In this course students investigate conceptual and process-driven visual problem solving and research methodologies. Intensive projects serve to build each designer's skills and vocabulary while gaining an understanding of how typography, images, composition, form and media enhance communication. Discussion of contemporary design issues and design history supplement the work.MA Graphic Design students only
In this course students research, create and exhibit a self-directed thesis project focused on a specific subject. The project supports the student’s personal and professional goals and builds a body of work consisting of multiple visual explorations. Students develop content, concept and design the project in consultation with their peers, faculty and guest critics, as well as prepare a written summary of their research, process and methodology.Prerequisite: GD 5010. Graphic Design MA students only.
This course builds the student’s professional portfolio. Emphasis is placed on cultivating the student’s personal interests and abilities, increasing the range and quality of portfolio projects, and crafting a comprehensive self-presentation package that will serve as a graceful extension of the work. Readings and discussion topics will include tailoring a portfolio to specific goals (freelance, niche market, MFA programs, etc.), professional documents, pricing, ethics, and other considerations of professional practice.Prerequisite: GD 5010. Graphic Design MA students only.
This hands on course introduces students to a variety of topics related to interactive design, rapid prototyping, and physical computing through tutorials, guided studio time, and self-directed experimentation. This course is an exploration of computer-aided modes of fabrication and their integration into contemporary art and design. A strong emphasis is on technical training on the laser cutters, 3D printers, and CNC routers. Students also spend a considerable amount of time working in CAD and CAM software, with emphasis on Rhinoceros; and introduced to algorithmic design techniques and physical computing.Graduate students only
This multi-disciplinary, team-based studio course engages graduate students in visual communication projects with and for non-profit and community partners. Students take on roles as designer, illustrator, art director and project manager at different points throughout a project cycle, broadening their skills in ideation, typography, traditional and digital media, as well as creating for specific audiences. Lectures on professional practice topics including licensing, contracts and intellectual property complement the studio work.Graduate students only
The best brands seamlessly reflect the essence and ethos of what and who they stand for. This project-driven course equips students to strategize, create, and deploy the visual and verbal language needed to mobilize a visual identity across media. In-depth projects explore research strategies, design thinking, storytelling, dynamic identity and typographic systems within the practice of building brand languages. Design process, critical analysis and refinement are emphasized. (formerly Graduate Branding)Graduate level Graphic Design students only
This course is an intensive study of typography from basic vocabulary, anatomy and history to understanding how to choose and combine typefaces for specific media. Students develop fluency in digital typesetting and composition and apply hierarchy in both practical and expressive contexts. Best practices for developing grid systems, style sheets and detailed typography are taught via exercises and projects in a variety of media.MA Graphic Design students only
Graduate students will learn the techniques of screenprinting and how to apply the methods, materials, and aesthetic character of this medium to their own creative work. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply screenprinting techniques to work they are doing in their graduate program and/or to develop a new body of work specific to this course. Class time will be used for hands-on demonstrations, discussions of techniques, printing in the lab, and troubleshooting, as well as discussion of student work-in-progress where appropriate.Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate students only (all programs)
Interactive designs have multiple dimensions, such as culture, interaction, motion, and time, all of which can be pushed to create memorable and useful user experiences. This graduate-level studio course is a continuation of Interactive Media I. The course continues to explore best-practice modern online and on-screen design, production, and publishing practices including HTML, CSS, CMS, blogging and other social media. Students will have the flexibility to connect the technology and coursework to their graduate theses, core studio, and/or personal work as appropriate. The class will meet in smaller groups to accommodate the different levels of experience among students.Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate students only (all programs)
Participants in this hands-on studio confront specific design problems, working both individually and in teams, that explore a variety of forms, techniques, media, and methods. Group discussions and critiques are balanced with individual meetings with faculty and visits with guest artists.Graphic Design MFA students only
