History of Graphic Design – ARTS 303

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 11/03/2021

Course Description

A study of graphic communication from cave walls to the printed page to online digital communication. Students will consider how the advent of new technologies changed the graphic form of our communication. Course lectures and presentations will be supplemented by/with textbook readings. Students will be required to do topic related projects that will demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


This course will cover a basic history of graphic design and important developments that have brought about the field of design. The student will look at some of the aesthetic, social, political, and economic trends that have impacted design over time and how they impact Christians as well as the world at large. This course is important for undergraduate students in order for them to understand how past trends and work play a major role in providing inspiration for contemporary design. This course will demonstrate both the differences and parallels to the field of fine art, with a special eye on the idea that design has the power to change the hearts and minds of the audience.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify major graphic styles from the past.
  2. Recognize techniques and media used in graphic art.
  3. Relate historic styles and their influences to the present.
  4. Recognize prominent graphic artists and their contribution to the development of popular styles.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (7)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each Discussion. Each thread must be at least 200 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and be supported by biblical principles and at least 2 sources cited in current MLA format. One source may be the course textbook. In addition to the thread, the student will reply to the threads of at least 2 classmates. Each reply must be at least 100 words and must also be supported by biblical principles.

Design Project Assignments(8)

For Parts 1–7, the student will create a 2-page spread with a 300–500-word essay and a digital composition of at least 3 images. Each essay must include at least 2 sources cited in current MLA format, 1 of which may be the course textbook. For Part 8, the student will compile Parts 1–7 and design an e-book.

Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the assigned Module: Week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice questions, and have a 1-hour time limit.