Designer Research ’19

In order to understand design we need to be able to understand where it came from, where it is going and what trends are happening. With this project we are going to be looking into a designer assigned in class to understand them, create a brochure emulating them and then presenting them to the class. Each student must get a copy of the brochure as well as myself. We will be working on this some in class Thursday, January 17th.

Presentations to be done during class Tuesday, January 22rd.

Brochure due before class (to hand out during your presentation) Tuesday, January 22rd.

Specification sheet (pdf)


God of Carnage Poster Re-Design ’19

This homework is to get us going this semester. We will need to re-design the God of Carnage poster located in the homework docs folder on the class Google drive.

Due: Thursday, January 17th

Specification sheet (pdf)

Re-Design it again!

This time take into account any comments made during critique and utilize a grid structure. This one will be graded with design as a factor. Be sure to print the grid you used.

Due: In Class Thursday, January 17th

Specification sheet (pdf)

Syllabus ’19

PDF Version

This course is designed to introduce printing process, the development of professional practices, web design, refinement of your design aesthetic and the continuation of software development in solving design problems. This class will include lectures, demonstrations, in-class critiques/reviews and in/outside-class studio activities/assignments.
If you have any questions during the semester, please don’t hesitate to contact me by email, or in person in my office.

Catalog Description
ART 320 – Graphic Design-Visual Communication I: Visual Solutions  3 hrs.
Introductory-level design course oriented toward the development and understanding of the conceptual and creative processes utilized in design to achieve effective visual solutions. Graphics development, page layout, typography, typesetting and production skills in print and web are developed and/or refined.

Course Objectives

  • Become sensitive to the visual concerns of typography and image as it relates to
    the design.
  • Encourage designers to conceive, plan, and execute designs that communicate a specific message to a specific audience within the given limitations.
  • Encourage and continue development of problem solving skills and concepts
  • Acquire design skills required for future career opportunities
  • Introduce/reinforce digital technology and best practices as related to the design, printing process and web/digital environment.

Meeting Times
January 14th through May 3rd 2019, Tuesday and Thursday, 7:30 to 10:20 a.m. in Ophelia Parrish room 1220/1224
Three credit hour studio course, meets for six in class hours as well as a minimum of six hours of work outside of class per week.

Forms, folds, Sizes by Poppy Evans (required)
HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites by Jon Puckett (required)
Color Index (required) and Color Index 2 by Jim Krause (recommended)
A subscription to Communication Arts (recommended)
Winning Portfolios for Graphic Designers by Cath Caldwell (recommended)
Learning Web Design: A Designer’s Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Web Graphics by Jennifer Niederst Robbins (recommended)
Current industry periodicals as required. (ex: How, CA . . . ) (recommended)

Homework (sometimes referred to as turn and burns) will be given on a daily basis in addition to regular projects. These can range from technical to design issues for you to resolve. These are to be included in your process book. You may get multiple homework assignments at a time.

Quizzes will be over any information from the class blog, lectures, assignments and handouts. If you are tardy the day of a quiz you can only take the quiz if there are still students completing, once all are turned in the opportunity for the points is missed. Unexcused absence the day of the quiz forfeits the quiz points.

Projects will be larger assignments in conjunction with the homework. These will take multiple class periods and can have multiple steps to be turned in. Many of the steps to deal with the process of design creation.

Tracking Time
You will be tracking the time spent on all work for this course using the website You should not have to pay for the basic service. Turn in requests of the time-sheet for a project will be at the professor’s discretion on the date assignment is due. Homework assignment tracking will not be collected, but it must be logged as the assignment is done to be available for printing at professor’s request.

Process Book
In this course you will need to have a process book/design idea diary/journal for the semester. This book should be kept in a 3-ring binder (8.5” x 11”), best with folders/separators for the sections. Will be checked and graded incrementally throughout the semester. The purpose is to organize your thoughts, ideas and process for preparation in the real world!

