History of Graphic Design – ARTS 603

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

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. Students will be required to do topic related projects that will demonstrate their understanding. The final presentation will demonstrate the integration of historical styles with present design trends.




This course will cover the history of designers, technology, and important developments that have brought about the field of graphic design. The student will look at some of the social, political, and economic trends that have impacted design over time and how they may influence Christian designers in the future. This course is important for the MFA student in order for him/her to understand how past trends and work play a major role in providing inspiration for contemporary design.

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

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (8)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 350 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and be supported by biblical principles. In addition to the thread, the student will reply to at least 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 150 words and be supported by biblical principles.

Design Project

Written Summaries (8)

Each module/week, the student will complete research and compose a written essay of the design style in question. This design essay must be between 300–500 words in length with appropriate sources cited.

Project (8)

Each module/week, the student will complete a design project that is based on and incorporates the design style(s) studied during that module/week. The body copy used for each design project will be based on the essay written by the student. Each project will be submitted as a PDF document for review and feedback.

Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the modules/weeks in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 1-hour time limit.