Graphic Design

Courses

  • Fall 2016

    BOOKMAKER: EXPLORING HYBRID MATERIALS, METHODS AND IDEAS

    This is an exciting time for book makers. The designer encapsulates numerous roles in the creation of a publication: content generator, typographer, printer, binder, editor and publisher. Gutenberg may have started the revolution in the 1400s, but the form of the book is anything but antiquated. With ever-changing technologies and sophisticated materials, the potential for the book and its distribution has only expanded.
    Through a series of exploratory exercises including hybrid forms of printing and binding, students will continually use content as the primary consideration as they challenge historical precedents and traditions. Artists such as H N Werkman, Alfred Tolmer, the Italian Futurists, David Pearson, Sara DeBondt, Julia Hasting, Irma Boom, and others provide differing models and perspectives on the form of the book.
    Students will visit printing and binding sites to explore possibilities, experiment with various output devices - including digital printers, silkscreen, letterpress and polymer technologies, laser cutting, both traditional and experimental materials, and bindings to position the book into contemporary hands.
    Major elective: Graphic Design majors; non-majors by Dept permission.
    Open to juniors and above.

    BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN

    Branding-or the development of an identity and an identity system-is a critical skill practiced by today's designers. Before we can design a brochure or a web site or an interface, there must be an identity to frame and influence the medium. Branding as a discipline not only requires the ability to design logos, but to think strategically about a company's ethos and mission. Having thought strategically about ethos or mission not only positions a designer to create an identity and identity system but to influence the way a company or organization conducts all of its communications.
    In this course, students will create two identity systems: one for a traditional company and one for a socially constructive campaign. While a traditional identity system is defined as a logo and a set of rules for that logo's application, the goal of this class is to expand upon the ways a brand identity can be expressed through the manipulation of language, materials, and audience expectation/participation.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to juniors and above.

    DEGREE PROJECT

    The degree project is an independent project in graphic design subject to the department's explicit approval, as the final requirement for graduation for the BFA Degree. Visiting critics will be invited to review the completed project. Students are only eligible to enroll in this course if all credit requirements for the degree are complete in this final semester and the student is enrolled with full-time status. Graphic Design students on advanced standing who wish to be considered for Degree project in the Fall of their senior year must apply to the department head.
    Major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    DESIGN STUDIO I

    Design is an ever-expanding field that demands students be accustomed to constant change and requires the development of confidence and core competencies for life-long practice. Students will learn to identify design opportunities and areas of inquiry within question-based units framed by the faculty team.
    Each unit will vary in length, and will begin with a particular question to kick-off the process. For each unit, students will move through research, analysis, ideation, and prototyping and will be asked to communicate their findings. Units will increase in complexity over the four semesters, and are sequenced to move from a guided process to more open, self-generated methodologies. Units will be inquiry-based, allowing for a wide variety of outcomes to open questions.
    By the end of the year, each student should be in tune with his or her own working methods and will have the ability to frame projects independently and with self determination. Inherent in the course format is a kind of elasticity and nimbleness that should allow for group projects, social & cultural engagement, and formal investigations instigated through a variety of faculty-posed questions.
    Some examples of the questions (prompts) students receive might be: What is graphic? or How are tools shaped by contemporary culture, technology, and convention? or How is a spatial or dimensional experience plotted and communicated? or How can you prevent people from texting while driving? These questions will be accompanied by a mix of precedents, theoretical contexts, readings and presentations, technical and/or formal exercises and working methods.
    Graduate major requirement; 3-year MFA Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    DESIGN STUDIO I

    In the first two semesters of a two-year studio track, students will come into contact with issues and questions that face the contemporary designer. Students will engage with and develop methods to take on these questions: search (formal and intellectual), research, analysis, ideation, and prototyping. Projects will increase in complexity over time, sequenced to evolve from guided inquiry to more open, self-generated methodologies. Some examples of the questions students might work with are: What is graphic? or How are tools shaped by contemporary culture, technology, and convention? or How is a spatial or dimensional experience plotted and communicated? These questions will be accompanied by a mix of precedents, theoretical contexts, readings and presentations, technical and/or formal exercises and working methods.
    Major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    DESIGN STUDIO III

    Students are expected to develop personal working methods and interests through more general questions posed by the faculty. Longer-term projects will be intermixed with shorter projects posed by visiting critics. Students should complete the Design Studio track with a developed sense of self, and able to start framing questions and lines of inquiries of their own. End forms will be more emphasized than in Design Studio 1 and 2, in part as evidence that craft and working methods are sufficiently evolved. The twice-a-week format is intended for juniors or advanced designers who have completed the first two semesters of Design Studio or an equivalent "design principles" track.
    Major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    DESIGNING WITH COLOR

    This course offers a thorough study and research of color characteristics observed in Film, in a specific topic, as well as comparing the artist palette with the designer's palette and their relationship in changing situations. The emphasis would be in the appropriate use of color, not subjective or decorative.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to juniors and above.

