Introduction to Graphic Design – ARTS 222

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

An introduction to graphic design as a tool for visual communication. Graphic design skills and topics including a brief history of typography and printing; page layout design principles, the design process, page layout and image manipulation software, visual hierarchy, and critique will be explored in this course. Students will use the acquired skills to create basic graphic design materials for a variety of uses. (Formerly Desktop Publishing)




Graphic design is a skill that is widely used in the communications, design, and publishing industries. The ability to produce well-designed visual materials is a highly marketable skill and essential for the student wishing to pursue a career in media related fields. This course is also foundational to other ARTS and COMS courses.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    1. Compose page layouts for single, multiple, and custom layout documents by combining type with art in various ways.
    2. Apply design principles and typographic guidelines to page designs.
    3. Use the design process to develop creative solutions to design problems.
    4. Identify terminology related to typography, design, printing, and page layout software.
    5. Utilize software to effectively prepare images and pages for professional production.
    6. Analyze and discuss layout design principles and typographic categories and guidelines while evaluating the merit of personal, peer, and professional design.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 200 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 100 words.

Exercises (3)

Exercises will give the student confidence in the practical application of not only design theory, but software knowledge gained from online software instruction. Typical novice mistakes will be noted so students learn to avoid them.

Exercise 1: Introduction Layout

The student will demonstrate software knowledge by creating a new document utilizing margins, columns and guides. to create a unified page layout. He or she will apply alignment and proximity theory, convert images to CMYK in Photoshop, place images and format text, and export to PDF.

Exercise 2: Hierarchy Poster

Using supplied elements, the student will demonstrate an understanding of visual hierarchy by creating two different layouts using the same headline, subhead, image and body copy. In the first layout, the image will have visual priority and the headline will read second. For the second layout, the hierarchal order will be reversed with the headline being the first read and the image the second read.

Exercise 3: Business Card

Students will demonstrate best practices in typography especially typographic contrast, leading (space between lines), kerning (space between two characters) and visual hierarchy within one of the most limited design spaces—the business card. This exercise will serve to combat basic mistakes beginners make when designing with type and the final product will serve as a starting point for the identity (stationery) assignment later in the term.

Design Projects (5)

The student will implement the creative process and apply the design elements to create a logo, identity (stationery) package with optional secondary branding element, and booklet.

Design Project 1: Logo Inspiration Collection

The student will research and download well–designed logos within the wordmark, symbol, combination mark categories. His or her favorite 3 logos of each category will be creatively displayed on a letter size (11x8.5) landscape format in InDesign using margins, columns and/or guides to group and display the logos in an organized, logical manner. A one–sentence rationale for the selection of each logo will be placed underneath each logo using 9 point type following professional typographic principles.

Design Project 2: Business Logo

The student will develop hand–generated thumbnail sketches and revised roughs for a logo design. Using those sketches, he or she will then develop a digitized logo that is original art; without using clipart.

Design Project 3: Identity (Stationery) Package with optional secondary element

The student will develop sketches for the identity (stationery) package. The student will create a digitized comp of the identity package in one 16 x 20 black background file. Logo use must be consistent. Logo size must not deviate significantly on any one identity piece. Secondary elements such as linear elements, bands of color, etc. may be used but are not mandatory. If they are used, they need to remain subordinate to the logo.

Design Project 4: Multi-page Booklet

The student will plan and create a multi-page booklet in InDesign choosing appropriate typefaces, adjusting the hue, value, and saturation of color harmonies to create appropriate and aesthetically pleasing color harmonies that foster legible type on each page.

Design Project 5: Final Logo & Identity submission

The student will make final adjustments to the logo and identity package based on instructor feedback from Design Project 2 and 3, and course content theory. This could include modifying color, a secondary branding element, allowing more space for the letter on the letterhead, creating more unity between the pieces, or anything else that would bring it to a professional level of completion. Special care will be taken in the final presentation in one 16 x 20 black background file. Each student will upload his or her final Identity Package to their Discussion Board 2 post.

Critique and Analysis Paper

The student will write a Critique and Analysis Paper in current MLA format that focuses on identifying effective use of the four design principles and visual hierarchy as found in the supplied poster. The paper must be at least 350 words. The student must also include 2 references; however, The Non-Designer’s Design Book, Visual Design, as well as the lecture content, will serve as references.

Textbook Quizzes: Williams: (5), Krause (5)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the modules/weeks in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 12-minute time limit.

LinkedIn Learning Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the module/week in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 12-minute time limit.