Intro to Graphic Design Theory and Process

This course provides students with an introduction to a wide variety of career paths and disciplines under the umbrella field of Graphic Design. Students learn what is involved in different jobs, what is typography, what does it mean to work with clients, and exposure to different processes related to graphic design including printing pre-press, paper and ink, and an introduction to the terminology used in graphic design.

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  • Project 1
    For this project, the students create an infographic about themselves or something related to their interests. They choose some aspect their life to translate into an infographic. Students have a variety of options for creating the actual infographic.

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  • Project 2
    Students are given a country, typically one they will not know anything about or have any preconceived notions about. They have to research about the country's cuising and come up with a name for a restaurant based on a brief. They then must create a logo using their research to influence their design decisions.

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  • Project 3
    In an effort to teach students about more traditional production methods, the students create a design for a capital letter (Jessica Hische's Drops Caps is talked about). The students then take the design and carve it into a linoleum block for printing on a letterpress. It gives the students a chance to exlore traditional printing methods.

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  • Dual Meaning Word Activity
    Students choose two words out of a hat. Each of the words in the hat has at least two meanings, such as scale and noodle. Students must research the various meanings of their chosen words. The students then need to find a way to combine the two meanings of the word into one interesting image. This is a short in class activity. They only have one hour to come up with their image. It helps the students work through their ideas faster as well as explore combining to separate ideas into one cohesive image.
  • Case Study Activity
    The students have already practiced all steps of the creative process including researching a project, writing a creative brief, creating a mood board, sketching ideas, and producing a final project. Now they work through the process of creating a pitch for a project. Graphic design often involves having to present or “pitch” your ideas to a client or internally. The groups of students (randomly assigned) are each provided with a different brief for a fictional company. They have to present a pitch at the beginning of the next class period. The goal is to work through their ideas quickly, not necessarily spending time perfecting them. As it is an intro class and often contains non majors, I just want them to get the idea of the full process.

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  • Presentation
    Students research a design or design related company to lern more about the company, what it would be like working for the company, and what it might take to get hired by the company. The goal is to make students aware of what it might take to succeed in the field of graphic design.

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