Take a look at titles and descriptions for the Graphic Design department's courses offered.

Graphic Design MA Studio 1

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

Graphic Design MA Studio 2

In this course students will create and exhibit a self-directed Capstone Project in line with their goals, as well as build a portfolio of compelling work. A traditional outline of research, ideation, synthesis, production and evaluation will lend structure to personal investigations. This project will culminate in a written summary of the student’s research and methodology. Students will continue to grow their bank of design knowledge, skills and resources through independent and collaborative projects.

Prerequisite: GD 5010. Graphic Design MA students only.

Graphic Design MA Workshop

In this course students will create and exhibit a self-directed Capstone Project in line with their goals, as well as build a portfolio of compelling work. A traditional outline of research, ideation, synthesis, production and evaluation will lend structure to personal investigations. This project will culminate in a written summary of the student’s research and methodology. Students will continue to grow their bank of design knowledge, skills and resources through independent and collaborative projects.

Prerequisite: GD 5010. Graphic Design MA students only.

Expanded Design

This hands-on course introduces students to a variety of topics related to expanded design, prototyping and interactivity through tutorials, collaborative experimentation and guided studio time. The course will survey design-centric techniques to utilize 3d software, coding with Processing, physical computing with Arduino and time-based media for web. Students will learn how to prepare files for digital fabrication and prototyping. The course will enhance students’ understanding of design processes as tools for experimentation, collaboration and reaching new audiences. Students will come out of this class with projects and skills that help to bridge the digital screen based world with physical design objects. Guest lectures and readings will provide a cultural and technical framework projects. This course is open to novices and to those seeking to expand their practice.

Graduate students only

Typography Intensive

This course offers an intensive study of typography from learning basic vocabulary, anatomy and history to understanding how to choose and combine typefaces. 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. Critiques, quizzes and presentations provide feedback for students.

MA Graphic Design students only

Interactive Media & Pub I

The ink on interactive publications never dries. Interactive designs have multiple dimensions, such as interaction, motion, and time, that can be used to enhance user experience. This graduate-level studio course explores modern online and on-screen design, production, and publishing practices. Students will learn the basics how to design and build websites using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Students will also be exposed to the electronic publishing process, standards, and techniques. This class will cover the essential materials needed to either create or direct web (and other on-screen) experiences. This beginner level class is ideal for students that haven’t had a lot of web design and production experience.

Graduate students only

Graduate Screenprint Studio

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 Media & Pub. II

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)

Signs, Exhibits, & Spaces

This course examines the relationship of communication design to the 3d realm. Large scale graphics, signage systems, and exhibition design are explored through a series of projects and presentations. Students will gain skills in developing environments for sharing information. Materials, fabrication processes, and documentation methods will be reviewed.

Graduate students only

Design Studio I

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

Visiting Designers I

This graduate design course 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

Advanced Publication Design

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. Undergraduates may register for the course with permission from the Directors of the GD MFA program.

Graduate standing GD students only

Transmedia Type Lab

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

Graduate Typeface Design

This course focuses on type design through a series of workshops, assignments and lectures. The course will expose students to professional working methods, lettering techniques, typeface design principles, and typography. GD MFA and GD PBac only. Undergrads may enroll with permission.

Graduate students only

Design Portfolio

This course is 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 will create two new works to fill in portfolio gaps or meet personal goals. Students will also refine and edit existing works, build a digital portfolio presence, create a physical portfolio if appropriate, and clearly annotate projects. The course will also address professional practice protocols, such as freelance contracts, resume crafting, and job-seeking strategies.

Graphic Design MFA students only; other Graduate students by permisison

Design Studio II

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

Visiting Designers II

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

Design Language Studio

This course is 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. Undergrads may enroll with permission.

Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate students only (all programs)

Graduate Typography

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

Graduate Motion Graphics

This course 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 deisgn. 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. A LAPTOP IS REQUIRED FOR THIS COURSE.

GD MA or MFA students only

User Experience & Interface I

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)

User Experience & Interface II

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

Film Branding Workshop

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

Graduate Letterpress

This course, taught by Bob Cicero, former owner of Globe Poster, covers the craft of letterpress as it relates to the art of poster-making. Cicero 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)

Publishing Workshop

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

Design Studio III

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

Visiting Designers III

This graduate design course 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

Design Studio IV

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

Visiting Thesis Critics

This graduate design course 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