Graphic Design II syllabus

• ARTS 077 GD II Syllabus

• ARTS 077 GD II Assignment Calendar

University Course Catalog Description

An intermediate level course that expands the skills and knowledge acquired in Graphic Design I. The course emphasizes practical assignments that examine applied problem solving and professional solutions for graphic designers. Specific themes/topics for the course include visual grouping and hierarchy, visual identity development and application of Gestalt theory. Prerequisites: ARTS 075 or instructor permission.

GD II Sheng Moua Fig and Grnd FA2012

Course Overview

The second course in the graphic design core curriculum, Graphic Design II builds upon the concepts introduced in Graphic Design I. Acceptance into GD II requires completion of GD I and all relevant portfolio requirements established by the overall GD program.

The overriding theme of Visual Perception will be explored throughout the semester—what it is, how does it affect a target audience, and by what means does a designer attempt to use it. The theories of Gestalt, with particular emphasis on the relationship between figure and ground, proximity and similarity will be introduced as primary tools supplementing the foundational design concepts of sequence, visual hierarchy, grouping, and symbol recognition. Application of the grid will be employed as a means of visual organization through a range of assignments completed both off and on the computer. Typography and image making techniques will be equally explored in solving design problems through conceptual thinking and project development.


Course study will include historical style, consideration of target audience, and client requirements as reference points to developing meaningful contemporary design. All projects will encourage the development of a cohesive form and content relationship through visual communication. This is a challenging class, which requires thinking, reading, research, discussion, art, design, work and fun, involvement, please be prepared!


Illusion More information about this image

Course Objectives/Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Build upon the concepts introduced in Graphic Design I and prepare the student to successfully meet the challenges of Graphic Design III.
  2. Complete exploratory projects in design theory and practice, which may be used to develop a presentation portfolio of personal work.
  3. Develop an understanding of the language of design, which includes critical theory, critique, history, technology, and craftsmanship.
  4. Explore specifically the concept of Visual Perception as applied to visual communication.
  5. Explore specifically the concepts of grouping and hierarchy as applied to visual communication.
  6. Explore specifically the concept of Gestalt Theory as applied to visual communication.
  7. Demonstrate designing page layouts using grid visual organization.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to design successfully within specific requirements and parameters.
  9. Define and employ industry standard graphic design terminology to describe projects.

The objectives will be achieved by:

  • Completing projects of increasing complexity
  • In class & homework exercises
  • Analysis & critique one’s own work & in turn, apply the skill of objective critique to the work of others
  • Readings, lectures & discussion of readings
  • Writing

At the end of the semester you will each need to turn in to me the final PDF versions of all of your assignments from this semester. You must save the files in the manner described below and label them exactly as described below.

  • If you have final designs that are that are scans, JPEG, PSD or other forms of bitmapped design you must first convert the files to RGB and 100 dpi and do a new “Save As” or “Export” to create the PDF. (this specific process may or may not have been an actual assignment in this class, so if you are confused by this in any way please ask for clarification)
  • For digital files that are Adobe Illustrator or other forms of vector design, simply do a new “Save As” or “Export” as a PDF file.
  • For multiple images, or parts (for example a series or design campaign) from the same project. Import your separate files into Acrobat after first saving them as described above. In Acrobat create a multi-page PDF containing all files or pages that belong to the same project. (These are the files that belong to the final presentation of the project only. You do not need to burn copies of developmental files, thumbnails, alternate versions, etc.)
  • Name your files using the following convention:

Your last name, project name, date. (deboer, menu, 4/20/11)

Please return any borrowed books, magazines or other materials, tools, etc. that you may have borrowed from me during the semester.

img_3413Required Texts & Learning Materials

At this stage in your education it is highly recommended that you own your own computer, applicable software. For this course you will be using Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator, and as needed, Photoshop. The facilities here on campus are to augment your needs and help educate you on the implementation of typographic standards especially in the use of InDesign.

Additional Reading Resources

Readings from required texts and supplemental materials will be assigned. Discussion will follow these readings to clarify, pose questions and ensure understanding for the material, which relate to the discussion of typography. A written response to the material may frequently be a part of the reading assignment. One exam will be conducted on reading material and other materials from class.

Recommended Texts:

  • Geometry of Design by Kimberly Elam ISBN: 1568982496
  • Grid Systems by Kimberly Elam ISBN: 1568984650
  • Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton, ISBN: 1568984480

Other items you should already own… but if you don’t, purchase them now.

