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Graphic Design
College of Arts and Humanities

Graphic Design Department Home Page

Graphic Design (GDS)
The primary mission of the graphic design department is to integrate a university liberal arts education with professional training so students may enter the graphic design field.  Graphic design integrates diverse elements into a total message that gives power and richness to communication. The graphic design curriculum provides students with craftsmanship, problem-solving skills, design theory, history and methodology. Students will learn technological skills through the use of computer design applications, and organizational confidence with a concentration on conceptual independent creation of visual communication pieces.

Graphic design contributes to the liberal arts education of all students by providing classes in art appreciation and studio art and design, which foster appreciation and critical awareness. Students will gain essential experience in cultural, aesthetic, technical, ethical and business fields by drawing on the varied opportunities of the university. The program offers experience in professional studio art (including design, photography, typography, technology, business and written communication) through which we emphasize studio skill, critical and analytical thinking, and exposure to multiple aesthetic approaches.

Major
Graphic Design

GDS 101

Introduction to Graphic Design

3

GDS 205

Photography Foundations

3

GDS 215

Typography

3

GDS 305

Color Theory Design

3

GDS 370

Graphic Design History

3

GDS 450

Internship

3

GDS 456

Graphic Design Portfolio

3

GDS 499

Special Topics

3

COM 205

Communication, Media and Society

3

JRN 211

Journalism

3

WEB 203

Digital Imaging

3

WEB 305

Advanced Digital Imaging

3

WEB 345

Desktop Publishing

3

 

Total

39

Students in the College of Arts and Humanities must pass two semesters of foreign language. 

Minor
Graphic Design

GDS 101

Introduction to Graphic Design

3

GDS 215

Typography

3

GDS 370

Graphic Design History

3

WEB 203

Digital Imaging

3

WEB 305

Advanced Digital Imaging

3

WEB 345

Desktop Publishing

3

 

Total

18

 

Course Descriptions
101 Introduction to Graphic Design 3 hours F
This foundation course combines studio work with classroom instruction. Using the elements and principles of design, students work in various black-and-white and color media while developing drawing skills. Along with learning and applying professional presentation skills and craftsmanship, the development of ideas and problem-solving skills are the focus of this course. This is a studio course requiring extended hours.
General Education: Effective Expression – Artistic Appreciation

120 Art Appreciation 3 hours F
This is an introductory lecture course focusing on the theoretical, cultural and historic aspects of visual art. Emphasis is on the development of visual and aesthetic awareness.
General Education: Effective Expression – Artistic Appreciation

205 Photography Foundations 3 hours F
This foundation course combines photography history, criticism and aesthetic sensitivity with studio application. Skills emphasized include basic operation of a digital camera, composition, exposure, file formats and basic image enhancement. An examination of photography history, influential photographers, criticism and analysis of various works is also included. The studio portion of this course requires extended hours. Students are required to supply their own digital cameras.
General Education: Effective Expression – Artistic Appreciation

207 Printmaking 3 hours S
This studio course introduces methods of drawing/design and printmaking. Students develop design ideas, which then are translated to the print environment through the use of both traditional materials and computer-generated designs. The basic techniques of screen-printing as a graphic design medium are emphasized. Students are expected to develop highly original works. Professional presentation skills, time management and craftsmanship are emphasized.
Prerequisites: GDS 101, WEB 202.

215 Typography 3 hours S
This foundation course introduces typography as both an art form and visual communication tool. Through lectures, demonstrations and studio work, students gain an understanding of the history of type, technological influences, letterform anatomy, type classification and measurements systems, and the interaction between form and meaning. Issues of legibility and communicative clarity and hierarchy are also addressed. Students explore the relationship between type as type and type as image as it is related to visual communications, and they will produce original solutions to problems concerning the organization of textual information. The course emphasizes execution, professional presentation skills, time management and craftsmanship.
Prerequisites: GDS 101 and WEB 202.

299 Selected Topics – Basic 1-3 hours TBA

305 Color Theory Design 3 hours S
This course provides an introduction to color theory. Students learn key terms and the basics of color physics and the physiology of visual perception. Students become familiar with theories of color relationships as they apply to graphic design. The psychological effect of colors, along with symbolism and cultural associations are addressed. Professional presentation skills and craftsmanship are emphasized. Computer skills are crucial.
Prerequisites: GDS 101, GDS 215 and WEB 202.

311 Type and Image 3 hours S
This course expands basic techniques and concepts explored in GDS 205 and GDS 215. Students combine words, pictures and other graphic elements in an effort to construct a visual communication, which carries resonance. Focus is placed on creating, processing and combining photographic images with type in a unified, dynamic composition. Students exercise skills in processing and manipulation of type and image through the use of industry standard software. Learning how to evaluate compositions for communicative effectiveness and aesthetic appeal along with archiving and outputting work is also emphasized. Students are required to supply their own SLR digital camera. This is a studio course requiring extended hours. Computer skills are crucial.
Prerequisites: GDS 205 and GDS 215.

370 Graphic Design History 3 hours F
This survey course investigates and analyzes major trends, artworks, periods, styles and artists relevant to the history of graphic design. Through lectures, videos, discussions, presentations and research, students are exposed to the idea of communication and design as it has evolved from pictographs painted on cave walls to contemporary design and technological innovations.

450 Internship 1-3 hours F,S
Students may pursue internships in graphic design with the consent of the chairman of the department.

456 Graphic Design Portfolio 3 hours F
This course allows students to further develop professional portfolios as dictated by future goals. Students research career opportunities while re-evaluating and refining existing projects. Students identify weaknesses in portfolios and create new projects in order to strengthen such portfolios. Projects are expected to meet professional standards. Each work in the portfolio should demonstrate the ability to convey complex compositional organization, problem solving, creativity and originality along with mastery of media in single and/or multipiece projects. Completed artifacts include design analysis, letter of intent, design philosophy, resume, process book and 20 completed professional-level designs.
Prerequisite: Senior standing and a graphic design major/minor with consent of department chairman.

460 Independent Study 1-3 hours F,S
Students may independently study areas of art not covered by regular offerings.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing and a graphic design major/minor with consent of department chairman.

499 Selected Topics – Advanced 1-3 hours TBA
Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing and a graphic design major/minor with consent of department chairman.

 

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