“Graphic design is the filter through which nearly all communication is now disseminated. Therefore graphic designers are in a unique position as the gatekeepers of information. What, how, and for whom we choose to communicate are crucial decisions that have a serious impact on our civilization.”

Noah Scalin
Design Rebels
Virginia Commonwealth University




Art 459:
Graphic Design and Social Change
Ohio University School of Art

Introduced as a 400 level course at the Ohio University School of Art in 2006, the course surveyed an array of visual styles and printing media, dating from the Russian Revolution to the present in the form of artistic posters, non-commercial advertisements, and political propaganda. These types of collateral are ephemeral—rarely intended to last beyond their immediate moment.

During the course, groups of students were assigned specific historical events or social movements to research and present relevant examples addressing the power of art and design to sway public opinion, organize and inform. A resulting DVD and website addresses the impact of this type of visual culture with the intent of informing art activists of the power of art/design to inspire people to action.

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The following links provide additional information for Visual Communications educators interested in bringing social responsibility into their classrooms and coursework.
 

 
Adobe Design and Film School Connection

“A site where students and faculty members can find free resources for using Adobe software products in coursework, projects, and career preparation; use tips and tutorials; receive and give helpful advice; and read about new trends and upcoming design events”
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Advertising Educational Foundation AEF space “The advertising industry's provider and distributor of educational content to enrich the understanding of advertising and its role in culture, society and the economy.”
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AIGA Design Educators Community “The community actively supports design educators in a variety of institutional settings through events, conferences, surveys, research, and a host of initiatives.”
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Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design
“AICAD is a consortium of 35 leading art schools in the United States. AICAD seeks to advance art and design edcuation by strengthening its member colleges individually and collectively. All members are BFA and/or MFA granting, fully accredited, specialized colleges of art and design.”
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Archeworks
“An alternative design school where students work in multidisciplinary teams with nonprofit partners to create design solutions for social concerns.”
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ART459: Graphic Design and Social Change
“Art 459: Graphic Design and Social Change was introduced as a 400 level course at the Ohio University School of Art in 2006. The course surveyed an array of visual styles and printing media, dating from the Russian Revolution to the present in the form of artistic posters, non-commercial advertisements, and political propaganda.”
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Campus Compact
“Campus Compact is a coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents — representing some 6 million students — who are committed to fulfilling the public purposes of higher education. As the only national association dedicated to this mission, Campus Compact is a leader in building civic engagement into campus and academic life.”
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Center for Art and Public Life at California College of the Arts
“The Center for Art and Public Life creates community partnerships using the arts to address issues of social justice, diversity, community development, and education. Our programming is woven across disciplines at California College of the Arts and serves the diverse populations of the San Francisco Bay Area.”
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Center for Communication & Civic Engagement
“The Center for Communication and Civic Engagement in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington is dedicated to research, the creation of citizen resources and student-designed learning experiences that develop new areas of positive citizen involvement in politics and social life. Our primary focus is to understand how new information technologies can supplement more traditional forms of communication to facilitate civic engagement.”
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Combining Service and Learning in Higher Education
Evaluation of the Learn and Serve America, Higher Education Program
Maryann J. Gray
“As mandated by the U.S. Congress, this report evaluates the Learn and Serve America program's effects on higher education students (service providers), service recipients, and higher education institutions, and assesses the program's return on investment.”
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Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media
“To assist academic institutions of art, design and media in their development and in enhancing their contribution to society.”
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Design education: sharing the future
“An open-source (ad-free) initiative conducted by Gustavo Machado, a socially and environmentally conscious designer and educator with an almost utopian dream: redesign the world.”
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Design Feast
“Design Feast is a go-to resource for students, professionals, educators and the design-curious—delivering relevant and diverse design content, creative voices and projects.”
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DESIGN REBELS: socially conscious graphic design in theory and practice
“GDES 491.003 Noah Scalin, Graphic Design program, Virginia Commonwealth University—Graphic design is the filter through which nearly all communication is now disseminated. Therefore graphic designers are in a unique position as the gatekeepers of information. What, how, and for whom we choose to communicate are crucial decisions that have a serious impact on our civilization.”
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EDGE: Ethics of a Designer in Global Economy by EDGE Class
“This book is the culmination of the work done by the students of the EDGE (Ethics of a Designer in a Global Economy) class taught at the University of Illinois by Graphic Design Professors Eric Benson and John Jennings. The book details how/why this design ethics course was put together, catalogs the student work and also provides a course ‘lessons learned’ and bibliography for other educators to teach this kind of course again.”
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Imagining America
“A national consortium of colleges and universities committed to public scholarship in the arts, humanities, and design. Public scholarship joins serious intellectual endeavor with a commitment to public practice and public consequence.”
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Implementing Service Learning in Higher Education
by Robert G. Bringle, Julie A. Hatcher
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Institute for Volunteer Research
“The Institute for Volunteering Research aims to develop knowledge and understanding of volunteering in a way that is relevant to practitioners and policy makers. This site provides an overview of the work of the Institute as well as detailed summaries of research that it has undertaken.”
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International Forum on Globalization
“THE INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON GLOBALIZATION (IFG) is a North-South research and educational institution composed of leading activists, economists, scholars, and researchers providing analyses and critiques on the cultural, social, political, and environmental impacts of economic globalization.”
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International Organization for Standardization
“ISO is taking action to ensure that the standard will benefit from broad input by all those with a serious interest in social responsibility. This is being achieved by a balanced representation in the working group, of six designated stakeholder categories: industry, government, labour, consumers, nongovernmental organizations and others, in addition to geographical and gender-based balance.”
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Mess Hall Press
“Run by a volunteer staff of local artists, graphic designers and communication professionals, Mess Hall Press teaches the fundamentals of the creative process through the art of screen-printing.”
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National Association of Schools of Art and Design
“NASAD, founded in 1944, is an organization of schools, colleges, and universities. It has approximately 280 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials.”
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The Nonprofit Quarterly
“Promoting spirited nonprofit management.”
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Stanford Social Innovation Review
“Strategies, tools and ideas for nonprofits, foundations, and socially responsible businesses.”
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Taproot Foundation
“We partner with corporations, universities, and trade associations to infuse the pro bono ethic into every business profession — increasing the resources available to the nonprofit sector. By 2020, we strive to have all business professionals consider pro bono work an integrated and esteemed part of their careers.”
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Trends in Higher Education
“The Society for College and University Planning publishes this environmental scanning report as one outcome of routine work which informs our board of directors. We share this in the interest of providing our members and the broader higher education community with an ongoing analysis of trends that affect integrated planning in institutions.”
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U.S. National Design Policy Initiative
“The Report of the 2008 U.S. National Design Summit is released. It covers the rationale and outcomes of the Summit, the process and criteria for ranking of the final 62 policy proposals, the list of design policy related current activities by invited organizations (not just participants), and the raw list of policy proposals.”
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The University & College Designers Association (UCDA)
“The University & College Designers Association (UCDA) exists to promote excellence in visual communications for educational institutions.”
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Youth Civic Engagement: An Institutional Turn
“The papers in this collection were written by an interdisciplinary group to address two main questions: What conditions deter young people’s involvement in politics and civic life? What reforms could enhance youth engagement?”
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If you are aware of other academic resources that would be useful to educators wanting to incorporate social responsibility into their Visual Communications coursework, please let us know.
   
   


last update: 01.14