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Fall 2020

  1. 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.

  2. Collaborative Study

    A Collaborative Study Project (CSP) allows two students to work collaboratively to complete a faculty supervised project of independent study.

    Usually, a CSP is supervised by two faculty members, but with approval it may be supervised by one faculty member. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses, though it is not a substitute for a course if that course is regularly offered.

    Permission of Instructor required.

  3. Design In The Posthuman Age

    The current understanding of what constitutes design is straining at the margins of convention. The reach of design has moved beyond the materiality of objects, to biotechnological matter of chemicals and encoded genetic information, from physical space to code and data. Human beings now live lives that are immersed in design. The designer and their subject share a dialectical relationship, constantly shaping and reshaping each other. The role of the designer, thriving in the world of post-industrial and digital technologies, is thus broader today than ever before-from designing brands and creating personalities, to contriving and manipulating living organisms.

    Post-postmodernism, pseudo-modernism, supermodernism, digimodernism, are only a few of the many terms trying to describe our current state. Today, we occupy the digital domain as thoroughly as we do physical space. Codes and algorithms have also become signifiers of a new biotechnological paradigm shift, marking the passage into a posthuman epoch by launching us into a virtual space composed of a bright galaxy of screens and digital worlds, creating a symbiotic relationship between our technology and biological selves. As designers, we shape, clash, align, and distort this new space, elaborating a stage for the New Man and the New Woman, and perhaps even the Nonhuman.

    In this class, we will explore our contemporary condition through visual-research based projects around self-design, speculative design and design fiction. We will use graphic design as a medium to ask questions about ethical concerns emerging from advancements in science and technology. We will develop a new design vernacular incorporating ideas from revolutionary recent developments in genetics, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence. We will employ machine vision: microscopy, neuroimaging and NASA archives to create new fictional worlds in concert with the life forms around and inside us. This engagement with the sciences will allow us as graphic designers to acquire some fundamental tools that probe fundamental human nature, and help us navigate the posthuman epoch that lies ahead.

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to seniors and above.

  4. Design Studio 1

    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.

  5. Design Studio 3

    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.

  6. Designing With Color

    This studio course offers students the opportunity to design with color in a variety of media, while researching and studying color in use (in existing works of art, design, film, and architecture). Students are offered several projects to choose from. Each is designed to bring awareness about the role color plays in different areas, through analysis and interpretation of how color works in terms of optics, communication, metaphor, and visual stimuli. Topics considered include observing color in film, color as narrative device, color and light, color in fine art applications, and color in communication design. Students will also explore the similarities and differences of color palettes as used by artists and designers, and through the creation of several design projects, students will develop a sense of confidence and appropriateness when working with color.

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to juniors and above.

  7. Game Design With Unity 3-D

    This course will lead students through the entire game design process, from sketch to publishing, in both 2D and 3D. Students will be introduced to Unity 3D, software that creates interactive designs and publishes them as desktop, web, and mobile applications. The course will also consider media theory and address video games' influence on our culture. Topics to be covered will include: analog and digital history of games; their ritualistic and symbolic origins; their use in contemporary art; an analysis of gaming subcultures; an analysis of the male gaze, hyper masculinity and violence in commercial gaming; a critique of the lack of diversity in the game development workforce; video games' influence on other mass media; and their role in how we perceive the world around us. There will be special focus on the graphic designer's role in a professional game development team. Once familiar with the Unity environment, the course will open up to other kinds of interactive software including AR and VR mobile applications. Unity 3D is free to use. There are no prerequisites but experience with 3D modeling is desired.

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to seniors and graduate students.

    Open to non-majors with permission of instructor.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Graduate Studio Elective I

    This graduate studio course will use the term 'Variable' as a core trajectory through the semester, and will focus on methodologies to visualize variable design spaces and explore the potentials of working within single to multi-axis frameworks. Inside these spaces, instances (artifacts) can be interpolated (generated). From analogue letterforms to the responsive web, this elective will consider the poetic and technical potentials related to the process of interpolation; from observing two knowns, and unknown can be defined.

