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Degree Courses - Communication Design

DS200: Communication Design I
In Communication Design I, fundamentals of communication design are introduced to the student with theoretical and applied studies in graphic design, problem solving, communication and presentation.

This semester course is the development of procedures and techniques involved in the process of creative problem solving related to communication design. This course also introduces the relationship of typography and image and how this relationship solves communication problems through a visual means. Emphasis is on tools and their proper use, organization of elements, use of typography, and presentation.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): F100, F110, F130


DS201: Communication Design II
Communication Design II is a continuation of study of the basic elements and principles of 2-D design and their application to the practice of communication design.

Coursework will enable the student to further develop critical thought and aesthetic response and explore further the tools of visual communication. The class will further explore typographic form and begin a review of historical influences and movements in the field of visual communication. These objectives will be achieved through a series of in-depth studio projects, short exercises, demonstrations, critiques and lectures. Studio projects and exercises will include assignments involving various typographic explorations and studies, a poster, and the development and implementation of an expansive short-term identity system.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): DS200


DS202: Typography I
The Typography courses provide students with an understanding of the integral use of typography in the overall design concept. Type as a communicative and creative element is explored. Students become familiar with the organizational skills necessary for clear communication as well as the formative aspects of typographic symbols and arrangement.

Typography I is an introductory course that deals with the history and practice of using typography in design. This course will familiarize students with several methods for structuring type so that they might gain an understanding of how typographic variables and the principles of legibility and readability affect visual communication. Each student will be encouraged to develop their own personal awareness of and appreciation for typography; so that they will become equipped with the terminology, theory and practice necessary for making design decisions that facilitate understanding among their intended audience.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): F110, F113/F115


DS203: Typography II
Typography II provides students with an understanding of the integral use of typography in the overall design concept. Type as a communicative and creative element is explored. Students become familiar with the organizational skills necessary for clear communication as well as the formative aspects of typographic symbols and arrangement.

Course work will enable the student to participate in an advanced study of typographic design, which focuses on the development of skills and sensibilities that allow designers to effectively communicate with type. Concentration will be placed on exercises in and the analysis of the perceptual aspects of communication, the ways in which we derive meaning from and contribute meaning to our cultural environment using type. In other words, to explore and clarify the relationships between the spoken word and mass-produced visual language-print and pixel-based words.

A continuum of Typography I, Typography II offers an advanced understanding of how typographic variables (placement, order of chronology, size, weight, leading, column width, alignment, style, orientation, and choice of typeface) and principles of legibility and readability affect visual communication. The logistical issues of planning and organizing paginated systems, information system and type in motion will also be presented. Each student will be encouraged to continue to develop the personal awareness necessary for making design decisions that facilitate understanding among their intended audience.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): DS202


DS230: Computer Studio I
This course is an introduction to the use of the computer and essential software as tools for the visual communicator. In Computer Studio I, students become acquainted with the Macintosh computing platform by engaging in an intensive and thorough exploration of the software/hardware commonly used by designers and artists. Through demonstrations and experimentation, students will learn the fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop (as well as other design/utility applications) and their roll in print media and digital pre-press.

This one semester, three-credit course is designed to introduce sophomore-level communication design students to the Macintosh computing environment as a tool, and perhaps as a medium, for concepting and composing visual communications. An introduction to basic computer functionality will take place, followed by directed projects which will introduce students to working with Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator software to produce communication design solutions that may be successfully taken to press. The incorporation of the graphics applications platform as a foundative element in the process of design will be explored. This course has not been conceived and will not be taught merely as a means by which students will learn these two software applications. Rather, the course structure will stress me use of this software as a means to engaging in the design process, as a method for creating graphic communications that may be output as press-ready film, laser comps, or output directly to a digital press.

Credits:
Prerequisite(s): F113/F115


DS231: Computer Studio II
Computer Studio II will build upon skills and techniques developed in Computer Studio 1. Through demonstrations and exploration of tools available in Photoshop, students will develop a thorough understanding of photo manipulation software and some of its uses for the visual communicator. In addition to Photoshop, students will learn basic skills associated with Fireworks and Flash.

The course will include demonstrations, exercises, quizzes, and projects. Though texts will be used to supplement student learning, this course is not a self-guided tour and instruction on a day-to-day basis is a necessary component of the class.

