BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
The City University of New York
Department of Media Arts and Technology
Course Title: MMA 100 – Foundations of Digital Graphic Design
Semester: Spring 2019
Day/Time: Wednesdays – 5:30pm – 9:10pm – Classroom: Fiterman 706
Professor Ryan Seslow – firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Office Hours: Wednesdays – 4:30pm – 5:30pm, Fiterman Room 706
3 Credit Hours (2 Hours Lecture, 2 Hours Lab) – Prerequisite: ACR 094, ENG 088, and ESL 062
Course Description: This image-based course will introduce graphic design as the foundation upon which effective visual communication is built. Investigation of the elements and principles of graphic design will lead to specific design problems and their solution. The development of ideas and the ability to communicate them effectively will be covered. Discussion of both vector and bitmap-based digital graphic platforms will begin progress toward industry-standard computer proficiency.
Class Website: https://bmccmma100.commons.gc.cuny.edu/
We will be using a class website via the CUNY academic commons to learn, support, discover, share, experiment, present and archive our course work. Our class website is a growing resource and repository of information. Students will be expected to refer to the course website each week to obtain assignments, participate in discussions, submit their research and post their work on a regular basis. All students must sign up via e-mail to receive updates.
Recommended Text Books & Resources:
Textbook: Introduction to Graphic Design: A Guide to Thinking, Process and Style – Author: Aaris Sherin, Publisher: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, ISBN: 978-1472589293
Text Book – Graphic Design: The New Basics Paperback – Author: Ellen Lupton, Jennifer Cole Phillips – Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press, 1st Edition, ISBN# 1568987021; 978-1568987026
Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign Visual Quickstart Guides (Peachpit Press)
Lynda.com & Adobe Tutorials (adobe.com)
Use of Technology: Software used: Adobe CC with Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Students will need a portable media system for storing and backing up their work (a flash drive or external drive works well) Students should also consider creating an account on Dropbox or Google Drive. Students can also use a free service like WeTransfer.com to send large files via the Internet. Students are 100% responsible for their files and maintaining them.
*Students will bring a sketchbook, pencils and an eraser to each class.
BMCC Computer Labs: Labs are in Fiterman Hall, Chambers Street and the Murray Street buildings. Please see the school website for the schedule: http://www.bmcc.cuny.edu/it
Evaluations and Requirements:
Class and homework assignments: ——————— 50%
Midterm Project: ———————————————- 15%
Final Project: ————————————————— 20%
Class performance and attendance: ——————- 10%
Final Assessment blog post: ——————————— 5%
Assignments may be e-mailed, posted to our website or handed in to me on time. There will be some in-class assignments as well as homework to be done outside of class. Assignments can always be revised and re-submitted for the consideration of a better grade.
Grading Scale: (this class uses the CUNY grading scale)
The grade of A is awarded for excellence. An A student turns in all work consistently with very high standards of quality, creativity, and original thinking. This student also performs exceptionally in presentations and critiques.
The grade of B is awarded to students who have turned in all work consistently with high quality standards. The work shows creative thinking, extra effort, and care in presentation. B students have demonstrated knowledge that surpasses the basic material and skills of the course.
The grade of C is earned when all class work is turned in and the student has mastered the basic material and skills of the course. This student participated in class and demonstrated knowledge of the basic material and skills.
The grade of D or F is given for work that is incomplete, late, and/or does not demonstrate mastery of the basic material and skills of the course.
Outline of Topics:
- Design – Elements of design, principles of design and color theory
- Digital Graphics – Raster vs. Vector, sampling files
- Design Process – the creative brief, working with clients, brainstorming, consideration of your audience, promotion and ethics
- Software Proficiency – Vector graphics (Illustrator), raster graphics (Photoshop), page layout (InDesign)
- Typography – type, fonts, letter forms and designing with type
- Developing and Applying Brand Identity – Logos, creating consistent look across media
- Design Formats – Posters, spreads & layouts
COURSE OUTLINE: (Schedule is subject to change as needed)
Week 1 – What is Graphic Design?
Class introductions and our learning potentials.
Design Solutions: Strategy, Concept, Design, Execution & Production
- What does a graphic designer do?
- How is design different from art?
- Areas of graphic design
Exploring the Design Process: Thumbnails, Roughs & Comps
Week 2 – Elements of Design:
Brainstorming, process, variations & avoiding cliche’
Line, Shape, Value, Color, Texture & Visual Flow.
Portfolio Basic, examples & considerations
Week 3 – Principles of Design:
Positive and Negative Space, Composition / Figure ground
Balance, Emphasis, Rhythm, Unity
Working with Raster software – Photoshop / scanning
Framing: cropping, bleeds, borders and margins
Week 4 – Layouts and Visual Relationships
Using a Grid Format / Other Layout Formats
Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, Proximity
Color Theory – The color wheel, making color choices
Primary color systems: RGB (additive) and CMYK (subtractive)
Week 5 – Typography
Letterforms / Designing with Type –
- Terminals and decoration
- Typographic hierarchy
- Spacing and alignment
- Kerning and leading
- Choosing type
Week 6 – Color & Type Continued
Additive, Subtractive (RGB, CMYK) – Mood & Perception
- Type and color / scale & weight
** Midterm Project Discussion, expectations, process & presentation
Week 7 – Midterm Project Workshop – Full class lab session
Week 8 – Midterm Project Workshop – Full class lab sessions with draft presentations
Week 9 – Midterm project Critique – Full class group critique
Week 10 – Layout and Arrangement
- Scale and placement
- Software: InDesign overview – the interface and tools + what it is used for in the industry
- Managing Photoshop files in InDesign
- Basics of the type tool in InDesign
In class assignment #5
Week 11 – Visual Identity and Branding, Imagery in Design: Logos, Symbols
Logos and Visual Identity, Creating a logo design brief
Type in Logos, Symbols, Icons & Pictograms
What is Visual Identity? Brands and Branding, research, discovery and process
Week 12 – Designing Posters
Integrating Concept with Visual Elements
Poster Design & Poster Design History
**Final Project Discussion, expectations, process & presentation
Week 13 – Final Project Workshop – Full class lab session
Final projects thumbnails and development.
Week 14 – Final Project Workshop
Final projects & portfolio preparation workshop continued.
Week 15 – FINAL PROJECT PRESENTATIONS / Full Class Critique
For a full version of the course syllabus including course learning outcomes, measurements and assessment, BMCC & CUNY policies, students can download, save and print a copy here.