think in new ways
Historical themes
• Organize information for better communication.
• Exposure/response to increasing clutter: transitioning from chaos to order.
• Upgrading of aesthetics and design consciousness.
• Development of marks, logos, and brands.
• Understanding of/truth to materials.
• Unification/separation of design and technology.
• Decoration versus ‘form follows function'.
• Desire to make a profit.
• There's always a better way.
Resource media
Meggs' History of Graphic Design by Philip Meggs and Alston Purvis
The Cheese Monkeys and The Learners by Chip Kidd
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Communication Arts magazine
• Disneyland, Walt Disney World, or any Disney park
Course grade
The course grade is the average of points earned:
• 6 Tests: each is 12% of the final course grade.
• StyleBook: 14% of the final course grade.
• Final Exam: 14% of the final course grade.
Grading
The tests and Final Exam are graded on a scale of 0 to 100. Opportunities to earn bonus points are available on each of the 6 tests.
The points earned translate to letter grades:
      90 - 100  =  A (89.5 +)
      80 - 90    =  B (79.5 - 89.4)
      70 - 80    =  C (69.5 - 79.4)
      60 - 70    =  D (59.5 - 69.4)
        0 - 60    =  F (0 - 59.4)
How to earn an A or B
• Attend every class on time.
• Review notes each week.
• For test study: use mnemonics, note cards, or other study aids.
• Study for tests with another person or in a group.
• Complete tests with adequate information that is accurate clear, and neatly written. adequate number of accurate styles.
• Submit a thorough and accurate StyleBook.
• Review well for the Final Exam.
Attendance policy
Missing class will deprive you of exposure to the images and the lecture, but attendance will not be taken. It is your responsibility to get the notes from another student. If you're running late, come to class for at least some of the info.
Communication and grammar
Each student is expected to be competent in writing, speaking, and understanding American English. Dictionaries, books, translators, or notes will not be allowed for reference during tests.
Disability accommodations
If you have special needs, contact disability services and inform Dr. Watson as soon as feasible.

Lectures
There will be 12 episodes of lectures. Some will last about 2.5 hours with a brief break in the middle and others, that follow the tests, will last about 1.5 hours. Below are lists of the styles, contributors, and terms included in each lecture, as an overview and to provide correct spelling.
Image disclaimer: A few images shown during lectures will contain profanity and partial nudity. If you have a problem with that, see Dr. Watson to discuss alternatives.

Lecture keywords
Lecture 1
Contributors
Ancient Chinese
Ancient Egyptians
Carl Magee
cave artists (designers)
Clinton Riggs
Earl Tupper
making marks, writing
pictographers
Richard & Betty James
Sylvan Goldman
Terms and spelling
advertising
ankh
art
calligraphy
communication
creativity
design
graphic design
hieroglyphics
iconography, icon
information
logogram
papyrus
perception
petroglyph
pictograph
purpose of graphic design
rebus
relief printing
substrate
trademarks
Lists
Areas of design
Advantages to writing/making marks
Disadvantages to writing/making marks
Historical stages/phases of communication
Impact of writing
Model of communication
Philosophy of design
Theories why humans make marks/write
Why people communicate

Lecture 2
Style
Medieval
    Charlemagne
    Constantine
    Illuminated Manuscript
Contributors
John Baskerville
Giambattista Bodoni
William Caslon
Albrecht Durer
Fournier & Didot
Claude Garamond
Ancient Greeks
Johann Gutenberg
Phoenicians
Ancient Romans
Terms and spelling
alphabet
ampersand
ascender, descender
baseline
bouma
boustrophedon
colophon
diminuendo
drop cap, raised cap
engraving & etching
font
freelance or free-lance
kerning, leading
ligature
majuscule, miniscule
parchment, vellum
pictogram, ideogram, phonogram
point
prolific
thick 'n thin
typography
upper case, lower case
watermark
x-height
Lists
Alphabet contributors
Necessities for printing
Rules for punctuation
Stages of mark-making

Lecture 3
Styles
Rococo, Baroque
Wood Type Poster
Contributors
Mathew Brady
Harper's Weekly
lithography
Thomas Nast
New York Daily Graphic
photography
Louis Prang
Terms and spelling
symmetrical
billboards
cursive
daguerreotype
grotesque
halftone screen
intricate
Joseph Niepce
justified
Louis Daguerre
Renaissance
serif, sans serif
sumptuous
swash, flourish
Lists
Advantages of posters
Objectives of posters