    EXPERIENTIAL DESIGN

    As technologies advance, the integration of the physical and digital becomes more common. Screens are integrated into space, objects gain intelligence, places respond to us, and XD is quickly developing formulas to address these new opportunities. XD integrates communication and the built environment, shaping experiences which orient, inform, educate, or delight an audience. This course not only asks how we can best guide meaning within the XD practice, but asks how we can keep graphic design's strongest objectives at the forefront of our own practice, helping to shape the discipline in the future. How can we blend design disciplines to orchestrate spatially located experience? How can we synthesize image, word, sound, built structure, human movement, and audience contribution into impactful moments? The course will cover experiential, conditional, and participatory design techniques and pull in some cognitive psychology, behavioral economics, and sociology to better understand audience motivation. Project prompts will allow for a broad range of subject matter. Scale of projects will range from handheld to inhabitable, favoring human scale and slightly larger. Project content will range from complete narratives to crowd authored content. Project completion will range from prototypes/proposals to final installations.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors; non-majors by Dept Permission
    Open to junior and above

    EXPERIMENTAL PUBLISHING STUDIO

    Publishing has never been a fixed notion. "What is publishing today?" remains a relevant inquiry, but with an increasingly expanded field of response, as platforms, channels and modes of production mutate and multiply. Let's begin with the post, exposing its origins as a physical note publicly nailed to a piece of wood. Its descendants persist today, plainly visible on the wall, in the feed and in the stream as traces of a deeper history of documents - the scriptural economy.
    Is posting (always) publishing? We'll examine substrate, blankness and the possibility of saying nothing as a post-media publishing strategy. And as certain legacies recede (privacy, authorship, copyright), how is publishing still "making public?" Let's unpack (and entangle) these and other ways to explore the public circulation of work in a post-digital space. We'll draw trajectories to and from the emergence of the networked artist in the 20th century, into the last twenty years, and particularly around the last two, as self-publishing becomes more and more inseparable from the artist's ambient practice (and work) itself.
    The semester will be devoted to the creation of our own performing publishing studio, disseminating work as a highly diffused, ongoing performance, rather than discrete events. The development of publishing manifestos and projects, working in public, research-based exploration, non-traditional tools and platforms, experimentation and collaboration will be encouraged.
    Graphic Design majors only; open to seniors and graduate students

    FORMS AND SYSTEMS

    System thinking reflects the fact that human beings are intrinsically organizers and pattern seekers due to an apparent drive within us toward wholeness and integration, toward a sense of order, harmony and unity in everything. It's therefore no surprise that system thinking plays a role in every part of design, without exception.
    This course unpacks that notion of system: 1) as a way of looking at an object and its interaction among parts (e.g., pattern, grid, proportion, symmetry; rhythm, narrative, information architecture, networking, etc.); 2) as an inquiry that reflects the process for design (such as in formulating rules for a kit of parts), and of design methods (to conceptualize, to generate means for innovation, to cope with change, and to embrace chance and synchronicity).
    While systems theory opens up to a vast territory of potential interest (e.g., social, cultural, environmental, etc.) we will focus on the dynamics of the visual language and the process of design to broaden awareness and deepen insight into the nature of complexity. All assignments remain flexible to allow for personal interests, needs, means and use of tools, and facilitate individual inquiries including degree project and graduate thesis work.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to juniors and above

    GRADUATE FORM I

    This 3-credit studio course will teach design fundamentals to the elective non-GD major students entering the field of Graphic Design from other disciplines, and will feature in-class instruction which may include 2D and 3D form basic principles of color; image-making from photography, drawing, collage, etc.; point and plane / figure and ground exercises; sequencing and exposure to various formats; etc.
    Graduate major requirement for first-year graduate students in the three-year program; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    GRADUATE SEMINAR I

    This seminar will present a forum for discussion on critical issues in graphic design, including: design's context within culture and experience; theory and its relation to practice; and current practice and its models. The course will combine formats of lecture, discussion, small groups, and collaboration to explore the porous borders of graphic design thought and making.
    Graduate major requirement for first and second-year majors; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    GRADUATE STUDIO ELECTIVE I

    Film and graphic design share an omnivorousness that devours all other media, and achieving mastery in either can fill a lifetime. Not coincidentally, similar questions are central to both forms: the careful deployment and control of image, color, text, tone, pacing, editing, communication, history, taste. the list of overlaps is long.
    Through a series of small exercises and short readings, culminating in a self-initiated multi-week project, this class seeks to offer a route into exploratory filmmaking that builds on the training and knowledge of a graphic designer. Skills will be learned through demonstrations and collaborative problem solving. The presumption is that projects will be executed in a film format, but this is not a requirement. Emphasis will be on finding a way to address problem solving in an unfamiliar time-based medium in a way that works for you.
    Graduate elective; Graphic Design majors only
    Course may be repeated for credit.

    GRADUATE STUDIO I

    This studio course, as groundwork for the graduate thesis, will emphasize inquiry as a primary means for learning. Through making, reflection, collaboration, and critique, we will explore the underlying principles that design objects require, and synthesize theory and practice as necessary partners in graphic design. We will look at the designer's role in the process of revealing and making meaning - as an objective mediator, and as an author/producer, integrating content and form across projects as visual expressions of the preliminary thesis investigation.
    Graduate major requirement for first and second-year majors; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    GRADUATE THESIS I

