Course Lists

Graphic Design Course List

GD 100 Introduction to Graphic Design

Students are introduced to the basic concepts of visual communication through projects that balance the learning of conceptual development, technique, and design tools. Assignments range from individual to collaborative, and are built to introduce design thinking, critical discussion and personal decision-making in relation to the choice of graphic design as major. This course offers a scoping picture of the discipline of graphic design.

GD 105 Generally Fine Design

Interested in design? Not sure? Come explores a range of design ideas and processes. “Generally Fine Design” is an interdisciplinary design course that investigates design principles, processes, and tools. It prioritizes experimentation over perfection and focuses on hands-on projects. Students will learn about what differentiates design and how meaning translates to form across mediums and dimensions. The course teaches the fundamentals of iterative design processes, including defining needs, sketching, and creating and evolving prototypes. It guides students from understanding problems and prompts to generating, developing, and testing ideas in a fun, collaborative environment. The goal is to empower students to become proficient design thinkers capable of creating impactful and meaningful work, regardless of their output preferences.

GD 200 Graphic Design 1

This course offers design methods relevant to the discipline of graphic design. Students develop and expand their vocabularies in visual communication, exploring basic design elements and principles for solving communication problems. Students conduct research, generate ideas, study form and media, learn to analyze and discuss their own work as well as that of others, and become familiar with the graphic design process.

Prerequisite: FF 111 or FF 112

GD 201 Typography 1

Typography is the art of organizing letters in space and time. Students gain a familiarity with typographic terms and technologies, an understanding of classical and contemporary typographic forms, an ability to construct typographic compositions and systems, and an appreciation of typography as an expressive medium that conveys aesthetic, emotional and intellectual meaning. Students are introduced to digital typesetting and page layout software.

Prerequisite: FF 111 or FF 112

GD 205 Introduction to Web Design

Balancing functionality with aesthetics, this course introduces interface design principles and production tools. Students are introduced to the concepts and basic principles of user experience. The integration of concept and content will be realized through projects designed for the web. Production tools like HTML, CSS, and relevant software will be introduced.

GD 212 Design for Music

Explore ways to express music through design: album covers, show posters, concert projections, t-shirt graphics, etc. in this course. Students listen to music and attend a concert before selecting a musician or band to explore graphically in a variety of projects over the course of the semester.

GD 213 Risograph Printing

This course uses Risograph printing to explore the complexities of culture, identity, and generosity through experimental form making and publishing. Students learn prepress processes such as file preparation, color, registration, cropping, and binding while considering the technical constraints of the Risograph printer. Emphasis is placed on creating high-quality outputs that can be replicated, shared, and self-published.

GD 215 Patterns

Explore methods for designing patterns in this course. Students work with a few techniques for generating graphic surface patterns that could be used to cover spaces with fabric or wallpaper. Students also work with low-fi techniques such as stamps, drawings, photocopiers, and cut paper but will also work with digital software. They learn strategies for mirroring, scaling, using geometry, and scale.

GD 217 Risograph Workshop

This workshop will delve into the unique attributes of the Risograph printer, including its tactile nature, limited color palette, imperfect alignment, and analog beauty. The course covers practical use of a duplicator, techniques for file preparation, master creation, working with physical layers and multiple colors, registration, cropping, trimming, pagination, and efficient workflows. The workshop emphasizes the appropriate usage of duplicator machines, taking into account project needs and the tool's technical constraints. The aim is to produce high-quality outputs that can be replicated and shared, with a focus on thinking in multiples and self-publishing. The course covers essential aspects of file preparation for those interested in utilizing the on-campus Riso services (printmaking and 2D prototyping lab). This workshop is technically oriented, prioritizing tool mastery over the creation of new work, and help you think about where and how use of a duplicator might fit into your studio practice. Focus is on hands-on learning with the Risograph, and how to best use the RISO resources on campus for one’s studio practice. Open to any student from any major. This course is required for use of the MICA Graphic Design Risograph machine.

GD 220 Graphic Design 2

This course provides extended study of graphic design principles and their application to more complex and comprehensive solutions. Experimentation, research, conceptual thinking, and process are emphasized in design for the screen. Students learn essential design tools and techniques for the development of interactive media. Students work with html and css to understand code as a fundamental building block for their design compositions.

Prerequisite: GD 200, or Graduate Graphic Design student standing

GD 221 Typography 2

Building on the fundamentals of typographic form and function introduced in Typography 1, this course extends and applies basic vocabulary and understanding to more complex problems that address typographic hierarchy, context, sequence and gestalt. Through a series of exercises and projects, students explore how typography behaves across media.

