In Focus: Graphic Design in Europe, 1890-1945

Graphic design, in the sense that we now understand it, developed in the late nineteenth century out of the needs of a new mass society and the enhanced capabilities of printing technologies. This course, which will become a Focus exhibition scheduled for spring 2019, considers the forces that shaped European graphic design in the period, paying particular attention to such issues as advertising, propaganda, style, and the larger theories of design that were discussed and disseminated through contemporary journals. While the course will address a broad spectrum of designers working within various national traditions, particular emphasis will be paid to German, British, and Russian/Soviet graphics. Individual case studies, to be researched by students within the larger framework of the historical survey, will allow for detailed analysis of such topics as First World War propaganda, London Transport Advertising, Pelikan Ink Design, Soviet film posters, and typefaces and national identity. An exhibition-related course will be offered in a following semester. 3 credits.