    The MFA degree requires completion of a graduate thesis. The thesis, as a major undertaking for advanced study and personal development, also assists the student to direct a program of study for an experience that best serves that individual's interests and needs. The thesis is an inquiry into the process, expression and function of the visual in graphic design. Visual search is the primary means by which to develop and substantiate original work which provides proof of concept for the thesis argument, critique, or point of view. The graduate student is encouraged to go beyond established models and to project his/her unique character in the thesis rather than to evidence vocational training, which is implicit. The productions can involve any medium suitable to need and content. Ultimately the thesis is submitted as a written document supported by a body of visual work that is a meaningful synthesis of the visual and verbal, and a lasting contribution to the field of graphic design. Two copies of the document remain, one for the Library and one for the department. Completion is required before graduation as stipulated by the College.
    Graduate major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    GRADUATE TYPOGRAPHY STUDIO I

    Graduate Typography I through III (GRAPH-332G/342G/352G) are a sequence of courses that focus on the subject of typography. This sequence covers the fundamentals of typography, its theory, practice, technology and history. Studies range from introductory through advanced levels. Grad Typography I includes: the study of letterforms, type design, proportion, hierarchy, legibility, and structures for composition of multiple type elements. Aspects of contemporary practice and theory are integrated into research and discussion.
    Graduate major requirement for first-year graduate students in the three-year program; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    GRADUATE TYPOGRAPHY STUDIO III

    Grad Typography III is the final of a set of required sequence of courses that focus on the subject of typography. This course explores communication and structural aspects of typography and experiments with expressive means of using type to enhance meaning. Building on basic skills students will work on practical applications of advanced typographic design/systems as well as do a research project that concerns theory. Class discussions and demonstrations will complement the process of solving typographical problems.
    Graduate major requirement for second-year graduate students in the three-year program; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    GRAPHIC DESIGN FOR THE WEB

    Design is a crucial element in making a website that is accessible, exciting and effective. This course will look at ways of using fundamental graphic design principles and site design tools necessary to create sites that are strategic, interactive, energetic and visually imaginative. This course will also explore the rich history of designers, artists, and collectives that have used the web as a medium in various ways - from neen sites to tumblers to 4chan to wordpress to flickr, looking for interesting, novel and alternative approaches to web design.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to juniors and above.

    HISTORY OF GRAPHIC DESIGN

    Chronological survey of graphic design through slide lectures. The course will study how graphic design responded to (and affected) international, social, political, and technological developments since 1450. Emphasis will be on printed work from 1880 to 1970 and the relationship of that work to other visual arts and design disciplines. In addition to the lectures, the course will schedule a studio section in which design projects are integrated with research.
    Major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    INTERACTIVE TEXT: INTERACTIVE SOUND AND IMAGE EMPHASIS

    Presented as fine art practice, this course will introduce the student to narrative and non-narrative experimentation with language in digital space.
    During the course students will be given a number of short term assignments which will serve as explorations of common themes. Students will also propose a longer term investigation, that will develop in the form of a semester long project.
    We will explore both analog and digital technologies to develop the concepts presented during the semester, utilizing Final Cut, After Effects, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Ableton Live and/or other programs for the production of texts. The course will have an interactive sound and image emphasis. Students will experiment with interactive text, visuals, and audio composition in the digital realm, placing emphasis on the effect and meaning transformation that occurs when texts are combined with visuals and audio material.
    The course will balance conceptual concerns related to content and structuring methodologies with artistic expression. Specific Aesthetic histories will be explored tracing the use of text in artistic practice including Concrete Poetry, the texts of Kurt Schwitters, Russian Constructivist posters, Fluxus poetic works, the Dada and Surrealist Word/Image, Magritte, Jenny Holtzer, Ed Ruscha, Barbara Kruger as well as other contemporary practitioners.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to juniors and above.
    Also offered as DM-7001; Register into the course for which credit is desired.

    PACKAGE GRAPHICS

    This is a course in designing and identifying graphic communication for packaging structures. We will experiment with different 3D templates, examining their structures and then using type, color and images on these prototypes in three dimensions. Experimentation with different materials is also explored while addressing the client's brief and the design rational; being conscious of the target market, place of sale and the price.
    Major Elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to juniors and above.

    POSTER DESIGN

    This course will focus on the poster as a means of expressing a strong point of view. It will advance your experience with two-dimensional form, and address critical relationships between type, image, and message at a large scale. The studio assignments will be supported with lectures about the history of the poster, international contemporary poster design, and future possibilities and contexts for the poster format.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to juniors and above.

    TYPE DESIGN

    This elective is an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the process of designing a typeface; to consider all the design decisions that are a part of this creative exercise, and to learn the finer points of bézier wrangling, serif and sans, spacing, kerning, and all the other details of execution which turn a roughly-formed idea into a more complete, rigorous and polished type design. This course will provide a fundamental understanding of how typefaces work in addition to accessing a new design tool that can find practical use.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to juniors and above.

    TYPOGRAPHY I

    Typography, the physical shaping of language, resides at the center of the discipline of graphic design. Typography I is the first in a sequence of three courses that covers the fundamentals of typographic practice, both as a technical skill and an expressive medium. This course is an introduction to the basic principles of typography-its theory, practice, technology, and history-through the study of letterforms, page composition, proportion, hierarchy, contrast, type identification and classification, and questions of legibility and aesthetics.
    Major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    TYPOGRAPHY III

    Typography III is the culmination of RISD's typography sequence, with an emphasis on both typographic systems and deep investigations into what type can do. Students will focus on complex typographic structures and hierarchy, legibility versus readability, meaning and voice, page and screen. Students are encouraged to experiment and to explore the relationship between type as image and type as communication.
    Major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    WKSHP: LETTERPRESS

    Today, we take the computer for granted. Yet for 500 years, the most popular method for word processing (or typesetting) was letterpress printing. Students will be introduced to the Type Shop through the techniques and procedures for setting and printing metal and wood type on the Vandercook proofing presses. Engaging in this historic craft, newly developed skills will be transformed into contemporary results. Exercises in form, counterform, repetition, texture, color, and transparency will be explored. Experiments will result in projects such as a poster, broadside, ex libris, or small book. Specifications on paper selection will be discussed and samples of letterpressed books will be shown for inspiration.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to non-majors with permission by the Deparmtent.

