AVT 318: History of Graphic Design

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Prerequisites: None—just a desire to learn about graphic design [or earn 3 upper division credits].


A survey of design history. Looks at print and web design as both a reaction to and shaper
of the broader culture (including other fine and applied arts) through the study of major movements and designers.


  • Provide a historical perspective of the evolution of graphic design
  • Examine graphic design's contribution to culture
  • Consider the influence of new technology upon graphic design expression
  • Refine critical and analytic writing skills about graphic design
  • Enhance large group presentation skills


Through lecture, class discussion and assigned readings, as well as writing assignments, students will explore the historical development and expression of graphic design.

Textbooks & Materials


Due to the dynamics of the course your attendance, participation and punctuality are critical to your successful completion of the class. You must be on time and prepared—with no exceptions. Not being properly prepared with required assignments is considered an absence from the class. Final projects are due at the beginning of class. Projects turned after the start of class are automatically reduced 1/2 letter grade. Late projects (after the due date) will not be accepted.

If compelled to miss a class, you must contact Diane, my TA, via email with an acceptable explanation* within 12 hours to be excused. If absent, you are responsible for materials covered in class—please "buddy–up" with a classmate for this information. Two unexcused absences will gravely effect successful completion of the course. Excessive tardiness will also affect your final grade (3 unexcused late arrivals equals an unexcused absence).


Students will be expected to demonstrate college level research, writing and presentation skills in the execution of all projects.

Final semester grade is determined by grades for the written research paper (30%), class presentation (20%), assignments (20%), quizzes (10%) and class discussion participation (10%). There will be a written final exam worth 10% of your grade.

If you are a student with a disability and you need academic accommodations
please see me immediately. All academic accommodations must be first arranged through the Disability Resource Center (DRC).

Additional Requirements

A non-returnable digital portfolio of all final projects must be turned-in on CD at the final exam. Creative presentation of digital portfolio CD (i.e., case, labeling, layout & design) will be considered as a part of the grade.


Personal communication devices must be turned to "silent mode" and put away.
Eating during class time is distracting in many ways—please finish any snacks or meals
prior to our class.

Click here for downloadable syllabus .pdf

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