Graphic Design Major (B.F.A.) - Undergraduate - 2010 University Catalog

You are viewing the 2010 University Catalog. Please see the newest version of the University Catalog for the most current version of this program's requirements.

Program Overview

The Graphic Design Major is a rigorous, pre-professional program stressing concept development and visual communication skills necessary to prepare content and imagery for print, multimedia and the Web. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the discipline and a portfolio of work to begin a career in the graphic design industry.

For further information: Art & Design webpage

Curriculum Requirements

All university students must fulfill the set of General Education requirements applicable to their degree (for further information, click here.)  In addition, students pursuing Graphic Design (B.F.A.) must complete the requirements below.


Complete 94 semester hours including the following 4 requirement(s):


    Complete the following 8 courses for 24 semester hours:

    ARFD 121 Foundations I: Concept, Process and Application 3
    ARFD 122 Foundations II: 2D Design 3
    ARFD 123 Foundations III: Visual Organization - 3D Design 3
    ARFD 124 Foundations IV: Figure Drawing 3
    ARFD 125 Foundations V: Color, Light and Time 3
    ARGD 211 Fundamentals of Adobe Creative Suite - Mac 3
    ARHS 105 Art in Western Civilization: Ancient and Medieval 3
    ARHS 106 Art in Western Civilization: Renaissance to Modern 3

    Complete the following 2 requirements for a total of 9 semester hours:

    1. Complete the following 1 course:

      ARGD 280 Design in Visual Culture 3
    2. Complete 2 courses from the following:


    Complete the following 4 courses for 12 semester hours:

    MKTG 240 Introduction to Marketing 3
    MKTG 344 Advertising Theory and Techniques 3
    SPCM 104 Media and Society 3
    SPCM 374 Group Processes 3

    Complete 2 requirements for a total of 49 semester hours:


      Complete the following 2 requirement(s) for 31 semester hours:

      1. Complete 9 courses for 27 semester hours:

        ARGD 200 Graphic Design, Beginning I 3
        ARGD 210 Graphic Design, Beginning II 3
        ARGD 221 Typography I 3
        ARGD 300 Graphic Design, Intermediate 3
        ARGD 400 Graphic Design, Advanced I 3
        ARGD 410 Interactive Multimedia Design 3
        ARGD 421 Typography II 3
        ARGD 425 Web Page Design 3
        ARGD 460 Graphic Design, Advanced II 3
      2. Complete for 4 semester hours.

        ARGD 435 Graphic Design Internship 4

      Complete 18 semester hours from the following:

      1. Complete 9 semester hours - 18 semester hours from the following:

        ARGS 260 Visual Arts Workshop 1-12
      2. 0 semester hours - 9 semester hours may be completed from the following:

        ARGD 422 Advanced Computer Graphics 3
        ARGD 423 Advertising Design 3
        ARGD 424 Publication Design 3
        ARGD 434 Package Design 3
      3. 0 semester hours - 6 semester hours may be completed from outside of studio with prior approval of Program Director.

Course Descriptions:

ARFD121: Foundations I: Concept, Process and Application

Students will be challenged and guided in the development of their critical and conceptualizing skills as they apply to art and design processes. Foundations I is a problem-solving course in which the student investigates the dynamic visual forces involved in composing in a variety of media. Students explore the interrelationships of composition, process, perception, and intent. Through the understanding of concepts, processes, and visual language, students broaden their skills in idea development, research strategies, and technical application. This course advocates and utilizes the model of a learning community to effectively introduce students to ideas, issues, and practices in contemporary art and design. Foundations I further connects creative research and practice to socio-political and cultural ideology, allowing students opportunities for integration of ideas outside the disciplines of art. This will be accomplished through lectures, exercises, student team assignments, discussion, and exploration in and outside of the classroom. This course is required during the first semester for all freshman and undergraduate transfer students majoring in BA Studio and BFA Studio. 3 sh.

ARFD122: Foundations II: 2D Design

Foundations II introduces students to the principles of 2-dimensional design in a variety of media. Major principles covered include composition, line, shape, volume, movement, value, rhythm, repetition, variation, scale, size, perspective, proportion, texture, balance, unity, harmony, and contrast. The course content consists of a variety of projects focusing on critical, theory-based problem solving, together with lectures and demonstrations. 3 sh.

ARFD123: Foundations III: Visual Organization - 3D Design

An introduction to the 3rd dimension of the world that we inhabit ("made" things, natural forms, and the occupation of space). Three-dimensional sensibility is progressively developed when basic components are manipulated by the effective use of direction, balance, axis, orientation, and relationship; in other words, organization (composition). Assignments in light, shape, shadow, depth, form, and movement are examined in a natural progression from 2D knowledge to 3D. Activities include lectures, conceptualization, observation, creation, discussion, and critical analysis for each project. The aesthetic consideration of materials and tools in this context add to the expressive output of three-dimensional study. The process may begin with concept, material or observation; it continues by way of lecture, demonstration, critical analysis and class discussion until each project is crafted to completion. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARFD 121.

