Detailed schedule

GDES-270 spring 2020 (David Ramos, American University Design)
ramos@american.edu · office hours

14 January / 17 January

Week 01

📅

Intro

Topics

  • Intro
  • Observation exercise for Sense mapping (Tue)

Projects

  • Start Sense mapping
  • Before Friday’s class, go on a walk for Sense mapping. Come back with a sketch map—your field notes. Details are, as usual, in the assignment sheet. (Project work for critique or submittal should be complete at the beginning of class.)
  • Critique/studio (Fri)—show sketch map during crit and develop concepts during studio.
  • Start collecting drafts and materials for your process book.

Course survey

Fill out a course survey.

21 January / 24 January

Week 02

📅

Illustrator/vector drawings

Topics

  • Illustrator intro
  • Bezier curve, tracing and drawing exercise (exercise file, ZIP)

Projects

  • Continue work on Sense mapping, on your own.
  • Limited studio time for Sense mapping (Tuesday)
  • Critique, studio, then turn in Sense mapping (Friday)
  • Start Graphic translation (Friday)

Reading (for Tue)

You need to know how to use the Mac Finder

Do you know how to manage files and folders on a Mac? (Do you know what the Finder is? You should.) If you have the slightest doubt, start working through sections two and three of the Lynda Computer Literacy for Mac course. (Log in through AU Library/MyAU).

28 January / 31 January

Week 03

📅

Vector drawing / negative-positive space

Topics

  • Negative/positive space
  • File management and versioning

Projects

  • Check-in for Graphic translation (Tue). Choose an object, and bring the object and sketches to class. Project setup and limited studio time in class.
  • Photograph your object
  • Studio (Fri)

You should be making progress on projects for every studio class or critique.

Reading (for Tue)

  • Point, Line, Plane (NB2 32–).
  • Gestalt Principles (NB2 98–) or Figure/Ground (New Basics 1st edition, p. 84–)
  • Optional: you can practice drawing using The Bézier Game (it’s simpler than Illustrator, and it probably isn’t worth getting to the higher levels)

NB2 means Graphic Design: The New Basics, 2nd edition. NB1 is the 1st edition. The 1st edition generally has the same chapter titles as the 2nd. Where the chapters differ, this schedule specifies an alternative.

Software tutorials

Software demos, during class, will be very limited. If you need more guidance, work through online tutorials. There is no due date; choose as much or as little as you need in order to support your project work. Sign in through LinkedIn Learning—see the AU Library if you need help.

4 February / 7 February

Week 04

📅

Typography basics / Type hierarchy

A relatively dense week for new material.

Topics

  • Typography introduction (Tue)
  • Lettering exercise (be sure to bring technical pens/pencils) (Tue)
  • Type hierarchy (Fri)
  • InDesign intro (Fri)

Projects

Reading (for Tue)

  • Rhythym and Balance (NB2 48–)
  • Thinking with Type site, Letter (size, scale, type classficiations, type families, caps and small caps, and mixing types)
  • Thinking with Type site, Text (tracking, line spacing, and alignment)

11 February / 14 February

Week 05

📅

Hierarchy, grids, and alignment

Topics

Projects

  • Start Timetable (Tue)
  • Final critique for Graphic translation (Fri)
  • Studio for Timetable (Fri)

Reading (for Tue)

  • Grid (NB2 186–)
  • Hierarchy (NB2 128–)
  • Start working through InDesign basics as necessary

3 March / 6 March

Week 08

📅

Sustainable design / social design

Topics

  • Sustainable design
  • Design for social change

Projects

  • Studio (Fri)

Reading (for Tue)

  • 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.]
  • Look through some projects at Cooper Hewitt National Design Triennial: Nature

8 March / 15 March

📅

Spring Break

17 March / 20 March

Week 09

📅

Data visualization

Topics

  • Data visualization (and exercise)

Projects

  • Critique/studio (Fri)

Reading (for Tue)

24 March / 27 March

Week 10

📅

Images + meaning

Topics

  • Images
  • Photo exercise

Projects

  • Studio/critique (Fri)

Reading (for Tue)

  • Layers (NB2 140–)
  • Rules and Randomness (NB2 248–)

31 March / 3 April

Week 11

📅

Color

Topics

  • Posters and scale
  • Poster history

Projects

  • Critique/studio (Fri)

Reading

  • Color (NB2 80–)
  • Transparency (NB2 154–)

7 April / 10 April

Week 12

📅

Posters

Topics

  • Posters

Projects

  • Final critique for A reversal of priorities
  • Start Issue poster
  • Critique/studio (Fri)

Reading (for Tue)

  • Siegler, Bonnie. Signs of Resistance: A Visual History of Protest in America. New York, N.Y.: Artisan, 2018. [On Blackboard.]

14 April / 17 April

Week 13

📅

t.b.a.

Topics

  • t.b.a.

Projects

  • Critique/studio (Fri)

Reading (for Tue)

21 April / 24 April

Week 14

📅

Design ethics / professional practice

Topics

  • Design ethics
  • Professional practice

Reading (for Tue)

Projects

  • Semifinal critique for Issue poster (Fri)

5 May

📅

Exam period; no class

Class does not meet during exam period.

  • Issue poster is due