Along with the teaching of the software application, course content should allow for the integration of basic design principles, including hierarchy, compositional arrangement and typographic form.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): DS230


DS300: Communication Design III
In Communication Design III students reinforce skills introduced during Communication Design I and II. The visual language of design as expressed through the understanding of professional design techniques, mechanics and practices will be examined through problems related to identity and environmental graphics.
• provide students with an overview of the skills and understanding needed in the visual identity and environmental graphics experience through the completion of four specific project phases.
• further strengthen the students ability to conceptualize, draw, and apply various mediums and methods to visual solutions to communication problems
• to introduce students to the ability to anticipate and manage human experiences as they relate to identity design and environmental graphics
• to provide a heightened awareness of a place or an event through the design of its environment • composition, visualization, managing or organizing solutions to problems, designing with contents,
quality of analysis and depth inquiry

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): DS201


DS302: Information Graphics
The theories and skills introduced in Communication Design I and II are revisited and further developed in Information Graphics. The development of students' abilities to design and facilitate people-oriented communications by organizing and restructuring the flow of information will be emphasized, as will their abilities to relate their writing skills to the formulation and evolution of visual communication problems.

This course will teach students to effectively and efficiently find and assimilate information, and then to interpret and understand what they have gathered. Students in this course will be challenged to complete projects that have been designed to familiarize them with a specific type of information design. Individual students will gain process-based experience pertinent to the development of their own personal problem-solving methods, which they might then use to design diagrams, charts, interfaces, instructions, maps and schedules.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): DS201 and DS202


DS303: Packaging Design
In Packaging Design, students are introduced to the process of designing three-dimensional containers, individually or as systems for the mutual benefit of the end-user and the manufacturer. Emphasis is placed on symbols, shape, color, illustration and typography and how they relate to three-dimensional problems.

The course work is designed to give the student an introduction to the:
• Materials, printing techniques, and production methods specific to certain packaging types
• Effect and influence packaging design can have upon customers
• Creation of presentation quality packaging projects in 2D and 3D
• Role of packaging designers and market researchers through guest lectures
• Packaging manufacturing processes through site tours
• Basis of market research through written presentation of their own specific market evaluation.
• Environmental impact of packaging

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): DS201 and DS202


DS305: Advertising Design
Advertising Design is designed to familiarize the student with the profession of Art Direction within and advertising agency or design firm environment. Students learn the fundamentals of advertising, from a historical perspective as well as lectures on marketing, media options, research, account service, copy writing, illustration, photography and self promotion.

Course work will enable the student to participate in an advanced study of the advertising design process focusing on the development of skills that allow designers to effectively brainstorm concepts while visualizing and verbalizing appropriate strategies for both print and broadcast executions. The course will focus on the skill set needed to be an art director. Advertising trends in print advertising, web, outdoor, transit, broadcast, internet and new media will be covered within this course, as well as partnerships in the creative process. Measuring the effectiveness of advertising will also be an important component.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): DS200, DS201


DS330: Computer Studio III
An introduction and expansion of the web design process, tools and workflow for creating and building professional modern websites. Focus will be on the learning of HTML5, CSS3 and an introduction to Javascript/jQuery served with a side order of PHP. Also included will be keyword phrase exploration, search engine optimization (SEO) and set-up of Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools to make your site findable. We will also explore creating design solutions that consider the user interface and user experience (UX/UI) and how your website will appear on mobile and desktop devices.

Computer Studio III is the perfect introduction for web site development for MIAD designers because it's being taught by a designer. Assuming you’re reasonably confident with some Adobe design products, and enjoy browsing the web, you’ll find this a designer to designer introduction to the world of building web pages. From HTML to CSS then to Javascript and finally PHP, you’ll be introduced to the basics of building a site, hosting it, and maintaining it – and you’ll be learning it the right way from the start. All projects will start with the target audience of the site in mind. We'll then design the site's mood and it's navigation. From there we'll code it and get the site online. We'll also talk about Adobe Dreamweaver, content management systems (CMS) like Wordpress, responsive web design, graceful degradation and progressive enhancement, search engine optimization and adding social media feeds, youtube videos and Google maps to your site.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): DS231


DS331: Advanced Computer Studio
In Advanced Computer Studio, uilding upon the web-standards based skills derived from DS330 Computer Studio III, students will begin to explore the possibilities and opportunities of driving design through the intentional use of interactivity and behaviors. Adobe Flash is introduced as one of the many interactive options for creating custom online applications and presentations. Students will learn to drive their designs and interactive experiences through the introduction and utilization of ActionScript 3.0. Beginning with tween-based animations and ending with code-based animations, students will be able to create lean user experiences that will hand off alternate content when Adobe Flash is not supported.
Moving forward with alternative interactive options that are supported on today's most popular mobile devices; an introduction to HTML5 and Canvas are also explored. Students are given the opportunity to design, develop and compare between the advantages and drawbacks of Adobe Flash, JQuery and the emergence of HTML5.
An introduction to video editing and video based motion graphics are introduced through the use of the Final Cut Pro suite from Apple. Kinetic design experiences are explored and created through the utilization of these tools for deployment across today's most utilized media channels.
Students will also explore the effects that interactive design has on website and social media marketing analytics.
Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): DS330