ARFD124: Foundations IV: Figure Drawing

An introduction to drawing the human figure. Students in this course will spend the majority of their time drawing from live models in a studio setting. Most classes will follow the traditional figure drawing format of beginning with quick gesture drawings, with poses gradually increasing in length of time, and ending with a single sustained pose of an hour or more. The students will be introduced to a wide range of ideas, concepts, strategems, and materials related to the drawing of the human figure. Ideas and drawing approaches will be illustrated by looking at the visual examples of artworks by both past and present figurative artists. A brief historical overview of various visions of the human image will be presented, as will an introduction of human anatomy for artists. Concurrent with ideas about proportion, foreshortening, scale, and anatomical construct, ideas about line quality, chiaroscuro, and the figure in differing spatial constructs will be explored. Although weekly thematic ideas will be presented, most classes will include an interweaving and repetition of a wide range of concepts. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARFD 121.

ARFD125: Foundations V: Color, Light and Time

Color functions in many ways - as a visual phenomenon of light, as a perceptual occurrence, as a pigment with specific mixing properties, and as an element with powerful expressive and symbolic potential. It is important that artists and designers understand the principles and properties of color for use in their work in any medium. This course introduces students to the history, theory, and interdisciplinary use of color and color systems via lectures, demonstrations, and exercises. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARFD 121.

ARGD200: Graphic Design, Beginning I

Introduction to graphic design principles. This course is involved in taking basic design information and translating it into a graphic design context, with main emphasis on communicating original ideas in a creative manner. Projects deal with graphic design principles, i.e., visual communication of information, composition, color, type, illustration, materials and methods of graphic design. Introduction to critique and presentation, along with the principle of the designer/client relationship. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARFD 122.

ARGD210: Graphic Design, Beginning II

Focus on the various disciplines within graphic design: print (flat and folding), package, product and environmental graphics. Further exploration of typefaces and use of typography as well as advanced methods of comping and presentation. Emphasis on hand comping and computer typesetting. Beginning development of student portfolio. Overview of the history of design. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARGD 200.

ARGD211: Fundamentals of Adobe Creative Suite - Mac

A project and exercise-based approach to learning the programs used by graphic designers on Macintosh computers, covering the fundamentals of the latest versions of the Adobe Creative Suite series: Adobe Illustrator CS, InDesign CS, and Adobe Photoshop CS. These programs are prerequisite for all those interested in working within the design and publishing industries. The use of scanners for importing both art and text will also be investigated. Instruction in the course is tutorial-based, with supplemental lectures and demonstrations. 3 sh.

ARGD221: Typography I

Typographic design including headline, body copy design and the fine points of kerning, leading column width, copy color, mixing of faces and use of negative space in typographic composition. Hand and computer comping of type. Current trends in typography. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARGD 200.

ARGD280: Design in Visual Culture

This course traces the development of visual communication from the first cave paintings to the present day. Presentations cover a wide range of visual communication, from printed forms - books, posters, packaging, and advertisements - to electronic media - television, computers, and the Internet. Emphasis is placed on how cultural and technological developments have affected our viewpoints of the relationship and use of images and typography. This course utilizes Blackboard for weekly quizzes and exams. 3 sh.

ARGD300: Graphic Design, Intermediate

Layout and mechanicals. Printing methods and proper preparation of mechanicals and computer files for pre-press and printing. Advanced comping methods (computer, printing papers, marker comping). Continued development of portfolio of student work. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARGD 210 and 211.

ARGD400: Graphic Design, Advanced I

Class emphasis is on reinforcing the design process, along with learning the business of design, i.e., bidding, contracts, scheduling and client presentation. In-class work time is divided between studio and computer lab. Student will develop a portfolio of their work for final review. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARGD 300.

ARGD410: Interactive Multimedia Design

This course is an introductory experience in multimedia design on the Macintosh computer. It provides students with a conceptual background and the working knowledge necessary to produce a variety of interactive multimedia materials for the Web and presentation visuals. The focus of the course is on developing the skills, techniques, and creative components needed to create interactive and animated visuals, including the integration and editing of audio and video components. Current predominant software will provide the instructional course platform. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARGD 210 or permission of instructor.

ARGD421: Typography II

Design analysis of identity systems from cottage industries to corporate giants. Development, presentation, consistency and projected public image. Historical roots of identity symbols and systems from ancient to contemporary in religious, political and social usage. Design problems in logo and system design. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARGD 221.

