Graphic Design College of Design
Courses & Syllabi

 

 

 

If you are in the design minor program, and interested in focusing your studies on graphic design, there are many classes within the list of course options that will give you a more focused curriculum for this discipline. While there are many different areas of design and plenty of interdisciplinary options, the graphic design program offers a wide variety of interesting courses that you'll love. Below are the course options that are offered by the graphic design program, as well as some courses from the design program that highly involved in the graphic design program.
*Disclaimer: View the University's course guide for all the up-to-date information

"Big Picture" Course Options
Students must take A-F and receive a passing grade. You must choose one of these courses.
*Note: The course syllabus may not be the official one, but is meant to provide an indication of course content and structure. Contact the instructor for the official syllabus. The course syllabus is posted at the discretion of the instructor.

DES 1101W - Introduction to Design Thinking

Description

Students in DES 1101w will explore, through lecture and hands-on projects, the many ways that design thinking has become a powerful force in the 21st century. On the one hand, design methods and processes are seen as an important means of tackling complex social and cultural problems. On the other hand, designers stimulate desire and need through their manipulation of the form and function of places and objects. Designers are asked to re-think and re-shape processes as well as products. Design production has expanded to include the design of interactions, communications services, and collaborations.

Design thinking is a crucial means of fostering creativity and innovation when employed as a problem-solving tool in such fields as business or medical practice. More than ever, designers are called upon to place human needs at the center of their design engagement. As a result, design thinking has become a powerful tool to address issues such as sustainability and social justice, at both a macro and micro level. This course is intended for undergraduate students who are interested in learning how design thinking and design processes can be used as a catalyst for exploration, innovation and research. This course exposes students to many facets of design thinking and provides them with an interdisciplinary perspective about design and human behavior. DES 1101W offers the opportunity to raise awareness about the value and the power of design thinking in our culture.

Syllabus

"Hands On" Course Options
Students must take A-F and receive a passing grade. You must choose at least one of these courses.
*Note: The course syllabus may not be the official one, but is meant to provide an indication of course content and structure. Contact the instructor for the official syllabus. The course syllabus is posted at the discretion of the instructor.

Des 1111/1111H - Creative Problem Solving

Description

This course provides the chance to explore and engage with contemporary and historic practice in the creative fields, principally in art and design through a series of personal and creative activities. This course promotes the exploration of new media as well as traditional practice through personal involvement in creativity and creative practice. Central to the mission of the course is the development of your personal traits of: creativity, thoughtful analysis, ingenuity, experimentation and the ability to solve problems. The goal of this course is to create a lasting, permanent, and integrated connection between the student, their own creativity, and the creative fields.

Additionally, students will learn about:

Development of creative capability applicable to all fields of study.
Problem solving techniques.
Theory of creativity/innovation.

Syllabus

DES 1111 Creative Problem Solving (Hokanson) Spring 2012

DES 2101 - Design and Visual Presentation

Description

This is an online course with weekly tasks and submissions. Coursework consists of lectures, tutorials, readings, exercises, quizzes and discussions. Course materials, lectures, and project submissions will be online with one assisted lab session (optional) per week. In addition, students will submit 3 hard copies during the year (see week 1 getting started for a more detailed description).

This course introduces basic design practices used in presentation. Students will design and create projects that develop design skills useful in today’s society. They will engage in the evaluation, discussion and activity of visual problem solving. Participants will gain skill in conceptual thinking and problem-solving while learning common computer and manual applications. Students will practice use of images, type, color, sequencing and layout. Course is oriented toward the beginner. There will be written exam/s on the readings, lectures, and software.

Two basic intentions:

Increase design acuity (awareness of design principles in concept and action).
Develop design craft with basic skills in Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Syllabus

DES 2101 Visual Presentation (Fogg) Spring 2014

GDES 1311 - Foundations: Drawing and Design in Two and Three Dimensions

Description

In this course the formal, perceptual, symbolic and technical aspects of visual communication will be introduced--with the emphasis on drawing. Design elements and principles will be applied within the context of observational drawing, as well as two- and-three dimensional design. Design process and creative problem solving will be stressed. We will work in a variety of mediums -- charcoal, conte, white chalk, but the emphasis will be on gaining expertise with the pencil. Subject matter will range from the figure to two-dimensional abstraction projects. You will gain expertise in drawing technique, as well as in composition, visual unity and balance and in visual analysis of drawings.

Additionally, students will learn about:

Design elements/principles in context of observational drawing.
Integrative approach to two-dimensional design, three-dimensional design, and drawing.
Broad conceptual framework for design exploration.
Emphasizes perceptual aspects of visual forms.

Syllabus

GDES 1312 - Foundations: Color and Design in Two and Three Dimensions

Description

This design foundations course introduces students to color theory and its application in two and three dimensional design through lectures, demonstrations, extensive studio work and critiques. Emphasis is on developing students' ability to use color effectively in two and three dimensional design applications by studying traditional design elements, gestalt grouping principles, theories of color organization, color and spatial perception, and color interaction." But it is so much more. This class has a well-earned reputation as 'the toughest class you'll ever love.'

