Tasks Due Today

  • Review Typography and The International Style Evolution
  • Discussion: Week 7
  • Research Project Outline
  • Reading Response 6
  • Week 7 Agenda Checklist

This Week’s Topics

At the end of this session, students should have an understanding of the following:

  • How the Avant-Garde movements of rebellion and rejection of the past (Futurism, Construcivism, Desjil, etc), culminated in the Bauhaus and were further refined in Swiss Typography/International Style found the mainstream in the capitalist version of Modernism in the American corporate identity design.
  • How advertising has influenced society and culture.
  • Guidelines and due date for the Week 8 Discussion
  • Prompt and due date for Reading Response 7

Grades and Feedback

Your Midterm grades have been posted to the OpenLab Course Gradebook. If you received a P (for Passing) you are in good shape to pass the course with a D or better. If you received a U for Unsatisfactory or BL for Borderline, you are in danger of failing the course. Please contact me immediately to discuss: jspevack@citytech.cuny.edu.

Grades up to Week 5 have also been posted to the Gradebook. Grades for Week 6 and any late/revised assignments will be posted on Tuesday evening. {UPDATE: still not finished, but close! Phew. I will hopefully get through everyone’s work by Wednesday evening!}

How to view feedback on your Reading Responses

Watch the screencast below to see how to view Reading Response feedback using the Hypothesis extension. Comments on your Research Paper 1 can be found in the Google Doc itself.

How To View Your Reading Response Comments in Hypothesis.


You will see a check if you contributed to the weekly class discussion posts, per the guidelines. The guidelines generally require that you post at least (5) times to show engagement. You can always go back and add your ideas to past discussions for credit.

Don’t forget to submit your Weekly Agenda Checklist, indicating the tasks you’ve completed. This is required.


Below find the information covered in this session. Complete all of the following activities, videos, and assignments.

1. Mainstream Modernism + American Corporate Identity (approx. 60 min)

Last class, we saw the evolution of influences from the Constructivists, De Stijl, New Typography, and the Bauhaus that led to the mainstream adoption of the modernist International Typographic Style/Swiss Style in the mid 20th Century. This week we look at the American version of Modernism as corporate identity design and advertising in the 1950s-1960s began to take shape.

Modernism in the United States showed a commitment to “less is more” and a strong reliance on images and geometric forms. The approach was impartial and direct. Corporate identity design came into being during this time and favored a simplification in visual approach. Simple, sharp, and clean, designers developed cohesive brand identities. Commonplace today, designers like Paul Rand, started to used acronyms for logos and corporate brand identity. The identity manuals used today for fully branded company identities came into being.

Below are a series of videos that take you through the history of advertising, corporate identity design, and mainstream designers that influenced the field.

The New York School

Watch the Graphic Design History section on The New York School on LinkedIn Learning (this is the best option to view the work clearly!).

Or, if you must, watch the YouTube video below. NOTE: In the following video, watch from 1:18:14 to 1:18:55

The New York School – Graphic Design History (Watch from 1:18:14 to 1:18:55 )

American Corporate Identity

Watch the Graphic Design History section on American Corporate Identity on LinkedIn Learning (this is the best option to view the work clearly!).

Or, if you must, watch the YouTube video below. NOTE: In the following video, watch from 1:25:45 to 1:30:32

American Corporate Identity – Graphic Design History (Watch from 1:25:45 to 1:30:32 )

Paul Rand

Paul Rand – The Futur Academy

Branding and Belonging

Debbie Millman | The Complete History of Branding in 20 Minutes

2. Discussion: Week 8 (30 min)

For our Discussion post this week, review Debbie Millman’s AIGA Lecture about the history of branding and respond to the prompt in the Discussion Week 8 post.

Add your comment to the Discussion post by Friday, October 22nd at 6 pm to allow time for responses. Add at least 4 follow-up responses to your classmates’ comments by Sunday, October 24th, at 11:59 pm.

3. Assignment: Reading Response 7 (2+ Hours)

Follow the assignment guidelines and prompts for Reading Response 7 – DUE Sunday, October 24th, at 6pm

You will be reading and annotating essays written by Paul Rand “Good Design Is Good Will” 1987 in our main text Graphic Design Theory: Readings From the Field by Helen Armstrong and “Underground Mainstream” by Steven Heller, Design Observer, 2008.

Refer to Assignment: Reading Response 7 for prompts.


Week 8 Agenda Checklist

Below are all of the tasks, big and small, for this week. The deadline is Sunday, October 24th, at 6pm Successful and timely completion of these tasks will contribute to your grade. Submit your Weekly Agenda Checklist, indicating the tasks you’ve completed. This is required.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out: jspevack@citytech.cuny.edu

Tasks from the Week 8 Agenda - 10/24

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