Syllabus Part 2

Posted on: September 7th, 2011

Recommended Books:

  • Design Basics by Lauer and Pentak
  • Design Elements: A Graphic Style Manual by Timothy Samara

Required Supplies

  • Notebook for taking notes
  • Sketchbook/Scrapbook for building up your arsenal of design ideas – should be at least 8.5 x 11
  • Glue stick
  • Three pads:
    • Bristol Vellum 14 x 17
    • Graphics 360 14 x 17
    • Tracing paper 14 x 17
  • Pencils – HB, 2H and 2B
  • Black sharpies in two weights (fine and bold)
  • Brushes
    • Winsor & Newton Sceptre Gold round – #6 and #8
    • Winsor & Newton Sceptre Gold flat – #4 and #6
  • Higgins India Ink or some other waterproof black in a bottle.
  • Palette – Butcher’s tray style
  • Water jars – 2 large water jars labeled with your name
  • Paint
    • Winsor & Newton gouache
    • Permanent White
    • Ivory Black
  • Liquitex acrylic paint in
    • Ivory Black
    • Titanium White
    • Dioxazine Purple
    • Cobalt Blue
    • Cadmium Red med hue
    • Cadmium Yellow med hue
    • Light Green Permanent
  • 18-inch mental ruler
  • Plastic right-angles set square
  • Round template
  • Other stuff:
  • rubber cement, cement eraser, scissors, exacto knife and blades, colored pencils, small roll of artists tape, any other cool art stuff you love
  • Magazines
  • Durable carrying case for your supplies
  • Six 15” x 20” mounting boards
  • External drive for transporting files, formatted for MAC
  • Portfolio case for carrying pads
  • Notes:
    • You may need to replenish supplies from time to time. You don’t have to buy all these items at once – I’ll give you plenty of time to do so before they’re needed. I may bring in supplies for you to use and ask for reimbursement.
    • Get a locker! Go to Campus Security Services, Room 117, and rent one.

Course Outcomes – at the end of the semester, you’ll be able to

  • Use line as a design element
  • Use shape as a design element
  • Use space and depth as a design element
  • Use typography as a design element
  • Use value as a design element
  • Use texture as a design element
  • Use color as a design element
  • Apply supporting principles of scale, balance, rhythm, movement, repetition, proximity and spatial tension to compositions.
  • Apply primary principles of unity, variety, hierarchy, and proportion to compositions
  • Explore the history of art and graphic design
  • Examine the role of graphic design in contemporary society


Posted on: August 30th, 2011
Click here for a printable version of this syllabus.


Course Description

In this course, students learn fundamentals of two-dimensional visual organization and problem-solving strategies for advertising layout, publication design, typographic and graphic design, and illustration. We’ll explore the fundamental concepts of tw0-dimensional design, such as line, color, texture, rhythm, and more, and we’ll put them to use solving problems in advertising layout, publication design, typography and illustration.

The course will consist of discussion, demos, lectures, minor exercises, major assignments and critiques. You will have many hands-on projects – skill results from practice.


Your final grade will be the sum of the following parts:

Major assignments

We will do several major assignments, which will explore problem-solving in a variety of design areas. Criteria for grade evaluation will be supplied for each assignment.

Mini Exercises & Sketchbook

In addition, we will do mini-exercises and keep a design scrapbook/sketchbook.


You are expected to attend every class, and to come prepared based on directions I give via the class website,

Bottom line

At the end of the semester, I tally up all the points you have accumulated and grade based on a fairly generous scale:

  • 93 – 100% A
  • 85 – 92% AB
  • 77 – 84% B
  • 69 – 76% BC
  • 61 – 68% C
  • 53 – 60% D
  • 52% and below F

An incomplete grade will only be granted for extreme reasons such as severe illness, death in family. They will not be granted for failure to complete projects, or not completing projects to your standards. If you cannot remain in the course, you are responsible for notifying the enrollment center or division office to withdraw. If not, your grade will be “F”.


I will try to give you as much feedback as possible as you work on your projects in class. For official project evaluation and grading, I will use MATC’s Blackboard.

Content Delivery

Come to class prepared to take, keep, and refer back to your notes. Bring something to write with, write on, and store your notes. I provide most of the content for this course through lecture and demonstration. I do not give out many handouts.

We will explore many helpful web sites to use as references as well.


You’ll need a sketchbook, a glue stick, pencils and erasers, markers and old magazines for sure.

In addition, you’ll need supplies for each of the assignments. I’ll discuss those supplies as we go along.

Class Hours

Our class will begin promptly at 5:30pm and run until 8:20pm.

We will take breaks as needed.