Prerequisite: GD 201, or Graduate Graphic Design student standing

GD 225 Typography Intensive

This course offers an intensive study of typography from the basics to the finer points. Best suited for beginning to mid-level typography students and transfer students, but not those who have already taken Type 2. Open to all.

GD 240 Color x Design

We all see it, form opinions on it, but do we truly understand the full capabilities of color in design? We will explore the technical, scientific, and cultural significance of color for design applications. We will analyze current trends and harness this powerful yet practical tool to create more effective designs and meaningful systems.

Prerequisite: GD 201, or Graduate Graphic Design student standing

GD 254 Hand Letters

Letter-forms express more than information, they can also convey sensibilities, ideas, and emotions. This class gives students basic language on letter-forms and, through a series of drawing workshops, prepares students for directed lettering projects from the legible to the abstract.

GD 291 Fashion Graphics

Acting as cultural producers, students develop a fashion identity from product to promotion. Students make a small collection of clothes or accessories, design a logo and brand identity, and finally, photograph the collection for promotional purposes. By managing all aspects of their comprehensive project, students learn about entrepreneurship in the graphic design context. Further, students work in teams to produce a promotional event. This course encourages interdisciplinary collaboration as students swap skills and share resources.

GD 300 Graphic Design 3

Students actively engage motion graphics as strategic medium for experimentation, idea generation, problem solving and communication. Motion and interactivity are studied in the context of aesthetic, cultural, historical and critical issues. Students learn essential design processes and techniques in their exploration of time-based media both as a tool and as a medium for evolving designers.

Prerequisite: GD 220 or Graduate Graphic Design student

GD 301 Flexible Design Studio

This intermediate design course offers students the opportunity to work with a diverse group of professional designers. Students participate in workshops to investigate a variety of approaches to applied practice. Emphasis is on solving real-world problems in a professional studio atmosphere.

Prerequisite: GD 300

GD 302SG Nanyang: Graphic Design

GD 307 Product Design and Prototyping

In this course, students work collaboratively within groups to develop digital products and to look beyond simply designing beautiful screen mock-ups; examine product design from three perspectives: business, consumer, and technology. Students are exposed to various prototyping tools such as Framer, Pixate, and Atomic. Key concepts include user research, content development, rapid prototyping, and user experience principles; also look at product design history and theories and cover new developments in the field.

Prerequisite: GD 220

GD 312 Publication Design

This course examines the design of magazines, newspapers, ’zines, and other serial forms of publication. Format, identity, audience, content development, and emerging formats are addressed and students build strong skills in typography, layout, and photo editing.

Prerequisite: GD 221or Graduate Graphic Design student

GD 314 Sustainable Graphic Design

This course introduces various facets of sustainability and demonstrates how its principles and philosophies can be applied within the design field. Students become familiar with trends, theories and ideologies, along with practical design needs, and learn to distinguish fact from fallacy. While exploring materials and practices and their environmental and economic consequences, students develop problem-solving alternatives. In addition to new projects, students are asked to rework a previously completed assignment in a sustainable way.

GD 320 Graphic Design 4

Students develop strengths in conceptual thinking and formal experimentation. Students are encouraged to develop languages of design that reflect their own artistic and cultural identities while communicating to various audiences. Projects are presented in a variety of media.

Prerequisite: GD 300 or Graduate Graphic Design student

GD 321 Typography 3

Provides instruction in complex typographic systems for page and screen, including grid structures, comprehensive style sheets, and complex compositional structures. Students learn more advanced features of software for typography and build compelling projects working with multi-layered information.

Prerequisite: GD 221or Graduate Graphic Design student

GD 326 Global Typography

Offers three short workshops in design fundamentals for Chinese, Korean, and Arabic. All students are welcome, no matter what languages they speak or design. The workshops focus on strategies for embracing globalism in design: bilingual identities, hybrid visual structures, and expanding the design canon beyond the west.

Prerequisite: GD 221or Graduate Graphic Design student

GD 330 PhotoImaging

Students develop the critical thinking and technical skills to use photography in their work as designers. Both theoretical perspectives and practical applications of digital imagery are introduced, as well as their relationships to graphic design.

Prerequisite: FF 111

GD 331 Critical Design

In this course, design will be used as a tool for critical inquiry with aesthetic and intellectual outcomes. Students explore different modes of making to ask questions, shape research, and interpret content. Students develop and explore topics and media of their own choosing, with open-ended assignments that foster curiosity, develop critical thinking, and lead to new ideas as well as new questions.

GD 336 Experimental Typography

This course is a laboratory for exploring the edge of the applications and theories of typography. Students will expand their fundamental understanding of typographic form and vocabulary through trans-media experiments to explore visual language for communication and expression. Non-traditional formal exploration, variations in ideation, and transparency in process will challenge and evolve student's assumptions about forms, mediums, and ideas as they relate to typography.

