Courses

Conceptual design and technical skills are combined to produce a competitive portfolio. Instructors with industry experience lead students in consecutive integrated tracks of print design and interaction design, which includes but is not limited to, Advertising, Branding, Poster Design, Typography, Environmental Design, Packaging, Web Design, UI/UX, Mobile Apps, AR/VR and Motion. Problem-solving, strategy development, and powerful use of typography and visuals achieve our communication solutions. Classes are organized in collegial work groups mirroring a professional studio environment. Design theory and practice, along with production using current computer software; prepare students for a graphic design career in print and interactive media.

Quarter One
DES 110: History of Graphic Design
3.5 credits
Explores the global history of visual communication and the graphic arts in media, commerce, and the social sphere. The field of graphic design, in particular, has continually evolved to align with and ultimately elevate the ever-changing landscape of technology and culture.


DES 131: Graphic Design I
3.5 credits
This foundation course lays the groundwork for all other design classes. In-class projects and homework assignments introduce students to the terminology, process and social context of graphic design. Each project offers students ways to experiment with building visual ideas using both traditional image-making techniques and digital technology. Thought, idea and the communication of that idea, in visual form and presentation style, is paramount.


DES 151: Interactive I
3.5 credits
Introduces principles of User Experience Design (UX), and skills required for front-end development, specifically HTML and CSS. Students will be introduced to concepts such as user research, user testing, personas, and task flows while building responsive websites and learning how to use basic prototyping tools


DES 145: Graphic Production I
3.5 credits
The purpose of this course is to introduce the basic foundation and building blocks necessary in successfully using the vector-based graphic program, Adobe Illustrator. This course focuses on basic skills, concepts, & techniques. Students are given the concepts and skills necessary to use and understand the software tools and pallets. Emphasis is placed on the mastery of the building blocks using shapes and layout to create icons, logos, graphic renderings and illustrations.


NME 110: New Media I
6 credits
The course provides students with authentic tasks and projects preparing them for real-world work demands encountered in their respective fields. Students work collaboratively in a project-based curriculum, exploring the role of communications in the context of New Media and society. Additional objectives of New Media are to develop skills that form the basis for future career work in the creative arts disciplines-all of which relate to general media-and to begin to establish professional contacts.

Quarter Two
DES 121: Typography I
3.5 credits 
Students will learn the basic principles of micro typography in this course: the anatomy of letters, how to adapt letterforms, letter and word spacing, line spacing, and how to create hierarchy within the text. By focusing on the details of letters, sentences and page layout, students will create expressive typography, experiment with readability, legibility and meaning, understand the classifications of type, and apply the text as hierarchical arrangements on a page.


DES 132: Graphic Design II
3.5 credits
The purpose of this course is to introduce color and its application to design. This class will combine academic and hands-on approaches to help students learn and practice color theory and explore ways color is used in culture and methods that designers employ in making their work effective. Class formats will be a combination of discussions, exercises and projects that will offer insight into the world of color in all forms of design. We will work both in physicality and on the computer, to understand how color exists in both worlds.


DES 152: Interactive II
3.5 credits 
Continues the exploration of User Experience Design (UX), and skills required for front-end development, specifically HTML and CSS. Students will be introduced to concepts such as Design Thinking, Design Systems, Empathy Maps, Customer Journey Maps, Prototyping tools, and SVG animation.


DES 146: Graphic Production II
3.5 credits 
This course introduces the basic foundation and building blocks necessary to successfully use the page layout program, Adobe InDesign. This course focuses on basic skills, concepts, & techniques. Students develop the concepts and skills necessary to design and build page layouts from simple to complex. Emphasis is placed on text flow and editing, placing graphics created in Illustrator/Photoshop, page layout using grids and guides, and print production.


NME 120: New Media II
6 credits 
This interdisciplinary Creative Academy course, the second of a three-course series, brings together Graphic Design and Visual Media students to apply skills to complete integrative design assignments. Students are given authentic tasks and projects preparing them for real-world work demands encountered in their respective fields. Students work collaboratively in this project-based curriculum, exploring the role and interplay of design and communications in the context of New Media and society.

Quarter Three
DES 122: Typography II
3.5 credits 
This course focuses on macro typography, using the grid for page construction. Page structure, hierarchy principles and grid systems will be explored and practiced through assigned exercises and projects.


DES 133: Graphic Design III
3.5 credits 
This course covers the design of packaging: three-dimensionality, marketing insights and innovations in technology. We look at consumption and how packaging communicates to consumers. Projects include, for example, soda bottles, folding box packages and a line of products, mocked up to a high standard of polish.


DES 153: Interactive III
3.5 credits 
Advanced principles of Web Design and User Experience Design, building on the core principles of the previous two quarters. Students will build complex websites with advanced techniques such as CSS Grid and Animated SVG, and explore additional prototyping tools such as Webflow while exploring emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality and Voice Design.


