Graphic Design

ART 132a or b, Introduction to Graphic DesignStaff

A studio introduction to visual communication, with emphasis on the visual organization of design elements as a means to transmit meaning and values. Topics include shape, color, visual hierarchy, word-image relationships, and typography. Development of a verbal and visual vocabulary to discuss and critique the designed world. Materials fee: $150.  HURP

ART 264a or b, Typography!Alice Chung

An intermediate graphic-design course in the fundamentals of typography, with emphasis on ways in which typographic form and visual arrangement create and support content. Focus on designing and making books, employing handwork, and computer technology. Typographic history and theory discussed in relation to course projects. Materials fee: $150. Prerequisite: ART 132.   RP

ART 265b, Typography: Expression, Structure, and SequenceHenk Van Assen

Continued studies in typography, incorporating more advanced and complex problems. Exploration of grid structures, sequentiality, and typographic translation, particularly in the design of contemporary books, and screen-based kinetic typography. Relevant issues of design history and theory discussed in conjunction with studio assignments. Materials fee: $150. Prerequisite: ART 264.  RP

ART 266b, History of Graphic DesignDouglass Scott

This course studies how graphic design responded to (and affected) international, social, political, and technological developments from its inception in ancient Sumeria, Egypt, and China. Emphasis is on examples of identity, persuasive messages, exhibit and environmental, information and data visualization, typography and publication, and design theories from 1450 to 2010 and the relationship of that work to other visual arts and design disciplines. In addition to lectures, assignments include two studio projects in which design is integrated with research and writing. Materials fee: $150.  HU

ART 368a, Graphic Design MethodologiesPamela Hovland

Various ways that design functions; how visual communication takes form and is recognized by an audience. Core issues inherent in design: word and image, structure, and sequence. Analysis and refinement of an individual design methodology. Attention to systematic procedures, techniques, and modes of inquiry that lead to a particular result. Materials fee: $150. Prerequisites: ART 132 and 264, or permission of instructor.  RP
T 1:30pm-5:20pm

ART 369b, Interactive Design and the InternetRosa McElheny

In this studio course, students create work within the web browser to explore where the internet comes from, where it is today, and where it’s going—recognizing that there is no singular history, present, or future, but many happening in parallel. The course in particular focuses on the internet’s impact on art—and vice versa—and how technological advance often coincides with artistic development. Students will learn foundational, front-end languages HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in order to develop unique graphic forms for the web that are considered alongside navigation, pacing, and adapting to variable screen sizes and devices. Open to Art majors. No prior programming experience required. Materials fee: $150. Prerequisite: ART 132 or permission of instructor.  RP

ART 370a, Motion DesignChristopher Pullman

A studio class that explores how the graphic designer's conventions of print typography and the dynamics of word-image relationship change with the introduction of time, motion, and sound. Projects focus on the controlled interaction of words and images to express an idea or tell a story. The extra dimensions of time-based communications; choreography of aural and visual images through selection, editing, and juxtaposition. Materials fee: $150. ART 265; ART 368 recommended.  RP
Th 1:30pm-5:20pm

ART 468a, Advanced Graphic Design: Series and SystemsJulian Bittiner

A probe into questions such as how an artist can be present as an idiosyncratic individual in his or her work, and how that work can still communicate on its own to a broad audience. Concentration on making graffiti, i.e., the design of a set of outdoor marks and tours for New Haven. A technological component is included, both in the metaphor of designing outdoor interaction as a way to learn about screen-based interaction and in the final project to design an interface for a handheld computer. Materials fee: $150 per term. Prerequisites: ART 264 or 265, and 367 or 368, or permission of instructor.  RP
T 1:30pm-5:20pm

ART 469b, Advanced Graphic Design: History, Editing, and InterpretationHenk Van Assen

A probe into questions such as how an artist can be present as an idiosyncratic individual in his or her work, and how that work can still communicate on its own to a broad audience. Concentration on making graffiti, i.e., the design of a set of outdoor marks and tours for New Haven. A technological component is included, both in the metaphor of designing outdoor interaction as a way to learn about screen-based interaction and in the final project to design an interface for a handheld computer. Materials fee: $150 per term. Prerequisites: ART 264 or 265, and 367 or 368, or permission of instructor.  RP

