Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

GDS 102 Graphic Design History
Blogging Assignment: What is Graphic Design?

Instructor: Liza Wynette


To survey the range of graphic design visible around you. To identify various graphic styles. To begin to make judgments about quality in graphic design work.

Note: You may also scan to your USB flash drive using Parkland Library's Copier 2 (free)


Graphic design is everywhere. In this semester-long assignment, you will take inventory of the graphic design work around you. Take pictures of examples of graphic design wherever you go. Pick up printed samples and scan them. Every week, publish at least one image on your blog. During the semester, showcase a broad range of examples. Consider the following categories:

  • Advertising (print, outdoor, direct mail, online, etc.)
  • Promotion (posters, brochures, displays, T-shirts, etc.)
  • Identity (logos, business cards, signs, bar napkins, etc.)
  • Packaging (products, CDs, DVDs, cartons, bags, etc.)
  • Publications (books, magazines, newspapers, catalogs, etc.)
  • Information (graphs, maps, directional signs, etc.)
  • Other (websites, apps, film titles, motion graphics, etc.)
  • Tip: look for unusual applications of graphic design

For each entry in your blog, write one paragraph describing your selection:

  • Describe what it is
  • Describe its function
  • Describe where you saw it
  • Discuss the quality of the artwork
  • Discuss the style of the design & typography
    (label the graphic style and describe its distinguishing features)
  • Discuss what attracted you to the piece
    (use adjectives from the vocabulary wheel )

As you curate your collection of images, consider putting yourself in the shoes of a historian (i.e. Phillip B. Meggs, the author of your textbook). If you were collecting images for a future graphic design history book chapter about current graphic styles, which images would you include and which images would you edit out? Quality finds that should be included in future history books will earn extra credit.

Tip: Parkland Library has enormous resources to help you find quality blog images. Besides books and periodicals, we also have annuals, image databases and free inter-library loan services available (more info).

  1. Start a new blog specifically for this assignment. Title your blog appropriately for the assigned topic. Choose a clean template that will show off your content. Post only blog entries that relate to the topic for this semester.
  2. Take your camera with you wherever you go. Take pictures of examples of good graphic design (or scan pieces you pick up). Edit your selection down to your favorites and post at least one image to your blog every week.
  3. In your blog entry, write one paragraph about each piece. Be sure to describe where you found the example.
  4. Present your blog for team critique and feedback every Monday by posting your blog's web address as part of your Cobra homework assignment (starting with Homework #2). Revise your blog as needed for grading at midterm and at the end of the semester.
  5. Read the blog entries of your classmates every week. Post comments about their blog entries every Thursday when you respond to their Cobra homework assignment. Encourage each other to seek out high quality designs (you may also post comments directly on their blog, but these comments are not graded).
  6. Prizes may be awarded for high quality finds and excellence in writing.

Important: This is a graded assignment. Spelling, grammar, clarity of thought and adherence to assignment specifications will count towards your grade.


Your weekly blog posts are due every Monday at 11:30pm as part of your weekly Cobra discussion post (starting with Homework #2). Your blog will be graded twice this semester: once at midterm and once at the end of the semester (see the Class Calendar for specific dates).

Last updated: 1/13/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young