ARTS 091 Print Media Graphics

To view the complete syllabus, overall assignment calendar, or individual assignments, mouse over (don’t click) the ARTS 091 Print Media Graphics Tab and look for the appropriate pullout listing on the right.


Canadian-born Marshall McLuhan (1911–1980) was a philosopher of communication theory, who some have suggested first floated the phrase—“print is dead”—but that’s not exactly what he said. What he did say (in the early 1960s) was that the print culture would die with the advent of electronic media. He predicted that electronic media would foster “electronic interdependence,” moving society toward a collective “tribal base” or global village-type culture.

“Print is the technology of individualism. If men decided to modify this visual technology by an electronic technology, individualism would also be modified.”— Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962)

The often overindulged, overstated misnomer that “print is dead” could not be more misunderstood. The number of magazines has grown over the past decade according to the Magazine Publishers of America. Why do they continue to grow? McLuhan suggested that “the medium is the message,” arguing that the way communication is delivered is more important than the communication itself. Print is still the medium choice of millions to receive messages.

McLuhan theorized that every medium created a symbiotic relationship with the end-user and that content, or the message, is influenced by the medium. In other words, news stories delivered on television by anchors influenced the audience much differently than the same content delivered via a newspaper, radio or magazine. This contextual influence continues with the development of social media news delivery. Understanding McLuhan’s words more completely is of underlying importance as a student entering today’s world of professional graphic design.

Course Overview

As one of the courses in the Graphic Design curriculum sequence Print Media Graphics will introduce the fundamentals of printing, image manipulation, font management & typography. Through exploratory projects in design the student will have an opportunity to distinguish advantages & disadvantages between various design approaches, specific software strengths/purposes, methods of digital file organization, & minor troubleshooting techniques. A focus of the class will be an introduction to the basics of vector drawing on the computer, as well as page layout design techniques for single & multi-page documents.

Course Objectives/Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course the student should be able to:

  1. Complete exploratory projects in theory & practice
  2. Prepare students to successfully meet the challenges of real-world graphic design.
  3. Gain a working underst&ing of vector-based graphics.
  4. Gain a working underst&ing of page-layout design.

The objectives will be achieved by:

  1. Completing projects of increasing complexity
  2. In class & homework exercises
  3. Analysis & critique one’s own work & to the work of others
  4. Readings, lectures & discussion of readings
  5. Written exams & quizzes



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