Department of Graphic Arts
The Academy of Art, Architecture and Design was established in Prague in 1885, however, a specialized school of applied graphic arts was only founded in 1919. This special school was headed by professor František Kysela, whose colleagues at the Academy at that time were other significant personalities of applied graphic arts, illustration and typography - prof. Vratislav Hugo Brunner and prof. Jaroslav Benda.
In 1946, the Academy acquired the university status and the studies were divided into different fields. The field of applied graphic arts included typography, book decoration, bookbinding and decorating, advertising art, journalist drawing and film graphics.
Individual departments at the Academy were founded in 1949/1950. Studios exploring different kinds of applied graphic arts and also painting formed one department. Teachers at this department were many significant visual artists - professors Emil Filla, František Muzika, Josef Novák, Antonín Pelc, Antonín Strnadel, Karel Svolinský and František Tichý.
At the exhibition of the entire Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in 1965, the Department of Graphic Arts with its four separate studios specialized in related disciplines was introduced for the first time. The studios were specialized in book and poster design (prof. F. Muzika), book and magazine illustration (prof. K. Svolinský), advertising graphic design (prof. A. Strnadel) and animated and clay animation film (prof. A. Hoffmeister). Part of the department were also three workshops common for all applied graphic design studios, with specialization in lithography, typography and bookbinding.
Over the years, the studios within the department of graphic arts were led by many significant personalities, such as Jiří Trnka, Zdeněk Sklenář, Eugen Weidlich, Milan Hegar and Miloslav Jágr, to name just a few. The structure of the department with its studios and workshops, with some minor changes in the names of studios, remained the same until 1989.
In 1990, new heads of the studios within the graphic arts department were appointed - professors Zdeněk Ziegler (graphic design and visual communication), Jiří Šalamoun (illustration and graphics), Jan Solpera (lettering and typography) and Jiří Barta (film and TV graphics).
In the nineties, all graphic design disciplines, new media, photography and printing underwent an unexpected development thanks to new digital technologies. This radically new situation was reflected in several significant changes at the Graphic Arts Department of the AAAD. Professor Zdeněk Ziegler and doc. Milan Jaroš initiated the foundation of the studio of photography in 1995, which was logically incorporated under the graphic arts department. The first professor of this new studio was Pavel Štecha, later followed by Ivan Pinkava. The department's IT centre was built and the new studio of graphic design and new media was accredited based on a proposal by professor Jan Solpera. After professor Solpera had left the Academy, the studio of lettering and typography was headed by František Štorm.
At present, the Department of Graphic Arts consists of the following studios: illustration and graphics (headed by Mgr. A. Juraj Horváth, assistant Mgr. A. Michaela Kukovičová), lettering and typography (headed by academic painter Karel Haloun, assistants Luboš Drtina and Tomáš Brousil), graphic design and visual communication (headed by Rostislav Vaněk, assistant MgA. Kristina Fišerová), film and TV graphics (headed by Jan Balej, assistants MgA. Zuzana Bukovinská and academic painter Patricia Martínez), photography (headed by Doc. MgA. Aleksandra Vajd and MgA. Hynek Alt, M.F.A., assistant Mga Jakub Peršín), graphic design and new media (headed by doc. Mgr.A. Petr Babák, assistant MgA. Štěpán Malovec). An indispensable part of the studies at the graphic design department is the work in graphic workshops (lithography, typography, serigraphy, offset, photogravure and bookbinding). An important role is played by supplementary and theoretic disciplines and a number of external instructors.
The Department of Graphic Design of the AAAD offers its students an open system of studies. Thanks to its excellent teachers and adequate material and technical conditions, the individual studios are unique laboratories, places, where future graphic designers, typographers, illustrators, photographers, film and TV graphic designers and new media artists meet and develop their creative skills.