10 Good Reasons To Study Design History

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:

  1. To build a visual vocabulary and recognize how design elements are used and organized
  2. To learn to see rather than simply look
  3. To acquire good taste
  4. To strengthen one’s communication skills
  5. To become a better designer
  6. To appreciate the past, be inspired in the present and anticipate the future
  7. Because other designers know design history and they’re the competition
  8. To cultivate one’s curiosity
  9. To recognize that design is one of the oldest of human pursuits and is not the result of nor reliant on computer technology
  10. 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.

Alvalyn Lundgren

Alvalyn Lundgren is the founder and principal of Alvalyn Creative, an independent consultancy providing brand strategy design and bespoke illustration for more than 30 years. She is the creator of Freelance Road Trip — a business school and podcast for creative freelancers. She teaches design and design practice on the college level with design schools and programs.

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