You are on page 1of 4

Design Fundamentals


Jane R. Lee
Jan 6 - Mar 24
12 weeks
Thursdays, 7-10pm

Syllabus subject to
change. Assignments
will be handed out

Course objectives
An introduction to graphic design, students will gain design theory knowledge
and experience applying the design process, design principals and design elements to various graphic design projects.
Please make every effort to attend all classes. Lecture, discussions, critiques will
not be repeated.
Students will be evaluated on the basis of
Class participation, interaction, discussions
Craftsmanship and presentation
Evidence of initiative, creative and imaginative responses to assigned
Progress of work through the quarter
The project grading scale is based on a 40 point system
40-31 points
30-21 points

20-11 points

10-0 points

Projects will be graded upon the following criteria:

10 points
Ideation (How strong are the concepts?)
10 points

Appropriateness (Does the solution fit the problem?)

10 points

Craft (How professional is the final delivered project?)

10 points

Communication (How well is the form, behavior and rationale

of your project presented and communicated?)

Course materials
Access to internet and color printer
Black board
X-acto knife
Drawing pen or pencil
Drawing paper
Spray mount
Cutting mat
All assignments can be hand-drawn or usage of computer design program is
Weekly Blackboard assignment
Design is about visual awareness and being inspired. Once a week, post to
blackboard something that inspires you. It can be as simple as a color of a t-shirt,
an experience at an event, an interesting article, a cool bottle/package, famous
quote, etc. anything goes! Remember design is everywhere. Be sure to review
your fellow classmates posts and leave comments on the discussion boards.

Class 1: Jan 6
Course Introduction
About this course
About instructor
Expectations and grading
Student introductions
Lecture: What is graphic design?
About visual communications
Disciplines and careers
Role of design in everyday life
Class 2: Jan 13
Review: presentation of last weeks assignment, discussion and critique
Lecture: Elements of Design
Components: form, line, shape, space
Composition: harmony, emphasis, alignment, flow, scale
Shopping bag exercise
Class 3: Jan 20
Review: presentation of last weeks assignment, discussion and critique
Lecture: Typography
Structure of type
Style Classifications
Mechanics: leading, kerning, ragging
Choosing and combining type
Video: A clip from the film Helvetica
Class 4: Jan 27
Review: presentation of last weeks assignment, discussion and critique.
Lecture: Imagery & Color
Image types, styles and usages
Image as idea/narrative
Color fundamentals
Color meaning and associations
Class 5: Feb 3
Review: presentation of last weeks assignment, discussion and critique
Lecture: Putting it all together
Layout & the Grid
Communication & Visual Hierarchy
Class 6: Feb 10
Review: presentation of last weeks assignment, discussion and critique
Lecture: Making meaning
Concept, themes, conveyance
Book cover review: how do the covers utilize the elements of design to convey concepts/themes

Schedule cont
Class 7: Feb 17
Concept evaluation
Logos, symbols, icons
In-class exercise: simplifying images
Class 8: Feb 24
Lecture: Identity & Branding
Components of an identity program
Importance of branding and branding basics
Review: last weeks assignment, discover how different products translate their
identity into a brand
Guest Speaker: speaker will go through a case study of a branding project.
Class 9: Mar 3
Lecture: The creative process
Developing a creative brief
Developing and executing concepts
Keeping a process record
In-class exercise: Creative Brief template
Class 10: Mar 10
Lecture: The production process
Different print methods and techniques
Digital mediums
Guest Speaker: Paper rep to talk about different papers and/or print rep to show
the proofing process
Review: last week thumbnail ideas assignment. Critique and provide feedback
based on the concept evaluation methods discussed.
Class 11: Mar 17
Review: revised assignment
Lecture: Portfolios and presentations
Selling your ideas
Typical portfolios
Class 12: Mar 24
Guest Speaker: Interview a Creative Director about what employers are looking
for in a designer?
Presentation: Each student will present their final projects. We will have our final
critique and our guest speaker will participate in providing feedback.
Closing: final words, additional resources

Recommended Texts
Becoming a Graphic Designer
by Steven Heller
Design Elements - A Graphic Style Manual
by Timothy Samara
The Complete Graphic Designer
by Ryan Hembree
Making and Breaking the Grid
by Timothy Samara
Becoming a Graphic Designer
by Steven Heller
Thinking with Type - A Critical Guide
by Ellen Lupton
Graphic Design Referenced
by Armin VIt
Online Resources
Stock photography
Communication Arts