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. 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.
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.
Steven Heller is the co-chair of the School of Visual Arts MFA Design / Designer as Author + Entrepreneur Program. He is the author, coauthor, and editor of over 170 books on design, social satire, and visual culture. He is the recipient of the 2011 Smithsonian National Design Award for "Design Mind." He lives in New York City.