Graphic Design College of Design
Courses & Syllabi

 

 

 

Advanced Design Courses
Students must take A-F and receive a passing grade before they are allowed to sign up for portfolio review. Once students pass portfolio review, they will be able to declare their graphic design major and take the upper-level design 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.

GDES 3311 - Illustration

Description

In this course, students will learn about:

Two aspects of illustration for contemporary graphic designer.
Image making, by hand or digitally, for use in design projects.
Design development.
Mapping ideas/expressing thoughts visually.
(Not observational drawing course)

Syllabus

Coming Soon

GDES 4131W - History of Graphic Design

Description

This course is an overview of the history of visual communication with an emphasis on graphic design. We will explore the history of images and writing systems and develop a better understanding of human communication systems. What can we learn about history and different cultures through the letterforms and symbols that they used? How has visual communication contributed to the formation of the knowledge-base of cultural groups? How do the formal qualities of these communications depict the values and zeitgeist of a time period? Using both primary and secondary sources we will explore these questions.

Additionally, students will learn about:

Historical analysis of visual communication.
Technological, cultural, and aesthetic influences.
How historical events are communicated/perceived through graphic presentation/imagery.

Syllabus

GDes 4131W History of Graphic Design (Martinson) Fall 2013

GDES 4330 - Surface Fabric Design Workshop

Description

In this course, students will learn about:

Studio experience in the development and production of surface design.
Screen printing, batik, resist dying, shibori, cyanotypes, and dye transfers are included.

Syllabus

GDes 4330 Surface Design Workshop (Martinson) Spring 2014

GDES 4343 - Data Visualization I: Mapping Information

Description

In this course, students will learn about:

Visual articulation of data.
Expansive research, meticulous gathering of data, analysis.
Develop cohesive graphical narratives/build solid foundation in craft of presenting data.

Syllabus

Coming Soon

GDES 4350 - Advanced Design Material Topics

Description

This offering of Advanced Design Material Topics will offer students opportunities to design and screen print traditional printed products, such as books, stationery, decorative papers and other paper or fabric products. Students will also be encouraged to pursue individualized projects in screenprinting, letterpress, and/or bookmaking based on personal objectives as negotiated with the instructor. This offering will offer students opportunities to design and produce traditional printed and paper (and/or fabric) products, such as books, stationery, decorative papers and products.

Syllabus

GDES 2361/4351 - Design Process: Photography

Description

This is a comprehensive studio course in digital photography that covers technical skill, post-processing techniques and creative subject treatment through the lens of design. Students will develop both creative skill and vision through the photographic medium and cultivate an eye for light, movement, and meaningful composition. Students will also learn to analyze content and narrative of a photo as well as how the meaning of a subject can be altered with photography. The goal is for students to develop a greater understanding of communication through imagery in an age of camera overload. Students will apply this understanding and skill to solve design problems through work created with the camera medium.

Think of the camera as a sketchbook. Developing an eye for a composition created by light, color, movement, line and shape takes time, as does translating your perspective for this composition through the settings of a camera and the digital photographic medium. In this course you will learn a variety of technical skills associated with photography and processing needed to create an array of stylistic imagery. You will also learn to analyze the content and meaning of a photo in many contexts, as well as how to change the meaning of a subject with a photograph. Developing both creative skill and vision through photography aids in a greater understanding of communication through imagery and the role of photography in design.

Additionally, students will learn about:

Photography for graphic designers: digital/film photographic developing/image manipulation, printing.

Syllabus

GDes 2361 Photography (McCluske) Fall 2013
GDes 4351 Design Process: Photography (McCluske) Fall 2012

GDES 4352 - Design Process: Bookmaking

Description

Introduction to the book format (structure and materiality) as a means of communication: as a conceptually driven, cohesively designed sequence of images/ideas organized in a physical form that enhances and illuminates meaning. Coursework will develop basic technical proficiencies as well as fundamental awareness of creative potential (and specific vicissitudes) of physicality in coherently communicating ideas.