    WKSHP: PHOTO/GRAPHIC

    Photography plays an important role in the field of graphic design -- within publications, posters, electronic media, etc. Because of the camera's availability and fairly inexpensive cost, photography has become one of the most popular hobbies in the world. Although he/she is in possession of such a device, the average person is not entirely aware of certain image manipulations and other concepts used by the graphic designer. This four-week workshop introduces designers to the lighting studio and the many uses of the camera in creating design artifacts.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to non-majors with permission by the Department.

    WORKSHOP PROGRAMMING CONCEPTS: PROCESSING

    This workshop will use the processing programming language to introduce students to programming concepts. Students will not only learn the fundamentals of the processing language but will research contemporary working methods around programming and explore the ways in which algorithms affect the design process. The aim of this workshop is for students to develop procedural literacy and to open their design work to indeterminacy, interactivity, generative processes, participatory working methods, and new opportunities afforded by technology in general.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to non-majors with permission by the Department.

    WORKSHOP: CALLIGRAPHY

    Calligraphy is a demanding and exacting discipline, which rewards the artist with letter-making freedom and self-expression.
    This workshop is intended as a starting point and a practical how-to-do-it course in lettering as a means of training the hand, the eye, and the mind in a perennially useful and foundational art. It will have the purpose of inspiring the graphic designer to work at making beautiful letters, understand the origins of type, and approach page arrangements from a lettering perspective. Students will use broad-edged/square-cut tools to learn the fundamentals of proportion, shape, spacing and layout.
    There will be a focus on the work of the humanist scribes of the Renaissance, whose writing styles led to some of the most beautiful italics ever developed-clear, elegant forms which provide a wonderful model for modern handwriting-the most universal of the arts, a way that we all make marks on paper.
    Major elective, Graphic Design majors only
    sophomore and above

    X,Y, AND Z

    This course will involve a range of collaborative exercises, inquiries, experiments, lectures, readings, screenings, site visits, and projects, that explore graphic design as a multidimensional and spatial discipline. 3D, not 2D. Graphic design as object, as projection, as display, as gauge, as structure, as installation, as sound, as architecture. Not just the X and Y, but also the Z axis. The course's subtitle is "Graphic Design in Space", a literal example being Carl Sagan's "Pioneer Plaque", the sum of humankind and space travel etched in pictographic form onto a pair of 9 × 6 inch aluminium plaques attached to NASA's Pioneer 10 probe on its 1972 mission to planet Jupiter. We will also investigate more terrestrial, yet equally literal, types of space and how they relate to the human body: pages, screens, rooms, buildings, and cities. A wide range of periods, fields, and figures will be surveyed: from the likes of Leon Battista Alberti, Leonardo da Vinci, and Albrecht Dürer, to Le Corbusier, Charles and Ray Eames, and Tauba Auerbach. Ultimately, we'll consider graphic design as orthographic: an anthropomorphic system, both dimensional and semiotic, that operates within, embodies, and interprets space.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only
    Open to senior and above

    Wintersession 2017

    GRADUATE OPEN RESEARCH

    This course is for graduate students in graphic design to work independently on research. The instructor serves an advisory role in all projects. Students must submit a written proposal for work planned and criteria for evaluation. Course meetings are arranged individually, or with the group as needed.
    Open to Graphic Design graduate students
    Course may be repeated due to new research projects each semester.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    GRADUATE THESIS RESEARCH

    This course is for graphic design graduate students in their final year to work independently on their graduate thesis. The instructor serves an advisory role in all projects. Students must submit a written proposal for work planned and criteria for evaluation. Course meetings are arranged individually, or with the group as needed.
    Graduate major requirement; Open to Graphic Design thesis graduates only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    HOT PRINTING

    A studio course in which you can play with the creative potentials of letterpress, wood and metal type. A chance to create "print-things",one-of-a-kind prints made from printers' materials traditionally used to make multiple, identical copies. Use the letter as constructive or a representational element. Test your intuition and spontaneity by bringing printer's inks to all kinds of papers while exploring patterns, form and everyday words and sentences. Imbue letters with new magic and create text with as yet unheard-of meanings. The course also addresses the history and legacy of letterpress and the power of mass production.
    Open to Undergraduate and Graduate Students

    INTRO TO GRAPHIC DESIGN

    An in-depth investigation of the principles and possibilities of graphic design. Through a series of experimental exercises incorporating drawing, collage, and the computer, students will learn the fundamentals of graphic form, sequencing, image making, communicating visually, and integration of type. Slide presentations and lectures will introduce students to both the history of graphic design and contemporary designers.
    Open to all

    TYPOGRAPHY ELECTIVE

    The objective of this course is to introduce the student to the basic concepts, skills and processes of typographical design. Design problems will be assigned to investigate fundamental aspects of typography (organization; proportion; composition; space; texture; rhythm and meaning). Projects may include the design of such objects as letterhead, packaging and poster. Please note: Some Graphic Design transfer students will be preregistered.