Class time is spent with slide and lecture presentations, studio work, and group and individual critiques. Successful completion requires a significant commitment to time, energy, and resources. The result: You will produce a portfolio that is a descriptive explanation and illustration of color and design theory, enhanced with your own creative projects: a physical product of impressive proportions. You will be proud of your work. Most importantly, you will see the world in a whole new light. You'll see color where you didn't see it before and recognize the 'color magic' around you.

Syllabus

GDES 1315 - Foundations: The Graphic Studio

Description

This class will provide an overview of the design communication process including creative procedure, terminology, and technology, and will introduce the use of current computer applications. Students will gain skills in digital illustration and page layouts, and image- scanning and manipulation. Graphic design elements of typography, production, color separation, printing process, and photography will also be addressed.

This class will provide an overview of the design communication process including conceptualizing, creative process, terminology, and technology. The assignments will introduce the most current computer applications used in the graphic design profession. Students will gain skills in digital illustration, pay layout, image-scanning and image manipulation. Graphic design elements of typography, production, color separation, digital printing processes and photography will also be addressed.

Syllabus

GDES 3312 - Color and Form in Surface Design

Description

In this course, students will work on surface design projects involving printing, mostly on paper and fabric. All projects are centered around hands on creative production and the further development of the application of color in design. The technical emphasis of the course is screen printing, but coursework also allows students the possibility of experimentation with mixed media for example, letterpress, relief printing, laser printing, monoprinting, and dyeing.

The final project consists of a "making" component: surface design will be applied to products. Students will engage throughout the semester with effective use of design principles, and are challenged to apply a conceptual approach to their work. Each project is evaluation in terms of design criteria as well as its production quality. Projects are tailored to suit the research interests of both graphic design and apparel design students.

Additionally, students will learn about:

Use of color/form representation in two-dimensional surface applications.
Historical use of color and of spatial representation in visual communication.

Syllabus

Elective Course Options
Students must take A-F and receive a passing grade. You must choose at least three of these courses, until you reach the minimum credit load requirement (18).
*Note: The course syllabus may not be the official one, but is meant to provide an indication of course content and structure. Contact the instructor for the official syllabus. The course syllabus is posted at the discretion of the instructor.

DES 2101 - Design and Visual Presentation

Description

This is an online course with weekly tasks and submissions. Coursework consists of lectures, tutorials, readings, exercises, quizzes and discussions. Course materials, lectures, and project submissions will be online with one assisted lab session (optional) per week. In addition, students will submit 3 hard copies during the year (see week 1 getting started for a more detailed description).

This course introduces basic design practices used in presentation. Students will design and create projects that develop design skills useful in today’s society. They will engage in the evaluation, discussion and activity of visual problem solving. Participants will gain skill in conceptual thinking and problem-solving while learning common computer and manual applications. Students will practice use of images, type, color, sequencing and layout. Course is oriented toward the beginner. There will be written exam/s on the readings, lectures, and software.

Two basic intentions:

1. Increase design acuity (awareness of design principles in concept and action).
2. Develop design craft with basic skills in Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Syllabus

DES 2101 Visual Presentation (Fogg) Spring 2014

GDES 2342 - Web Design

Description

In over two decades of its existence, the web has evolved into a ubiquitous and egalitarian platform that empowered graphic designers to expand their expertise into the digital realm. The ability to create and edit web sites through coding have made the computer a meta-tool, a tool to create other tools, and with the emergence of high-level languages such as html, css, and Javascript, coding has never been more accessible to the graphic designer. In this class, we will take advantage of these resources and become fluent in the language of the web and explore how our previous practices in print design translate into this dynamic and interactive medium.

This is an introductory level coding/design class that will acquaint you and your peers to the tools and craft of web design. All assignments and projects will focus on your ability to visually articulate content through html/css/jQuery. In addition, we will touch upon the basic concepts and practices of user-centered design to maximize your web site’s utility and usability for our audiences.

Syllabus

GDes 2342 Web Design (Park) Spring 2014

GDES 2345 - Typography

Description

Typographic Design is an introduction to the art of visual communication: the visual realization of a most basic element of communication--the word. The history of typographic forms, principles of composition, and the expressive potential of type will be explored though reading, research, exercises, and design production.

Sequential studies will follow the design process: problem-solving through exploration, experimentation, selection, critique, and refinement. Effectiveness of typographic design will be evaluated in terms of legibility, readability, and expression: the direct correlation to gestalt design principles will be evident. Assignments include textbook readings, research from additional sources, analysis and critique of found design, and, primarily, studio design production. Studio assignments will involve both handwork, to train the eye and hand; and digital typographic design and illustration using InDesign and Illustrator.

Additionally, students will learn about:

Design process from problem-solving through exploration, experimentation, selection, critique, and refinement.
History of typographic forms.
Principles of composition.
Expressive potential of type.

Syllabus

GDes 2342 Web Design (Park) Spring 2014

Contact Information

College of Design

Saint Paul Offices

32 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-1922

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Minneapolis Offices

101 Rapson Hall, 89 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-7525

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