Art & Design/Visual Communication Design (VCDS)

VCDS 120  Typography I  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): ARFD 101 and VIST 102. Restriction(s): Visual Communication Design majors only. Typography is the effective arrangement of visible language. Projects that encourage thoughtful exploration of point size, weight, line spacing, letter spacing, typographic grids, and formats will enable students to thoroughly address type-related problems. Calligraphy exercises and supporting lectures concerning fonts, font styles, typographic terms, and typesetting technologies develop the frame of mind needed to successfully practice this craft. Students will come to understand the typographer’s role as arbiter of taste and creator of meaning.

VCDS 201  Visual Communication Design Studio I  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): ARFD 103 and ARFD 106. Restriction(s): Visual Communication Design majors only. By stressing concepts, critique, presentation, and accurate production, Studio I is both introduction and opportunity for students to apply the basic principles of design. Through projects that demand research, concept development and attentive use of imagery, typography, and color to communicate messages, students will experience design thinking and problem solving firsthand. Course lectures and assigned readings simultaneously outline the essentials of professional practice while exposing students to theories of visual communication.

VCDS 220  Typography II  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): ARFD 104 and VCDS 120 and VCDS 201. Restriction(s): Visual Communication Design majors only. Students will gain further knowledge and application of basic skills gained in Typography I. Increasingly complex projects invite students to consider hierarchy and narrative for print, screen, and time-based media. Students will achieve a “systems mindset” and will, through readings, lectures, and demonstrations, recognize that persuasive typography depends on the correspondence between technique, audience, and format.

VCDS 225  Creative Coding  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): CSIT 100 and ARFD 106. This course is an introduction to creative coding. Students will use Processing, the programming language used by artists and designers to visualize data as well as render interactive and generative environments that feature sound, imagery, and typography. This course enhances problem-solving skills through projects that consistently expose students to logic, program structures, algorithms, and procedural thinking.

VCDS 301  Visual Communication Design Studio II  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): ARFD 104 and VCDS 201. Restriction(s): Visual Communication Design majors only. The follow‐up to Studio I, Studio II closely examines a cross section of designed artifacts that make up the visible world: packaging, products, environmental graphics, and digital media. Through individual and collaborative projects, students use their knowledge of theory, history, typography, and imagery to tackle a range of practical and experimental projects. This course fosters considerable professional growth by demanding stronger concepts, higher levels of craftsmanship, and accuracy of production.

VCDS 320  User Interface Design  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): VCDS 120 and VCDS 220 and VCDS 301. Restriction(s): Visual Communication Design majors only. The course content explores the fundamental issues of interactive design, user interface (UI), and user experience (UX). By applying appropriate design and research strategies in order to develop strong concepts, students create meaningful, screen‐based experiences that demonstrate their understanding of user needs and expectations. Analyses of brands and brand purpose provide opportunities to consider information architecture, navigation, usability, hierarchy, typography, and use of images in context. Students will also gain a basic understanding of industry workflow and resources.

VCDS 335  Visual Communication Design Co‐op  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): VCDS 301. Restriction(s): Visual Communication Design majors only. An internship at a graphic design studio, advertising agency, or related business at which the student will have the opportunity to work with professionals in the field of graphic design.

VCDS 401  Visual Communication Design Studio IV Thesis  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): VCDS 311. Restriction(s): Visual Communication Design majors only. In this studio course students will explore multiple goals and methods of design research in the context of communication design practice. Through case studies and studio projects, multiple creative strategies and tactics in design research will be investigated. The course will make a strong argument for performing rigorous experimentation and analysis as a creative practice that makes a designers’ way of thinking and communicating so unique. Students identify researchable topics and write framing questions to guide their investigations; they develop concepts, determine appropriate media and formats, generate prototypes, and design an exhibition through which audiences experience the knowledge and messages they wish to convey.

VCDS 411  Visual Communication Design Studio V Portfolio/Thesis Exhibition  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): VCDS 401. Restriction(s): Visual Communication Design majors only. In addition to installing a thesis exhibition, students develop a professional portfolio by rethinking and refining their body of work in order to suit their areas of interest in the field. Students will write and design résumés and cover letters and will establish a significant web presence that facilitates professional connections leading to employment. Students will present their portfolios to faculty and design practitioners for critical evaluation at midterm and at the end of the semester.

VCDS 465  Motion Design  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): VCDS 311. Restriction(s): Visual Communication Design majors only. This course introduces students to the language of motion design by creating meaning through exploration of kinetic typography, imagery, sound, time, and movement; enhances previous knowledge of typography and visual language while examining how temporal structural elements such as rhythm and simultaneity affect visual communication in a dynamic medium. Other topics include techniques and approaches to creative video projection, e.g. mapping projections onto objects. Course content will be delivered in the form of studio projects, lectures, demonstrations, discussions, and individuals and class critiques.