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Universidade Lusófona do Porto

History of Design


The UC History of Design proposes a reading of the evolution of visual communication in the West taking place: from the development of writing systems to the invention of the press and its expansion in Europe, then passing through the effects of the industrial revolution. The speech will focus on the most significant episodes in the History of Visual Communication Design. This reading will allow us to examine personalities and trends in the light of the ideologies that accompanied technological innovations, the evolution of aesthetics and the diffusion of graphic products.


Communication Design

Level of Qualification|Semesters|ECTS

| Semestral | 5

Year | Type of course unit | Language

1 |Mandatory |Português



Recommended complementary curricular units

Design Theory and Criticism and History of Art

Professional Internship



The following syllabus is considered:

  • The evolution of the Latin alphabet and the manuscript;
  • Woodcut;
  • Papermaking;
  • Gutenberg and the invention of movable types.
  • The diffusion of the press in Europe;
  • Aldo Manúcio;
  • Treaties on the design of Latin letters;
  • The diffusion of the press in Portugal at the end of the century. XV and beginning XVI.
  • The Industrial Revolution: historical context;
  • The Victorian Era and the birth of advertising;
  • Victorian Era typography;
  • The Great Industrial Exhibition (1851);
  • Arts and Crafts Movement: historical context, background and influences;
  • Kelmscott Press (1891-1898).


The main objective of the UC is to provide students with the acquisition of a synthetic historical framework, useful for establishing relevant connections between figures, facts, experiences and issues, as well as orienting themselves in the complex network of influences that are at the origin of visual communication design. contemporary.

Teaching methodologies and assessment

As this theoretical-practical course, expository classes will be held to present the programmed themes that will have audiovisual resources. Whenever possible, study visits will be promoted to complement the topics covered.

Mandatory presence in 75% of contact classes, with the exception of students with student / worker status.

The assessment is continuous with two assessment elements. The first is a research group work focused on expanding the Press and will have a weighting of 40%. The second is an individual research work contextualized to the movements of the end of the century. XIX, beginning of the century. XX. The latter must be delivered at the last moment of evaluation and has a weight of 60%.


D'Amato. G. (2005). Storia del Design. Milão: Bruno Mondadori.

Baroni, D & Vitta, M. (2013). Storia del Design Grafico. Milão: Longanesi & C.

Droste, M. (1992). Bauhaus. Bauhaus archiv. Berlin: Bauhaus-Archiv Museum für Gestaltung, Klingelhöferstr.

Fioravanti, G. (1994). Grafica & Stampa. Notizie storiche e informazioni tecniche per chi stampa e per chi fa stampare. Milão: Zanichelli Editore.

Hollis, R. (2005). Design Gráfico: uma história concisa. São Paulo: Martins Fontes.

Jobling, P. & Crowley, D. (1996). Graphic Design reproduction & representation since 1800. Manchester, U.K.: Publiched by Manchester University Press.

Meggs, P.B. (1992). A History of Graphic Design. Nova Iorque: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Pevsner, N. (1991). Pioneers of Modern Design: From William Morris to Walter Gropius. London. Penguin Books.


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