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GMD-120 - History of Graphic Design - Shannon Doronio

Course:History of Graphic Design
Professor:Shannon Doronio
  • Online
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths


WELCOME to (what I hope is) the most interesting Art History Course you will ever take! I am Shannon Doronio (you can call me Shannon), and I am your instructor for this course.

We are living through a historical moment of visual communication saturation. We receive visual messages, prompts and persuasions that are meant to affect behavior in a way that is favorable to the message sender—and not all message senders are created equal! You may be receiving information from a shoe company, a politician, a beauty brand, and a non-profit group all in one Facebook/Instagram session. We are also living through a historical moment of information sharing. Any question that comes to mind—can be “googled” and answers will be produced. But again, not all answers are created equal! The internet has given a hypothetical equal platform to experts and non-experts.

In this course, we present expert answers to the questions “Where did culture of visual message sending come from?” and “Who gets to design all of it?” We will explore history of graphic design and its response to politics, conflict, fashion, architecture, fine art and its intrinsic connection to technology. While there is some global aspect to all of this, this course focuses primarily on an American/Eurocentric history of graphic design.

Course Description

Surveys the origin and evolution of graphic design, including the development of typography, advertising, poster design, illustration, corporate identities and trademarks.

What to Expect in this Course

Evaluate and critique past and current trends in graphic design.

Textbook Information / Link to ZTC Textbook

cover image for History of Graphic DesignMeggs’ History of Graphic DesignAuthors: Philip B. Meggs, Alston W. Purvis
Hardcover: 696 pages
Publisher: Wiley; 6 edition (May 2, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1118772059
ISBN-13: 978-1118772058

Other Relevant Course Information

Time Commitment Myth Buster

If you registered for a distance learning course believing that there will be less of a time commitment than is required for a 16-week on-ground course, I am going to poke a hole in your logic. It is true that you will spend less calendar time accomplishing the task of completing this course—but the hourly commitment is the same. This is a compressed version of the 16 week on-ground course which meets for 2 hours and 40 minutes per week—the study-time, the lectures and workload is identical between the two versions of this course. Be ready to commit 10-12 hours per week to reading, reviewing lectures, participating in discussions and completing quizzes.

No Face-to-Face Meetings

There are no face-to-face meetings for this course – it is completely online. Therefore, reliable and consistent access to the Internet is mandatory. Not having access to the Internet is not an excuse to miss any deadline. If you’re in any doubt about your consistent and reliable access to the Internet, please consider attempting the course when your circumstance has improved or try a face-to-face alternative.

Instructor Drops and Withdrawals

Because the 100% online nature of this course, the only evidence I have of course participation is your daily completion of online coursework. Failure to make consistent progress, demonstrated through completion of coursework may result in a course drop or withdrawal.

Drop Scenario 1: A student who does not login* to Canvas within 24 hours of the start date to complete the Course Basics Module will be dropped. No exceptions.

*Although the class is not accessible until the first day of class, I highly recommend logging into Canvas at least one week ahead of time so reduce any delays in the Canvas login processes.

Drop Scenario 2: A student who does not complete the first exam will be withdrawn.

Drop Scenario 3: A student who does not complete more than a week’s coursework without communicating with the instructor will be withdrawn.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

College of the Canyons cares about your emotional and physical health. Learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including free counseling and mental health services available during this time by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center website or by calling them at: 661-362-3259.

The National Suicide Lifeline number is 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK). Please call it if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress - it could save someone's life.

You can also use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. It's free, available 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 10/06/2021 Sub#: 748