The History of Graphic Design course
1984-1987: Brookhaven College, Dallas County Community College District: History & Psychology of Visual Communication, 3 sections
Six students - assigned each several chapters and I took notes. Had the images from the textbook shot for slides.
1987-2008: CSU/University of Central Oklahoma History & Psychology of Graphic Design, History & Theory of Graphic Design, History of Graphic Design, 24+4=28 sections.
2000-2003: University of Oklahoma, History of Visual Communication, 4 sections
• 2002? Transfered slides to Keynote digital images, added text.
1998-2016: Oklahoma State University: History of Graphic Design, 19 sections
• 54 total sections
• 2,400+ students

Student evaluations

Course syllabus

DES 3000
History of Graphic Design provides 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. The goal was for4 the student to be inspired or fascinated by some person, movement, style, company, event, or logo.

Course objectives
• 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.

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.

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.

Sample Lecture keywords

Lecture 6
    El Lissitzky
    Alexander Rodchenko
De Stijl
    Piet Mondrian
    Andre Breton
    Salvador Dali
    Rene Magritte
    MC Escher
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
reverse type
Rosie the Riveter
Uncle Sam
Bauhaus philosophies
Commonalities of propaganda posters
Formats to set body copy
Icons for the New World (USA)

Lecture 8
The Fifties
    Doo Wop
International Typographic Style
    Max Bill
        Edouard Hoffman
        Max Miedinger
    Ernst Keller
        Adrian Frutiger
Saul Bass
Beck Map, Henry Beck
Peter Cooper
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Walt Disney
Lou Dorfsman
Henry Dreyfuss
Philo T. Farnsworth
William Golden
Sylvan Goldman
Richard & Betty James
Raymond Loewy
Carl Magee
Walter Paepcke
Paul Rand
Clinton Riggs
Earl Tupper
Sam Walton
Terms and spelling
color coded
Industrial Design
Advice from Sam Walton
Lessons from Walt Disney

Lecture 12
    David Carson
Information Graphics
    Edward Tufte
    USA Today
    Richard Saul Wurman
Altair 8800
Apple computer
    Jonathan Ive
    Rob Janoff
    Steve Jobs
    Susan Kare
    Jef Raskin
    Ronald Wayne
    Steve Wozniak
Edward Roberts
Emigre magazine
    Zuzana Licko
    Rudy VanderLans
Doug Engelbart
Kevin Mackenzie
    Paul Allen
    Bill Gates
Ray Tomlinson
respectful design
    Tim Berners-Lee
Terms and spelling
Information Architect
Advantages of using a computer
Disadvantages of using a computer
Groups who embraced computer graphics
WIMP technology
Considerations for web design

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.

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.

• Increase familiarity with characteristics of styles.
• See influences of historical design references in current graphic design and advertising.
• Create an effective and appropriate presentation.

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
     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

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

WensdaySeptember 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

Art Deco pdf version

Art Nouveau pdf version

Arts & Crafts pdf version

Beck map pdf version

Constructivism pdf version

Cubism pdf version

Dada pdf version

De Stijl pdf version

Deconstructivism or Punk pdf version

Fifties pdf version

Futurism pdf version

Information Graphics pdf version

International Typographic Style pdf version

Lubalin Style pdf version

Macrap pdf version

Medieval Illuminated Manuscript pdf version

Millennium pdf version

Minimalism pdf version

New Wave pdf version

Ornament pdf version

Propaganda pdf version

Rococo pdf version

Sixties Psychedelia pdf version

Surrealism pdf version

Victorian pdf version

Wood type poster pdf version