    Section 1: Open to sophomore and above
    Section 2: Open to all

    TYPOGRAPHY IN 3D SPACE

    The use of typography in the 3D space is a compelling one. With both a strong formal dimension and an informational function, typography will provide a coherent program with a real sense of order. If it is applied with a comprehensive system, this sense of unity allows for better communication. The typography display in the space is built with different parts related to one another by a system. In order to understand the nature of a very well organized typographic program, our point of view must be fundamentally structural. Such an approach allows us to discern the sophisticated underlying relationship between parts which creates a sense of wholeness.
    This Cross-disciplinary course will offer the students of Interior Architecture and Graphic Design the opportunity of working with typography in 3 Dimensional Space.
    Students will apply the use of proportion, hierarchy, and legibility in two aspects of the 3D space: A Wayfinding project and a Museum Exhibition.
    The course will explore the methodology required to work with typographic systems in the 3 Dimensional environment, applying the narrative aspect of information. Specific attention will be devoted to exploring the methodology of designing in different scales and the ability to translate 2 dimensional content to a 3 Dimensional display. Studies will include setting text in small and big scales, the use of grids, and the application of a comprehensive system.
    This course will be concerned with the process which controls the structure and properties of applying big scale typography and further students understanding of how applying information typographically can challenge a space. Through formal, geometric, and spatial analytic processes, students will build systems with two considerations: The interdisciplinary planning and design process between an Architect and a Graphic Designer as well as the application of a Sign System within the Adaptive Reuse project.
    Also offered as INTAR-3198; Register in the course for which credit is desired.
    Restricted to Seniors and Grads only.
    Open to INTAR and GRAPH majors only.
    Open to non-majors by Permission of Instructor.

    WEB DESIGN

    Designing for the internet requires a solution that embraces the web as a communication medium while providing for a unique user experience. The goal is to strike a balance between form and function, between visual design and effective communication. This course will cover the latest methods of web design, development, and production including standards-based XHTML, CSS, Javascript and media integration. From beginners to those with more experience, students will learn the most current techniques for planning, designing, building and testing a fully functional website start to finish.
    Requirements: Students must be comfortable with Adobe Photoshop. Students must provide their own laptop (Mac or PC) loaded with Photoshop and an HTML editing program (Dreamweaver, BBEdit, GoLive, etc.).
    Section 1: Open to sophomore and above
    Section 2: Open to all

    Spring 2017

    BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN

    Branding-or the development of an identity and an identity system-is a critical skill practiced by today's designers. Before we can design a brochure or a web site or an interface, there must be an identity to frame and influence the medium. Branding as a discipline not only requires the ability to design logos, but to think strategically about a company's ethos and mission. Having thought strategically about ethos or mission not only positions a designer to create an identity and identity system but to influence the way a company or organization conducts all of its communications.
    In this course, students will create two identity systems: one for a traditional company and one for a socially constructive campaign. While a traditional identity system is defined as a logo and a set of rules for that logo's application, the goal of this class is to expand upon the ways a brand identity can be expressed through the manipulation of language, materials, and audience expectation/participation.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to juniors and above.

    COLOR

    A series of experiences devoted to the development of the perception of color and its use as a tool for the graphic designer. The exercises test the appearance of color relationships in complex structures, dealing with meaning and examining the appropriate use of color in the context of design problems. There will be an emphasis on using gouache paint and matching paint colors with digital color and printing as well as exploring digital color on the computer.
    Major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    COMPUTER UTOPIAS

    The goal of this studio is to reimagine the personal computer.
    Three decades ago, the Macintosh dropped a sci-fi bomb on pop culture. It advertised a utopic vision of human-computer creativity to mass audiences. By remixing military-industrial-academic fragments, a product company sold the dream of new humanism. This decade, the planet is bursting with smartphones; billions of people will carry globally-networked pocket computers, each outfitted with sensors that datify the material world. We now have quantities, rates, and kinds of data unlike anything humankind has ever seen. Individual biological minds can't reason at network scale, so we're teaching fields of computers to do it instead.
    If the data center is today's mainframe, is there a Macintosh hiding in the next decade? If your phone's camera is the next mouse, what will it click on? As machine learning reinvents humanism, what are 21st century creative tools? What do network literacy and 21st century citizenship look like? Is the programmer/user dichotomy destroyable? How much of this is just a design problem?
    We'll explore these topics with studio work and seminar-style discussion. Studio work will include creation of mockups, videos, webmedia, interaction design, and beyond. Prototypes and design fictions are welcome. Programming experience is not explicitly required. Sincere eagerness to rigorously engage and reorient computer culture is a must.
    Junior and above
    Graphic design majors only

    DEGREE PROJECT

    The degree project is an independent project in graphic design subject to the department's explicit approval, as the final requirement for graduation for the BFA Degree. Visiting critics will be invited to review the completed project. Students are only eligible to enroll in this course if all credit requirements for the degree are complete in this final semester and the student is enrolled with full-time status. Graphic Design students on advanced standing who wish to be considered for Degree project in the Fall of their senior year must apply to the department head.
    Major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    DESIGN FOR PUBLISHING

    This course will cover all aspects of designing comprehensive art and photographic books. We will examine the use of type in layouts, editing images, grids, scale, and pacing. Particular attention will be paid to certain elements of design production, including the visual, tactile, and aesthetic qualities of paper, printing, binding, color separation, and advanced techniques in reproduction, namely duotone and three-tone in black and white photography. In the first part of the semester students will design the layout and the corresponding dust jacket for a photographic book. The material will include a number of original black and white photographs from one of the very well known French photographers. In the second part of the semester, students will be given the choice between designing a book based on their own interests and completing a book design project using assigned material.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to juniors and above.

