Interactive Publication – ARTS 580

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 10/26/2020

Course Description

This graduate course stresses individual direction and achievement in interactive and digital publication design. Students will research the vital role of visual communication and will examine the processes involved in creating and coordinating images and typography through both verbal and visual content across multiple and emerging media. Through readings, research, and assignments, students will explore the role of the designer in visual storytelling and will develop a body of work that attempts to influence and shape culture. At this advanced level the student is expected to be self-motivated and produce work that is deeper conceptually and is at a much higher aesthetic level than undergraduates. May be taken twice.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


A designer is a visual communicator and should be able to craft any message into a piece that is both functional and beautiful, engages an audience, and elicits an intended response. Publication design demands skill, creativity, and craft to accomplish well. The designer must beautifully and appropriately showcase many pages worth of content and craft layouts that engage the audience rather than overwhelm or alienate them. It is the designer’s job to lead the audience from front cover to back cover. In order to create a successful publication, a designer must understand and implement grid structures, organize content, create visual hierarchy and systems, and understand the anatomy of a document and adding the functional parts. He/she must also understand the content and appropriately illustrate it, craft a document to be cohesive throughout without monotony, and maintain a brand throughout a large document or series of publications. Publication design is both conceptual and technical. A designer must have a thorough knowledge of the content, document, client, and audience in order to create a successful publication.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

    1. Understand and articulate how message and visuals impact society.
    2. Create an interactive publication developing their own literary voice and visual style.
    3. Develop a cohesive system that integrates traditional and emerging media.

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 (8)

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 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 3 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 150 words.

Research Project


In a detailed document using current MLA format, the student will create a proposal for his/her chosen project related to interactive publication and his/her overall subject focus while pursuing the MFA.

Milestones (5)

Each module/week that a Milestone is due, the student will submit his or her work in progress to the appropriate Milestone discussion forum for peer review and critique. The student will be awarded points for his or her participation in the forum.

Final Submission

The student will submit the visual, interactive, and research result of his/her interactive publication project.


The student will create a presentation to showcase his or her research project. The student may use PowerPoint or PDF to present findings. The student may also publish findings in an interactive format, such as a custom website.

Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned module/week. Quizzes 1–7 will be open-book/open-notes, contain 5 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 20-minute time limit. Quiz 8 will be an open-book/open-notes essay question, and have a 20-minute time limit.