Course Lists

Graphic Design Course List

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

Graphic Design 1

This course offers foundation skills relevant to the discipline of graphic design. Students develop and expand their vocabularies in visual communication, exploring basic design elements and principles for solving communication problems. Students conduct research, generate ideas, study form and media, learn to analyze and discuss their own work as well as that of others, and become familiar with the graphic design process. Prerequisite: FF 100 (Elements of Visual Thinking I) and FF 199 (Drawing II)

Prerequisite: FF 111 or FF 112

Graphic Design 2

This course provides extended study of graphic design principles and their application to more complex and comprehensive solutions. Experimentation, research, conceptual thinking, and process are emphasized in design for the screen. Students learn essential design tools and techniques for the development of interactive media. Students work with HTML and CSS to understand code as a fundamental building block for their design compositions.

Prerequisite: GD 200, or MA Graphic Design standing

Typography 2

Building on the fundamentals of typographic form and function introduced in Typography 1, this course extends and applies basic vocabulary and understanding to more complex problems that address typographic hierarchy, context, sequence and gestalt. Through a focused series, students explore how typography behaves across media. Increasingly complex typographic systems are implemented in three-dimensional, sequential page or time-based projects.

Prerequisite: GD 201, or MA Graphic Design standing

Fashion Graphics

Acting as cultural producers, students develop a fashion identity from product to promotion. Students make a small collection of clothes or accessories, design a logo and brand identity, and finally, photograph the collection for promotional purposes. By managing all aspects of their comprehensive project, students learn about entrepreneurship in the graphic design context. Further, students work in teams to produce a promotional event. This course encourages interdisciplinary collaboration as students swap skills and share resources.

Prerequisite: FF 112 and FF 162, or MA Graphic Design standing

Graphic Design 3

Students actively engage motion graphics as strategic medium for experimentation, idea generation, problem solving and communication. Motion and interactivity are studied in the context of aesthetic, cultural, historical and critical issues. Students learn essential design processes and techniques in their exploration of time-based media both as a tool and as a medium for evolving designers. Prerequisite: GD 220 (Graphic Design 2)

Prerequisite: GD 220 or Post-Bac GD student standing

Flexible Design Studio

This intermediate design course offers students the opportunity to work with a diverse group of professional designers. Students participate in workshops to investigate a variety of approaches to applied practice. Emphasis is on solving real-world problems in a professional studio atmosphere.

Prerequisite: GD 300, or MA Graphic Design standing

Furniture Design

This course offers design thinking techniques as applied to furniture design. Students will work hard in a high functioning group to build conceptualization, visualization, and fabrication skills. Over the semester we will cover topics including hand building, sketching in 3d, laser cutting, CAD modeling, traditional joinery and CNC machining. Those enrolled should have some background in fabrication, which could include wood, paper, fibers, steel, etc.

Prerequisite: FF 101

Product Design and Prototyping

In this course, students will work collaboratively within groups to develop digital products and to look beyond simply designing beautiful screen mock-ups. We will examine product design from three perspectives: business, consumer, and technology. Students will be exposed to various prototyping tools such as Framer, Pixate, and Atomic. Key concepts will include user research, content development, rapid prototyping, and user experience principles. We will also look at product design history and theories and cover new developments in the field.

Prerequisite: GD 220

Publication Design

This course examines the design of magazines, newspapers, ’zines, and other serial forms of publication. Format, identity, audience, content development, and emerging formats are addressed and students build strong skills in typography, layout, and photo editing. May be repeated for up to 6 credits.

Prerequisite: GD 201, or MA Graphic Design standing

Graphic Design 4

Students develop strengths in conceptual thinking and formal experimentation. Students are encouraged to develop languages of design that reflect their own artistic and cultural identities while communicating to various audiences. Projects are presented in a variety of media.

Prerequisite: GD 300, or MA Graphic Design standing

Typography 3

Provides instruction in complex typographic systems for page and screen, including grid structures, comprehensive style sheets, and complex compositional structures. Students learn more advanced features of software for typography and build compelling projects working with multi-layered information.

Prerequisite: GD 221 or GD 325, or GD Graduate student standing

Global Typography

Offers three short workshops in design fundamentals for Chinese, Korean, and Arabic. All students are welcome, no matter what languages they speak or design. The workshops focus on strategies for embracing globalism in design: bilingual identities, hybrid visual structures, and expanding the design canon beyond the west. A laptop is required to enroll.

Prerequisite: GD 221


Students develop the critical thinking and technical skills to use photography in their work as designers. Both theoretical perspectives and practical applications of digital imagery are introduced, as well as their relationships to graphic design.