DES 147: Graphic Production III
3.5 credits 
This course focuses on basic skills, concepts, and techniques using the pixel-based program, Adobe Photoshop. Students learn how to successfully color correct a photo using curves and levels. Emphasis is placed on creating a non-destructive workflow and on using the correct selection tool for the job. Necessary skills such as compositing with layers, selections, masking, channels, retouching, layer effects, smart objects and blending modes are taught.


NME 130: New Media III
6 credits 
This is the final of a three-course series in which advanced techniques will be applied and explored. The course provides students with authentic tasks and projects preparing them for real-world work demands encountered in their respective fields. Students work collaboratively in a project-based curriculum, exploring the role of communications in the context of New Media and society.

Quarter Four
DES 231: Graphic Design IV
4 credits 
The purpose of this course is to explore advertising, art direction and photo direction, emphasizing expressive, creative and collaborative problem solving, and to continue developing research skills. We learn techniques for creating engaging ads for a variety of media, and how to target the right market with the right message.


DES 232: Graphic Design V
4 credits 
This course explores the multi-page editorial design, taking into account the audience and existing advertising base. While the focus will be on magazines, the skills developed are also applicable to other common design tasks annual reports, business documents, newspapers, brochures, newsletters and other multi-page documents.


DES 251: Interactive IV
4 credits 
Advanced principles of Interaction Design including eCommerce Websites, continued exploration of CSS Grid, prototyping tools, design thinking, design for the public good, social media strategies, and Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress.


DES 240: Design Thinking

4 credits 
A hands-on exploration of design thinking and public speaking tools geared at helping students produce novel solutions and present them effectively. Students will explore design thinking methodology, employ creativity tools, prompts, and sprints to become more agile and confident creative problem solvers.


DES 280: Special Projects I
4 credits 
This is the first in a series of three courses designed to expand current graphic design knowledge and skills, offering students the opportunity to work on a major self-initiated design project. The course emphasizes research and the design process that leads to a successful design solution. By engaging in a unique quarter-long project, students have the opportunity to develop strong portfolio pieces – with the ultimate goal of employment.

Quarter Five
DES 270: Environmental Graphics
4 credits 
Explores graphic designs that are sensitive to human scale in both built and natural environments, including way-finding systems, informational signs and symbols, exhibit design and ornamental solutions.


DES 233: Graphic Design VI
4 credits 
This course will concentrate on poster design as a form of visual communication. Emphasis will be on conceptual visual problem solving for different audiences and outcomes. Students will experiment with grid layouts and with brainstorming methods to expand upon their ideas, and then print their visual solutions on our large-format inkjet printers.


DES 234: Graphic Design VII
4 credits 
This course will be spent developing brands for businesses, non-profits and governmental agencies. Students will focus on research, brainstorming ideas and developing a strategy for their organization’s brand. The remainder of the course will be devoted to the creative development of the brand as expressed through various media.


DES 252: Interactive V
4 credits 
Introduction to Motion Graphics and how it relates to Web design and development. Focus on using Adobe AfterEffects to create video and animation projects for web, TV, and Film.


DES 281: Special Projects II
4 credits 
This is the second in a series of three courses designed to expand current graphic design knowledge and skills, offering students the opportunity to work on a major self-initiated design project. The course emphasizes research and the design process that leads to a successful design solution. By engaging in a unique quarter-long project, students have the opportunity to develop strong portfolio pieces – with the ultimate goal of employment.

Quarter Six
DES 235: Graphic Design IX
4 credits 
Students acquire work contracts with a client and apply their design skills in exchange for a fair wage or equitable trade. Students receive practical experience with pricing and negotiating fees, writing proposals and design briefs, organizing efficient timelines, managing workflows, and applying basic accounting and business practices. Students are provided with ethical guidelines for conduct and behavior within the design profession.


DES 236: Graphic Design VIII
4 credits 
Study the basic concepts of exhibit design, design and install the SCCA Portfolio Show. Students will work in teams and explore creative options for the layout and navigation of the show. Including but not limited to, the installation of two- and three-dimensional display options, print and web portfolios displays, motion graphics and internal and external signage.


DES 260: Portfolio Prep
4 credits 
Develop, design and prepare a portfolio that represents individual creativity and demonstrates skills for seeking employment in the Graphic Design field. A personal business card will be developed in this class and students will be asked to participate in a review of portfolio work conducted by professionals from outside the program.


DES 253: Interactive VI
4 credits 
Final Capstone project which utilizes all skills acquired in the previous quarters along with public speaking and whiteboard interview practice and the production of their portfolio website.


DES 282: Special Projects III
4 credits 
This is the last in a series of three courses designed to expand current graphic design knowledge and skills, offering students the opportunity to work on a major self-initiated design project. The course emphasizes research and the design process that leads to a successful design solution. By engaging in a unique quarter-long project, students have the opportunity to develop strong portfolio pieces – with the ultimate goal of employment.