Course Descriptions & Syllabi

Course Descriptions & Syllabi

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Note: some or all of the courses in the subjects marked as "Transfer" can be used towards a transfer degree: Associate of Science and Arts or Associate of Engineering Science at DACC. Transferability for specific institutions and majors varies. Consult a counselor for this information.

Areas of Study | | ARTS151 syllabus

COURSE TITLE:Graphic Design I
DIVISION:Liberal Arts
DELIVERY MODE: One Traditional section offered in the fall

This course will instruct students in the fundamentals of two-dimensional design with a focus on graphic design as a process of visual communication. Areas of inquiry that will be covered in this course include: The elements of art, the basic principles of design, a brief introduction to the theory and history of design, typography as a design element, photography and image manipulation, and several techniques of visual communication using traditional and digital media.

College-level reading skills required.



The objective of this course is to firmly ground the student in the fundamentals of successful graphic design as well as the history of graphic design and visual communication.  Using research, group discussion, tutorials, critiques, and hands on exploration of various techniques and design principles. Students will work towards the completion of several design projects.

Course outcomes:

  1. The student will develop skills in the basic principles of graphic design.
  2. The student will define the scope of the imagery, types of form, space, and text, and their impact on the human experience.
  3. The student will gain a rudimentary understanding of semiotics.
  4. The student will introduce the impression of “simultaneous presentation” of the imagery with coincidental and/or conflicting definitions.
  5. The student will explore the practicality of various production techniques and it’s impact on the visual communication process.
  6. The student will create suitable portfolio pieces that visually communicate through the embodiment of form and function.
  7. (Most importantly) The student will persuade others with visual imagery.


Week 1-

A. Introductions-

B. What is Graphic Design?

Assessment: Essay 1 150-250 words. This essay is worth 20 points.

Week 2

A. Finding your individual style.

Assessment: In class assignment 1 worth 20 points

Project 1 worth 100 points

Week 3-

  1. Portfolios-The whole point.

Assessment: Quiz 1 worth 20 points

Final Critique of the student’s portfolio at the end of the course.

Week 4-

  1. History of Graphic design
  2. 19th century design
  3. 20th Century

Assessment: Quiz 2 worth 20 points

Project 2 worth 100 points

Week 5

  1. 20th Century Design
  2. The Modern Graphic Design Movement in America
  3. 1940’s
  4. The New York School
  5. 1950’s
  6. International Typographic style

Assessment: Quiz 3 worth 20 points

Project 3 worth 50 points

Week 6

  1. 1960’s
  2. Corporate Identity design
  3. Push pin style
  4. The Haight Ashbury Influence
  5. 1970’s
  6. Design systems for international events
  7. 1980’s
  8. Post Modern design
  9. 1990’s
  10. The Digital Revolution
  11. A new Century
  12. Post-modern and beyond

Assessment: Quiz 4 worth 20 points

Project 4 worth 50 points

2000-3000 word paper

Week 6- History of Typography

Assessment: Essay 2 150-250 words worth 20 points

Week 7- The Anatomy of type, Type as shape

Assessment: Quiz 5 worth 20 points

Project 5 worth 50 points

Week 8-Logos, Branding and corporate identity.

Assessment: Essay 3 150-250 words worth 20 points

Project 6 worth 100 points

Week 9-Elements of art-

Line, shape, space, texture,

Assessment: in class assignments 2 worth 20 points

Week 10- Value, Color and chromatic interaction

Assessment: in class assignments 3 worth 20 points

Quiz 6 worth 20 points

Week 11-Photography

Assessment: Project 7 worth 50 points

Week 12-History of Photography

Assessment: Quiz 7 worth 20 points

Week 13-Illustrations

Assessment: Project 8 worth 100 points

Week 14-Intuitive arrangements

Assessment: In class assignment 4 worth 20 points

Week 15-Grid

Assessment: In Class assignment 5 worth 20 points

Week 16-Layouts

Assessment: In class assignment 6 worth 20 points

Week 17-Final critiques

Assessment: Final Project 8 worth 100 points


Optional texts and materials

Adobe Photoshop Cs6 classroom-in-a-book

Adobe Illustrator Cs6 classroom-in-a-book

Required texts and materials

4G Flash drive


Graphic Design Basics, by Amy E. Arntson, 5th edition (We will be changing to the 6th edition in the fall of 2013.)


Critiques-There are 8 projects due through out the semester. These vary from 50-100 points. Each project there will be a critique. Your participation is worth 10 points per critique.

Attendance-You are given 5 points every class period you attend.

Quizzes-There are 7 short quizzes given throughout the semester. Each quiz is worth 20 points and are multiple choice, true and false and short essay.

Essays-There are 3 150-250 word essays due through out the semester each essay is worth 20 points.

There are 6 in class assignments worth 20 points each.

The student is required to write 1 2000-3000 word paper worth 100 points.

The final is worth 100 points and is comprehensive and includes multiple choice and true and false.

Grading scale:

A-100-90 Exceptional work, exceeded course requirements

B- 89-80 Good technical skills and creative abilities exhibited.

C- 79-70 all work completed on time achieved the minimum requirements

D-69-60 Minimum goals achieved late presentations.

F-59-below Failure to finish work.

Your grade is also based on attendance, class participation, and the quality of work you produce.


Membership in the DACC community brings both rights and responsibility. As a student at DACC, you are expected to exhibit conduct compatible with the educational mission of the College. Academic dishonesty, including but not limited to, cheating and plagiarism, is not tolerated. A DACC student is also required to abide by the acceptable use policies of copyright and peer-to-peer file sharing. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with and adhere to the Student Code of Conduct as contained in the DACC Student Handbook. The Student Handbook is available in the Information Office in Vermilion Hall and online at:

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Testing & Academic Services Center at 217-443-8708 (TTY 217-443-8701) or stop by Cannon Hall Room 103. Please speak with your instructor privately to discuss your specific accommodation needs in this course.

Fall 2015

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