Additionally, students will learn about:

Construction of traditional/non-traditional book forms.
Emphasizes material aspects of handmade books

Syllabus

GDES 4354 - Graphic Design IV: Integrative Campaign

Description

Multi-faceted graphic communication campaign project involving substantial investigation and concept development. Project supports unified concept for identified client and is aimed at specific market/interest group.

Integrative Campaign will build competency in the following skills:

Design Analysis; The ability to understand a current brand situation by reviewing the business / strategy, existing research and using an interview process for further understandings of goals and desired outcomes. Core topics will be the role of design to create visual, verbal, and experiential tools.
Image Analysis: The review of the current company, product, or service image in respect to its desired audience.
Concepting /Ideation: The ability of brainstorming, mind mapping or problem solving to find creative design and marketing solutions.
Design Presentation: Illustrating concepts to effectively communicate marketing communication solutions.
Presentation skills: The ability to present your work articulately and persuasively in front of a group.
Overall quality: The use of high standards as an on going process to illustrate design results.

Syllabus

GDES 4355 - Graphic Design Portfolio

Description

Graphic Design Portfolio is a Lecture/Studio and Critique class with the purpose of helping the student develop and refine a body of design work that constitutes a professional graphic design portfolio. We will also discuss professional issues related to the business of graphic design.

The preparation of a professional portfolio is an essential part of transitioning from graphic design student to working designer. A strong professional portfolio can also provide an important foundation for the development of a successful future design career. The course assignments will give students guidance in improving their current student portfolio pieces, developing new portfolio pieces, and presenting their work, and themselves, to prospective employers in a compelling way.

Syllabus

GDES 5341 - Interactive Design

Description

Interactive Design, is a studio course that concentrates on identifying, prototyping, and evaluating interactive designs. The overall message of the class is not one in which specific software tools are learned, but on a broad advance of your design process and an evolution of your understanding of interactive design and digital media.

Additionally, students will learn about:

Design of interactive multimedia projects.
Interactive presentations and electronic publishing.
Software includes hypermedia, scripting, digital output.

Syllabus

GDes 5341 Interactive Design (Wang) Spring 2014

GDES 5342 - Web Interface Design

Description

As our population becomes more digitally connected to one another, websites have become a major part of how we experience and interact with the world. Compounded with the rising popularity of mobile devices, the means to which we can access the so-called cultural data are extending into new platforms. This stage of technological evolution grants designers the unique opportunity to be active cultural participants in how knowledge is communicated and shared.

Building upon the foundations of web design, this class addresses the opportunities and complexities in graphic design applied to the visual articulation and interaction of content for mobile devices. This approach requires analysis of informational content, the context in which this will function to a target audience, data from usability testing, and to explore options for re-telling or introducing content in a visually meaningful and engaging ways.

Additionally, students will learn about:

Internet-based design.
Static Web pages, embedded media, cascading style sheets.
Design/usability of interface between humans and technology.
Evaluation of visual elements that control/organize dealings with computers to direct work.
Develop designs, do usability testing.

Syllabus

GDes 5342 Web Interface Design (Park) Spring 2014

GDES 5343 - Data Visualization II: Interactive Information

Description

In this course, students will:

Skills/tools necessary to process large quantities of information/present them through interactive mediums.
Create data visualizations for web utilizing Javascript libraries.
Linear/non-linear data-driven narratives.

Syllabus

Coming Soon

GDES 5383 - Digital Illustration and Animation

Description

This is an advanced computer design class which focuses on the integration of design knowledge with Macintosh computer applications. With the support of their understanding of design principles and strategies, students obtain experience using software to create 2D and 3D (limited) digital illustration and animations. Adobe After Effects and Flash, will be covered. Previous experience of using Illustrator for computer illustration is required. Course goals include: broadening students’ experience of the applications of interactive software; enhancing the integration of design knowledge with the use of the computer as a medium; and producing sophisticated and professional animation designs. A cooperative learning environment is encouraged.