    DESIGN STUDIO 2

    In the first two semesters of a two-year studio track, students will come into contact with issues and questions that face the contemporary designer. Students will engage with and develop methods to take on these questions: search (formal and intellectual), research, analysis, ideation, and prototyping. Projects will increase in complexity over time, sequenced to evolve from guided inquiry to more open, self-generated methodologies. Some examples of the questions students might work with are: What is graphic? or How are tools shaped by contemporary culture, technology, and convention? or How is a spatial or dimensional experience plotted and communicated? These questions will be accompanied by a mix of precedents, theoretical contexts, readings and presentations, technical and/or formal exercises and working methods.
    Major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    DESIGN STUDIO 4

    Students are expected to develop personal working methods and interests through more general questions posed by the faculty. Longer-term projects will be intermixed with shorter projects posed by visiting critics. Students should complete the Design Studio track with a developed sense of self, and able to start framing questions and lines of inquiries of their own. End forms will be more emphasized than in Design Studio 1 and 2, in part as evidence that craft and working methods are sufficiently evolved. The twice-a-week format is intended for juniors or advanced designers who have completed the first two semesters of Design Studio or an equivalent "design principles" track.
    Major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    DESIGN STUDIO II

    Design is an ever-expanding field that demands students be accustomed to constant change and requires the development of confidence and core competencies for life-long practice. Students will learn to identify design opportunities and areas of inquiry within question-based units framed by the faculty team.
    Each unit will vary in length, and will begin with a particular question to kick-off the process. For each unit, students will move through research, analysis, ideation, and prototyping and will be asked to communicate their findings. Units will increase in complexity over the four semesters, and are sequenced to move from a guided process to more open, self-generated methodologies. Units will be inquiry-based, allowing for a wide variety of outcomes to open questions.
    By the end of the year, each student should be in tune with his or her own working methods and will have the ability to frame projects independently and with self determination. Inherent in the course format is a kind of elasticity and nimbleness that should allow for group projects, social & cultural engagement, and formal investigations instigated through a variety of faculty-posed questions.
    Some examples of the questions (prompts) students receive might be: What is graphic? or How are tools shaped by contemporary culture, technology, and convention? or How is a spatial or dimensional experience plotted and communicated? or How can you prevent people from texting while driving? These questions will be accompanied by a mix of precedents, theoretical contexts, readings and presentations, technical and/or formal exercises and working methods.
    Graduate major requirement; 3-year MFA Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    EDITORIAL DESIGN FOR THE SCREEN

    How can you draw on your foundations in graphic design to make reading experiences for the screen? What aspects of the craft translate, and what needs fresh exploration? This class covers basic HTML/CSS, wireframes, and flow diagrams, but it is not about "designing and coding a website." Students will learn to compose dynamic forms, tell engaging stories, and make meaning in digital environments. After experimenting with a series of form-led studies, the course turns to narrative design on screen. What are the components of a story? What are the needs and expectations of digital readers/viewers, and how can we design reading experiences that both serve and stir them? Where is the overlap between reader experience and user experience, between graphic design and product design? The semester's work not only engages the challenges that editorial web designers and digital storytellers in the industry face today, but asserts that designers should continue to re-think and re-assert their practice, whatever the future brings.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only
    Open to seniors and above

    EXHIBIT DESIGN

    This course will study the presentation of information in a designed environment: the exhibit. The theme, context, and conditions of this exhibit will be assigned. Study emphasis will be on integrative communication activity of all elements involved, e.g., time, space, movement, color, graphics, 3-D forms, objects, instructions, text, and constructions.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only. Open to juniors and above.

    GRADUATE FORM II

    This 3-credit course will teach advanced design principles of formal structures, relations, and systems to the eclectic non-GD major students entering the field of Graphic Design from other disciplines.
    Graduate major requirement for first-year graduate students in the three-year program; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    GRADUATE SEMINAR II

    The objective of this course is to assist students in the development of methodologies for exploration, investigation, and construction of a well-designed proposal of thesis work. This seminar provides students with a variety of discursive and exploratory means to identify, locate, reflect on, and develop areas of interest to pursue in the evolution of individual thesis planning, culminating in the presentation of the thesis proposal.
    Graduate major requirement for first and second-year majors; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    GRADUATE STUDIO II

    This studio course is based on the premise that the narrative shaping of information is fundamental to human communication. As active participants in cultural production, graphic designers naturally collaborate within varied areas of expertise, assuming a documentary role in how society views itself. Narrative methods enable us to speak to (and through) any content with a sense of the story it has to tell - visually representing historical, curatorial, scientific, and abstract ideas and events. Students will explore design as a process of storytelling that includes linear and non-linear relationships, with an emphasis on developing formal strategies for multiple approaches to shaping a narrative experience from given as well as self-generated content. Particular emphasis is on sequence, framing, cause and effect, the relationships between elements, and the synthesis of parts into wholes. With text and image, and across media, we employ narrative methods to make sense of complex content meant to be shared and understood.
    Graduate major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    GRADUATE THESIS II