Prerequisite: FF 111 or FF 112

3D/4D Graphics

This course examines the design of 3D graphics for a variety of applications. Technical proficiency in use of various modeling and rendering techniques will allow students to explore 3D spaces and 4D sequences. Skills and discussion in this class will be integrated into the student’s studio practice.

Prerequisite: GD 300, or GD Graduate student standing

Interface Design

This course explores the visual aspects and structural flow of interface design. Students will prototype screen-based experiences that humanize computer interaction, empathetic to the needs of the end user. Interfaces ultimately shape the experiences of users as they interact with products to achieve their goals and objectives. Students will mediate relationships between people and products, environments, and services across a variety of contexts.

Prerequisite: GD 220 or Post-Bac GD student standing

Design for User Experience

In this course, explore the process for developing digital products that serve users' needs. Students will prototype screen-based experiences that are empathetic to the needs of the end user. Students will develop design concepts that mediate relationships between people and products, environments, and services. Key concepts might include content strategy, navigation structures, usability principles, personas, and wire-frames.

Prerequisite: GD 200, or GD Graduate standing

Designing for Virtual Reality

Using graphic design as an intermediary, investigate the ways human beings and machines interact. Students explore how virtual reality impacts design, communication, and the design process. Projects may include the research, discussion, and prototyping of immersive experiences; and designing virtual and physical interfaces. A laptop is required for this course.

Prerequisite: GD 300

Media Languages Workshop

This course is taught in modules designed to explore various media languages relevant to visual problem solving: HTML 5.0, CSS, javascript, processing, or others could be covered in short workshops. Students will be exposed to a broad range of programming languages that are used in professional design practice.

Prerequisite: GD 220 or MA GD standing

Motion Branding

Focuses on integrating time-based elements like space, pacing, audio, and interaction with brand identities. Course projects push classic branding principles of audience, message, integrated communication, and consistency into time-based media like as social, web, interaction, and broadcast. Motion in a variety of contexts and platforms will be explored as they relate to the business’s audience/customer.

Prerequisite: GD 300

Advanced Design 1

Students build their portfolios with projects that require research, content generation, and complex visual problem solving. Emphasis is placed on cultivating a personal voice in design, interests and abilities. In conjunction with Senior Seminar, work in this class begins to identify areas of interest for the senior project.

Prerequisite: GD 301 and GD 320

Senior Seminar

Students build their knowledge of design discourse and professional practice in the discipline through a mix of readings, writings and practical projects. This course complements the portfolio development goals of Advanced Graphic Design 1 and 2. Visiting designers provide critiques and seminar presentations.

Senior level Graphic Design Majors only

Advanced Design 2

Capstone course is centered around the senior self-directed project, an independent project in design studies requiring the development of a body of work in consultation with faculty and peers. As a parallel track, students continue to hone their portfolios and learn job-seeking protocols.

Prerequisite: GD 400

Materials and Methods

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.

Prerequisite: GD 220 & GD 221 or GD 325, or Post-Bac in GD student standing

Web Design

Introduces the concepts, technologies, and languages used to design and build modern interactive experiences. Students learn key components of the interactive design process and design and production techniques; and utilize and build on their typography, compositional, and systems design skills to realize their ideas. May be repeated for up to 6 credits.

Prerequisite: GD 220, or MA Graphic Design standing

Lettering & Type

Students explore experimental and traditional approaches to typography and custom lettering in the context of design, art, and theory. Class projects and subjects encompass a wide variety of technical and conceptual approaches to the letter arts, including typeface design exercises, experiments in conceptual lettering, and real-world applications.

Prerequisite: GD 221 or GD 325, or GD Graduate student standing

Digital Editorial Workshop

This course examines the intersection between editorial systems and emerging technologies. Students will explore the possibilities of shifting archetypal formats such as books, magazines, newspapers, and exhibitions into 2D and 3D digital space. Students will build strong skills in prototyping, typography, and layout by addressing the way scale, narrative, format, and sequence affect user experience.

Prerequisite: GD 300 & GD 321

Epic Fail

Discover how playful experimentation, thinking with your hands and embracing risk and failure can invigorate your creative practice. Together, we will investigate the role of emergent technologies in problem solving and forming, while exploring a constructionist learning perspective. This course is designed as a hands-on, participatory workshop in the fabrication lab, where we'll be making and tinkering together each week in order to develop our own critical making (and failing) process.

Prerequisite: GD 200

Design Store Front

Students design in and for communities by taking on real-world projects and projects solve practical problems for community partners. In a collaborative team akin to a professional design studio, students develop team-centered and fast-paced solutions that engage multiple delivery systems. Apply practices from human-centered design, branding theory, and civic- and community-engaged art practices.

Prerequisite: GD 221