Prerequisite: GD 201, or Graduate Graphic Design student standing

GD 341 3D/4D Graphics

This course examines the design of 3D graphics for a variety of applications. Technical proficiency in use of various modeling and rendering techniques will allow students to explore 3D spaces and 4D sequences. Skills and discussion in this course will be integrated into the student’s studio practice.

GD 342 3D/4D Design Workshop

This course examines the design of 3D graphics, 3D rendering, and animating 3D objects for a variety of creative applications. Technical proficiency in use of several modeling and rendering techniques will allow students to explore 3D spaces and 4D sequences in their own works outside the workshop. This 1.5 credit course is a technical workshop focused on specialized 3D software skills to be applied to their other projects, course work, etc. The end goal: the skills and discussion from this course students integrate into their studio practice in the ways that suit them best. Open to any student from any major.

GD 347 Design for User Experience

In this course, explore the process for developing digital products that serve users' needs. Students will prototype screen-based experiences that are empathetic to the needs of the end user. Students will develop design concepts that mediate relationships between people and products, environments, and services. Key concepts might include content strategy, navigation structures, usability principles, personas, and wire-frames.

Prerequisite: GD 220

GD 348 Designing for Virtual Reality

Using graphic design as an intermediary, investigate the ways human beings and machines interact. Students explore how virtual reality impacts design, communication, and the design process. Projects may include the research, discussion, and prototyping of immersive experiences; and designing virtual and physical interfaces.

Prerequisite: GD 300 or Graduate Graphic Design student

GD 355 Media Languages Workshop

This course is taught in modules designed to explore various media languages relevant to visual problem solving: HTML 5.0, CSS, JavaScript, processing, or others could be covered in short workshops. Students will be exposed to a broad range of programming languages that are used in professional design practice.

Prerequisite: GD 220 or Graduate Graphic Design student

GD 360 Branding

Students explore the comprehensive branding process by creating functional design solutions. The student gains a new level of understanding of how design and communication can help define an organization’s message or product as well as engage how it performs. The course investigates the brand positioning process, strategic thinking, brand case studies, integrated brand communications, the launch of new products, target audiences, and a collaborative design process.

Prerequisite: GD 200, or Graduate Graphic Design student standing

GD 365 Package Design

This course focuses on three-dimensional structures for a broad range of products that not only protect package contents but also create an experience for the user. Students examine how messages behave when distributed in three-dimensional space. Conceptual development, prototyping, materials, type, image, layout, design and form are fully explored to create commercial packaging. The course will also focus on social and sustainable issues to better understand how package design impacts the environment.

Prerequisite: GD 200, or Graduate Graphic Design student standing

GD 368 Motion Branding

Focuses on integrating time-based elements like space, pacing, audio, and interaction with brand identities. Course projects push classic branding principles of audience, message, integrated communication, and consistency into time-based media like as social, web, interaction, and broadcast. Motion in a variety of contexts and platforms will be explored as they relate to the business’s audience/customer.

Prerequisite: GD 300 or Graduate Graphic Design student

GD 369 Motion Narrative

Students explore narrative and storytelling through audio, video, and motion graphics. Skills in developing compelling storyboards, animatics, and style-frames are strengthened as students create typographic sequences, informational videos, and documentary segments. Lite introduction to character animation.

Prerequisite: GD 300 or Graduate Graphic Design student

GD 399 Special Topics in Design

Special topics courses are developed to cover emerging issues or specialized content not offered as part of the core curriculum. These courses, typically not offered continuously in the department, provide students and faculty the opportunity to explore new content and course formats such as working with community partners or corporate clients.

GD 400 Advanced Design 1

Students build their portfolios with projects that require research, content generation, and complex visual problem solving. Emphasis is placed on cultivating a personal voice in design, interests and abilities. In conjunction with Senior Seminar, work in this class begins to identify areas of interest for the senior project.

Prerequisite: GD 301 and GD 320

GD 402 Senior Seminar

Students build their knowledge of design discourse and professional design methodologies through a mix of readings, writings, lectures, and discussions. Students deepen their vocabulary for discussing, evaluating, and observing a broad range of design practices, such as branding, experience design, service design, information design, social design, and design for sustainability. Theoretical topics covered include affordances, embodied cognition, multisensory perception, design thinking, inclusion, authorship, globalism and decolonisation. Students respond each week to writings by contemporary and historic designers, critics, and theorists. This course prepares students for framing an independent degree project, supporting work that will take place during the spring semester. Visiting artists provide presentations on special topics. Discussion groups to allow students to develop writing skills and discuss topics in more depth.

Senior Graphic Design majors only

GD 405 Generative Typography

Students explore the overlap of graphic design and code in this course. Basic typographic principles such as hierarchy, form and counterform, texture, and grid are explored through computation. Code-driven aesthetics such as plotting, randomization, repetition are explored to generate typographic form.