Items to include in your process book:

  • time tracking – full and summary report printed for each check, to include time logged for each homework and project assignment
  • Ideas/Visual Inspirations/Imagery from magazines, books, on-line, etc. – each assignment should have multiple that you looked at and researched for ideas
  • Sketches – multiples for each assignment, even if not a part of what is turned in
  • Notes/Journal – daily record for each class including information on demos, activities, lectures and projects
  • Quizzes
  • Extra Credit available for organization – Using a 3-ring binder, dividers,
    folders and labeling, can add to it. The easier it is for me to check the more you get.

Supplies, Software and Extras

  • Laptop or desktop computer – A laptop can be brought to class to work, but usually has less capability than desktop. A minimum of 8GB of RAM for this class, but 16GB or more RAM recommended to be suitable for future classes.
  • Sketchbook with removable pages to be placed into process book
  • Notebook/paper for idea generation, preparation, setup and note taking
  • 3-ring binder and folders/dividers for process book
  • Storage Device 32GB minimum, 64GB+ recommended – Jump-drives, external hard drives
  • Digital Camera (recommended)
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Software Subscription – We will be using multiple programs from this collection including InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Animate, and Dreamweaver mostly, though we may touch on others.
  • Web browser: Chrome (others are necessary for testing)
  • Inkjet Paper – 8.5 x 11 and 13 x 19 glossy or luster (Epson recommended)
  • Spray mount – Super 77 recommended (DO NOT use or even get out when in the OP!)
  • Black Foam Core – to mount some projects on
  • 36” –  48” metal ruler for cutting foam core, paper and mat board
  • Cutting knife – It is up to you what kind of knife you get (x-acto, utility, etc), it is vital that it is sharp and has replaceable blades such that you are able to cleanly cut through foam core, mat board and paper with it
  • You may also need to purchase additional supplies as needed.

Absentee Policy
Attendance is taken daily. Greater than 3 unexcused absences will result in reduction of your final grade by one letter (four is one letter, five is two, six is three and seven auto fails). Requests for excused absences should be submitted to the professor (and acknowledged as such) before the class to be missed. This includes sports practices or away competitive events, band or other professor-led group trips sponsored by faculty/university administration. This does not include Fraternity, Sorority or other extra curricular type of activities. If you are sick you must notify the professor as quickly as possible. Determination of the absence (excused or not) is at the discretion of the professor. DO NOT ABUSE!

Tardiness & Leaving Early Policy
Tardiness will not be tolerated and if abused tardiness and leaving early will count as full absence. You will be notified when the next tardy will count as a full absence. If tardiness is greater than 30 minutes it will be counted as a full absence. I keep very strict attendance records, be warned! Determination of the absence is at the discretion of the professor. DO NOT ABUSE!

Effort Policy
Students who are late to class, unprepared or who do not participate will receive reduced grades when applicable. Any late or incomplete projects will result in failure on the project; unless such is the result of an excused absence (in which case every effort should be made to turn in the project early). Excuse-ability will be determined by your effort throughout the course of the project and at the professor’s discretion.

Cell Phones
Turn it OFF or leave it on mute, so that phone does not disrupt the class. If it becomes a problem you may be asked to leave the class and an unexcused absence will be assessed.

Laptop computers are allowed in the classroom and work good for working on assignments during class. Audio should be muted during class time. Headphones may be used once the time for work during class has begun, otherwise they should be put away. Laptops should be closed and notes taken by hand during lectures and critiques. If necessary you may be asked to close the computer to be sure attention is on the activity of the day.

Computer labs
Food or drinks are allowed in the labs but NOT at the tables with computers in the lab at ANY time! If this privilege is abused food and drink will be removed from the lab for the remaining of the semester.

Spray Mount
Spray mount is not allowed in any of the graphic design labs. If you are caught spraying in this building (other than a designated area in studio area), you will drop one letter grade from the course. Do NOT bring in any bottles/cans of spray mount or the professors will confiscate it.

By enrolling in this Truman State University Art Department course, permission is granted by the student, to the university to use any artwork, designs or illustrations, as demonstrative samples of student work for the stated course, in competitions, university publications, websites or multimedia promotions.

Plagiarism/Cheating Policy
Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses and may be punished by failure on the exam, paper or project; failure in the course; and/or expulsion from the university.

TSU will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Students need to contact the Director of Disability Services and the professor as early in the semester as possible to ensure that classroom and academic accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. All communication between students, the Office of Disability Services, and the professor will be strictly confidential.

As an professor, one of my priorities is to help create a safe learning environment. I also have a mandatory reporting responsibility related to my role as a faculty member. I am required to share information regarding sexual misconduct or information about a crime that may have occurred on Truman’s campus with the University. Students may speak to someone confidentially by contacting University Counseling Services at 660-785-4014 (660-665-5621 for after-hours crisis counseling).

Final course grade will be determined based on points acquired throughout the semester. Each assignment will be given a point value and graded based on requirements set at the time it is assigned. This can/will include reports, critique participation, quizzes, projects and assignments. Every assignment must be completed and turned in on time to get full credit. If a project or assignment is turned in, but not satisfactorily completed based on the given requirements the professor may require you to re-do it.

A – 100-90%. Excellent Work, reflected by:
• Meeting deadlines for all stages of projects as scheduled.
• The development of preliminary research as outlined by the professor.
• Strong evidence of creative process demonstrated via the idea diary.
• Communicating desired concepts/ideas to a selected audience.
• Using space effectively by creating dynamic, foundational elements of visual communications: letter forms, image/illustrations, organizational strategies.
• Technical proficiency
• Maintaining a professional attitude in your work.
• Shows quality project presentation to the class (demonstrating communication skills).
• Top project(s) in class.
• Will almost certainly do well in the professional field

B – 89-80%. Good Work (above average)
• Very solid effort.
• May be lacking qualities listed in A description.
• Will likely do well in the professional field

C – 79-70%. Fair Work (average)
• Completes projects as assigned.
• May be lacking qualities listed in A description
• May or may not remain in the field

D – 69-60%. Poor Work (below average)
• Effort lacking, poor attendance to class
• Suggest dropping course if received frequently.
• Meet with the professor for guidance.
• Should be guided into a more appropriate field

F – 59-0%. Failure
• Major problems with projects (or not turned in).
• Suggest dropping course if received frequently.
• Should be guided into a more appropriate field

Grading Reminder:
More than three absences will result in letter grade reductions (four is one letter reduction, five is two, six is three, seven is auto fail).
Unexcused absence on a project due date will result in a letter grade reduction for said project or assignment. If a quiz is missed due to tardiness or unexcused absence no credit will be awarded.


Event Poster ’18

This poster is geared towards you having to find and determining what needs to be on a poster to promote an event. You are to select an event here at Truman (current, upcoming or past) and promote it. Things to consider include who, what,  when, where, etc. Please refer to the specification sheet below for specifics.

Due: Tuesday, May 1st

Specification sheet (pdf)

Truman ID ’18

Lets take a look at the Truman ID card and re-design it. We will need to make four versions: faculty, staff, graduate student and student. Be sure to look at and follow the rules posted in the classroom for the logo and the files available on the class Google drive. See the specification sheet below for the details and requirements.

Due: Tuesday, April 24th

Specification sheet (pdf)

Self Promotion ’18

This project is geared toward you focusing on yourself and providing some self expression into who you are as a person and a design at this point. This piece is intended to be a selling point for you to include in your portfolio or to practice package design.

Please refer to the specification sheet, pdf attached below, for more on specifics and requirements for each part.

Part 1: Research, Resume and Sketching
Due: Tuesday, April 17th

Part 2: Finalize packaging, progress on design and finishing your mark
Due: Thursday, April 19th

Part 3: Finalizing the Layout and Mockup
Due: Thursday, April 26th

Part 4: Final piece completed and photographed
Due: Thursday, May 3rd

Specification sheet (pdf)