University Course Catalog Description
Open only to BFA majors in graphic design with senior standing. This capstone course emphasizes research in the field of graphic design, and presentation of a senior presentation and exhibition.
Arts 173 Graphic Design Seminar or instructor’s permission.
As the culminating capstone course in the Graphic Design curriculum, SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGN SEMINAR is a comprehensive design course allowing students the opportunity to apply the combined understanding gained from earlier courses and projects to more fully realized work.
“Fine-tuning” will allow students to re-work earlier select pieces to the level of professional presentation quality. This may include finalizing their undergraduate research project from the fall semester. Analysis of design strengths and weaknesses and personal interests will direct each student’s individual work. The class is intended to increase and focus the student’s skills in research, problem identification, planning and execution of multi-faceted levels of visual information and meaning. The complexity and scope of these projects will challenge the student to expand his/her abilities of creating visual form with integrity and meaning.
Students will then have the opportunity to develop their work into a comprehensive presentation portfolio for application to either graduate school or employment in the field of graphic design. At this point the portfolio must consist of no fewer than 10 pieces (not including a series or system). You will develop a portfolio book that tells your story, presents your work, process and thinking as well as shows off your design skills. Exploration of portfolio presentation options (the form) will be examined in addition to the development of related collateral such as a resume and self-promotion materials.
Professional business practices, organizations, and related design issues are examples of topics for ongoing class discussion. These discussions will be supplemented by additional readings. Participation in regional and national design shows will be explored. Exhibition of student work to the campus community will occur in collaboration with senior Fine Arts majors in the annual spring art/design show held in the Art Department gallery
Students will arrange and participate in a minimum of two “Informational Interviews” with reputable design firms as a means of gaining further insight into the world of professional design practice. In addition, students will participate in a Portfolio Review conducted by a panel of design professionals. This is viewed by the program as the pinnacle event in the study.
Course Objectives / Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course the student should be able to:
- Exhibit an advanced understanding of the relationship between visual form and content.
- To exhibit an advanced understanding of the theories of visual communication as influenced by physical, cognitive, cultural, social, historical and stylistic factors.
- Create a self-promotional Visual Identity as a graphic design professional.
- Develop effective typographic and image-making solutions as individuals, as well as, members of a design team.
- Develop personal portfolio of work on a professional level of quality.
- Construct professional graphic design business practices
- Demonstrate proficiency in communication, presentation, and business skills necessary to engage in professional practice in graphic design including the ability to organize and manage design projects and to productively collaborate with others in a team. This competency is based on an understanding of organizational structures and working patterns in design, intellectual, economic, technological, and political contexts. (Capstone Seminar Series)
- Demonstrate ability to form and defend value judgments about graphic design and to communicate art ideas, concepts, and requirements to professionals and laypersons related to the practice.
The objectives will be achieved by:
- Reworking of existing projects as well as filling in holes in the portfolio by developing new projects or extensions of existing project
- Analysis & critique one’s own work & then apply the skill to the work of others
- Readings, lectures & discussion of readings
- Senior Exhibition put on by the students
- Development of a comprehensive portfolio book that meets the expectations of the graphic design field
- Informational Interviews with design firms
- Portfolio Review by panel of design professionals
- Tentative Class Exercises and Projects
Personal Communication and Promo Package 20%
Portfolio Book 30%
Personal Website (skeleton with unfinished content) 10%
Thesis Presentation 25%
Outside reviews 5%
Senior Show 10% (please note that you will not get a grade for the class if you do not de-install your work and tidy up your space in the gallery.
- Revision of 10 existing projects including at least one digital with three in depth revisions (individual projects)
- Process journal
- Internship journal
I reserve the right to adjust the projects and percentages as I see fit for the students’ learning benefit.
BFA in Graphic Design Objectives /Learning Outcomes
Your portfolio work will be graded on the below items so make sure you fulfill each with excellence.
The professional undergraduate degree in graphic design is intended to prepare students specifically in the common body of knowledge and skills required for entry as a career graphic designer. The students should additionally possess the education necessary to move toward management and/or leadership positions within the field and also be ready for advanced graduate study in the field of graphic design.
Program Learning Objectives Mastered
Class Project Fulfilling Learning Objective
Solve communication problems, including the skills of problem identification, research and information gathering, analysis, generation of alternative solutions, prototyping and user testing, and evaluation of outcomes.
Process Journal demonstrating design process and concept development
At least one of the projects in student’s senior portfolio will be accompanied by a detailed process journal that will document the student’s process of arriving at a solution and will demonstrate his/her proficiency in problem solving and research.
Describe and respond to the audiences and contexts, which communication solutions must address, including recognition of the physical, cognitive, cultural, and social human factors that shape design decisions.
At least two of the projects in student’s senior portfolio will contain a design brief and discuss considerations regarding the intended audience and other factors that shaped the final solution.