Lecture 4
Styles
Arts & Crafts
    Bruce Goff
    Fay Jones
    Charles Rennie Mackintosh
    William Morris
    Gustav Stickley
    Louis Sullivan
    Louis Comfort Tiffany
    Frank Lloyd Wright
Victorian
Contributors
advertising agencies
Alexander Samuelson
Currier & Ives
N.W. Ayer & Son
Package design
Volney Palmer
Terms and spelling
aesthetic
business cards
eclectic
Fallingwater
form follows function
gradation
guilds
organic architecture
package design
Spencerian Script
stationery
Thorncrown Chapel
undulating

Lecture 5
Styles
Art Nouveau
    Arnold Bocklin font
        Aubrey Beardsley
        Jules Cheret
        Maxfield Parrish
        Alphonse Mucha
        Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
    Samuel Bing's gallery
    Hector Guimard
    Thonet Brothers
Cubism
    Georges Braque
    Pablo Picasso
Dada
    Marcel Duchamp
    Man Ray
    Max Ernst
Futurism
    Filippo Marinetti
Minimalism
    Lucian Bernhard
Terms and spelling
bentwood
collage
dynamism
pasted paper
photomontage
prominent
readymades

Lecture 6
Styles
Constructivism
    El Lissitzky
    Alexander Rodchenko
De Stijl
    Piet Mondrian
Surrealism
    Andre Breton
    Salvador Dali
    Rene Magritte
    MC Escher
Contributors
The Bauhaus
    Herbert Bayer
    Walter Gropius
    Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
    Weimar, Dessau
James Montgomery Flagg
War propaganda posters
Terms and spelling
grid alignment
less is more
propaganda
rectilinear
reverse type
Rosie the Riveter
Uncle Sam
Lists
Bauhaus philosophies
Commonalities of propaganda posters
Formats to set body copy
Icons for the New World (USA)

Lecture 7
Style
Art Deco
    Art Moderne
    Broadway font
    Donald Deskey
    Erte
Contributors
AM Cassandre
William Addison Dwiggins
Frederic Goudy
Stanley Morison
Otto Neurath
    isotypes
Paul Renner
    Futura
Jan Tschichold
    The New Typography
WPA, Works Progress Administration
    Federal Art Project
Terms and spelling
concentric
graphic design
isotypes
legible
streamline
waterfall
zigzag
Lists
Advantages of symbols over text
Principles of The New Typography

Lecture 8
Styles
The Fifties
    Doo Wop
International Typographic Style
    Max Bill
    Helvetica
        Edouard Hoffman
        Max Miedinger
    Ernst Keller
    Univers
        Adrian Frutiger
Contributors
Saul Bass
Beck Map, Henry Beck
Peter Cooper
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Walt Disney
Lou Dorfsman
Henry Dreyfuss
Philo T. Farnsworth
William Golden
Raymond Loewy
Walter Paepcke
Paul Rand
RCA: NBC, ABC
television
Sam Walton
Terms and spelling
biomorphic
carousel
color coded
corporate
ergonomics
Industrial Design
radiovision
Lists
Advice from Sam Walton
Lessons from Walt Disney

Lecture 9
Contributors
Deborah Adler
    Target
Lester Beall
Chermayeff & Geismar
Doyle Dane Bernbach
Landor Associates
Herb Lubalin
Lance Wyman
Terms and spelling
branding
corporate identity
creative teams
Environmental Graphic Design
graphics or style manual
hanging punctuation
logogram, logomark, logotype
The New Advertising
wayfinding
Lists
Influences on advertising
Objectives of corporate identity

Lecture 10
Styles
The Sixties
    Robert Crumb
    Rick Griffin
    Bonnie MacLean
    Peter Max
    Victor Moscoso
    Andy Warhol
    Wes Wilson
New Wave
    April Greiman
Contributors
Arthur Fry
FDIP: DOT, NPS
happy/smiley face
peace symbol
post-it notes
Push Pin Studios
    Seymour Chwast
    Milton Glaser
    Ed Sorel
        Paul Davis
recycle symbol
Rosa Parks
Deborah Sussman
Vignelli Associates
Terms and spelling
graphic decoration
Have a Nice Day
post modern
psychedelia
sense of place & sense of identity
specs (specifications)
Lists
Traits interviewers look for

Lecture 11
'Style'
Macrap
Contributors
Altair 8800
Apple computer
    Jonathan Ive
    Rob Janoff
    Steve Jobs
    Susan Kare
    Macintosh
    Jef Raskin
    Ronald Wayne
    Steve Wozniak
Edward Roberts
ENIAC
Emigre magazine
    Zuzana Licko
    Rudy VanderLans
Doug Engelbart
Microsoft
    Paul Allen
    Bill Gates
Terms and spelling
conversational typography
pixel
resolution
Lists
Advantages of using a computer
Disadvantages of using a computer
Groups who embraced computer graphics
WIMP technology