    We will explore 'variability' in the production of type, but also experiment with how these tools can be used (and misused) to animate forms (letters and otherwise) through scripting and use on the web. This hands-on studio will include an introduction to variable type technologies, as well as workshops to assist in using and making these variable 'tools'-- including investigations into scripting with Python and web use. Primarily a studio-centric making environment, the course's critical dialogue will focus on the transformation of language and communication through variable design processes. Students will leave with the tools and methodology to engage with variable design spaces, ability to visualize and leverage the possibilities (complexities) within them.

    Graduate elective; Graphic Design majors. only

    Course may be repeated for credit.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Graduate Typography Studio III

    Typography III is the culmination of RISD's typography sequence, with an emphasis on typography and contemporary display platforms. Advances in software and hardware have created new opportunities for how language is written, sequenced and accessed. Projects in this semester depend on altered states, where the content, composition, and context all are potentially at play. Students will continue to develop proficiency in designing for static compositions while extending the meaning and voice of that work across multiple platforms. Students will have ample opportunity to further shape their perspective and individual voice in relation to contemporary typography.

    This is a studio course, so some class time will be used for discussions, most of the time we will be working in class, often on a computer. There is an expectation that students work both individually and in groups and be prepared to speak about their own work and the work of their peers in supportive and respectful ways. A laptop and relevant software are required.

    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.

  15. Graphic Design For The Web

    This course will explore the possibilities of design online from a conceptual, historical, and programmatic perspective. The class celebrates the Internet as a space for social exchange and independent expression, while questioning the cultural contradictions embedded in online discourse and the motivations of individuals and entities behind online platforms. Through projects, readings, workshops, and presentations we will explore the relevance of network technologies in the context of contemporary art and design practices. Students will learn basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript along with methods for conceptualizing, designing, and developing websites. Outcomes won't necessary be practical, nor pragmatically functional. Instead we will strive for a poetic understanding of design and the Internet as mediums for critical research and action.

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to juniors and above.

  16. 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.

  17. ISP Major

    The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses.

    Permission of Instructor and GPA of 3.0 or higher is required.

    Register by completing the Independent Study Application available on the Registrar's website; course is not available via web registration.

  18. Motion, Sound & Vision

    This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of motion graphics, as well as the implementation of video, and sound design. Students will learn a variety of motion graphics software, such as Adobe After Effects and Premier, as well as studio tools like Ableton Live, and/or other audio-visual programs. Students will learn how to capture, manipulate, mix and optimize audio visual material for final production and implementation.

    Through a series of in-studio and multi-week assignments, students will create animated projects that include motion design real-world assignments, as well as experimental exercises, with the goal of exploring intersections between graphic design, visual composition, narrative, and the realm of rhythm and sound.

    Adobe After Effects will be the primary production tool for this class. Through the sequence of assignments, students will become fluent with the software. In a series of short weekly lectures we will review specific histories, and also current practitioners who are using motion graphics and sound to create works in the worlds of design, fine art, and performance.

    Rhythm, repetition, systems, and patterns are all commonly used in the creation of audio visual narratives. In this course the following questions will guide our explorations: - - What is the role of graphic designers in the creation of time-based experiences? - - What new modes of communicating "meaning" become available through the process of systematic composition modes?

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to non-majors with permission of Instructor.

  19. 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 junior and above.

  20. Professional Internship

    The professional Internship provides valuable exposure to a professional setting, enabling students to better establish a career path and define practical aspirations. Internship proposals are carefully vetted to determine legitimacy and must meet the contact hour requirements listed in the RISD Course Announcement.

