Course Descriptions

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

For a full list of all courses offered by the Department of Graphic Design, visit the course catalogue.

This lecture course serves as the entry-level course for incoming freshman entering the Graphic Design program. The course will cover curriculum issues, industry norms and standards, curriculum expectations, and design standard practices

Prerequisite: None

This studio course is a basic to intermediate overview of the software used in creating vector and raster graphics. Hands-on training with industry standard software for digital image making, scanning, and printing. Topics include graphics design concepts, terminology, processes and procedures. Fee.

Prerequisite: None

This studio/lecture course investigates the fundamental concepts of two-dimensional design elements and principles and how they relate to visual communication design. Emphasis for this course is in the theory of design incorporating standard digital tools to aid in this exploration. Topics include understanding communication design using two-dimensional design elements and principles, comparing and contrasting various design styles using digital techniques and tools, and a historical overview and analysis of design through art and design history. Fee.

Prerequisite: None

This studio/lecture course investigates fundamental concepts of type design, and the relationships between type and communication. Type as a design element and the visual communication qualities of type will also be studied. Topics may include letterform analysis, typographic classification, page organization, and the use of type in achieving intended communication. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 1380

This studio course serves as an introduction to techniques and methods of making images. The course provides students a place to research, experiment, and solve visual problems as well as rethink preexisting images, using both analog and digital solutions. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 1301

This studio/lecture course focuses on learning basic design concepts, markup and styling languages, and software used in creating a web site. Emphasis on coding languages, image creation and optimization, page design and layout, local and remote file transfers, and troubleshooting web sites. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 2305 and GDSN 2390

This studio/lecture course examines concepts that allow design and visual media to communicate a specific message. Students will undertake projects that examine the role of visual semantics, syntactics and pragmatics in order to better understand the role of design in communication. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 1380 and GDSN 1390

This studio/lecture course is an introduction to visual communication. The focus will be on developing concepts and designs that creatively solve specific given communications problems through a process of research, visual and conceptual explorations, design development, implementation and execution. Also covered will be a basic understanding of print production necessary to the project and more advanced experience with appropriate software. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 2305 and GDSN 2390

This studio/lecture builds on learning from Typography 1 to develop a deeper understanding of how to design type for more complex documents. Topics will include using basic grids, designing text for more complex multi-page documents, using type as a means of communication through visual expression and the nuances of communications hierarchy through type formatting. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 1390

This studio/lecture course focuses on ways of using graphic design principles and design tools to produce projects that are interactive, energetic, strategic, and visually imaginative. Students will learn how to design and develop user interfaces for web sites, apps, kiosks, and other presentations through wireframes and prototypes. This course will also explore the history of interaction design as a way of exploring new and interesting approaches to interface design. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 2300 and admission to the major

This studio/lecture course covers concepts and techniques used in establishing visual identity, Also covered are additional commercial print and production concepts. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 2310 and admission to the major

This lecture course prepares students for marketing themselves and job hunting. The capstone would be a final portfolio show hosted by the students but focused on engagement of the local and regional business community for interview and contact development. Topics include job-seeking strategies, presentation skills, interview techniques and networking with professional organizations. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 4301 and concurrent enrollment in GDSN 4303

This studio course gives students an opportunity to apply all the skills and concepts gained in earlier Graphic Design classes. Emphasis on producing large-scale, high-quality, creative work for inclusion in their portfolio. Topics focus on areas of specialization, thoroughly investigating issues of current interest in design. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 4301

This studio course gives students an opportunity to apply all the skills and concepts gained in earlier Interactive Design classes. Emphasis on producing large-scale, high-quality, creative work for inclusion in their portfolio. Topics focus on areas of specialization, thoroughly investigating issues of current interest in design. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 4301

This studio/lecture course introduces students to dynamic web systems including responsive web design (RWD), database integration, and content management systems (CMS). Students will learn how to plan, design, develop and test dynamically driven web sites that respond to their environment or device. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 3300

This studio/lecture course gives students an opportunity to apply all the skills and concepts gained in earlier classes. Emphasis on producing large-scale, high-quality, creative work for inclusion in the Senior Portfolio. Topics focus on areas of specialization, thoroughly investigating issues of current interest in Graphic Design. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 4300 and GDSN 4310

On-the-job training and observation at a graphic design related business. A minimum of 150 hours of work must be completed within the semester. Approval of workplace must be given from the instructor.

Prerequisite: GDSN 3300 and GDSN 3310 and admission to the major

This studio/lecture course is the final course for the BFA in Graphic Design. Emphasis is on portfolio preparation through identifying, revising, extending, and organization of projects completed in previous courses. Topics include critical analysis of work, comparing physical and digital presentations, developing custom portfolios, and methods of distribution and evaluation. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 4301 and GDSN 4399

This studio/lecture course covers concepts and techniques of informational and wayfinding design. Also covered are additional print and production concepts. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 3310

This lecture course covers how the communication design industry is structured, and issues related to work as a professional designer. These include estimating and billing, legal, ethical and tax issues, running a studio, professional resources and other issues likely to be encountered in a design career. Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 3300 and GDSN 3310

This lecture course covers the history of contemporary communication design with an emphasis on the design in the context of society and culture. The focus will be on 20th century to the present.

Prerequisite: ARTH 2361 and ARTG 2362, GDSN 2300 and GDSN 2310, and admission to the major

This independent study course is open to Computer Graphic Arts majors who are Honors program students and will result in a final Honors Senior Project. May not be repeated for credit. Permission of the instructor is required.

Prerequisite: Honors Student (Signature Required)

This lecture/travel course provides students a chance to see how the graphics industry operates throughout culture hubs of the world. Course content includes required travel to city or cities of focus each semester. Travel Fee.

Prerequisite: GDSN 1380 and ARTH 2361

Fee. (Fall)

Prerequisite: GDSN 4300 and GDSN 4310