Supports work taking place in GD MFA Studio I with weekend workshops with prominent designers. Two three-day workshops take place each semester. Workshops focus on design process and serve to launch projects that continue in depth in GD MFA Studio I.Co-requisite: GD 5500
In this portfolio-oriented course, graduate students will work on publication design projects involving complex typographic systems, hierarchies, formats, and sequences. The course will encourage students to expand and demonstrate their typographic vocabularies.Graduate level Graphic Design students only
Investigating typography across media, students work with historic, contemporary and evolving type technologies in 2d, 3d and 4d. Projects rooted in print, screen, space and time will build on student’s knowledge of fundamental concepts of design and typography: hierarchy, syntax, grids, information systems, and using/creating typefaces. Experiments, prototypes and projects investigate typography as an expression of language and narrative, interface and interactivity, and collaboration with an emphasis on presenting complex content in a specific context. Lectures and readings will provide a cultural, historical and technical framework for process-based projects.Graphic Design MA students only. Prerequisite: GD 5325
Focuses on type design through a series of workshops, assignments and lectures. The course exposes students to professional working methods, lettering techniques, typeface design principles, and typography.Graduate students only
Focuses on interaction-based design elements as they relate to graphic communication. Students learn principles of interaction design and game design theory and gain a solid foundation in programming in Processing and p5. The course is grounded in iterative play-testing that informs the production of potent interactive moments for installation and the web. Projects include a personalized toolkit for generating visuals, a dynamic interactive space, and an independent creative project. Hands-on demos allow students to experiment with various plug-and-play sensors and other tools and techniques. Students are encouraged to focus projects around their thesis work or other self-determined endeavors. A laptop is required for this course.
An opportunity to assess your body of work, review your career goals, and present your creative output as a compelling professional story that reflects your design approach. Each student creates two new works to fill in portfolio gaps or meet personal goals. Students refine and edit existing works, build a digital portfolio presence, create a physical portfolio if appropriate, and clearly annotate projects. The course also addresses professional practice protocols, such as freelance contracts, resume crafting, and job-seeking strategies.Graphic Design MFA students only; other Graduate students by permisison
Participants in this hands-on studio confront specific design problems, working both individually and in teams, that explore a variety of forms, techniques, media, and methods. Group discussions and critiques are balanced with individual meetings with faculty and visits with guest artists. Students begin defining a thesis project at the close of the semester.Graphic Design MFA students only
This graduate design course supports work taking place in GD MFA Studio II with weekend workshops with prominent designers. Two three-day workshops take place each semester. Workshops focus on design process and serve to launch projects that continue in depth in GD MFA Studio II.Co-requisite: GD 5550
A laboratory to explore how processes and materials can both form and inform design. The synthesis of old and new, analog and digital, and hand- and computer-based methods provides students with an opportunity to work beyond the constraints of the computer and take advantage of the aesthetic effects that actual materials bring to visual communication. Students will complete a series of experiments investigating different approaches to synthesizing analog and digital methods into graphic design artifacts.Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate students only (all programs)
This course serves as a deep immersion into advanced typographic practice. Typographic syntax and refinement will underscore more complex investigations of information hierarchy, grid systems, typographic voice, compositional strategy, and typography across media. Through a structured series of short exercises and sustained projects, students will increase their facility and confidence as typographers.Graduate students only
Focuses on time-based design elements of space, pacing and motion as they relate to graphic communication. Students gain a solid foundation in After Effects and the principles of motion design. Projects are grounded in iterative development of storyboards and rough cuts that inform the production of short (10–30 second) videos. Students will learn to collect, combine, and composite original visual and audio materials and to access “creative commons” materials. Projects include an abstract music video, a proof-of-concept for an interactive app or installation, and a third creative project. Throughout the course, hands-on demos enable students to experiment with diverse tools and techniques. Students are encouraged to focus projects around their thesis work or other self-determined endeavors.GD MA or MFA students only