    This course is a continuation of the work begun in fall semester's Graduate Thesis I (GRAPH 327G). The 6-credit studio component is complemented with a 3-credit thesis writing seminar, together guiding the synthesis of independent visual and verbal investigations into a coherent thesis body of work. The MFA degree requires completion of a graduate thesis. The thesis, as a major undertaking for advanced study and personal development, also assists the student to direct a program of study for an experience that best serves that individual's interests and needs. The thesis is an inquiry into the process, expression and function of the visual in graphic design. Visual search is the primary means by which to develop and substantiate original work which provides proof of concept for the thesis argument, critique, or point of view. The graduate student is encouraged to go beyond established models and to project his/her unique character in the thesis rather than to evidence vocational training, which is implicit. The productions can involve any medium suitable to need and content. Ultimately the thesis is submitted as a written document supported by a body of visual work that is a meaningful synthesis of the visual and verbal, and a lasting contribution to the field of graphic design. Two copies of the document remain, one for the Library and one for the department. Completion is required before graduation as stipulated by the College.
    Graduate major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration

    GRADUATE TYPE DESIGN

    This course is an overview of the basic principles of type design. The focus is on negative space, words, and readability. Students will gain a deeper understanding of typography and increased insight into existing typefaces.
    Graduate major requirement; 3-year MFA Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    GRADUATE TYPOGRAPHY STUDIO II

    Grad Typography II continues study of essential typographic elements and principles, reviewing fundamentals from Grad Typography I while advancing typographic functions and theoretical issues, both historical and current. Studies will expand to include text applications, grid systems, layout and page systems, and typographic expression and communication.
    Graduate major requirement for first-year graduate students in the three-year program; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    GRADUATE VISITING DESIGNERS

    This graduate-only Visiting Designers course provides contact with the visiting designers in four intensive workshops over the 12-week semester. The course objective is to provide graduates contact and interactions with national and international designers involved in a range of professional practice and public discourse of graphic design. While the emphasis is on typography and print, these designers actively explore a range of visual form. Each workshop will consider what provokes, inspires, and informs your working methods, and the role that "publication" plays in the communication of your ideas. Each session begins with a Thursday evening lecture, a Friday afternoon through Saturday workshop, and a Sunday midday critique.
    Graphic Design majors only
    Open to non-majors pending seat availability
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.
    Course may be repeated for credit.

    GRAPHIC DESIGN FOR THE WEB

    Design is a crucial element in making a website that is accessible, exciting and effective. This course will look at ways of using fundamental graphic design principles and site design tools necessary to create sites that are strategic, interactive, energetic and visually imaginative. This course will also explore the rich history of designers, artists, and collectives that have used the web as a medium in various ways - from neen sites to tumblers to 4chan to wordpress to flickr, looking for interesting, novel and alternative approaches to web design.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to juniors and above.

    LIES, DAMN LIES, AND DATAVIZ

    Charts and graphs have an indisputable aura of objectivity and yet, much like statistics, they can use this power to either elucidate or mislead. What makes an information graphic 'trustworthy' and how do designers know that their work is telling the 'whole story'? In this course we will deal with the mechanics of collecting & processing data from the local environment and the larger world. Eschewing the expected line graphs and pie charts, students will explore different ways of communicating the data's meaning in a quantitatively rigorous and visually engaging way. Projects will involve the use of scripting languages, web scraping, databases, and other numerical tools to transform data into something that is understood rather than simply 'seen'.
    Open to Graphic Design majors only, Junior and above

    MAPPING INFORMATION

    The visualizing of information into graphic form is one of the oldest forms of graphic design, and is one of the essential areas of professional design engagement. This course deals with the organization and analyzation of data, and the concepts and methods of visualizing information. Using information structure and visual systems of form, color, and typography, students will work projects which communicate complex information through the use of maps, graphs, charts, and diagrams. These projects will explore issues of mapping, hierarchy, location, time, comparison, motion, format, and the use of symbolic visual language.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to juniors and above.

    NEWLY FORMED

    This course focuses on advanced composition in Graphic Design and Typography using an array of materials, techniques and formats. Form remains an area of study in graphic design that does not need an application, only a surface. Emphasis will be placed on experimental form-making/image-making using generative and iterative approaches. Form need not follow function. Studio assignments are supported by lectures showing contemporary graphic form, from historical to contemporary work, that are effective and evocative. This elective aims to build a collection of work that can be shared with the larger graphic design community.
    Graphic Design majors only, open to seniors and above

    PACKAGE GRAPHICS

    This is a course in designing and identifying graphic communication for packaging structures. We will experiment with different 3D templates, examining their structures and then using type, color and images on these prototypes in three dimensions. Experimentation with different materials is also explored while addressing the client's brief and the design rational; being conscious of the target market, place of sale and the price.
    Major Elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to juniors and above.

    POSTER DESIGN

    This course will focus on the poster as a means of expressing a strong point of view. It will advance your experience with two-dimensional form, and address critical relationships between type, image, and message at a large scale. The studio assignments will be supported with lectures about the history of the poster, international contemporary poster design, and future possibilities and contexts for the poster format.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to juniors and above.