  21. Reframing The Poster

    The poster has been an archetypal graphic design format since the late 19th century when lithographic printing technology came of age and captured the imagination of artists, bringing their vision into Paris streets. This course will invite you to explore future possibilities and contexts for the poster-as paper and as screen-building on its singular capacity to transform ideas into iconic picture planes; and examining the dynamics of typography and image, both still and in motion. Prompts will progress from individual posters, to sequences, to site-specific installations that explore the potential for interactive discourse in public space. Studio assignments will be supported with presentations and readings about poster history and contemporary poster design.

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to juniors and above.

    Open to non-majors and Brown students with Instructor permission.

  22. 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 bzier 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.

  23. Typography I

    Typography 1 is the first in a three-course sequence that introduces students to the fundamentals of typographic practice, both as a set of technical skills and as an expressive medium. This first semester of typography begins fully zoomed-in -- exploring how and why letterforms are formed. Students will work with various tools and materials to construct letters; with attention paid to meaning, voice and the line between language and abstract form.

    The second part of the semester concerns itself with setting type. Typesetting is the score for the reading experience. Typesetting conventions and nomenclature will be taught by zooming out from the letter, to the word, to the paragraph and to the page. Students will become comfortable with typographic color and texture in a finite static composition.

    This is a studio course, so some class time will be used for discussions, most of the time we will be working in class. There is an expectation that students work both individually and in groups and be prepared to speak about their own work and the work of their peers in supportive and respectful ways. A laptop and relevant software are required.

    Major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.

    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

  24. Typography III

    Typography III is the culmination of RISD's typography sequence, with an emphasis on typography and contemporary display platforms. Advances in software and hardware have created new opportunities for how language is written, sequenced and accessed. Projects in this semester depend on altered states, where the content, composition, and context all are potentially at play. Students will continue to develop proficiency in designing for static compositions while extending the meaning and voice of that work across multiple platforms. Students will have ample opportunity to further shape their perspective and individual voice in relation to contemporary typography.

    This is a studio course, so some class time will be used for discussions, most of the time we will be working in class, often on a computer. There is an expectation that students work both individually and in groups and be prepared to speak about their own work and the work of their peers in supportive and respectful ways. A laptop and relevant software are required.

    Major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.

    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

  25. Wkshp: Letterpress

    From Letterpress to Inkjet: this workshop will offer the students a unique opportunity to connect the dots. Two technologies more than 500 years apart will inspire the students in finding either harmony or discord. Neither is proven wrong. 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. The students will unite the digital with the analog technology, for example by feeding a letterpress print through the inkjet plotter or to digitize hot metal type. The options are endless. Specifications on paper selection will be discussed and samples of letterpressed books will be shown for inspiration. Any such targeted integration of science and art goes beyond the sheer structural and aesthetic qualities of given "product." But as regards graphic design "product," it must contain the conscious integration of the human factor, technology, and aesthetics to prove effective.

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to non-majors with permission by the Department.

  26. Wkshp: Pre-press and Risograph Printing

    This workshop will use Risograph printing to combine practical prepress skills with experimental form-making. The aim of the workshop is to teach students to consider the craft and value of well-planned files to produce high-quality outputs that can be replicated and shared. By focusing on the Risograph printer students will work within a series of technical constraints that will require creative solutions as well as a strong understanding of this particular printing process, color, paper, and file preparation.

    Estimated Materials Cost: $40.00

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to sophomores and above.

    Open to non-majors with permission by the Department.

  27. Wkshp: Studio Photography

    This workshop is an introduction to the methods involved in studio photography for designers with an emphasis on lighting-bringing objects to life by articulating their shapes and surfaces with various lighting sources: soft/hard, direct/reflected, focused/diffused, etc. Additional attention will be given to digital file preparation and printing. Throughout this workshop, students will explore the use of DSLR cameras, lenses, exposure meters, and related equipment to create original images of selected 3D objects.

    Elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to sophomores and above.

  28. 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.