  • Thumb or Flash media drive, for archiving and transferring data
  • Cork back steel ruler for cutting: approx. $8.75
  • No. 1 Xacto knife: approx. $4.50 and pack of #11 blades: approx. $2.20
  • Rubber Cement: approx. $4.85, Rubber Cement pickup: approx. $1.55 & Rubber Cement Thinner (16 oz): approx. $8.00
  • instead of the rubber cement a quality spray mount product may be used in certain instances such as
  • 3M Super 77: approx. $14.40
  • Sketchbook paper for process work: approx. $11.00
  • Letramax 100, black professional mounting board (2 sided black) 15×20”: approx. $1.85/sheet (purchase as needed)


Type Resources (more here)

  • com,,,,,,
  • com: software tools
  • com: links to font resources
  • com/bluedot/typo: typography resource
  • org: legal protection of typefaces


Visual Hierarchy


Lab Fee

There will be a lab fee to cover maintenance, printing costs, & upkeep of computer facilities. There will be no refund of this fee if the course is dropped after the drop deadline, third week of the semester.


Below is university policy followed when administering letter grades on projects, papers, & other tasks that do not utilize a point or percentage system.

A: Exceptional, means objectives of the assignment are fully understood as applied to the particular assignment & an intriguing balance exists between clear communication of the message & creativity. The assignment is executed with impeccable craftsmanship, accuracy, & neatness & exists as part of the complete design development of thumbnail, rough, & finished comp; a quality piece of work.

B: High, objectives are met & design principles are primarily well understood. May be lacking in overall quality, craftsmanship, clarity, or design development; good overall effort.

C: Average, the minimum requirements of the assignment have been met but not exceeded. Extra effort & insight into development of the basic assignment are necessary to produce higher quality work.

D: Below average, there exist problems in completely understanding the concept or objectives of an assignment. Incompleteness in several areas of craftsmanship, design, creativity, clarity, or development is also apparent; see instructor.

F: Unacceptable, please do assignment over see instructor immediately for further clarification.

Areas of Evaluation: Professionalism, Process & Realization:

Project grades are the result of three areas of evaluation:

  • Professionalism
  • Process
  • Realization

At any time during the semester, you may meet with the instructor for evaluations of current grades or dissatisfactions with a grade that you received on any project & how it may be improved upon.

Professionalism: Your grade in the area of professionalism will focus on issues of attendance, preparation, deadlines, critique participation, personal attitude & articulation—the ability to speak & write clearly about ideas/concepts presented in class. Projects for this course will be assigned similar to the way that professional designers receive “design briefs” detailing the specific requirements for a project. The student will then be expected to document the creative process, which they follow in developing individual design solutions.(your process journals) Successive projects will be assigned for the class, & modified or customized to a certain degree based on the overall understanding of previous assignments.

Process: Faculty rely on classroom observation in evaluating a student’s process in developing a project. It will focus generally on how thoroughly the student pushes visual exploration & concept research through such processes as sketching/thumbnails & creative/thoughtful writing. Students who attend class, make visible their process investigations & are prepared for the scheduled activities/discussions, reveal valuable information about their performance. In the absence of such information, faculty must resort to an unsatisfactory rating in evaluating the student’s process. When handing in an assignment, you may be required to include photocopies of relevant pages from the journal & other process materials in addition to the actual assignment. Your ability to clearly articulate your design goals and objectives related to each project solution is an essential aspect of your education in becoming a professional designer. You will have the opportunity to enhance these skills through writing and speaking in critique, journaling and process development.

Realization: The final evaluation of work (realization) involves more than totaling the grades on individual projects &/or determining that all assignments have been completed. Faculty assess student’s abilities in realizing concepts & controlling the visual elements of communication throughout the semester. This includes such issues as craftsmanship & the improvement & progressive mastery of increasingly complex material are evaluated.

Grade Dissemination: For each project & assignment, you will receive a detailed rubric that will break down the grade according to your performance within the areas of Professionalism, Process & Realization. Each area will be customized to the project’s specifications & learning objectives.

