MEDP 299.XX Hunter College at the City University of New YorkPosts RSS Comments RSS

Syllabus

Course Organization
Week 1: Principles of Design
Introduction to the course and the Principles of Design. Review the syllabus in detail, discuss the content, format, and purpose of the course, and do introductions.

Reading:
* Frascara, Jorge. “Graphic Design: Fine Art or Social Science?” Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design, Audrey Bennett and Steven Heller (eds). Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006, pp. 26 – 35. PDF

* Dabner, David. Graphic Design School (Third Edition). New York: Wiley, 2004, “The Language of Design”, pp. 10 – 53.

Assignments:
1) Re-Design: Examine an object, device, product and understand how it works and how you could make it better. I want you to think carefully about how the object was designed and what the designers did well and what they could improve upon. I want you to sketch the object, then redesign it. How would you make it better? What improvements would you make? Please sketch your improved object and explain what you changed and why.

2) Signage: I want you all to walk around and begin to look at everything from the eye of a designer. For this exercise, I want you to look at all the signs that you see where you live, where you study, where you work, and where you play. Take note to the readability of the signs. Are they easy to understand? When you look at the text, do you pay attention to the style in which the sign was made? I want you to take photos of good signs and bad.

3) Blog Posting: When you have done everything, I want you to post your pictures and work on the blog. Details will be emailed to you.

Week 2: Principles of Type
Regardless of the method used to specify type design, characters of different sizes have slightly different shapes for improved clarity and, above all, artistic consistency. There are many subtleties of shape so that no character looks too small or large.

Reading:
* Lupton, Ellen. Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students. Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007, “Letter” pp. 34 – 60; “Text” pp. 61 – 107.

Assignments:
1) Complete your assignment from this past week and upload all files.  If your images are too large, please resize them.

2) Complete all of the readings + write a review of each reading.  Also, use your sketchbooks to sketch ideas as you think of them.

3) Create your sign(s).  I want you to work off of your research from last week and create a few signs, ads, movie posters, labels – anything where the type compels the user/reader to act in the desired fashion. Think about subway signs that tell you which direction to swipe your metro card, or street signs that direct you…

4) Complete + document the exercises in the Dabner reading.

5) Review the site and comment on people’s work!  remember this is a collaborative process so be active and help each other with review, constructive criticism, and/or praise.

Week 3: Elements of Type
Working with type and reshaping it is a good way to understand the minute elements of typefaces. Each character design can be modified and reconstructed within the graphics display program of a display screen or printer.

Reading:
* Lupton, Ellen. Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students. Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007, “Grid” pp. 138 – 161.

Week 4: Visual Perception
Organizing raw sensory stimuli into meaningful experiences involves cognition, a set of mental activities that includes thinking, knowing, and remembering. Knowledge and experience are extremely important to perception, because they help us make sense of the input to our sensory systems.

Reading:
* McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York: Harper, 1994, Chapters 1 & 2.

Week 5: Advanced Elements of Visual Design I
Designers have worked out fundamental principles of visual design that helps make choices in using text and page elements to create a visual logic.

Reading:
* Lupton, Ellen and Miller, J. Abbott. “Triangle, Square, Circle: A Psychological Test.” Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design, Audrey Bennett and Steven Heller (eds). Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006, pp. 84 – 88.

Week 6: Advanced Elements of Visual Design II
Covering the concepts of contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity.

Reading:
* Jennings, John. “Exploring Image Making through the Visual Culture of Hip Hop.” Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design, Audrey Bennett and Steven Heller (eds). Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006, pp. 241 – 255.

Week 7: Story
Exploring the role of narrative and cognition in design.

Reading:
* Evenson, Shelley. “Directed Storytelling: Interpreting Experience for Design.” Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design, Audrey Bennett and Steven Heller (eds). Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006, pp. 231 – 240.

Week 8: Introduction to Usability
If designers want to reach the target audience when presenting information, they must constantly consider usability. Usability is often framed by a metaphor, implemented, and measured by studying the design of the table of contents, index, headings and page layout as well as determining the appropriate technical level.

Reading:
* Norman, Donald. The Design of Everyday Things. New York: Basic Books, 2002, Chapters 1 & 2.

Week 9: Midterm Assessment

Week 10: User-Centered Design
User-centered design is a design philosophy and a process in which the needs, wants, and limitations of the end user of an interface or document are given much attention at each stage in the multi-staged problem solving design process where designers to analyze and foresee how users are likely to use an interface. Designers also test the validity of their assumptions with actual users.

Reading:
* Strickler, Zoe and Neafsey, Patricia. “Visual Design of Interactive Software for Older Adults.” Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design, Audrey Bennett and Steven Heller (eds). Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006, pp. 89 – 116.

Week 11: Task Analysis
Task analysis analyses what a user is required to do in terms of actions and/or cognitive processes to achieve a task. A detailed task analysis can be conducted to understand the current system and the information flows within it–the functions to be included within the system and the user interface can then be accurately specified (manual and mental activities, task and element durations, task frequency, task allocation, task complexity, environmental conditions, and any other unique factors involved in or required for one or more people to perform a given task).

Week 12: Participatory Design
Participatory design attempts to actively involve the end users in the design process to help ensure that the product designed meets their needs and is usable.

Reading:
* Bennett, Audrey, Eglash, Ron, Krishnamoorthy, Mukkai, and Rarieya, Marie. “Audience as Co-Designer: Participatory Design of HIV/AIDS Awareness and Prevention Posters in Kenya.” Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design, Audrey Bennett and Steven Heller (eds). Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006, pp. 179 – 199.

Week 13: Understanding Data
When designing a usability evaluation, designers must decide not only on the methods and techniques for data collection, but how that data can be analyzed.

Reading:
* Kjeldskov, Jesper, Skov, Mikael, and Stage, Jan. “Instant Data Analysis: Conducting Usability Evaluations in a Day. Proceedings of CHI 2004. Available Online: http://www.cs.aau.dk/~jesper/papers/NordiCHI04-final.pdf

Week 14: More on Audiences
Audiences and belief systems are interrogated.

Reading:
* Tyler, Ann C. “Shaping Belief: The Role of Audience in Visual Communication.” Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design, Audrey Bennett and Steven Heller (eds). Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006, pp. 36 – 50.

Week 15: Final Project Presentations

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