Case Study: Design and Technology

At this point in our class, you’re learning about innovative technologies associated with design, such as Gutenberg’s press, wood type, lithography, photography, and the Industrial Revolution. There is a long and intriguing design history between early printing processes and current digital media with on-demand printing. It’s clear that, historically, design and technology have been closely woven together within the larger aspects of society, culture, and history. One form of design – posters – has been a vital form of communication for centuries.

Select a Designer

For this paper, you will select a designer who has made an impact on poster design. You’ll be writing a case study. Put yourself in the role of a design writer – imagine you are writing an upcoming article for a design, illustration, or photography publication. Your paper should be less about traditional research – not just reporting facts – and more about critical and creative thinking. Your specific topic should be of interest to you and inspire you to look at the designer and the work from a broad perspective.

Include a Brief History

You will be researching the history and development of poster design, from broadsides in the 1500s to the period of the specific designer you have chosen to write about. Your paper should include a brief overview of the development of the poster, both technologically and culturally. You will research the designer’s methodology and discuss the reasons behind his or her creations (E.G. political, advertising or promotion, social commentary, public service campaigns, etc.). Discuss the designer’s technique and technical methods for the production of the type and imagery as well as how these areas were influenced by the technology available at the time. Include how the design approach was effective or appropriate for the topic. How did cultural, social, economic and/or historic factors influence the relationship between design and technology and the outcome of your selected


Make a well-researched critical analysis* of audience reception of the message of the poster(s). This may be either hypothesized (based on your research), or on recorded historical fact. Describe the work as if it is the subject of an article in a periodical or a review of a gallery show. Include at least three examples of the designer’s work. You must describe, in detail, at least one of the posters shown in these images.

Regarding the designer’s work in the medium of posters, include specific information about that person’s influence in the design field and include at least one example of any type of work created by someone else showing this influence. This may be documented or it may be an analysis of your own discovery.

*this does not mean you are writing a critique or criticizing the work

Determine a designer you propose to research and write about. State your intentions for addressing this designer and how the person relates to the history of design. The proposal must include the subject’s cultural, societal, and/or historic connections and subsequent influence on the field of design. Include at least three references that will support your writing. Include a working title for the paper. Chicago Manual of Style must be used for the formatting of all sections.

Sample Solution