Late Work Policy: All projects & exercises are due on the day & time given, always at the beginning of class unless otherwise noted. A late accommodation is given only with the understanding that emergencies & unforeseen circumstances occasionally arise. A late project must be turned in by the following class & will be marked down one letter grade accordingly. A later submission will not be accepted. Missing a scheduled critique or presentation will result in an “F” for that project.

Grades of “Incomplete”: The current university policy concerning incomplete grades will be followed in this course. Incomplete grades are given only in situations where unexpected emergencies prevent a student from completing the course & the remaining work can be completed the next semester. Your instructor is the final authority on whether you qualify for an incomplete. Incomplete work must be finished by the end of the subsequent semester or the “I” will automatically be recorded as an “F” on your transcript.

Group Work Policy: Everyone must take part in a group project. All members of a group will receive the same score; that is, the project is assessed & everyone receives this score. However, that number is only 90% of your grade for this project. The final 10% is individual, & refers to your teamwork. Every person in the group will provide the instructor with a suggested grade for every other member of the group, & the instructor will assign a grade that is informed by those suggestions. Once formed, groups cannot be altered or switched, except for reasons of extended hospitalization.

Technology & Media

Lab Computer Login: Use InsidePacific user names and passwords. If you receive a keychain error, it’s because you changed your InsidePacific password, and the keychain needs to be updated. Type in your previous InsidePacific password and it will update, and will stop the error message.

PacificPrint: Printing in the main Computer Lab is to the PacificPrint printer. Use your insidePacific login. Swipe your Pacific ID card at the printer to initiate printing.

Email: Email is the preferred communication tool. You may each have private email accounts that are not associated with the University.  Please be aware that I will only be utilizing your Pacific email accounts to communicate class information to you so please check these regularly since I may send out important announcements pertaining to the class. When emailing me, please follow standard email conventions including addressing me & signing your communications. I check my email regularly & will try answer your questions within one day (with the exception of weekends or holidays.)

Laptop Usage: You are welcome to bring your own laptop & use it in class. Although it is possible to use different computer platforms, the Apple Macintosh is the industry standard used in the majority of professional design fields & is the platform used in the Visual Arts Department. If you are used to using a platform other than the Apple Macintosh, consider this knowledge a “multi-lingual” additional skill, but the professional design world operates on the Mac.

All programs in the computer labs are licensed for the machines in the labs only. Students are prohibited from copying programs from the computers in the lab for their personal use. It is not only a violation of University policy; it is a violation of the law.

Cell Phone Usage: Per university policy & classroom etiquette; mobile phones, iPods, etc. must be silenced during all classroom & lab lectures. Those not heeding this rule will be asked to leave the classroom/lab immediately so as to not disrupt the learning environment

Course Policies/Student Expectations

Student Requirements & Responsibilities:

  • A minimum of six studio hours in class & three hours outside of class per week.
  • Three-ring binder notebook for lectures, sketches, & for assignment sheets & critiques. This notebook should be brought class & utilized for recording lectures & demonstrations, as well as drawings & sketches.
  • Active participation in all phases of the course, attendance,lecture / demonstrations / critiques
  • Materials described in the attached materials list.
  • Meeting assignment deadlines
  • A concern for the highest level of craftsmanship
  • Projects for this course will be assigned similar to the way that professional designers receive “design briefs” detailing the specific requirements for a project. The student will then be expected to document their creative process, which they follow in developing individual design solutions. Successive projects will be assigned for the class, and modified or customized to a certain degree based on the overall understanding of previous assignments.

Expectations & Work Load: The basic structure of this course will revolve around assigned studio problems. There will be time given to lecture & class discussion, practical tutorials, exercises, & assignments. A significant amount of time will be also spent in critique of student work.

It is very important that all students engage themselves in a discourse of the work at h&. In turn I will give each of you conscientious feedback on as much of your work as is possible. All students should be prepared to spend a significant amount of time outside of class time for research, process & final production of assigned projects.

Students are expected to think creatively & critically as well as participate thoughtfully in class. As a good portion of this class is based in critique of student work, it is expected that all students will participate in this dialogue so that we may all benefit from the feedback. All comments are expected to be constructive & honest. It is the group dynamic that will inform & educate our individual projects. Be open to the critique process, as your lack of participation will impact your final grade.

