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

GDS 102 Graphic Design History
(Fall 2017)


Instructor: Liza Wynette

Course Description

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 today’s 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
  • Swiss/International
  • Sixties' Psychedelia
  • Postmodernism
  • Deconstructivism
  • The Contemporary Look

Also see Graphic Styles Timeline

Class Format

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. 

  • USB flash drive, portable hard drive, or access to a cloud service (i.e. Google Drive)
  • Personal computer (or use FAA Open Labs or Parkland Library's computers)
  • Camera (cell phone ok)
  • Parkland Identification Card
Required  Textbooks

Available at Parkland Bookstore:

Optional  Books

Reference books on reserve in the Parkland Library:

Grading System

In this class, your grade will be based on the quality of the work you do, class participation and attendance.

  • 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)
Earning Points

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.

Bonus points may be awarded for active participation in class.

Late Work Policy

The essay and the projects must be submitted on time. If you miss a deadline, I will deduct 10% off your assignment grade every 24 hours that you are late. Your essay or project grade will be an F if it is more than 72 hours late.

Homework assignments must be posted on time in order for you to receive credit (therefore the late work policy does not apply).

One-Minute papers must be submitted after each lecture (therefore the late work policy does not apply).

The blogging assignment will be graded twice, once before midterm and again at the end of the semester (therefore the late work policy does not apply).


Attendance is mandatory. Attendance will be taken promptly at the beginning of each class. Being late counts as an absence, but you should come to class even if you are late because it is not possible to make up in-class lectures that you missed.

Your semester grade will drop by one letter grade for every two classes missed. "Excused" absences will only be discussed under extenuating circumstances and only if you have missed two or more classes.

If you stop attending, I may drop you from the class with no refund of tuition or fees. After midterm, you should not plan on an instructor withdrawal. You are responsible for your own withdrawal by the official withdrawal date (as posted in Cobra Learning). Non-attendance after midterm will result in a failing grade if you don't withdraw from the course.

Note: Attendance is required for the entire scheduled class period (including field trips). If you have an issue that requires you to leave early, please inform the instructor beforehand. Leaving class early will count as an absence.

Online Gradebook

All students have an account in Cobra Learning (an online course management system). In this class, we will be using Cobra for:

  • Grading
  • Attendance records
  • Online discussions
  • Communication
  • Quizzes

Cobra can be accessed via or

Last updated: 8/15/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young