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Tuesdays, October 3 – October 24, 6 – 8pm


Design by Dan Shepelavy.

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

About the Class

Visual expression is as old as humanity, so it’s no easy task to chart the history of graphic design. Its dense global thicket could be traversed endlessly without ever taking the same path twice. This course is an expedition into graphic design’s unruly sprawl, guided by artist, designer, and advertising executive Dan Shepelavy.

Idiosyncratic yet satisfyingly comprehensive, this survey of graphic design covers a wide span of eras and cultures: medieval heraldry, Jamaican dancehall posters, corporate and revolutionary propaganda, the British psychedelic underground, early graphic computer interfaces, East Germany’s Cold War commercial landscape, the style and swagger of the Harlem Renaissance. Atypical and sometimes surprising, these visual destinations will provide a solid understanding and heightened appreciation of the fundamental aspects of design.

Capacity: 100

Barnes classes will:

  • Increase your understanding of art-related concepts.
  • Increase the ways you think critically about art.
  • Improve your ability to communicate about art.
  • Deepen your appreciation for cultures and histories outside your own.


Dan Shepelavy

Shepelavy is a graphic designer, artist, researcher, writer, and advertising executive. He is currently the proprietor of Universal Exports of North America, a creative consultancy and publisher. Shepelavy spent his early design career amid the collapsing scenery of the pre-internet music business. In 2003, he helped establish the advertising agency 160over90; later he served as the executive creative director of the Brownstein Group.

Recent Barnes Class Testimonials

“[The] professor was highly engaging, facilitated excellent discussions, and [was] very knowledgeable. I learned a lot about teaching art history from watching her.” Matisse and Picasso with Martha Lucy

“The instructor [was] very empathetic and knowledgeable [and] created moments of sharing across students who participated actively in discussion.” Art and Literature of the Harlem Renaissance with Michael Williamson

“I am not an artist and prior to this course I had not thought about what an artist might be 'thinking,' as opposed to 'feeling.' I loved this course and plan to immerse myself in color theory.” Visualizing Memory with Lucas Kelly

“The instructor was exceptionally well prepared and challenged us with profound questions. This was a graduate degree caliber course.” The Queer 1890s with Ty Vanover