DS400: Communication Design IV
Students enrolled in Communication Design IV will address the issue of cross media content delivery. They will assess the similarities and differences in approach when information migrates from one medium to another. They will work col- laboratively and develop an effective problem solving meth- odology. Periodically they will analyze each other’s work so that they may gain critical insight from the investigations of their peers and will work to develop a thesis proposal that will be implemented in the spring term.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): DS330


DS401: Communication Design Thesis
In Communication Design Thesis students will develop a major, self-defined, design investigation based in either the theory or practice of communication design. They will be challenged to independently guide their projects through a process that leads to results in which the message for the intended audience is clear. That process will require research, an understanding of professional practice, independent thinking, collaboration and risk taking. Students will take responsibility for their learning by identifying their own problem solving methodology. The discovery process will be documented and assessed in a final project/process document.

The Communication Design Senior Project is approached through a continuous, year-long experience with the fall semester focused on research, sketching and preliminary design and the spring semester focused on final designs, exhibit design and presentation.

Thesis is a self-defined project framed as an investigation. Students formulate a question and complete research that encompasses a substantive understanding of related topics, competitor analysis solutions, and target audience. Students identify a unique, innovative, research-based, theoretical or applied solution to the investigation. Solutions emerge from the design process rather than a preconceived result. Outside input plays a vital role through brainstorming sessions, questions posed, collaboration, and evaluation. Students present their work at pivotal points throughout the year which concludes with final presentations of their final project that is on review at the collaborative senior show.

Fall Semester (DS401) Students begin with discovery of a thesis topic of investigation through directed writing. Once a topic is established, students will collect primary and secondary research on the problem, competitors and target audience, and present their findings to the class. Once research has been exhausted, students develop appropriate design solutions through identifying the design components and continuing the design process through the creation of concepts, sketches, and drafts.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): Senior standing in Communication Design


DS402: Communication Design Thesis
In Communication Design Thesis students will develop a major, self-defined, design investigation based in either the theory or practice of communication design. They will be challenged to independently guide their projects through a process that leads to results in which the message for the intended audience is clear. That process will require research, an understanding of professional practice, independent thinking, collaboration and risk taking. Students will take responsibility for their learning by identifying their own problem solving methodology. The discovery process will be documented and assessed in a final project/process document.

The Communication Design Senior Project is approached through a continuous, year-long experience with the fall semester focused on research, sketching and preliminary design and the spring semester focused on final designs, exhibit design and presentation.

Thesis is a self-defined project framed as an investigation. Students formulate a question and complete research that encompasses a substantive understanding of related topics, competitor analysis solutions, and target audience. Students identify a unique, innovative, research-based, theoretical or applied solution to the investigation. Solutions emerge from the design process rather than a preconceived result. Outside input plays a vital role through brainstorming sessions, questions posed, collaboration, and evaluation. Students present their work at pivotal points throughout the year which concludes with final presentations of their final project that is on review at the collaborative senior show.

Spring Semester (DS402) Students will revise and complete their investigation solution and then design an exhibit space that engages gallery viewers and reveals the results of their investigation. The space will be assigned by a college committee and the ways it can be used will be determined by the committee. There will be limits on the use of college equipment, sound, and installation space. Students will document and reflect upon their design process in
a process book that illuminates the path from topic of investigation to concept and realization.
It will include a written explanation of the exploration and assess its success.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): DS401


DS405: Professional Portfolio/Practice
Professional Portfolio / Practice gives each student an opportunity to assemble her/his work from both school and professional practice experiences into a professional presentation format for review by prospective employers, clients, or graduate school admissions committees.

This course is a culmination of study in communication design at MIAD. It is an opportunity to assemble a body of work that represents the student's understanding, approach and practice of the chosen discipline. A study of anticipated career paths, their expectations and the transition from student to working professional will be explored. The class will help to finesse presentation skills and methods, address employment opportunities and approaches to finding them utilizing current technologies and avenues. Presentations by practicing professionals and recent graduates will be a part of this course offering. Studio projects and exercises will include assignments involving various typographic explorations and studies, improvements and revisions to existing work and, the creation of new work. The class will end with each student finalizing work to be included in a professional portfolio review with contacts from local agencies and design firms.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): DS400



Download the 2013-14 Program of Study Catalog, with every Major and all course descriptions.

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