GD 101 – Design Fundamentals Course Outline

Week 1: September 10
Lecture: Intoduction to Graphic Design Gestalt and the science of visual perception. Geometry, Primary Shapes and Composition.
Exercise 1: Compositions. Create a set of graphic transformation using only primary shapes.
Project 1: Create a set of black and white compositions using only primary shapes, reflecting the concepts – Energy, Tension, Calm, Fun. Due Week 3: September 17 

Week 2: September 17
Lecture: Form and  Content. Icon, Index, Symbol and the Perception of Meaning.
Exercise 2: Mind Mapping and Visual Exploration
Project 2: Create 100 iterations of the same subject. The subject can be a real thing (dog) or a conceptual thing (love). It is sometimes interesting when your subject has both real and conceptual properties (eg. ring, home, light, cold, space). Due week 5.

Week 3: September 24
Project 1 Due. Critique
Lecture: Enhanced Reduction and the Pictogram. Dynamic Symmetry.
Demo Exercise: Create a pictogram using primary geometry and Adobe Illustrator.
Review Project 2.

Week 4: October 1
Lecture – Colour and Composition. The properties of colour and how to harmonize  them for effect.
Exercises: Create a series of colour palettes expressing separate colour properties (e.g. energetic, calm, etc.). Create a series of small compositions using diverse colour palettes with dominant, secondary and accent colors. Create a colour composition using Adobe Illustrator.
Review Project 2

Thanksgiving: October 8

Week 5: October 15
Project 2 Due. Critique.
Lecture: Storytelling and Audience. Understanding and crafting your message.
Exercise: Create a mood board for separate campaigns with varied target markets.
Project 3: Create a soap package for a specific demographic market. Due Week 8.

Week 6 : October 22
Lecture: Typography I. From Letterforms to Text
Exercise: Experimenting with letterforms. Using digital type tools to create a hierarchy of information from a provided text. Creating expressive titles using provided text.
Review Project 2.

Week 7: October 29
Lecture: Typography II. Layout and Grids. Understanding the Page.
Exercise: Create a grid to layout a given set of text and images.
Review Project 3.

Week 8: November 5
Project 3 Due. Critique
Lecture: Graphic Design and Photography. From Maholy Nagy to Photoshop.
Exercise: Compositing found photography in Photoshop.
Project 4: Using photography and typography, create a “visual essay” about a person, place or thing of your choice. Due week 9

Week 9: November 19
Project 4 Due. Critique.
Design Thinking and the Designer as Social Agent. Mind the Gap.
Lecture: Introduction to Dynamic Media. Storytelling and Sequence.
Exercise: Create a short presentation using Keynote. 
Project 5: Create a presentation that documents your creative process. Due week 11.

Week 10: November 26
 Review project 5.

Week 11: December 3
Project 5 due. Critique.