  • Observation of copyright laws is mandatory – no “borrowing” artwork from the internet or other sources for use in projects.
  • You are in a DESIGN class. You will DESIGN – not purchase designs from iStock and other sources. The exception will be photographic images.
  • Anyone found stealing artwork risks suspension from the course and possibly from the program/department.
  • Work only on class projects during class unless you have first spoken with me.
  • iPods/Mp3 players are allowed during work time only. Use headphones, and a volume that is not heard throughout the class. Please be prepared to turn off immediately when information is being presented- often without warning.
  • Keep emails, texting and Facebook checks to a minimum.
  • Be courteous with cell phone use by using the hallway to take calls. Please silence phones during demos.
  • No music or computer use during critiques. Be prepared to leave your work station and join the discussion in a spot where you can see, hear and participate fully.
  • Class will begin promptly at 5:30. Plan accordingly.
  • Take breaks as you need them, within reason. Eye strain, neck stiffness, sore back, mental fatigue are all things that can be avoided with an occasional break.
  • Have a “note buddy”. Help each other out in the case of lateness or absence, or just to fill in the blanks.
  • Make a friend. Leave your comfort zone and get to know other students. This is a very small market. “Who you know” is often how jobs are obtained.
  • Coffee, soda, McDonalds? Sure. Food and drink are allowed at the front table ONLY. No food or drink should be near your computer. Wash your hands before class!
  • You are provided a computer for use during the class. If you opt to use your own laptop, you are completely responsible for maintenance, upkeep, fonts, software, printing… NONE of these will be excuses for missing deadlines.
  • I will be using Blackboard for this course. Obtain appropriate log-in information as soon as possible.
  • Forward all MATC emails to other accounts if necessary. I may communicate with you occasionally through Blackboard’s email.
  • If you need a tutor, or would like to be a tutor, please let me know. (However, availability during interim session is unknown)

MATC Syllabus

Student Responsibilities:

Students are expected to be familiar with MATC policies and procedures. Many of the important policies and procedures are on the MATC website, located at

Academic Integrity is an expectation in all MATC classes. Plagiarism, cheating and collusion are prohibited at MATC. Plagiarism is defined as passing of another person’s work as your own. Students who fail to observe these standards are subject to disciplinary action. MATC has a strong policy on Academic Misconduct which is published on the MATC website. Please refer to this page on the MATC web site to review all Academic Integrity and Misconduct policies located at

Disability Act Statement:

MATC complies with all provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and makes reasonable accommodations upon request. Please contact Disability Resources Services at 246-6716 (Students who are deaf via Relay 711), room 159 at Truax or email [email protected]

If you have an accommodation card from their office indicating that you have a disability which requires academic accommodations, please present it to me so we can discuss the accommodations that you might need in this class. It is best to request these accommodations at the beginning if not before class so there is ample time to make the accommodations.

Technical Assistance:

Student Computer Help Desk is located in the Truax Library Open Computer Lab. Student lab assistance are available in person, by phone, (608) 243-4444; toll-free at (866) 277-4445; by email at:

Class Cancellation:

Besides local radio stations and the MATC website, students can call the hotline to inquire about weather related school closings. (608) 246-6606.

Syllabus Changes:

As your instructor, I retain the right to make changes based on the timeline of the class, feedback from learners and/or logistical issues and will inform you as soon as a change is made.

Other Resources:

Student Email:


  • Final Grades are: A, AB, B, BC, C, D, and F
  • Your grade will also take into consideration:
    • Planning and conceptualizing
    • Accuracy in following directions
    • Accuracy in spelling, grammar, punctuation
    • Participation in class discussions and critiques (crits)
    • Following project objectives/requirements

Missed Deadlines

  • If a student misses a deadline on one of the major assignments in the class, the number of points given will be reduced to a C (68 points).

Critiques & Class participation

We will have discussions and group critiques (crits) during which your participation is very important. Crits should be fun, participatory, and helpful, providing useful suggestions for improvement and kudos for jobs well done. If crits are scheduled at the beginning of class, show-up with your work ready to show. Take notes in critiques.


Attendance is essential. For attendance to be counted you must:

  • Be on time (10 minutes or more late = 1/2 absent)
  • Stay for the entire class. If you need to leave early let me know as it will be marked as 1/2 absent.
  • If more than three classes are missed your grade will be marked down by one grade level. Your grade will go down another level for each additonal 3 classes missed.
  • If you miss class it is your responsibility to find out what was covered either by connecting with a classmate or myself.
  • The school policy states you can be withdrawn from class if you miss 25% of the class time or two consecutive weeks of class.

Download Syllabi in PDF Format: