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Weeks 1-9
Weeks 10-END

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Graphic Design: Digital Layout
Course Syllabus

Art 51.4
Spring Semester 2003
Instructor:  John Sappington  - john@basearts.com - 707.874.9786

Location and Schedule:

Tuesday 1 - 4pm - Barnett Hall Room 1261
Thursday 1 - 4pm - Barnett Hall Room 1261 and/or Analy Hall708


The instructor will be available to assist students in Analy Hall - Digital Lab, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  For additional assistance or consultation please arrange to meet with the instructor during office hours.

Basic understanding of computer operation is necessary. Extensive use of the computer as a design tool to develop creative page layouts for print and screen. Several popular Mac-based software programs are explored to design with text and display type in a variety of formats. Applications include: Adobe Illustrator Ver. 10, Adobe Photoshop Ver. 7, Adobe InDesign Ver. 2, Pagemaker Ver. 6.5. for those working from home newer features available in the most current versions will be required to complete certain class projects. Projects include the layout and design of ads, newsletters, and booklets. Topics include: the art of typography, design and composition, aesthetics, and an overview of past and present design styles.

Outcomes and Objectives:
1. Create original layout designs in a digital format.
2. Explore various design concepts and design principles for page layout.
3. Become familiar with page layout software, and other graphics programs, specifically intended for designers.
4. Gain an understanding and appreciation of good design through practice.
5. Understand effective use of white space as a design element.
6. Become familiar with a wide variety of type fonts and their use for effective communication.
7. Refine design thinking skills (analytical and intuitive) and the ability to use one's creative imagination.
8. Learn to use the digital scanner, laser printer, photocopier and other design tools.
9. Become familiar with visual resources: books, magazines, and other publications for the graphic design field.
10. Learn about the World Wide Web/Internet as a graphics and information resource.
11. Gain an historical perspective of the important events, individuals and art/design movements relative to typographic design.
12. Exercise the ability to make critical aesthetic judgments through participation in class critiques.
13. Become familiar with the vocabulary and terms used by designers.
14. Define health and safety issues that could arise from the use of artist's tools and materials.
15. Develop projects to build a design portfolio.

Topics and Scope:
The primary intent of Art 51.4 is to develop the foundation for students wishing to pursue the study of graphic design while continuing to refine visual literacy and performance using digital tools and media.

This includes:
1. The ability to integrate new technology into the design process (computers, scanner, laser printer, photocopies, etc.)
2. Develop an understanding of visual communication concepts and problem solving for graphic design.
3. The ability to develop design work progressively from rough ideas to more resolved comprehensives.
4. The practice of design principles and visual elements central to art and graphic design.
5. The ability to make aesthetic decisions and judgments about design in the development of visual compositions.
6. The ability to perform specific techniques using the computer to demonstrate these elements (produce thumbnails and finished comprehensives using the computer, scanner, and laser printer.
7. The ability to intelligently use and care for the tools and materials of Art 51.4 (disks, computers, scanners, laser printer, color printer, color ink cartridges, and papers).

The scope and sequence of the course will be presented as follows:
1. Through lectures concerning the concepts, elements and historical precedents of art and design.
2. Through lecture/demonstrations of the proper use of equipment, software and techniques.
3. Through student practice and demonstration of compositional, expressive and technical concepts.
4. Through evaluative one-on-one discussions with individual students.
5. Through group critique discussions and presentations of in-class and homework visual compositions.

Specific areas within Art 51.4 include:
1. An overview of the computer and page layout programs.
2. Demonstrate several ways graphics software can be used to create original graphic designs.
3. Demonstrate basic design principles for the layout and design of the printed page.
4. Demonstrate and use the digital scanner to capture images.
5. Explore the design process from preliminary studies (thumbnails) to more finished designs.
6. Review the aesthetic concerns of typographic design.
7. Study the grid concept as a layout structure.
8. Demonstrate designs which successfully integrate text with graphic elements.
9. Create designs in a variety of formats: ads, newsletters, booklets, Web pages, etc.
10. Experiment with type as an expressive design element.
11. Study a variety of typeface designs and their unique aesthetic qualities.
12. Review digital type designs from the large (Adobe) and small (Emigre) type distributors.
13. Examine typographic and layout designs from various historical periods.

May include the following:
1. Create a simple lettermark design (monogram).
2. Explore several typographic designs for a business card.
3. Create a set of three ads (such as a dance center) using type only.
4. Create a series of three different ad layouts combining text and image image.
5. Create page layouts which express four important historic styles: Classical, Industrial Revolution, Modernism and Post-Modern.
6. Develop a set of "type pictures" for a class booklet.
7. Develop a set of thumbnails which explore the grid structure.
8. Design a newsletter using the grid concept.
9. Design a half-sheet order form.
10. Design a home page for the World Wide Web.
11. Design an exhibition schedule for the campus Art Gallery.
12. Experiment with type for a broadside layout (tabloid format).
13. Create a small personal book/Web Site combining text and images.


This is a degree-applicable course, but substantial writing assignments are not appropriate because the course primarily: Involves skill demonstrations or problem solving

The problem-solving assignments required:
Homework problems

The types of skill demonstrations required:
Class performances

The types of objective examinations used in the course:

Other category:
Portfolio of completed work, attendance, effort, growth, participation.

Writing assignments: 0% - 0%
Problem-solving demonstrations: 10% - 30%
Skill demonstrations: 10% - 30%
Objective examinations: 0% - 0%
Other methods of evaluation: 40% - 80%


Units: 3

Recommended: Art 18, or Art 51.1, or Art 51.2, or Art 51.3, or enrollment in the Applied Graphics Program

Grade code: CR/NC option

Repeat code: 8

Transferability: CSU


Students are required to obtain a 100 MB Zip disk formatted for either the Macintosh or PC to backup project files.

Students are also required to have an e-mail account.  These are available through the school *see below or may be a free account like those available from Hotmail, Yahoo, Freemail, Excite, etc.  Students will be expected to check this e-mail account at least once a week.  General class announcements will be reported via e-mail.

If you are a current SRJC student, you're eligible for an account on the server Student. Student offers many Internet services, including access to Internet e-mail, remote login (ssh), file transfer (scp, sftp), Usenet news groups, and the text-based (i.e. no graphics) World Wide Web browser, Lynx. Student does not support dial-in, telnet, or ftp access. You must use an encrypted access method such as SSL or SSH.

http://student.santarosa.edu/ <--- click here


Students are expected to attend all of every class meeting unless they have received prior permission from the instructor. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class meeting. Anyone absent when attendance is taken will be assumed absent from the class.   If you are late to class it is your responsibility to make sure your attendance is acknowledged by talking to the instructor. 

If a student misses two weeks of class without being excused, it can be assumed that the student is intending to drop the class. 

If you stop attending classes, you do not drop the class, and the instructor has not dropped you from the class; the instructor may be required to give you a grade of F for the class.

Graphic Design: Digital Layout

Art 51.4


DWR - Design Writing Research Writing on Graphic Design, Elen Lupton & Abbot Miller Phaidon, 1996 *Required
- Texts on Type, Critical Writings on Typography, Steven Heller and Philip B. Meggs, Allworth Press, 2001 *Required

Recommended Technical :

Illustrator 10, Visual Quickstart Guide, Elain Weinmann & Peter Lourekas, Peachpit Press 2003
Photoshop 7, Visual Quickstart Guide, Elain Weinmann & Peter Lourekas, Peachpit Press 2003
HTML for the World Wide Web, Visual Quickstart Guide, Elizabeth Castro, Peachpit Press 2002

Web Style Guide, Patricia J. Lynch and Sarah Horton, Yale University Press, 2001

Recommended Reading (Theory):

The Digital Dialectic: New Essays on New Media, Peter Lunenfeld, The MIT Press, 1999

Snap to Grid: A User's Guide to Digital Arts, Media, and Cultures, Peter Lunenfeld, The MIT Press, 2000

The Thames & Hudson Manual of Typography, Ruari McLean, Thames & Hudson, Ltd., 1980

the abc's of (symbols - triangle, square, circle) : The Bauhaus and Design Theory, Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, editors, 1999 *reprint.

The New Typography, Jan Tschichold, University of California Press, 1995

Looking Closer 2, Critical Writings on Graphic Design, Edited by Michael Bierut, William Drenttel, Steven Heller, and DK Holland, Allworth Press, 1997

Graphic Design Cookbook: mix and match recipes for faster, better layouts, Leonard Koren & R. Wippo Meckler, Chronicle Books, 1989

Great Type and Lettering Designs, David Brier, North Light Books, 1992.

Creative Typography, Marion March, North Light Books, 1988.

Type Design, Color, Character & Use, Michael Beaumont, North Light Books, 1987.

STUDENTS PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT BUY TEXTBOOKS before checking with the SRJC Bookstore.
These titles are representative only, and may not be the same ones used in your class.


Graphic Design: Digital Layout

Art 51.4

Course Schedule

Weeks 1-9 Course Calendar and Assignments

Week 1

Introduction to Digital Page Design - Course Structure and Objectives - Signature Moment


Portfolio Presentations - Review Signature Exercise
show and tell : 3 examples(photos) of typography/signage from life.

type in life

Week 2

Application: Illustrator

Assignment: Modify Limited Character Set - Alphabet +0-9
and example of use.
Example files - Letterform Manipulation
A and B


Review: Character Sets
Remaining Portfolio Presentations Presentations

Assignment: 1 + 2 Representative Letterforms
Select and perfect modified letterform (lower and upper case)- producing 1 assigned letter from the alphabet and 2 others of personal choice.

show and tell : 3 compelling product labels

Week 3

Application: Illustrator w/ Intro to Photoshop
( unanswered questions - letterforms to swatches, bit depth control?, ?)
Lecture/Dialogue: Letterforms

Parts of the Letter (supporting materials)


Review: Mastered Letter(form)
Lecture/Dialogue: Letterform Histories - Type Classifications - Parts of a Letter - Legibility - Traditions - Digitization
Critique : Letterforms

Week 4

Review: Remaining Critique of Mastered Letter(form)

Finishing up Photoshop / Illustrator / Intro to page layout.
Exploring the digital page.

Reading: DWR - Chapters - Deconstruction and Graphic Design



Submit: Mastered Letter(form)
Final Dimensions - 4.5 x 4.5

Week 5

Application: Pagemaker
Page Exercises: 1-24 - PageExplorations1-24 (supporting materials)
Single Page per excercise, 4.5 x 4.5

Reading: DWR - Chapters - Laws of the Letter & Period Styles




Week 6

Application: Pagemaker continued... Principles of Page Layout

Reading: DWR - Chapters - Modern Heiroglyphs, Language of Dreams


Lecture/Dialogue: Critique "Favored Text" Layout
Second iteration of "Favored Text" Layout

show and tell : product, graffiti

Week 7

Application: Re-Critique "Favored Text" Layout

Reading: DWR - Chapters - Body of the Book & Language of Vision


Lecture/Dialogue: Historical Periods
Assignment: Utilizing "favored text" create 2 layouts that imply or reference 2 of the historical periods below:

Critique : Historical Layouts - Section I
show and tell : universal symbols

Week 8
Reading: TonT - Principle of the New Typography pgs.115-128
DWR - Chapters - Disciplines of Design


Review: Historical Styles /
Critique: Historical Layouts - Section I

show and tell : contemp. ads w/ historical references/implications

Week 9

Lecture/Dialogue : Historical Styles - Section II
Assignment: Utilizing "favored text" create 2 layouts that imply or reference 2 of the historical periods below:

early Modern

Vienna secession
Influence of Modern Art
Pictorial Modernism?

De Stijl (The Style)

Reading: TonT - The Bauhaus Tradition and the New Typography pgs. 129-138
TonT - A Post-Mortem on Deconstruction pgs. 45-47


Lecture/Dialogue: Historical Periods Continued
Critique: Historical Layouts - Section II

Mid-Term - Individual Reviews

Reading: TonT - From De Stijl to New Typography, pg. 100, The New Typography, pg. 108
DWR - Low and High, pg.15

Week 10

Lecture/Dialogue : Historical Layouts - Section III
Mid-Term - Individual Reviews

Assignment: Utilizing "favored text" create 2 layouts that imply or reference 2 of the historical periods below:

Mid - Late Modernism

Reading: TonT - on typography, pg. 110, Grid and Design Philosophy, pg. 198
DWR - McLuhan / Fiore, pg. 91


Lecture/Dialogue: Historical Periods Continued
Critique: Historical Layouts - Section III
Mid-Term - Individual Reviews
Reading: TonT - Zombie Modernism, pg. 139
DWR - Line Art, pg.73

Week 11

Application: Historical Layouts - Section III

Mid-Term - Individual Reviews Continued

Reading: DWR - Graphic Design in America, pg. 168


Critique: Historical Layouts - Section III Completed

Week 12

Assignment: Create "Favored Text" Final Design - Larger format (Minimum 11X14 Maximum 13X19) for Exhibition Analy Hall April 15-25.

TonT - Electronic Typography - pg.233, The Trouble with Type - pg. 223, A Plea for Authentic Type Design - pg. 34


Assignment: Favored Text Design Continues

Reading: TonT - An Existential Guide to Type - pg. 21

Week 13

Assignment: Favored Text Design Continues

Reading: Review Internet Resources - Artists and Designers Listing. Scour internet and compile Favorites Listing and comment.

Review this link: http://www.netzwissenschaft.de/kuenst.htm

Continues through 5.13


Assignment: Submit Final "Favored Text Design + Print for Exhbition Analy Hall April 10-25.
Page Explorations 24-END - PDF Template


Week 14

Projects: Project Teams - Define and Scope




Research, Writing and Design. Client Meetings?


Week 15

Spring Break - No Class


Spring Break - No Class


Week 16

Projects: Research, Writing and Design. Client Meetings?


Projects: Research, Writing and Design. Client Meetings?


Week 17

Projects: Design


Projects: Design Final


Week 18

Application: HTML Basics - Dreamweaver

Review Favorites Listing

http://www.cedesign.net/help2j.htm Submitted by KC
Also, check out the internet resources available for HTML basics.


Application: HTML Continued - CSS - Style Sheets -


Week 20


Final Day


Class Projects:


1) Chef Franco's - Menu / Web Site? /


2) Rodney Strong - Port Label


3) StrollAbout - SF Startup

Materials in Class Folder (MCL Server)


Internet Resources