Introduction to Graphic Design

  • Graphic Design 1 is a one semester course that will introduce students to the principles and elements of Graphic Design by developing solutions to a variety of design challenges. These challenges will require them to use manual and digital tools in different media. The digital tools will include desktop publishing and digital photography and may expand to encompass other media as well. Students will also learn to critique their work and reflect on their work habits and problem solving techniques. This course is open to all students. Class size is limited to classroom workstations.

    Links to Academic Expectations:

    Students will:

    1. improve communication skills by:
      1. reading manuals and/or tutorials to understand and use various technical resources
      2. writing project reflections
      3. using proper vocabulary in talking to other students either in team design projects or as peer-tutors, or to adults in describing the work they are involved in.
      4. carefully listening to or reading instructions
      5. looking at, recognizing and describing a variety of types of graphics.
    2. improve problem-solving & decision-making skills by:
      1. describing the requirements for a graphic design challenge
      2. brainstorming design proposals and create thumbnails
      3. developing and building graphic design solutions using a variety of media
      4. analyzing solutions to graphic design challenges
      5. critiquing and evaluating how well a variety of communication problems satisfy human needs and wants
    3. improve information literacy by:
      1. learning to use a variety of measuring instruments
      2. researching various technical content sources.
      3. interviewing clients/specialists to collect information for a graphic design problem
      4. using technical manuals/tutorials to improve their proficiency with technical systems
      5. researching communication methods and techniques
    4. improve artistic appreciation and expression by:
      1. researching and viewing various styles and types of graphic media 
      2. developing proficiency in using a variety of media tools.
    5. use technology to
      1. understand the nature of Technology
      2. understand the relationships between technology and society
      3. understand and apply the design process
      4. apply the design process by safely using and maintaining communication systems and products and assessing their impact

    Interdisciplinary Connections:

     Connections in Mathematics occur throughout the course in measuring, resizing pictures proportionally, estimating the time and materials needed for a job and describing and using a variety of geometric shapes and ideas. Social Studies is accessed in discussions on how communications technologies have developed and changed through history, and the effects these changes have had on Society (eg, mass literacy and the rise of science), or the need for humans to act together in technological systems. Science comes up when talking visual perception, color theory and material selection. Communications is a core component of the course, which relates to the Language Arts disciplines, especially through reading and writing project specifications, web reading, and typography.

    Essential Questions:

    1. What is the nature of Technology?
    2. What is the nature of Communications?
    3. What is design?
    4. How do humans collect information from others and the world around them?
    5. How do humans transfer and store ideas and information to others.

    Instructional Units:

    The challenges in this class will require students to use a variety of manual and digital tools to solve design challenges with an emphasis on the different elements or principles of graphic design. The entire course’s Primary focus is on the following Standards for Technological Literacy.

    • 3 - The relationships among Technologies and the Connections between Technology and other Disciplines
    • 8-13 - Design
    • 17 - Information and Communication Technologies

    1. Introduction to concepts of technology (A2, A3, A4, B1, H1)
      1. The Communications process 
      2. Graphic Design
        1. The Principles and Elements of Graphic Design
    2. Project design and layout.(11, 12)
    3. Design critique and evaluation
    4. The varieties of media (7, 8)
    5. Digital photography
    6. Color theory and color specifications
    7. Typography                                                               

    Student Outcomes:

     Students will:

    1. model techniques used for problem solving.
    2. use traditional and computer assisted graphic design tools and techniques
    3. demonstrate basic design theory, design detail, and message production.
    4. plan, schedule and manage a communication activity or project.
    5. safely use a variety of materials and tools that are appropriate to complete a task in communications systems.
    6. work cooperatively with other students.

    Methods of Instruction:

    1. Lecture and guided classroom discussion
    2. A graded progression of technical graphic challenges
    3. Individual coaching and demonstrations
    4. Teacher and student-led demonstrations, videos, and guest speakers
    5. Individual and collaborative problem solving
    6. Guided reading and note-taking

    Methods of Assessment:

    1.  Performance assessments
      1. Instructor’s observation of safe and proper tool and material use
      2. Achievement of Civic and social standards through demonstrated workplace skills
    2. Portfolio Assessment (Portfolio consists of both hardcopy and scanned and digital images)
      1. Student notes
      2. Sketches and/or thumbnails
      3. Prototypes and rough drafts
      4. Final solutions to design challenges
      5. Written reflections
    3. Participation in class critiques and self-assessment 

    Lesson Extensions:

    1. Personal Projects designed by students
    2. Peer tutoring
    3. Art/sculpture related projects
    4. Field trips to local museums/exhibits.
    5. Virtual Field trips to pertinent web site on the internet.
    6. Guest Speakers
    7. Participation in student extracurricular activities such as Technology Student Association, Destination Imagination
    8. Independent research on topics related to graphic design.

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