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first year begins with traditional, hands-on media and techniques

Courses for the First Year

First Semester

Art History 101

This art history course will study art and architecture from ancient art through the Renaissance. Reading will be extensive, supported by visuals, handouts, and tours. Students will study artists and styles from the past so as to recognize their influence in the present. A comprehensive review will include the role art has played in depicting historical events and everyday life.

Course Objectives

This course gives students a foundation of the history of art, from ancient art through the Renaissance, including its usage and meaning. Reading assignments, quizzes, projects, and tours will broaden the student’s knowledge of the relationship between art history and the modern world. They will develop an appreciation for art history and understand its relevance to modern thinking.

Performance Objectives

At the completion of this course, students will have an understanding of the origin of art, how it has progressed, and its influence and importance to the people of ancient times through the modern day. They will be able to recognize and identify artistic styles and specific artist’s work. Students will be aware of local and national museums and galleries available to them for further study.

Art Media Techniques 101

This introductory course allows students to work with basic foundational elements used in commercial art. Since achieving certain illustrative effects will be crucial in future courses, students will learn the proper use of tools and will begin to apply these tools to various techniques. This course applies various art media to different illustration styles and helps the students understand which styles are best suited for which media and designs. Exercises will provide instruction in mixing, blending, and application, and will put color theory into practice. Markers, colored pencils, inks, watercolor, charcoal, pastels, and scratchboard are some of the media that will be studied. Watercolors, dyes, gouache, and acrylics will also be used with different subjects and compositions. Students will be put to the challenge of creating realistic still life paintings.

Course Objectives

This course is designed to lay foundational knowledge of various types of media and their applications through hands-on exercises. This course allows for the understanding, development, and refinement of illustration skills, media techniques, and styles used in commercial art.

Performance Objectives

At the completion of this course, students will have developed the beginning basic skills and understanding for each medium’s use and its various applications. Students will be able to realistically render an image from a photograph and apply the correct technique and style for use in creating an illustration.

Color & Design Theory 101

This course will study and critique the use of color in photography, painting, clothing, architecture, interiors, and print design. Moods created by color and emotional responses to color will be studied. Projects will include developing color wheels and pallets, mixing colors and developing primary, secondary, and tertiary color schemes in multiple media. Students will also study and practice composition and design theory and gain an understanding of good and bad design. Exercises will teach shape/space relationships, balance, rhythm, lines, and planes. Additional lessons will cover the principles of design, harmony, variety, movement, and texture (actual, simulated, and invented). Specific projects will facilitate understanding of all of these aspects of design through hands-on application. Taking the essential elements of design, students will create multi-dimensional design projects emphasizing different design elements and will apply color theory, composition, form and balance. Experimentation and creativity are crucial to the development and success of these projects.

Course Objectives

This course will familiarize students with the basics of color and design and enable them to recognize the elements and composition of design and how they work together. Students will be made aware of the importance and proper use of color, and will be able to mix colors in different media. Students will begin practical use of the principles of color and design theory in 2- and 3-dimensional projects.

Performance Objectives

At the completion of this course, students will be able to mix any color in several media. They will understand the effect color has on design and mood. Students will analyze and evaluate the quality of the elements of color, design, form, and composition. They will begin to apply the principles of design and color theory to a design project.

Drawing 101

This drawing course will include a synopsis study of subjects from still-life projects to the human anatomy; students will create drawings with an emphasis on realistic shapes and proportions as they relate to 1, 2, and 3 point perspectives. Different styles and techniques of freehand drawing will be practiced to illustrate concepts from rough thumbnail form to finished drawing. Students will learn how to work with proper lighting, perspective, shading, value, and proportions. Basic fundamental shapes and complicated still life compositions will be sketched and drawn. This course will also emphasize basic form and study of the head and face, specifically facial features, with exercises in several media. This class will develop precision and accuracy that will be essential in future advanced drawing and illustration courses. Sketchbook assignments will be required. Skills will be fine tuned and applied to develop the student's efficiency and confidence in a professional manner. Drawing assignments will focus on drawing what is seen: form, shape, contrast, tone, shading, and textures.

Course Objectives

This drawing class is designed to help students develop an ability to draw what they see through the use of perspective, shading, and line work. The students will begin drawing facial features in multiple media with attention to detail. An understanding of proportion and placement of facial features will be studied extensively. Complex compositions will broaden students' abilities in a wide range of subject matter. They will learn to render complex and intricate textures. Drawing skills will be fine-tuned and students will render a variety of subjects at a professional looking level.

Performance Objectives

At the completion of this course, students will have an understanding of how to create realistic drawings of still-life objects, animals, and the human portrait with proper shading and coloring. Students will also be keeping an on-going sketchbook each week. They will use a variety of drawing media throughout this course. Ultimately, students will be able to draw a variety of subjects in different media, using good compositions with varied lighting, proper proportions and realistic textures.

Typography 101

Typography, or the production of letter forms, is a basic and essential element used for all graphic designs, and a complete understanding is necessary. This course will proceed through a brief history of typography from calligraphy to electronically produced typestyles used in high resolution output. Letter forms with type personalities implemented into compositions will be studied and applied along with type association and memorization. Exercises will involve hand lettering of calligraphy and rendering of existing letter forms and type styles. Lettering structure, serif, sans serif, kerning, scaling, letter spacing, type styles, and personalities will be studied and applied through type design projects. Students will learn how to construct and modify type for use in logo designs and headlines. The importance of the selection as a design element in all graphics will be emphasized and an appreciation for type will be developed.

