GDS 102 Graphic Design History
Course Information (Syllabus)
Instructor: Larry Ecker
Surveys the field of graphic design from its origins to contemporary practice. Develops visual vocabulary, provides insight into the continuity of design thinking, provides cultural and historical context for design practice.
This course is designed specifically for the graphic designer whose objective is to function effectively in todays commercial art field.
In this class, we will survey the history of graphic design, be introduced to influential designers and become familiar with various graphic styles throughout history. We will also survey the design profession, the graphic design discipline, its many specialties as well as resources available for graphic designers.
We will define what graphic design is, survey the history of graphic arts techniques, the origin of writing and alphabets, and the distinguishing characteristics of graphic design in the following styles and movements:
- Victorian Age
- Arts & Crafts Movement
- Art Nouveau
- Early Modernism
- Art Deco
- Fifties' American Kitsch
- Late Modern
- Sixties' Psychedelia
- The Contemporary Look
- The Digital Age
This course will consist of lectures, projects, homework assignments and one essay. There will also be two quizzes. It is expected that additional time, on a weekly basis, will be spent on projects and homework assignments.
Note: Attendance is required for the entire scheduled class period.
- by Phillip Meggs is available at Parkland's bookstore
- Recommended books are on reserve in Parkland's library
- USB flash drive
- Personal computer (or use Parkland's open computer labs or C138)
- Camera (digital, cell phone, disposable)
- Parkland Identification Card
Available at Parkland Bookstore:
Reference books on reserve in the library:
- 6 chapters in design : Saul Bass, Ivan Chermayeff, Milton Glaser, Paul Rand, Ikko Tanaka, Henryk Tomaszewski /
- Century of graphic design / Jeremy Aynsley
- Graphic design : a history / Alain Weill
- Graphic design : a new history / Stephen J. Eskilson
- Graphic design history : a critical guide / Johanna Drucker, Emily McVarish
- Graphic design, referenced : a visual guide to the language, applications, and history of graphic design / Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit
- Graphic style : from Victorian to digital / Steven Heller & Seymour Chwast
- Stylepedia : a guide to graphic design mannerisms, quirks, and conceits / Steven Heller and Louise Fili
- World graphic design : contemporary graphics from Africa, the Far East, Latin America and the Middle East / Geoffrey Caban
In this class, your grade will be based on attendance and the quality of the work you complete.
- A = 100-91 (exceptional work beyond the class requirements)
- B = 90-81 (excellent technical and creative abilities exhibited)
- C = 80-71 (all work accomplished on time and minimum goals achieved)
- D = 70-61 (minimum goals not achieved, late assignments)
- F = 60 or less (failure to finish assignments or doing "D" work late)
Points can be earned in each of the following categories:
- Two projects (2 x 10 points = 20 points)
- One essay (10 points)
- One blog assignment (10 points)
- 15 one-minute papers (15 x 1 point = 15 points)
- 15 homework assignments (15 x 1 point = 15 points)
- Two open book quizzes (2 x 15 points = 30 points)
The one-minute papers and homework assignments will be graded pass/fail. Numerical grades will be awarded for all other assignments. At the end of the semester, all the points earned will be totaled to determine your final grade.
Projects will be graded based on content, creativity, craftsmanship and adherence to project specifications. Essays will be graded based on content, spelling and grammar.
No credit (read "zero" points) will be given for work not completed by the assigned due date. In other words, late work will not be accepted, period. It is the student's responsibility to know the deadlines for each assignment.
Bonus points may be awarded for active participation in class.
Attendance is mandatory. Attendance will be taken promptly at the beginning of each class. You are considered absent if you are not here when attendance is taken.
Your semester grade will drop by one letter grade for every three classes missed. "Excused" absences will only be discussed under extraneous circumstances and only if you have missed more than two classes. It is your responsibility to make up any work missed during absences.
If you do not attend regularly, I may drop you from the class with no refund of tuition or fees. After midterm, you should not plan on an instructor withdrawal if you want to withdraw from the course. You are ultimately responsible for your own withdrawal by the withdrawal date. Non-attendance after midterm will result in an F if you don't withdraw yourself.
All students will have an account in Cobra Learning (an online course management portal). Your attendance record and grades will be posted online so that you can access them 24/7 from a web browser. We will also be using Cobra for communication, testing and online discussions.
Your Cobra username is the first part of your Parkland email address (the part that comes before the @ symbol). For new students, your default Cobra password is your birthday (MMDDYY). If you need to look up your email account, go to Parkland's account lookup page.