Graphic Design: Histories & Theories

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Graphic Design: Histories & Theories

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Design, Graphic Design

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Objective

    At the end of this course, students are expected to:
    1. Have acquired knowledge about important developments in the history of graphic design;
    2. Have acquired knowledge of theories and methods for analyzing graphic design;
    3. Practice applying relevant theories and methods in analysing graphic design artefacts.

    Course Content

    This course provides an overview of the history of graphic design, with an emphasis on modern and postmodern design. It also takes into account key theories and methods of analyzing graphic design and its relationships with wider cultural, social, technological and economic contexts. The course explores the print revolution, arts and crafts movements, developments in typography, European modernism and global modernities, countercultural design forms, and graphic design in new media.

    Additional Information Teaching Methods

    Lectures, workshops, and tutorials. The lectures and seminars of this course are offered in English only and assignments should be submitted in English. In principle, students following the Dutch (i.e. bilingual) track can submit all written assignments in either English or Dutch. If you intend to submit assignments in Dutch for this course please discuss this with the course co-ordinator first.

    Method of Assessment

    This course comprises a presentation on a visual and historical analysis of a graphic design artefact (in pairs, 20%), and a written assignment on the visual and historical analysis of a graphic design artefact (in pairs, 80%).

    Entry Requirements

    See the Onderwijs- en Examenregeling (OER), c.q. Teaching and Exam Regulations (TER) for MKDA.


    A list of mandatory class literature will be published on Canvas and/or the Study Manual.

    Additional Information Target Audience

    This course is compulsory for all BA MKDA students in their second year who chose Design as their specialization. It is open as an elective to other MKDA students.

    Additional Information

    For attendance rules, see Teaching and Examination Regulations. Students should be aware that regular attendance is necessary to pass the course.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.