Assignment 1: An Illustrated Essay
Type of Assessment: formative and summative
• Weighting: 50%
• Format: Illustrated essay supported by bibliography
Word count:2,000 words.
The Illustrated Essay
The illustrative materials used in this essay should form an integral part of its overall purpose. One of the aims of the module is to enable students to analyse visual forms, and in so doing demonstrate a knowledge of the concepts and methods relevant to the field of study. Illustrations will therefore be used constructively and will be discussed and properly referenced in your text.
Students will normally use Harvard referencing and the essay should be followed by a bibliography. Further information on referencing can be obtained through the library. You should also study presentation conventions in published academic essays. An example of how to set out an essay, and how to reference images, quotations, and source material can be found in Paul Jobling and David Crowley, 1996, Graphic Design: Reproduction and Representation Since 1800, Manchester University Press. You should also look at articles published in professional journals such as Design Issues, The Journal of Design History, and Art History.
All students must make an appointment to see the module leader for an essay tutorial. Formative assessment will be provided in this meeting.
Write essay on oneof the topic/questions listed below:
Your essay should develop an argument and should be directly related to the set question. Do not present a biographical narrative or a merely descriptive essay. Please introduce visual material and demonstrate some awareness of design factors in your studied visual analysis. Try to incorporate your selected visual material into your argument. Read scholarly design history essays for style, structure and presentation (see the journal Design History for example). Your essay must be properly referenced and supported by a bibliography. All work is checked for plagiarism.
1. Discuss the style label Art Nouveau and demonstrate your understanding of
• Progressive trends in graphic media during the late-nineteenth/early-twentieth century) in France
• The relations between new developmentsin French painting and the Art Nouveau poster.
2.How far did the Arts and Crafts Movement influence progressive graphic design in the period around 1900?
3.‘It would be no exaggeration to say that World War 1 was the critical moment in the history of the propaganda poster.’ David Crowley, ‘The Propaganda Poster,’ in Margaret Timmers (ed.), The Power of the Poster, London: V & A Publications, p. 114.
Discuss this statement and show how World War 1 propaganda posters related to comparative trends in the graphic design of this period.
4. ‘Typography, a two-dimensional graphic art, can learn a lot from modern
painting.’ Jan Tschichold, Asymmetric Typography [originally published as
TypographischeGestaltungin 1935],trans. Ruari McLean, New York: Reinhold, p. 26.
Comment on this statement and its relevance to the New Typography of Jan Tschichold.
5.To what extent did the progressive trends in graphic design in the 1920s relate to changing social and political ideas in this period?
6. Write an essay on one artist/designer, whose work is relevant to PVC, and show how their achievements and ideas relate to the contexts in which their work gained currency and influence upon others.
7. Discuss the term ‘modernism’ in relation to at least one key movement in graphic design in the period before 1960. Your essay should consider the relation between progressive trends in the fine arts and the wider context of graphic design.
1. Demonstrate high levels of knowledge of contemporary debates and issues in the field of study.
2. Analyse examples of graphic design and understand the aesthetic and social meanings underpinning them.
3. Evaluate the aesthetic and ideological functions of graphic design using actual examples in critical writing.
4. Show an understanding of wider social and historical context in which graphic forms are circulated and consumed.
5. Demonstrate knowledge of typography and period style.
6. Use critical terms, build an argument and use visual examples in the production of coherent written submissions.
7. Write accurately and grammatically in good English.
Key texts:(I propose to use in your essay)
S.J. Eskilson, Graphic Design: A History, London: Laurence King, 2012.
Jobling, P. and Crowley, D., Graphic Design: Reproduction and Representation Since 1800, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996.
G. Lees-Maffei and Rebecca Houze (eds), The Design History Reader, Oxford: Berg, 2010.
P. B. Meggs, A History of Graphic Design, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992.
P.B. Meggs and A.W. Purvis, Meggs’ History of Graphic Design, Hoboken NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2012.
M. Timmers, (ed.)The Power of the Poster, London: V & A Publications, 1998.
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