ARGD422: Advanced Computer Graphics

Advanced problems in graphic design on the Macintosh computer. Emphasis will be placed on utilizing the Macintosh for solving design problems. Advanced page layout and graphic programs will be explored. Course is oriented toward the graphic designer. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARFD 210 and 211.

ARGD423: Advertising Design

The specific nature of advertising and its connection to graphic design. What is involved in creating an advertising campaign. How designers work with advertisers and copywriters. A brief history of advertising and advertising agencies. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARGD 300.

ARGD424: Publication Design

How to effectively design a publication so that it easily communicates the client's needs. Combining type, photography and illustration in a page layout. Variations and limitations encountered in designing a publication. Design systems used in creating publications. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARGD 300.

ARGD425: Web Page Design

Web page design introduces students to the fundamentals of creating and managing Web sites. Specific attention focuses on learning what makes a good Web page, how to develop a plan for a Web site, and the problem solving techniques used in creating a workable Web site based on a defined audience. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARGD 210 or permission of instructor.

ARGD434: Package Design

A survey of the state of the art in packaging. Course projects will be based on the consumer product industry. Graphic problems for three-dimensional objects and display. Package design comprehensive techniques for art director and client presentation. Grasping product essence and interpreting client needs and the demands of the marketplace. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARGD 300.

ARGD435: Graphic Design Internship

An internship at a graphic design studio, advertising agency, or related business at which the student will have the opportunity to work with professionals in the field of graphic design. May be repeated once for a total of 8.0 credits. 4 sh.

Prerequisites: ARGD 210 and departmental approval.

ARGD460: Graphic Design, Advanced II

Designing in the real world: the business of visual problem solving. Creating proposals, schedules, fees. With successful completion of this course, the student will have created a resume and professional portfolio for use in the field. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ARGD 400.

ARGS260: Visual Arts Workshop

Selected studio topics which represent current concerns within the contemporary world of the visual arts. May be repeated for a maximum of 24.0 credits as long as the topic is different. 1 - 12 sh.

ARHS105: Art in Western Civilization: Ancient and Medieval

The history of Western art and architecture from Prehistoric Europe through the Middle Ages. The course covers ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, Greece and Rome, then Byzantine, Early Medieval, Romanesque, and Gothic art. Museum visits and extensive reading. Required for Fine Arts majors. Meets Gen Ed 2002 - Humanities, World Literature or General Humanities. Meets the 1983 General Education Requirement (GER) - Fine and Performing Arts: Art Appreciation. Meets the University Writing Requirement for ANIL, FAAH, FAED, FASF, FASH, FASI, FASL, FAST and GRDN majors. 3 sh.

ARHS106: Art in Western Civilization: Renaissance to Modern

The history of Western art and architecture from the fifteenth century to the present. Included are the arts of the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Romantic, Impressionist and Modern periods. Museum visits and extensive reading. Required for fine arts majors. Meets Gen Ed 2002 - Humanities, World Literature or General Humanities. Meets the 1983 General Education Requirement (GER) - Fine and Performing Arts: Art Appreciation. Meets the University Writing Requirement for FAAH, FAED, FASF, FASH, FASI, FASL and FAST majors. 3 sh.

MKTG240: Introduction to Marketing

This introductory course is designed to expose the student to the basic areas that comprise marketing as a discipline. Marketing is viewed as a process that must be integrated with all other business functions. The basic theories, concepts, language and tools of marketing are introduced, and illustrations of their applicability to the business as well as non-profit sectors of the national economy with increasing stress on the global realities which affect the marketing function are addressed. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ENWR 105 or HONP 100.

MKTG344: Advertising Theory and Techniques

A broad introduction to advertising, promotion and marketing communications: historical roots of advertising; advertising from the viewpoint of clients, ad agencies and media; and both the marketing aspects (strategy development; account management) and creative aspects (copywriting; art direction; production and editing) of advertising. Covers all forms of advertising: print, broadcast; out-of home; and the latest advertising media such as direct mail and response; cable TV; and internet/interactive. In addition to traditional lectures, guest lectures are provided by the advertising professionals. Students also have a practical opportunity to create ads and commercials. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: MKTG 240.

SPCM104: Media and Society

This course introduces students to different print and electronic communication media, such as newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the internet. The course explores how each medium has contributed to changes in communication, from the way in which we process information and do work, to the way we experience entertainment and culture. 3 sh.

SPCM374: Group Processes

Effective communication patterns for small groups; variables such as cohesiveness, roles, problem-solving, leadership, decision-making are related to the development and maintenance of productive interaction. Meets the University Writing Requirement for CSOC and CSSC majors. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: SPCM 172 and SPCM 230 and SPCM 271 and SPCM 274. BA Communciation Studies students only.