Explore the visual systems that inform graphic design practice—from handwritten alphabets to online publications. Learn how avant-garde artists, architects, poets, and painters shook the world by reinventing mass media. Pursue the dream of a unified civilization held together by neutral typefaces, international pictograms, and global brands—and see how subcultures rebelled against cultural uniformity by forging their own visual identities. Thinking about history will open your eyes to new ideas and diverse practices. The course is taught by Brockett Horne and Ellen Lupton, renowned authors and leading faculty at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). In a series of dynamic conversations, they will introduce you to fascinating people and processes that changed the way we communicate. Test your knowledge with short quizzes, and stretch your own design practice by responding to inspiring creative prompts.
This course is in adaptive mode and is open for enrollment.
Session 1: The Visible Word
The Invention of Writing, The Typographic Revolution, and Cultures of Publishing.
Session 2: Liberated Style
Arts and Crafts and the Ideal Book; Art Nouveau and Jugendstil.
Session 3: Inventing the Avant-Garde
Cubism, Futurism, Dada
Session 4: The Mechanical Eye
Constructivism and Photomontage
Session 5: New Typographies
Constructivism, Dutch Modernism, and the Bauhaus.
Session 6: International Styles
International Symbols and Global Identities; The Postmodern Reaction.
Session 7: Cultural Revolutions
Design and Civil Rights; Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Universal Design