As I’ve said elsewhere on this blog, I am a third year design major, and part of our school’s program requirement is that everyone take a few electives in the history of graphic design. There are a number of different classes that meet this requirement. For example, printmaking classes count towards this requirement. There are also a few different historical art/design classes that meet the requirement and it was one of these that caught my eye when I was decided what course I wanted to take to fill this elective.
The title of the class is “The Design Revolution: What the Digital Age Has Meant for Design.” It is a brief survey of the graphic design industry from 1950 onwards—focusing specifically on how the digital age has revolutionized this once very manual and tedious profession.
This class interested me for a few different reasons. The first of which is that I am a little bit of a history nerd. I enjoy watching documentaries and watching the History channel late at night. The past is something of importance to all of us because it shapes the future—and the past of design is incredible. I wanted to be able to have an appreciation from where my future profession has come from in order that I might know better where it is heading. And where graphic design is heading is without doubt completely controlled by the digital world.
The second reason why I opted to take this class is because to many of my friends and other students in my program has absolutely no knowledge of anything graphic design wise from before—say 2005. How can you expect to be taken seriously when your knowledge of a subject is so incredibly limited? So many students in my program have no idea about the history of graphic design or why things are the way they are or why modern websites appear as they do. Their knowledge is so limited that I can’t even imagine them getting hired somewhere. After all, who wants to hire someone with virtually no knowledge of their own field!?
I really hope this class will give me a foundation of understanding of graphic design and its history that brought us into the modern age that will give me an upper hand to some of my peers. At the end of the day, that is what it is all about, setting yourself apart from everyone else. You need to be unique in your designs and creative with your work. You need to think about graphics like no one is or has. You need to be an innovator and a trend setting. In today’s innovative culture nothing is valued more than someone who can create an entire new product or process of doing things.
That is exactly what I plan to learn to do in this class. Going through classes like this get me inspired and exhilarated because I get to study what it is that has inspired those people before me. People like Steven Jobs and Bill Gates and other digital innovators.