Class Preparation: Students are expected to arrive to class on time & be prepared for work with the requested supplies/materials/assignments. Class preparation is essential to receiving feedback on one’s work. Lack of preparation on a continual basis will affect your final grade. If you happen to miss a class or lecture, please make arrangements with a fellow student who can either take notes for you &/or get the required handouts, etc. While I will be happy to clarify information for students who are confused, I cannot repeat lectures or elaborate project descriptions on an individual basis.

Controversial Content: Since a portion of the course will include studying art/design throughout history, there may be times when some of this art may have nudity in it. If you feel uncomfortable with this, please let me know & we can make accommodations.

Attendance Policy: No more than three absences are allowed per semester. Students are required to make prior arrangements with the instructor whenever possible. Students are expected to be on time & to participate for the duration of the class. The student’s grade will be negatively affected & lowered one full grade point for each absence exceeding the three allowed. So, for example, if you were to earn a B+ & had four absences, your final grade will be C+.

Students should be informed that the allotted absences are to accommodate routine illness, weddings, transportation troubles, etc. Doctor appointments, advisor conferences, trips to supply stores & labs, employment, etc. should not be scheduled to conflict with class. Religious Observances cited in the handbook will be followed.

Tardiness is defined as being fifteen minutes late for class or departing before class has been formally dismissed by the teacher. Three tardies will be counted as one absence. Tardiness that exceeds one hour will be counted as an absence. Each student is responsible for his/her own recorded attendance. If you are late it is your responsibility after that class period to make sure the teacher has you added to the roll.

Open Studio Hours Policy:

Studio Hours are:

  • M, T, W, TR 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. (except those studios holding evening classes)
  • F 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
  • Sat & Sun 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Plan your schedule so that you will be able to complete your assignments during these hours. If you have exhausted these times & need additional time to finish projects or have extenuating circumstances that keep you from finishing during these scheduled hours you must receive written permission to stay in the studio beyond the normal hours. You must obtain this permission by 5:00 p.m. on the day in question. This written permission will allow you to work until midnight only. No students will be allowed in the building after 12:00 midnight.

Honor Code: The University Honor Code is an essential element in academic integrity. It is a violation of the Honor Code to give or receive information from another student during an examination; to use unauthorized sources during an examination; or to submit all or part of someone else’s work or ideas as one’s own. If a student violates the Honor Code, the faculty member may refer the matter to the Office of Student Life. If found guilty, the student may be penalized with failure of the assignment or failure of the course. The student may also be reprimanded or suspended from the University. A complete statement of the Honor Code may be found in the Student Handbook, Tiger Lore. Section 1.1 – 1.3

A violation of the principle includes, but is not limited to: Plagiarism: Intentionally or knowingly presenting the work of another as one’s own (i.e., without proper acknowledgment of the source). The sole exception to the requirement of acknowledging sources is when the ideas, information, etc., is common knowledge. Artists & designers occasionally work from photographs or other imagery. This is allowed & is sometimes necessary, however the artist’s intent must be clear that the new work was not made to merely duplicate someone else’s artwork in another medium or form & claim it as one’s own.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:
If you are a student with a disability, who requires accommodations, please contact Mr. Daniel Nuss, Coordinator of the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities in McCaffrey Center, First Floor, Room 137 and Room 115 for information on how to obtain an Accommodation Request Letter. Contact: or (209) 946.3221. Then please schedule a meeting with me during office hours or some mutually convenient time to arrange the accommodation(s). These services may include, but are not limited to, extended time for completing exams, alternative testing procedures, note takers, & transportation to & from classes. The Policy Manual can be found at:

University Writing Center:

The University Writing Center is a free resource for student, where a trained writing consultant will work individually with you on anything you are writing (in or out of class), at any point in the writing process from brainstorming to editing.

The Student Writing Center is located on the 2nd floor of the Main Library.


Email Melanie at or call (209) 932-2969 if you have any questions.


Important dates to remember

             Last Day to Add/Drop Classes:       Fri, September 7, 2018

                               Withdrawal Deadline:       Fri, October 29, 2018

                                                       Fall Break:       Fri, October 5, 2018

                                   Thanksgiving Break:       November 21–23, 2018

                                                     Classes end:       Fri, December 7, 2018

                                                     Finals Week       December 10–14, 2018

                                              Final Critique:       Wednesday, December 14, 2018

Attendance is mandatory for the final presentation of projects & critique.


Please retain a copy of your syllabus. It is not only an outline of the course it represents a contract between you, the instructor & the University.

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