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. 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.