Detailed schedule

GDES-270 fall 2019 (David Ramos, American University Design)
ramos@american.edu · office hours

28 August

Week 01

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Intro

Projects

  • Start Sense mapping
  • During class, go on a walk for Sense mapping. Create a sketch map with your field notes. Work on creating a more polished version of your sense map, with studio/small group critique.

4 September

Week 02

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Illustrator/vector

Topics

  • Illustrator intro

Projects

  • Continue work on Sense mapping on your own. (You should always be working on projects on your own, through the due date.)
  • During class, studio work and final critique for Sense mapping
  • Start Graphic translation (see Blackboard)

Reading

  • Alissa Walker. Why I Write About Design Now. Good Magazine, May 22, 2010.
  • Start reading Graphic Design: The New Basics. The book covers key ideas in visual communication and image-making, illustrated with exemplary student projects. The material will improve your work for this class, make you a better designer, and enhance your employability, but you are accountable to yourself for doing and scheduling the reading.

You need to know how to use the Mac Finder

11 September

Week 03

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Applying Illustrator

Topics

  • Applying Illustrator

Projects

  • Bring 15 preliminary sketches of an object, experimenting with position, angle, light/dark areas, shadows and reflections, and shapes. Work by hand—rough is fine.

Reading

  • Shea, Andrew. Designing for Social Change: Strategies for Community-Based Graphic Design. New York, N.Y.: Princeton Architectural P., 2012. 111–123. Using graphic language to reach street vendors and to advocate for public interest design. [On Blackboard.]

Software tutorials

Work through these tutorials if you find that you need to develop your software skills. There is no due date; choose as much or as little as you need in order to support your project work. (We will be using Illustrator much more than Photoshop.) Sign in through LinkedIn Learning—see the AU Library if you need help.

18 September

Week 04

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Typography

Topics

  • Typography introduction

Projects

Reading

Illustrator tip

  • The Bézier Game coaches you through increasingly complex drawings that use the pen tool

25 September

Week 05

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Type hierarchy

Topics

  • Type hierarchy

Projects

  • Print Graphic translation at start of class
  • Final critique for Graphic translation (as usual, turn in PDFs on Blackboard)
  • Start Type flyer

Reading

  • Tip: if you would like more practice with drawing tools, try bezier.method.ac.
  • Norton, Peter D. Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT P, 2011. 65–69. How automotive interests created the concept jaywalking through a publicity campaign, redefining the street from being a shared space to as a place for motor vehicles alone. [On Blackboard.]

23 October

Week 09

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Studio

Projects

  • Studio

Reading

  • Cairo, Alberto. The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication. Hoboken, N.J.: Pearson Education, 2016. 41–65. Thinking about excellent data visualizations, working from the hockey-stick chart that describes the climate emergency. [On Blackboard.]
  • The Data Visualisation Catalogue (read: bar chart, line graph, multi-set bar chart, dot matrix chart, pictogram chart, illustration diagram, donut chart, and histogram)

6 November

Week 11

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Posters

Topics

  • Posters and scale
  • Poster history

Projects

13 November

Week 12

« summary view

Posters

Topics

  • Posters

Projects

  • Studio/critique

In class

Reading

20 November

Week 13

« summary view

Design ethics

Topics

  • Design ethics

Projects

  • Studio/critique

Reading

  • Monteiro, Mike. Ruined by Design: How Designers Destroyed the World, and What We Can Do to Fix It. San Francisco, Calif.: Mule Design, 2019. 53–70. The need for ethics in design practice. [On Blackboard.]

4 December

Week 15

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New design practice

Topics

  • New design practice

Projects

  • Semifinal critique for Issue poster

15 December

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Issue poster due; no class

  • Issue poster is due