    SITE SPECIFIC UX

    For many living in cities, everyday life is interwoven with digital and network related experiences. These experiences often carry with them particular local, site-specific design challenges. This course begins with a question: How can User Experience Design (UX) help local users better engage with their environments and each other? Beginning with a site in Providence, R.I., the course will utilize the principles of UX, including user research, rapid prototyping and testing, to create designs that address real challenges for local users. Key topics and areas addressed will include site specificity and program, user and site research methodologies, behavioral psychology, communications strategy, the politics of interface design, testing and iterative design methods. Course participants will create working prototypes to be tested by users in conjunction with final design proposals. Works may range in scale and form, from paper to devices to built environments. No previous coding experience is required. Depending on feasibility, prototypes or final designs may be deployed on site.
    Major elective, Graphic Design Seniors and above; non-majors by Dept Permission

    TYPE DESIGN

    This elective is an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the process of designing a typeface; to consider all the design decisions that are a part of this creative exercise, and to learn the finer points of bézier wrangling, serif and sans, spacing, kerning, and all the other details of execution which turn a roughly-formed idea into a more complete, rigorous and polished type design. This course will provide a fundamental understanding of how typefaces work in addition to accessing a new design tool that can find practical use.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to juniors and above.

    TYPE IN MOTION

    Type In Motion will introduce students to principles and practice of typography in motion, in the context of Graphic Design.

    This course combines disciplines of graphic design, animation and filmmaking. Through a series of in studio and multi-week projects, students will create a series of short animated movies that explore dynamic structure and organization of typography, image and sound, over time.

    From storyboards to final production, students will exercise critical thinking and experimentation as well as develop professional animation and presentation skills.

    Short weekly lectures will present historic and current works of influential designers, animators and directors. Topics of discussion will include: storytelling, visual systems, narrative structure, sound and broadcast design.

    Adobe After Effects will be the primary production tool for this class. Through the sequence of assignments, students will become fluent with the software. Students should have some basic After Effects experience.
    Elective
    Open to Sophomore and above

    TYPOGRAPHY II

    Typography II continues the development of typographic practice. With an emphasis on the "finer points" of typography, the course will focus on composition, reading order, grids, and other systems of organization and hierarchy. Students will gain experience working with type and image relationships, looking at various scales, proportions, quantities, and sequences of typographic material. The course will also explore issues pertaining to meaning, concept, and expression.
    Major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.
    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

    WKSHP: BOOK STRUCTURES

    This hands-on workshop covers various traditional book bindings, along with innovative book structures. Book formats in relation to content will be discussed. Aspects of design, layout, typography, paper, and book production will be covered.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to non-majors with permission by the Deparmtent.

    WKSHP: WEB PROGRAMMING

    This workshop combines the tactical skills needed to structure web pages with a looser more playful compositional mindset. Students are introduced to the structural elements and properties of HTML and CSS through hands-on demos and take-home assignments. Tight technical HTML drawings in week one give way to looser, full-screen abstract compositions in week two. Weeks three and four make use of animation and interactivity using CSS3 and jQuery.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.
    Open to non-majors with permission by the Department.

    WKSHP:ANIMATION

    This workshop takes a deep dive into the technical, historical, and contemporary aspects of animation. If you have a curiosity or interest in making things come to life, this workshop will give you the technical skills to work with different programs and methods to bring your daydreams to the eyes of others. There will be an emphasis on developing an original voice while learning the technical nuances of programs and methods. Students will work with a variety of tools: stop motion, in computer animation with After Effects, plus hybrid approaches. No prior experience required.
    Major elective, Graphic Design majors; non-majors by Dept Permission

    WKSHP:DIGITAL PRINTING TECHNOLOGIES

    This workshop provides students with an introduction to the use of digital fabrication tools and an overview of their applications in both art and design. The course also functions as a gateway to Co-Works. Through technical demos and class projects, students are trained in the proper use of both the laser cutter and UV printer. The course explores the theoretical implications of this technology and situates it within the context of contemporary art and design practices. Through slide presentations, readings, and class discussions, students are encouraged to think critically about the role of digital tools in contemporary art and design and in their own practices. Students develop hybrid approaches; incorporating both "traditional" and "new" processes. Class projects encourage experimentation, innovation, and interdisciplinary collaboration as well as provide opportunities for individual exploration.
    Major elective, Graphic Design majors only
    Offered as IDISC-3179 for non-majors

    WORKSHOP: 3D SIMULATION AND PRACTICE

    This workshop is a hands-on experience where students will learn how 3D modelling is beneficial in conceiving, prototyping and presenting dimensional work. Graphic designers are increasingly using 3D modeling to plan and represent designs intended for exhibits, environmental graphics and signage. This workshop brings the necessary software and conceptual fluency to help designers make work in 3D. These designs may influence 2D deliverables as well as those intended for the built environment. Students will learn Rhinocerous for Mac. No prior experience required.
    Major elective; Graphic Design majors.
    Open to non-majors with permission by the Department.

    WORKSHOP: SCREENPRINTING

    This workshop will focus on establishing a basic understanding of a variety of screen printing techniques and how to make use of those techniques in making your projects. Through in-class demos and out-of-class assignments, this workshop will encourage interplay between screen prints and digital prints. The class will start with simple paper stencils and move quickly into making screens from images and text generated digitally. No previous experience required.
    Sophomore and above
    Major elective, Graphic Design majors only, non-majors by Permission of Instructor