  29. X,Y, and Z

    This course will involve a range of collaborative exercises, inquiries, experiments, lectures, readings, screenings, site visits, and projects, exploring graphic design as an inherently 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 Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, Leonardo da Vinci, and Albrecht Du?rer, to Le Corbusier, Charles and Ray Eames, and Fiona Banner. Ultimately, we'll consider graphic design not only as orthographic (an anthropomorphic system that operates in multiple dimensions), but also as orthography (interpreting and communicating these spaces through signs and symbols).

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to senior and above.

Wintersession 2021

  1. 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.

  2. 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; Graphic Design thesis graduates only.

    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

  3. 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 undergraduate and graduate students.

  4. 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 pre-registered.

    Section 1: Open to sophomore and above

    Section 2: Open to all

  5. Web Design

    This introductory course will allow students to understand the web as a medium, covering the technical basics of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, as well as recent practices in web design and development. We'll learn the tools and techniques involved in creating a website from scratch, while exploring the application of graphic design principles to web-based technology. Class time will consist of discussions of relevant readings, technical lectures, design critiques, and hands-on coding workshops. No prior coding experience required.

    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 2021

  1. 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.

  2. Color + Surface

    Color is a phenomenon of light and pigment and is an expressive and symbolic component of art and design. Color exists in myriad forms: as ink on paper, as pixels on computers, paint on canvas, as light on screens, and reflected off surfaces of objects both natural and man-made. Through a series of exercises and assignments, students in this class will explore the power of color-seeing color in action as well as examining and creating color relationships and operations. Students will rotate through two faculty for six weeks each, and in doing so, explore how designers utilize color and how color gets applied to surfaces.

    Students will develop a general understanding of color theory and applied color through observation and articulation. These techniques and skills will serve as a complement to your other required core courses. A blend of lectures, demonstrations, studio exercises, assignments, and critiques, will allow students to observe, articulate, analyze, and practice the use of color.

    Major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.

    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

  3. Critical Issues Studio

    In this combined seminar/studio course we will take a survey of some of the most urgent critical conversations in the field of graphic design today, and engage those conversations through visual work. Through a diet of readings and discussions, we'll unpack the critical lenses that shape graphic design discourse, explore current conversations about design's relationship to structures of power, and look at the various strategies designers and thinkers have proposed for interrogating these structures. We'll engage all this through a series of brief studio projects that interpret, question, and extend ideas from the readings, and through self-directed research work. Taken together, our activities in this course will model a design practice that engages its context in sophisticated and rigorous ways.

    Major elective; undergraduate Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to junior and senior undergraduates.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 junior and above.

  9. Experiential Design (XD)

    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 Experiential Design (XD) offers a design approach to the development of new ways to use these opportunities as platforms and tools. XD is the practice of creating interactive spaces which orient, inform, educate, or delight an audience.

    This course is designed for participants schooled in graphic design and attentive to contemporary technologies. Building upon that knowledge, this course will prime students to design and orchestrate spatially located interventions. Workshopping will provide hands on experience in rapid prototyping; resulting skills will then be applied in independent projects. Project prompts will allow for a range of subject matter. Scale of projects will range from hand-held to inhabitable, favoring human scale. Project content will range from complete narratives to crowd authored content. Project completion will range from prototypes to proposals, from full scale segment install to final installations. Course content will include exposure to a range of technologies while assignments will be medium agnostic.

    Estimated Materials Cost: $240.00

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to senior and above.

  10. Generative Design: Tool, System, Network

    This course explores generative processes with emphasis on visual systems by rethinking the tools and software used to produce and distribute graphic design. Design approaches for mobile products, generative visual identities, and variable fonts show how designer's role has become more about creating iterations based on modules, algorithms, and datasets. As these components are built for reuse, it is easy to create iterations without much design intent. In this class, we will investigate how designers can take this environment as a creative condition and explore various form-making methodologies to evoke its meaning and context. Knowledge in basic html/css/javascript is useful. Specific techniques on prototyping tools including Processing, p5.js, and other web programming languages will be provided throughout the course to strengthen students' skills. Weekly student-led presentations and reading discussions will cover relevant topics.

