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

GDS 102 Graphic Design History
Essay: Trade Publications

Instructor: Liza Wynette


To survey periodical resources in print for graphic designers. To collect reference materials for future use.


Write a 750-word (minimum) about a design periodical of your choice. The essay should eloquently describe the magazine to someone who has never seen it. Critique the quality of the editorial content (the non-advertising pages), the relevance of the content to design students, and the design and art direction of the editorial pages. Compare and contrast this magazine with others of the same genre. Give an overview of the kind of advertising that is contained in the publication. Give a recommendation to your fellow students on whether they should or shouldn't subscribe to this magazine.


1. Go to the Parkland Library (or Barnes & Noble) and examine these periodicals/annuals available relating to graphic design, web design and advertising:

  • Adbusters
  • Communication Arts
  • Computer Arts
  • How
  • Lürzer's Archive
  • PDN (Photo District News)
  • Print

2. "Claim" your top three choices in Cobra when prompted. I will do my best to accommodate your preferences (but I can not guarantee that you will get your top choices). Consideration will be given to the order your posts appear in Cobra (so don't delay).

3. Using Google Docs (or Microsoft Word), write a 750-word essay (minimum) about the magazine. Also include a minimum of three scans (cover, editorial layout, advertising). The essay should have a title and your name at the top. Properly introduce your topic and give a critical conclusion at the end. Spelling and grammar will count towards your grade (also see Essay Checklist ).

4. Print a draft of your essay and have the Writing Lab (login required) review your work. Be sure to give yourself ample time to make revisions and corrections.

5. Publish your essay using Google Docs as part of your Cobra homework post when prompted (or attach a Word doc). Invite your peers to review and comment on your work. Based on the comments you received, revise your essay (if needed).

6. Submit a peer-reviewed digital copy of your essay to for grading. Your instructor may make additional comments.

Note: If you have an alternate magazine you want to write about, you must get prior approval from the instructor.

Note: 10% will be deducted from your essay grade for every 24 hours that it is late.

Adbusters Michelle Wright
Adbusters Makenzie Heyen
Lürzer's Archive  
Print Emily File
PDN (Photo District News) Lexxi Juneau
How Emma Lovellette
Computer Arts Miriam Tworek-Hofstetter
Communication Arts Alec Cochrane
Communication Arts Jack Nave


Last updated: 2/16/18 • Webmaster: Paul Young