Additionally, students will learn about:

Advanced computer design.
Integration of design knowledge with Macintosh computer applications.
Students use software to create digital illustration and animations.
Adobe Illustrator, After Effects, Flash.

Syllabus

GDES 5386 - Fundamentals of Game Design

Description

This course focuses on understanding games in all kinds of format: paper-based strategy games, electronic game, classic board game, etc. This course examines the theoretical and practical aspects of making games. Focuses will be placed on its designing rules, strategies, methodologies, and organizational structures, and the design process from the ground up. Further analysis and evaluate the elements that makes a game successful and how they function will be included. In addition, investigation on understanding design, interactivity, player’s choice, action, and outcome, rule-making and rule-breaking, the social nteraction, the story telling, the emotion that games invoke, and the meaning and ideology will be included. Other topics such as signs and cultural meaning, and visual representation will also be discussed.

Additionally, students will learn about:

Games of all kinds.
Theoretical/practical aspects of making games.
Investigation of design process.
Rules, strategies, methodologies.
Interactivity, choice, action, outcome, rules in game design.
Social interaction, story telling, meaning/ideology, semiotics.
Signs, cultural meaning.

Syllabus

GDES 5388 - Graphic Design Research

Description

This course will provide experience in planning and conducting research. Emphasis will be placed on preliminary research including theoretical, applied, and analytical aspects of design projects and processes. Students will examine how humans navigate the visual environment and how design factors can enhance communication. Design prototyping, testing, and analysis is included. Students will develop design research prototypes and evaluate the effectiveness of designed projects using appropriate research strategies. Basic research methods will be introduced.

Additionally, students will learn about:

Experience in Graphic Design research strategies and methods.
Applied, theoretical, and human-centered aspects directed at project development.
Design prototyping, testing, analysis.

Syllabus

GDes 5388 Graphic Design Research (Martinson) Spring 2013

GDES 5399 - Theory of Electronic Design

Description

Participants will examine how humans navigate the electronic environment, and how design factors can enhance digital communication. A variety of experiential models will be used. Students will carry out a semester long writing project, investigate electronic environments, and be exposed to substantial amounts of information and ideas about design in the electronic environment.

Additionally, students will learn about:

Theories, methodologies, histories of electronic design, its impact on visual communications.
Digital artifacts, processes, paradigms.

Syllabus

GDES 8114 - Graphic Design Studio

Description

The course objective is to provide hands-on, material-intensive, conceptually-immersive, heuristic learning experiences within the context of a critically informed environment.

Students will be able to identify, define, and solve problems…

By applying the elements and principles of design through the iterative design process.
By proposing solutions, incorporating feedback and refining design proposals.
By experimenting, innovating and testing ideas involving image and text compositions.

Students will be able to communicate effectively…

By making oral and visual presentations.
By participating in critiques.
By developing a critical vocab.
By concurrently considering message content and visual form.

Syllabus

GDes 8114 Design Studio (McCarthy) Fall 2010

GDES 8361 - Color, Design, and Human Perception

Description

This course examines the perceptual and psychological aspects of color and design. Emphasis is on human factors of color variables and design strategies that can enhance human experience of, and interaction with, color.

Upon completion of this course, participants will:

Have located and critically evaluated information about psychological and physiological color variables.
Have gained experience in an integrative research and design process that demonstrates mastery over a body of knowledge and mode of inquiry.
Have explored the literature pertaining to color and perception.
Have increased familiarity with a variety of color systems.

Syllabus

GDES 8362 - The Nature of Representation in Visual Communication

Description

This course will look at visual representation—the way images are made, what their intention is, how they are used, and how they are received. The main purpose of this is to help each of you zero in on your own graduate thesis concepts and creative practice related to your thesis, by encouraging you to focus on your own design sensibilities in relation to imagery, and to stimulate critical thought and engagement with imagery. During this course I will be expecting you to bring to the class your own interests and to develop your own ideas, hopefully stimulated by the subject of the course and by your classmates.

Syllabus

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

[directions and maps]

Minneapolis Offices

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

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

[directions and maps]