Prerequisite: GD 220 or Graduate Graphic Design student

GD 408 Decolonizing Design

Western society, and by extension the design field, has been fundamentally shaped by the social inequities ushered in by white supremacy and colonialism. This course decenters Anglo/Eurocentrism, challenges the notion that there is a neutral or universal design, examines the complicated system of privilege that underpins 'colonized' design, and honors Indigenous knowledge systems. Taking the position that decolonization is a practice, students will generate scholarship and design projects that may engage with a wide range of topics, from land, occupation, whiteness, inclusion, equity, diversity, power dynamics, and capitalism. Ultimately, we will work as a team to imagine new futures that leverage design as a tool for change.

GD 420 Advanced Design 2

This capstone course is centered around a self-directed project developed in consultation with faculty and peers. Students conduct independent research, demonstrate a strong design process, and share their work for public consumption.

Prerequisite: GD 400 and GD 402

GD 422 Poster Design and Print

This course is designed to explore the poster as a vehicle of visual communication. Students explore the context of posters through history and as relevant today. They also build skills in combining type and image at a large scale for persuasion.

GD 430 Web Design

Introduces the concepts, technologies, and languages used to design and build modern interactive experiences. Students learn key components of the interactive design process and design and production techniques; and utilize and build on their typography, composition, and systems design skills to realize their ideas.

Prerequisite: GD 220 or Graduate Graphic Design student

GD 431 Front End Web Development

This course will introduce modern and advanced web design technologies, building on the foundations from Graphic Design 2 and Web Design. Students face unique problems when designing for the web, and the course will provide an opportunity to analyze problems and implement appropriate solutions both conceptually and technically, through hands-on exercises and projects using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Prerequisite: GD 220 or Graduate Graphic Design student

GD 432 Information Visualization

Students explore a range of possibilities in visualizing data and information. In addition to archetypical diagrams such as pie, bar, plot, line diagrams, complex data can be expressed through matrices, graph-based visuals, comparisons, three-dimensional visuals, or motion graphics. Various methodologies will be explored for visualizing information for clarity, readability, and editorial voice.

Prerequisite: GD 200, or Graduate Graphic Design student standing

GD 433 Design for Change

This course explores the intersections of design, political, and economic systems; activism and movement building; and looks at how these systems and themes relate from both aesthetic forms and industry practice. Today’s design practitioners must understand the basics of design systems and possess a talent for visual vernacular, and must also acknowledge the role design plays in upholding prevailing economic, social, and technical structures. Through individual, collaborative, and process-based approaches, this course explores how creatives can reform and reimagine our present systems towards a more desirable, equitable, and sustainable futures.

GD 434 Transmedia Type Lab

Investigating typography across media, students work with historic, contemporary and evolving type technologies in 2D, 3D and 4D. Projects rooted in print, screen, space and time will build on student’s knowledge of fundamental concepts of design and typography: hierarchy, syntax, grids, information systems, and using/creating typefaces. Experiments, prototypes and projects investigate typography as an expression of language and narrative, interface and interactivity, and collaboration with an emphasis on presenting complex content in a specific context. Lectures and readings will provide a cultural, historical and technical framework for process-based projects.

GD 436 Lettering & Type

Students explore experimental and traditional approaches to typography and custom lettering in the context of design, art, and theory. Class projects and subjects encompass a wide variety of technical and conceptual approaches to the letter arts, including typeface design exercises, experiments in conceptual lettering, and real-world applications.

Prerequisite: GD 221, GD 325, or Graduate Graphic Design student

GD 440 Digital Editorial Workshop

This course examines the intersection between editorial systems and emerging technologies. Students explore the possibilities of shifting archetypal formats such as books, magazines, newspapers, and exhibitions into 2D and 3D digital space. Students also build strong skills in prototyping, typography, and layout by addressing the way scale, narrative, format, and sequence affect user experience.

Prerequisite: GD 300 and GD 321

GD 470 Signs, Exhibits, & Spaces

This course examines the relationship of communication design to the 3d realm. Large scale graphics, signage systems, and exhibition design are explored through a series of projects and presentations. Students will gain skills in developing environments for sharing information. Materials, fabrication processes, and documentation methods will be reviewed.

Prerequisite: GD 200, or Graduate Graphic Design student standing

GD 471 Design Store Front

Students design in and for communities by taking on real-world projects and projects solve practical problems for community partners. In a collaborative team akin to a professional design studio, students develop team-centered and fast-paced solutions that engage multiple delivery systems. Apply practices from human-centered design, branding theory, and civic- and community-engaged art practices.

Prerequisite: GD 221