Graphic Design Theory

Meredith Davis

A comprehensive introduction to graphic design theory.

This textbook combines an analysis of historical thinking about design with contemporary critical theory. Throughout, explanations are linked to visual concepts, so the book is useful for studio instruction as well as freestanding lecture courses on history or theory. Promoting rigorous thinking as well as practical and technical proficiency, it encourages students to critique the professional design work they encounter, as well as their own studio practice. New thinking about graphic design, uniting a historical perspective with an essential critical background, is made accessible to students—this thinking would otherwise be available only in diverse and unsuitable readings.


Meredith Davis


Meredith Davis is Professor of Graphic Design and Director of Graduate Programs in Graphic Design at North Carolina State University, where she has taught since 1989. For ten years she was Chair of the Department of Graphic Design. She is a former director of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Graphic Design Education Association, and the American Center for Design. Through her research, teaching, and role as an adviser on college curricula, Davis has helped shape design education across the United States.