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to juniors and above.

    Open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of the department.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Graduate Typography Studio II

    The second semester continues the development of typographic practice by exploring the conditions in which type operates: the systems needed to work with varying scales and narrative structures. Students will design large-scale and small-scale work simultaneously; understanding the trade-offs of various formats and contexts. The course also extends basic typesetting into more extended reading experiences. Students will learn to set the conditions for readability by creating order, expressing emotion and making meaning. Students will design and bind a book while understanding how the traditions of the codex relate to onscreen reading. Within the durable form of the book, lies centuries of conventions like indexical systems, footnotes, page matter and more. Students also will become better readers, by engaging with contemporary issues in the field of typography and type design.

    This is a studio course, so some class time will be used for discussions, most of the time we will be working in class, often on a computer. There is an expectation that students work both individually and in groups and be prepared to speak about their own work and the work of their peers in supportive and respectful ways. A laptop and relevant software are required.

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only

    Open to juniors and above.

  19. Point, Click, Drag: Designing The Digital Interface

    Digital user experiences are a part of our everyday lives, shaping our realities and taking us to new levels of productivity and connectedness. In this hands-on studio, students will explore how designers create digital services and products that are easy to use and solve real-world problems. In two initial projects, one independent and one group-based, students will develop interaction design skills such as research, concept development, interface sketching, interactive prototyping, and user testing. For the third and final project, students will choose to work independently or in groups to develop a digital service or product of their choosing. This project will culminate in the final presentation of a "looks-like" interactive prototype and a video that illustrates the intended user experience. By the end of the course, students will have the skills needed to bring web, mobile, and ubiquitous digital user experiences from concept to reality.

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to seniors and above.

  20. Reframing The Poster

    The poster has been an archetypal graphic design format since the late 19th century when lithographic printing technology came of age and captured the imagination of artists, bringing their vision into Paris streets. This course will invite you to explore future possibilities and contexts for the poster-as paper and as screen-building on its singular capacity to transform ideas into iconic picture planes; and examining the dynamics of typography and image, both still and in motion. Prompts will progress from individual posters, to sequences, to site-specific installations that explore the potential for interactive discourse in public space. Studio assignments will be supported with presentations and readings about poster history and contemporary poster design.

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to juniors and above.

    Open to non-majors and Brown students with Instructor permission.

  21. The Tactile Book: Paper, Printing, Binding

    This is a vibrant 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 including Clarissa Sligh, Julie Chen, Leon Ferrari, Mira Schendel, Amos Paul Kennedy, Tauba Auerbach, Sara DeBondt, Irma Boom, and others provide differing models, and perspectives on the form of the book. Students will visit special collections for inspiration, experiment with various output devices including analog collage, digital printers, silkscreen, letterpress and polymer technologies, laser cutting, both traditional and experimental materials and bindings to position the book into contemporary hands.

    Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to juniors and above.

  22. Time, Sequence & Sound: A Course In Design and Motion

    This is a course about design and motion, filtered through the lens of real-world, graphic design applications. From film titles to animated gifs, design installations to handheld applications, motion is an important consideration in 21st century graphic design.

    This course combines disciplines of graphic design, animation, storytelling and sound design. Through a series of in-studio and multi-week assignments, students will create animated projects that include real-world assignments as well as experimental exercises. Short weekly lectures will discuss historic and current works of influential Motion Designers, Animators and Directors.

    Adobe After Effects will be the primary production tool for this class. Through the sequence of assignments, students will become fluent with the software.

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to juniors and above.

