On a daily basis we encounter and participate in various modes of communication without a true awareness of how we communicate. Seldom do we examine the greater implications of this communication. This course will help students become effective communicators by examining the evolving theories,movements and history of how we create artistic and visual messages. Students will begin their studies within the historical time line shortly before movable type and the Guttenberg press, and continue through the advent of advertising and the profession of graphic design, and finish by examining new models of communication such as Facebook and Twitter.The natural richness of Germany and Switzerland presents itself as the obvious location for this course due to the vastness of printing history, architecture, and culture. A central location for artistic movements tied to political upheaval, Germany gives students the opportunity to see first hand the birthplace of visual communication and the founding of the graphic design profession.
Germany is considered the center for the book and movable type.The Gutenburg museum in Mainz, Germany houses both a replica of the original press and a collection of books and communications that pre-date the press and helped form the structure of printed communications. Including one of the first printed bibles. Many of the most influential movements in art and design in the modern era began or developed in Germany. Germany’s history and politics during WWI and WWII have close connection to the arts and utilized both design and visual propaganda. Modern design traces its roots to the Bauhaus school in Berlin and the prior establishment in Weimar, Germany. Many of the most influential artists and designers of the modern era were part of this school. Berlin continues to be a mecca for modern art. Museums include the Guggenheim Berlin, the Bauhaus Museum, the Hamburger Bahnhof (Museum of Contemporary Art), and many others. The Vitra Design Museum is also located in Berlin.
Modern typography can be traced to Switzerland, including the popular typeface Helvetica that comes from the Hass type foundry in Munchenstein, Switzerland. Zurich is home to many type foundries and museums for typography. The city of Basel, Switzerland is home to both Art Basel, an enormous international art fair consisting of the premier artists and galleries, and the international renowned Basel School of Design. Switzerland was home to crucial artists and thinkers such as Paul Klee, Le Corbusier, Alberto Giacometti, Jan Tschichold, Emil Ruder, Arin Hoffmann, Wolfgang Weingart, Peter Zumthor, Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, and Mario Botta.
For more information or if you have questions, please contact the International Office.