Create and develop visual form in response to communication problems, including an understanding of principles of visual organization/ composition, information hierarchy, symbolic representation, typography, aesthetics, and the construction of meaningful messages.
At least two of the projects in student’s senior portfolio will detail how the student’s solution is based on principles of visual organization and composition including grids, alternative layouts and typeface and symbol studies.
Understand design-related tools and technology, including their roles in the creation, reproduction, and distribution of visual messages. Relevant tools and technologies include, but are not limited to, drawing, offset printing, photography, and time-based and interactive media (film, video, computer multimedia).
Portfolio Book: projects show variety of relevant techniques at mastery level
Student’s senior portfolio will contain projects that demonstrate the student’s proficiency in drawing, photography, printing, time-based and interactive media.
Demonstrate proficiency in communication, presentation, and business skills necessary to engage in professional practice in graphic design including the ability to organize and manage design projects and to productively collaborate with others in a team. This competency is based on an understanding of organizational structures and working patterns in design, intellectual, economic, technological, and political contexts.
Portfolio Book: detail group collaboration, interdisciplinary projects, or internship work
Students will complete a journal based on an internship or practicum. It will detail the student’s learning in the professional environment and interaction with other designers.
Demonstrate ability to form and defend value judgments about graphic design and to communicate art ideas, concepts, and requirements to professionals and laypersons related to the practice.
Students will successfully present their portfolio to a committee comprised of at least one faculty member and two professional graphic designers. Written and oral feedback will be provided by all members of the committee.
Identify the major historical achievements, current issues, processes, and directions in the graphic design field as well as in art in general.
Portfolio Book: projects demonstrate mastery
Student’s senior portfolio will contain references to historical influences, current issues, processes and directions in the graphic design field.
Identify current intercultural and global issues as they relate to visual communication. Apply ethical reasoning to create sustainable, and socially and environmentally responsible design solutions.
Portfolio Book: 1 project demonstrates mastery
At least one project in student’s senior portfolio will address current intercultural and global issues. The work will reflect ethical reasoning to create sustainable, and socially and environmentally responsible design solutions.
Required Learning Materials
- Please organize all previous class projects.
- Please organize your personal project schedule according to the “backward mapping” model.
- It is highly recommended that you own your own laptop computer, applicable software (Adobe CS Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator) & portable external hard drive/flash drive.
- Presentation Portfolio
- Purchase following required supplies as needed:
- Three-ring binder notebookSketchbook, 11″ x 14″
3M Spray Mount or Rubber Cement and Rubber Cement pick up
Various print-quality papers
Xacto Knife, No. 1 and Pack of #11 Blades
Black solid core Mattboard
- Three-ring binder notebookSketchbook, 11″ x 14″
Suggested Texts & Learning Materials
- Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work ISBN-10: 0-9826253-0-8. Available in PDF http://www.underconsideration.com/flaunt/
- Sara Eisenman, Building Design Portfolios. Rockport, 2006, ISBN: 1-59253-223-3.
- Fig Taylor, How to Create a Portfolio and Get Hired, Laurence King Publishing, 2010,
ISBN: 978 1 85669 672 2
- Please organize all class materials in a three-ring binder. You will be expected to bring it to every class.
- It is highly recommended that you own your own laptop computer, applicable software (Adobe CS Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator), CD burner & a portable external hard drive.
There will be a lab fee of $30 to cover purchase of consumable some materials 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.
A Minimum 95%
A- Minimum 90%
B+ Minimum 87%
B Minimum 83%
B- Minimum 80%
C+ Minimum 77%
C Minimum 73%
C- Minimum 70%
D+ Minimum 67%
D Minimum 60%
F Below 60%
Please retain all grade sheets for your record.
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. 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.
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
Email: Email is the preferred communication tool. Please check your university email 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.
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.
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 8:00 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 Bannister Hall, room 101, for information on how to obtain an Accommodation Request Letter. Contact: SSD@pacific.edu or (209) 946-2879. 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: http://web.pacific.edu/Documents/schooleducation/acrobat/PolicyManualforStudentswithDisabilities.pdf
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.
Important Dates to Remember
Last Day to Add/Drop Classes: Jan 24th
Last Day for Pass/No Credit/Letter Grade: Jan 24th
Last Day for Pro-Rated Refund: Mar 7th
Spring Break: Mar 10th – Mar 14th
Application for graduation: April 3rd
Final Examination: Wednesday, April 31: Mandatory to pass the class.
Exhibition and Portfolio Review
Mon-Fri, April 7–11 Install Time
April 14–May 10 Senior Exhibition
Wednesday, April 16 Opening reception, 6–8pm
Monday, April 28 and Wednesday, April 30 Portfolio Reviews (tentative)
Saturday, May 10 Commencement
Monday, May 12 De-installation 1:00pm–3:00pm
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.
Download free mock up templates: http://www.psdcovers.com