This class will prepare students to design interfaces that work and generate positive experiences. UX & Interface Design I examines the space where computers, people and design intersect, with an emphasis on supporting effective communication between designers and their audience. Fundamental principles and practices of human-computer interaction, including human capabilities, interface technology, design methods, and evaluation techniques will be covered. Students will complete projects that allow them to gain hands-on experience in all phases of interface design and evaluation.Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate students only (all programs)
Building on the UX/ID principles acquired in UX & Interface Design I, students will be challenged with advanced and real-world UX and Interface Design conundrums. And since students will learn how to design, administer and analyze user research studies, students will design solutions informed by user behavior, motivation and affinity. Finally, this studio class will cover a number of UX models, design tools, and documentation techniques for mobile, tablet and desktop UX/ID design.Prerequisite: GD 5570 or Permission
This course is an experimental laboratory that uses game design methodology to inspire new modes of design thinking and ideation. Students will complete one large self-initiated project following a number of shorter exercises and charrettes that explore the potential of new media and games as tools for creative thinking and making. The contemporary phenomenon of gamification will be examined as a model for making graphic design more inviting and engaging. Specific emphasis will be given to developing formal skills across a variety of analog and digital media. Thesis students are encouraged to apply the course prompts and project to their thesis work.
Filmmakers will work with graphic designers to brand films being developed in MICA's MFA in Filmmaking program. Multidisciplinary teams (one designer/one filmmaker) will develop strategies, materials, and campaigns to enable filmmakers to build an audience, find funding, and launch their films. Participants in this practical workshop course will actively engage contemporary media and crowdfunding platforms to achieve real-world results and master principles of contemporary entrepreneurship that can be applied not only to film but to numerous independent creative endeavors.MFA/PB Graphic Design or MFA Filmmaking students only
This course covers the craft of letterpress as it relates to the art of poster-making, discusses the history of Globe, best-known for its eye-popping, content-rich design of music posters, and the style and form that made Globe posters so distinctive. In 2011, MICA acquired many of Globe's assets — extensive wood type, photo and illustration cuts, hand-carved lettering, and sketches and posters. Using these materials, students will learn the craft of letterpress printing, from setting type to locking up forms to printing on the Vandercook proof presses in the studio.Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate students only (all programs)
This course puts into practice the idea of "designer as author," engaging students in hands-on work creating content for real-world publications as well as speculative personal projects and prototypes. This course combines intellectual study with down-and-dirty production. All students are expected to have a make-it-happen attitude; be prepared to use all your skills, including writing, photography, design, and production.Graphic Design MFA students only
Second-year students begin intensive development on their thesis projects, working to define an area of study, articulate personal and professional goals, generate formal work, and create realistic plans for following through on the complete project. A thesis project is an original body of work that employs the language and techniques of graphic design to a subject, medium, or methodology. The final thesis consists of the following components: exhibition, publication, written essay, and web site. Throughout the semester, students meet individually and in small groups with faculty and visiting artists. With guidance from faculty, each student takes individual responsibility for defining a project that is personally satisfying and professionally valid.Prerequisite: GD 5500, Graphic Design MFA students
Supports work taking place in GD MFA Studio III (thesis) with weekend workshops with prominent designers. Two three-day workshops take place each semester, in addition to two visits with visiting critics. Workshops focus on design process and serve to provide each designer with new insights and challenges to shape their thesis process.Co-requisite: GD 6500
Second-year students bring their thesis project to completion in the spring semester. The final thesis consists of the following components: exhibition, publication, written essay, and web site. Students explore creative methods for presenting and interpreting their work to the public as well as documenting their work for their portfolios and for other future uses.Graphic Design MFA students only
Supports work taking place in GD MFA Studio IV (thesis) with critical feedback from outside designers. The course consists of two meetings about work in progress and a final presentation with an outside critic. Designers receive additional feedback throughout the semester from their primary thesis advisor and other faculty.Co-requisite: GD 6550