Princeton University
Visual Arts Program
VIS 217, C-i-r-c-u-l-a-t-i-o-n
Tuesdays, 1:30–4:20 pm
Fall 2020
The practice of graphic design relies on the existence of networks for distributing multiple copies of identical things. Students in this course will consider the ways in which a graphic design object’s characteristics are affected by its ability to be copied and shared, and by the environment in which it is intended to circulate. Through hands-on design projects, readings, and discussions, students will delve into different material forms of distribution — the printed newspaper, social network software, the community radio station, the PDF. Given the online context this semester, assignments will address and employ electronic networks.
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September 15, 2020
“We have no art, we do everything as well as we can.”

Reading
Lift and separate : graphic design and the quote vernacular unquote (editor Barbara Glauber)

Resources
We Have No Art
Power Up: The Work of Sister Corita with Barbara Glauber
the-copy.com
September 29, 2020
Elliptical Thinking

Readings
Elliptical-Thinking.pdf (David Reinfurt)

Resources
October 6, 2020
A Happy Octopus

Readings
A-Happy-Octopus.pdf (Phyils and Philip Morrison)

Resources
Powers of Ten
Powers of Ten (A Rough Sketch for a Proposed Film)
October 27, 2020
Escape Velocity, or Interstellar Graphic Design

Readings
Pioneer-Plaque.pdf (Linda Salzman Sagan)
A-Million-Random-Digits.pdf (David Reinfurt)

Resources
NASA’s ‘Worm’ Logo Will Return to Space
Pioneer 10 plaque kickstarter
Pioneer Plaque (replica)
November 10, 2020
The Medium is the Massage

Readings
Massaging-the-Message.pdf (Ellen Lupton and Abbott Miller)

Resources
The Medium is the Massage (1967)
The Electric Information Age Book Supplement 1

Visitors
Shannon Harvey, Adam Michaels
November 24, 2020
Final

Readings
Comic-Sans-Cant-Breathe.pdf (Ben Denzer)

Resources
O-R-G softwares on Are.na
Adam, Why Arial?
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