Teaching Graphic Design History

Teaching Graphic Design History

by Steven Heller


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Teaching Graphic Design History is the first collection of essays, syllabi, and guides for conveying the heritage of this unique practice, from traditional chronologies to eclectic themes as developed by today’s historians, designers, scholars, and documentarians.

Teaching the history of graphic design cannot simply be outlined by dates nor confined by places, but is defined by concepts and philosophies, as well as those who made, make, and inspire them.

Long overlooked within the broader history of printing and typesetting, when graphic design’s artifacts finally became the subject of serious study, the historian had to determine what was worthy and on what the history of graphic design should focus: the makers or the artifacts, the content or the context, or all of the above. With the author’s distinct viewpoint and many exclusive contributions, Teaching Graphic Design History chronicles the customs and conventions of various cultures and societies and how they are seen through signs, symbols, and the artifacts designed for use in the public—and sometimes private—sphere. Areas of focus include:

  • Social and political effects of graphic design
  • Philosophical perspectives on design
  • Evolution of branding
  • Development of the graphic design profession
  • Predictions for the future of the practice

An examination of the concerted efforts, happy accidents, and key influences of the practice throughout the years, Teaching Graphic Design History is an illuminating resource for students, practitioners, and future teachers of the subject.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781621536840
Publisher: Allworth
Publication date: 06/18/2019
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 1,125,929
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Steven Heller, former art director of the New York Times Book Review, is the cochair of the School of Visual Arts MFA Design / Designer as Author + Entrepreneur Program. He is the author, coauthor, and editor of more than 180 books on design, social satire, and visual culture. He writes the Daily Heller for Print magazine and contributes to Design Observer, Eye, Wired, the New York Times, and the Atlantic. He is the recipient of two honorary doctorates, the AIGA Medal for Lifetime Achievement and the Smithsonian National Design Award for “Design Mind.” He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Take Your Seats 3

1 Graphic Design History Goes to School

Teaching Methods 9

Teaching Tools 12

Learning Methods 15

Sutnar Alphabets Steven Heller 17

Practical History 21

Type Class Weronika Racz 21

2 A History of Design History

Pioneering Graphic Design History Keith Godard 23

Teaching Design History: Practice, Process, and Context Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo 25

The Visual Context of Graphic Design History Patrick Argent 28

What We Talk About When We Talk About Graphic Design Scott-Martin Kosofaky 31

Typographic History Jerry Kelly 38

Reconsidering: Philip Meggs and Richard Hollis Johanna Drucker 41

Graphic Design History for Web Designers Patricia Belen 63

Teaching Graphic Design History: A Personal Perspective Susan Merritt 70

Image Captures: Change the Canon Steven Heller 73

3 What is Graphic Design History?

Angela Reichers 77

Beth Kleber 78

Greg D'Onofrio 79

Jan Ballard 82

Louise Sandhaus 83

Paul Martin Lester 85

Richard Doubleday 87

R. Roger Remington 91

Russell Flinchum 92

Susan Merritt 96

4 Chronicles, Narratives, and Yarns

How Making a Movie about Design History Changed How I Teach Briar Levit 103

Independent Study: Design History Outside the Classroom and Off the Grid James Sholly 109

Paul Rand, Critical Thinker/Changes His Mind Nathan Garland 116

The Legibility Wars Steven Heller 118

5 Historiography

Miseen Page Steven Heller 123

Abstraction Steven Heller 127

A Type Catalog Legacy Steven Heller 133

Book and the Time Machine Steven Heller 139

6 Thematic Approaches

Visual Literature 101 Warren Lehrer 149

Type in Couture Elizabeth Carey Smith 170

Designing Civil Rights in the United States Ellen Lupton Brockett Horne 176

The Impact of Design: A Final Reminder Teresa Trevino 186

Exhibitions as Teaching Tool Michael Skjei 190

Rand, the Early Years: Branding by Paul Rand, 1941-1955 192

The Lustigs: A Cover Story, 1933-1961 196

Lester Beall: 1903-1969 202

7 Syllabi and Assignments

History from A to Z Emily McVarish 207

Typography 1 Jerry Kelly 237

History of Visual Communication M. Thistlethwaite 242

Mutant Design: Making History Louise Sandhaus 244

Design I and Patterns in Currency Cassini Nazir 250

Teaching Design History and Social Impact Dori Griffin 258

International Futurism Raffaele Bedarida 266

Learning History as Design Problem Solving Michael Dooley 282

Further Reading 289

Acknowledgments 293

Index 295

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