Course Objectives

This introductory course is designed to help students achieve a basic understanding of the design and letter form of typography through various exercises beginning with analysis of characters hand drawing of standard lettering forms through to calligraphy. Students will learn to recognize a variety of typefaces through study and memorization of available fonts. They will also learn to modify existing typefaces and will continue their study in effective use of type in design and layout.

Performance Objectives

At the completion of this course, students will be able to identify the form or design of basic letter forms and will be able to choose appropriate typefaces for different projects. Students will integrate type into their designs effectively and creatively, and will be able to modify an existing typeface for headline or logo design.

Second Semester

Fundamentals of Communication 101

This course teaches fundamental communication skills, including writing, speaking, listening, presentation and delivery. Practical strategies will be offered to enable students to present themselves and their work in a professional, accurate and literate manner. The course contains assignments that utilize Basic English grammar rules and instruction, proofreading proficiency, outlining and organizational formats, approaches to public speaking, techniques for managing communication apprehension, and an introduction to résumé writing and interviewing.

Course Objectives

To teach students to competently and confidently communicate in both written and oral business communication contexts.

Performance Objectives

At the completion of this course, students will be able to write and speak skillfully, critically and proficiently.

Computer Graphics & Software 101

In this course students will learn how a computer works and will be introduced to several computer programs used in the graphic design industry for page layout, image editing, vector illustration, and web design. Basic use of peripheral devices will also be covered including scanners and printers. Through extensive lab hours, students will further their knowledge and skills in the applications they are studying. Projects will focus on page layout and vector graphics with an introduction to basic HTML and web design fundamentals.

Course Objectives

This course will provide a basic understanding of the computer system workings and its peripheral devices. It will provide foundational knowledge in the fundamental software programs used in the graphic design industry.

Performance Objectives

At the completion of this course, students will understand how a computer and its devices work and have a basic understanding of several design and page layout programs. Students will design a printed project demonstrating their computer proficiency.

Design & Layout 101

Design and layout theories will be reviewed, critiqued, and understood concerning print media. Students will learn traditional and computer graphic layout techniques and will understand grid set-ups, page layouts and copy flow. They will follow assignments from rough sketches to comp designs and then to the computer. This course will evaluate multiple design approaches for magazines, advertisements, annual reports, billboards, brochures, folders, and special product development. Students will learn the entire process from concept to layout and design, cutting, scoring and folding. Since high quality mock-ups are essential in the industry, accuracy and skill will be emphasized. Students will be given design assignments in a variety of printed pieces with a special emphasis on deadlines and efficiency. Assignments will focus on designing identities and advertising. Single themes will be carried throughout multiple advertising pieces to emphasize consistency.

Course Objectives

Students will learn the techniques for approaching projects from different angles using thumbnail concepts. Students will also understand the creative steps involved in designing a printed piece from start to finish. Students will learn to apply their design and composition training to design projects. This course will also enable the student to begin to design an entire campaign or corporate identity for a prospective client.

Performance Objectives

At the completion of this course, students will be able to use the skills from typography and color and design theory to produce a computer-generated layout, from initial sketches to comps. Students will be able to use their design knowledge to construct precise mock-ups and design printed pieces with a consistent look. Students will be able to conceptually design and produce professional looking mock-ups.

Art History 102

This course is a continuation of Art History 101, taking students through the time periods of Baroque through modern art and then looking specifically at graphic art throughout history. Students will explore the historical influences and implications of art and graphic design throughout the ages by studying and assessing distinguishable works and their creators. Emphasis will be placed on the technological advances that have played a major part in the evolution of both traditional art and graphic design and what effect, if any, these advances have on modern culture. Reading assignments will be required, supported by visuals and handouts.

Course Objectives

This course continues to lay foundational knowledge of the various influences and styles of art and graphic art history. Reading assignments, quizzes, and projects will broaden the student’s knowledge of the relationship between art history and the modern world. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the different forms of visual communication styles through hands-on exercises.

Performance Objectives

At the completion of this course, students will have an understanding of the origin of both traditional and graphic art and their influence through the ages to modern times. Students will also be able to identify influences in current-day visual communication, including printed materials, television, web and signage.

Illustration 101

Students will review and critique the work of contemporary and master artists, and will create full color illustrations in various styles and media. They will also become familiar with different types of illustrations: advertising, corporate, humorous, fashion, technical, and medical. Students will learn the basics of creating a successful illustration, how to begin the illustration, how to plan and prepare with pleasing compositions, lighting and color schemes. Students will create stylized editorial illustrations incorporating the human form in various situations. They will learn how to select the type of surface, how to decide what size to create the original, and what medium to use. Students will be encouraged to begin developing their own style and will learn to work with speed and efficiency. The artist will choose their medium and style and will begin to create portfolio pieces.

Course Objectives

Students will learn the difference between various kinds of illustrations that they may be required in graphic design and advertising. They will learn how to plan and execute their illustration to work in conjunction with the project as a whole (i.e. an illustration for a magazine layout may have different considerations than an illustration for a poster).

Performance Objectives

At the completion of this course, students will be able to recognize different forms of illustration. They will produce various stylized illustrations in different media. Students will know how to choose the best media and tools for their assignments. Students will plan and execute illustrations from editorial copy, choosing the style, medium, and color scheme that most effectively suits the article.