Lecture 12
Styles
Punk
    David Carson
    Deconstructivism
Information Graphics
    Edward Tufte
    USA Today
    Richard Saul Wurman
Contributors
Internet
Kevin Mackenzie
Ray Tomlinson
respectful design
WorldWideWeb
    Tim Berners-Lee
Terms and spelling
chaos
distressed
emoticons
Enquire
faux
Information Architect
intrigue
Lists
Considerations for web design
Future influences

Sample Keynote screen images
The screens are laid out in a 'webpage' format - several images or lines of text on a page - what students are used to from media on their computers, tablets, and phones.



Font sampler project
Typeface designers have been creating new fonts since the beginning of communication. Often, they will develop typefaces that reflect the fashion and trends of the era. Sometimes, fonts are designed to convey a specific earlier style.
Procedure
Find samples of fonts that are clearly associated with the styles listed below. Scan, capture, or photograph them; print, mount, and bind the pages together. Consider this project as a resource for later reference and inspiration.
Specs
• Size: letter
• Paper color: white
• Ink color: black
Evaluation
Each appropriate and clearly labeled font is worth 5 points. The presentation is worth 20 points.
• All specs followed precisely.
• Fonts that clearly convey a specific style.
• Pages bound neatly.
• Pleasing page layout.
• In on time.
Purpose
• Make decisions on appropriate selection of type.
• Become familiar with a variety of font resources.
• Develop a neat presentation of information.
Resources
• Software font menus
• U&lc and type catalogs
• Design books
Styles
___ Egyptian
___ Chinese
___ Medieval
___ Rococo
___ Victorian
___ Wood Type Poster
___ Arts & Crafts
___ Art Nouveau
___ Constructivism
___ De Stijl
___ Bauhaus
___ Art Deco
___ Fifties
___ ITS
___ Lubalin
___ Sixties
___ New Wave
___ Punk
___ Millennium
___ Ornament
___ Web, digital
___ __________________
___ __________________

StyleBook project
Contemporary applications of classic design styles.
Conveying the appropriate historical style of design helps communicate a specific attitude or mood to the target market. The StyleBook project is a bound collection of current samples of classic design styles.
Purpose
• Increase familiarity with characteristics of styles.
• See influences of historical design references in current graphic design and advertising.
• Create an effective and appropriate presentation.
Grading
A total of 130 points can be earned. You don't need a sample for each style to earn an A.
Content (0-115 points)
Each correct style earns 5 points - no matter how many samples there are of that style. Fractions of 5 points may be earned for partially depicting a style (border, typeface, or some other element). Samples can be from print media, fliers/posters, signs/billboards, packaging, online/web pages, or photographs.
Presentation (0-15 points)
Thorough, neat, efficient, and well-designed.
Specs & evaluation criteria
• Each student must turn in his/her own book. Collaboration earns a zero for the project.
• Plagiarism earns a zero for the project.
• No period pieces - this is not a research project.
• No photocopies - use tearsheets, photos, or printouts of digital captures.
• Entire ad or page included where feasible (large pieces may be folded to fit.)
• No samples containing the name of that style.
• No web sites related to the style or including the name of the style in the URL or on the page.
• Styles arranged in alphabetical order.
• Organized for easy access.
• Samples reproduced clearly and legibly.
• Samples cut and mounted neatly.
• Neatly rendered labels.
• All words spelled correctly.
• Multiple pages bound together neatly and securely.
• Cost-effective: no excessive crap, pages, or paper.
• Safe: no metal, no sharp corners, no bolts.
• A well designed cover, including, at least, this info:
     History of Graphic Design
     StyleBook
     Contemporary applications of classic design styles
     (your name)

Samples to include
• Art Deco, Art Moderne
• Art Nouveau
• Arts & Crafts
, Mission, Craftsman
• Beck map (not a transit map)
• Constructivism
• Cubism
• De Stijl
, Mondrian
• Fifties, Doo Wop
• Futurism
• Information Graphics
(not USA Today)
• International Typographic Style
• Lubalin
type treatment
• Macrap
• Medieval
, Illuminated Manuscript
• Minimalism
• New Wave
, Post Modern
• Propaganda poster
• Punk
, Deconstructivism
• Rococo
• Sixties
• Surrealism
• Victorian
• Wood Type Poster

• Other

Tests
Typically, art history evaluation is to write about a designer/artist, movement, or style. Or compare and contrast 2 or 3 styles. But, then the student learns about a few styles, not the whole gamut overview of design history. I would love (like most teachers) to not have to do any grading. But, student evaluation and assessment is necessary:
1. Need an efficient way to communicate to other instructors, grad school applications, GPA.
2. Motivation for students to review materials and remember and retain more info.
3. I structured the tests to be a learning tool, providing new info or a different way of seeing previous info.
Final Exam
The comprehensive exam will consist of image recognition and short answer questions. A review session will be held the class period before the exam.
Missing a test/exam
If you are unable to take a test or the exam on time:
• You must contact Dr.Watson before the scheduled test to make arrangements for a makeup test. If you don't, you will earn a grade of 0 for that test or exam.
• You must have a valid reason for not taking the test.
• The makeup test must be taken before the next class.
Test format and design
There will be six thorough tests. There will be a time limit, since part of what is being tested is your ability to recall info in a timely manner (as you likely will have to do on the job). Each test includes spelling, style recognition, definitions, contributors, short answers, lists, design styles, and style sketches. For each style, the following items will be asked for (not each item will be applicable to each style).
• Other name: any synonym(s) for the style.
• Years: beginning and ending dates or decades.
• Country: where the style developed & originated.
• Founders: person(s) who began the style.
• Designers: those who worked during that era and are associated with the style.
• Philosophy: theories and goals unique to the style.
• Influences: roots; people, previous styles, or philosophies that had an impact on the style.
• Characteristics: visual design traits that clearly distinguish the style.
• Etc: any other appropriate facts or trivia associated with the style.
• Sketch: neat, well composed rendering showing samples of text, graphic elements, and other characteristics of the style.


Final Exam format and design
The comprehensive exam consisted of image recognition and short answer questions. The exam: keywords given, fill in the word that best fits - one page, with all answers on one side.


Slides to introduce and explain the exam:






Semester calendar
Wensday August 17
• Syllabus, 'There's always a better way.'
Wensday August 24
• Lecture 1: Communication, making marks, Ancient Egypt & China
Wensday August 31
• Lecture 2: Roman alphabet, Medieval manuscript, printing, typography
Wensday September 7
• Test 1 over Lectures 1 & 2
• Lecture 3: Rococo, Wood Type Poster, photography

Wensday September 14
• Return & discuss Test 1
• Lecture 4: Victorian, advertising agencies, Arts & Crafts

Wensday September 21
• Test 2 over Lectures 3 & 4
• Lecture 5: Art Nouveau, Minimalism, Cubism, Futurism, Dada

Wensday September 28
• Return & discuss Test 2
• Lecture 6: Surrealism, Constructivism, De Stijl, Bauhaus, Tschichold, propaganda

Wensday October 5
• Test 3 over Lectures 5 & 6
• Lecture 7: Beck map, Isotypes, Art Deco, WPA

Wensday October 12
• Return & discuss Test 3
• Lecture 8: The Fifties, pop icons, International Typographic Style

Wensday October 19
• Test 4 over Lectures 7 & 8
• Lecture 9: Corporate identity, branding, Herb Lubalin

Wensday October 26
• Return & discuss Test 4
• Lecture 10: Push Pin Studios, Sixties, icons, New Wave

Wensday November 2
• Test 5 over Lectures 9 & 10
• Lecture 11: Computer technology, Apple Computer, Macrap

Wensday November 9
• Return & discuss Test 5
• Lecture 12: Punk, Information Graphics, Internet, WorldWideWeb

Wensday November 16
• Test 6 over Lectures 11 & 12
Wensday November 23
• No class - Thanksgiving holiday
Wensday November 30
• StyleBooks due
• Return & discuss Test 6
• Review for Final Exam

Wensday December 7, 8:00p
• Return StyleBooks
• Final exam
Tuesday December 8

• Grades posted online

Style samples
A resource guide for test sketches and the StyleBook
First section: cropped images. Test your recognition.
Second section: full images.



























Art Deco


Art Nouveau


Arts & Crafts


Beck map


Constructivism


Cubism


Dada


De Stijl


Punk


Fifties


Futurism


Information Graphics


International Typographic Style


Lubalin Style


Macrap


Medieval


Millennium


Minimalism


New Wave


Ornament


Propaganda Poster


Rococo


Sixties


Surrealism


Victorian


Wood type poster



www.jamesrobertwatson.com/historycourse.html