Exploring the History of Graphic Design Education in Pakistan

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the history of graphic design education in Pakistan, with a particular focus on the National College of Arts (NCA), formerly known as the Mayo School of Art. The NCA has a rich history dating back to 1875 and has played a significant role in shaping graphic design education in Pakistan. The study argues that graphic design education in Pakistan has been shaped by two main factors: the colonial legacy of arts and crafts education and responses to changes within the Pakistani economy and society, such as the transition from lithography to technology development, and the shift from certificate programs to higher education. The research was conducted through archival research, oral history, expert interviews, and a review of the literature, notably Nadeem Omar Tarar's research on the development of NCA. The results of the study show that despite the popularity and economic significance of graphic design, it has not been given the same recognition as fine arts in Pakistan. The absence of a comprehensive history of graphic design education in the country is hindering its growth and advancement. The authors of this study aim to address this issue by reconstructing the story of graphic design education and its development within the NCA. They believe that this will provide a better understanding of the past, present, and future of design education in Pakistan and help strengthen and preserve its rich history.