As I prepare to teach my next course in Design History at UCLA Extension, I gave some thought to why designers should study the history of graphic design in the first place. Here is my short list:
- To build a visual vocabulary and recognize how design elements are used and organized
- To learn to see rather than simply look
- To acquire good taste
- To strengthen one’s communication skills
- To become a better designer
- To appreciate the past, be inspired in the present and anticipate the future
- Because other designers know design history and they’re the competition
- To cultivate one’s curiosity
- To recognize that design is one of the oldest of human pursuits and is not the result of nor reliant on computer technology
- To understand what good design is and why it is important.
What would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.