  23. Type & Image In Motion

    We stand firmly planted in a visual world, surrounded by a universe of things to look at. Images flicker from televisions, iPads, computer monitors and more-as large as towering billboards and as small as compact cell phones. Such images provide us with clues about our environment, feeding our mind with information that we find useful for survival or for orientation purposes. But these very same images clutter the horizon and prevent us from discerning what is truly important. How do we tell them apart? The primary goal is to equip students with the skills necessary to create meaningful and intelligent images. Course content is tailored for three levels of experience - introductory, intermediate and advanced. Some of the class projects include documentary photography, film title design and music video. The works of Saul Bass, Bill Viola and Michel Gondry will be used as the "textbooks" for this course. Readings, film screenings and listening exercises accompany studio work. Some knowledge of Adobe Flash or After Effects or Final Cut Pro would be helpful but is not required. To view student work, visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/risdMV

    Elective

  24. 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 bzier 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.

  25. Typography For Non-majors

    This introductory course is intended for non-majors interested in learning the basic principles of typography including the study of letterforms, type classification, legibility, organization and hierarchy, as well as text applications, grid systems and page layout. Typography will be explored as both a means of communication and a vehicle for expression. Projects may include comparative studies for setting text and poetry, letterhead systems, brochure or poster. This course will provide a solid foundation for moving on to more complex typographic problems such as book, motion or web design.

    Open to sophomores and above.

  26. Typography II

    The second semester continues the development of typographic practice by exploring the conditions in which type operates: the systems needed to work with varying scales and narrative structures. Students will design large-scale and small-scale work simultaneously; understanding the trade-offs of various formats and contexts. The course also extends basic typesetting into more extended reading experiences. Students will learn to set the conditions for readability by creating order, expressing emotion and making meaning. Students will design and bind a book while understanding how the traditions of the codex relate to onscreen reading. Within the durable form of the book, lies centuries of conventions like indexical systems, footnotes, page matter and more. Students also will become better readers, by engaging with contemporary issues in the field of typography and type design.

    This is a studio course, so some class time will be used for discussions, most of the time we will be working in class, often on a computer. There is an expectation that students work both individually and in groups and be prepared to speak about their own work and the work of their peers in supportive and respectful ways. A laptop and relevant software are required.

    Major requirement; Graphic Design majors only.

    Registration by Graphic Design Department, course not available via web registration.

  27. Web Type

    This course explores typography within the browser, considering the web not as a container but as a medium. Students will develop typographic systems that activate the capacities and conditions specific to websites and how typographic voices evolve through the axis of use. We will begin locally by responding to different device environments, then expand to understanding the network as material. Discussions will examine how publishing on the internet entails distinct forms of typographic engagement from the "user" and the implications behind designing an "experience." Technical instruction will include basic web languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as incorporate type design tools to introduce variable font technology. Background in coding is recommended but not required.

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to juniors and above.

    Open to non-majors with permission of the Department.

  28. Wkshp: Digital 3-D Design

    This workshop will introduce students to the foundational tenets of digital 3-dimensional modeling through the lens of the graphic designer. Using 3D-modeling and sculpting software students will learn strategies for creating virtual forms in different contexts. Once comfortable with modeling students will be introduced to the various elements of rendering including shaders, lighting, and the virtual camera. After successfully rendering scenes students will learn to composite their renderings with 2D graphic design work as well as create animations for video and motion graphics.

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors.

    Open to sophomores and above.

    Open to non-majors with permission by the Department.

  29. 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.

  30. Wkshp: Pre-press and Risograph Printing

    This workshop will use Risograph printing to combine practical prepress skills with experimental form-making. The aim of the workshop is to teach students to consider the craft and value of well-planned files to produce high-quality outputs that can be replicated and shared. By focusing on the Risograph printer students will work within a series of technical constraints that will require creative solutions as well as a strong understanding of this particular printing process, color, paper, and file preparation.

    Estimated Materials Cost: $40.00

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to sophomores and above.

    Open to non-majors with permission by the Department.

  31. Wkshp: 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.

    Major elective; Graphic Design majors only.

    Open to sophomore and above.

    Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor.

  32. 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.