ART 710a and ART 711b, Preliminary Studio: Graphic DesignBarbara Glauber and Scott Stowell

For students entering the three-year program. This preliminary-year studio offers an intensive course of study in the fundamentals of graphic design and visual communication. Emphasis is on developing a strong formal foundation and conceptual skills. Broad issues such as typography, color, composition, letterforms, interactive and motion graphics skills, and production technology are addressed through studio assignments.  6 Course cr per term
F 9am-3pm

ART 712a, Prelim TypographyJohn Gambell

For students entering the three-year program. An intermediate graphic design course in the fundamentals of typography, with emphasis on ways in which typographic form and visual arrangement create and support content. Focus on designing and making books, employing handwork, and computer technology. Typographic history and theory discussed in relation to course projects.  3 Course cr
Th 1:30pm-5:30pm

ART 720a and ART 721b, Graduate Studio: Graphic DesignSheila de Bretteville

For students entering the two-year program. The first-year core studio is composed of a number of intense workshops taught by resident and visiting faculty. These core workshops grow from a common foundation, each assignment asking the student to reconsider text, space, or object. We encourage the search for connections and relationships between the projects. Rather than seeing courses as being discreet, our faculty teaching other term-long classes expect to be shown work done in the core studio. Over the course of the term, the resident core studio faculty help students identify nascent interests and possible thesis areas.  6 Course cr per term
Th 1:30pm-5:30pm

ART 730a and ART 731b, Graduate Studio: Graphic DesignSheila de Bretteville, Dan Michaelson, and Susan Sellers

For second-year graduate students. This studio focuses simultaneously on the study of established design structures and personal interpretation of those structures. The program includes an advanced core class and seminar in the fall; independent project development, presentation, and individual meetings with advisers and editors who support the ongoing independent project research throughout the year. Other master classes, workshops, tutorials, and lectures augment studio work. The focus of the second year is the development of independent projects, and a significant proportion of the work is self-motivated and self-directed.  6 Course cr per term
W 1:30pm-4:30pm

ART 738a and ART 739b, Degree Presentation in Graphic DesignSheila de Bretteville, Dan Michaelson, and Susan Sellers

For second-year students. Resolution of the design of the independent project fitting the appropriate medium to content and audience. At the end of the second term, two library copies of a catalogue raisonné with all independent project work are submitted by each student, one of which is retained by the University and the other returned to the student. The independent project or “thesis” is expected to represent a significant body of work accomplished over the course of two years, culminating in the design of an exhibition of the work.  3 Course cr per term
W 4:30pm-7pm

ART 740a, Typography, Motion, MeaningAllen Hori

What does it mean to be contemporary and what are the conditions of contemporaneity? How do we locate our work relative to notions of intermediality, search, and buzz in a moment where one assumes 24/7 interconnectedness across all media? As we become increasingly habituated to conditions of intermediality, the differences between modalities appear to grow ever thinner in exchange and expression, at the personal and the institutional levels. Our design activities capitalize on media’s interdependence—explicit and implicit, one to the other—as relevant vehicles of representation and signaling. We focus on the corporeal intermediality of our bodies as media platforms where we understand our tools as prosthetics to our eyes, ears, and mouths. We consider the circulation and motion of the sign as it increases in velocity and replication via the logic of search in contrast to a perhaps outmoded modern notion of uniqueness and aura. For our purposes, the aural specificity of audio communication serves as the initial content source—the podcast as delivery to conscious cognition. Tasked with selecting and researching content that has invaded their being through their ears, students generate proposals exploring ideas and positions from the class discourse combined with their individuated content. Students’ interpretations, understandings, and misunderstandings find form in “motion”—film, video, gifs, glitches, animation, motion capture, puppets, etc. Narratives may be linear, or not; iterative, exploratory, and just slightly off.  3 Course cr
M 1:30pm-5:30pm

ART 742b, Networks and TransactionsMindy Seu

For first-year graphic design students. How can graphic design influence and be influenced by the unpredictable encounters between one group and another? Or between quantities of unknown users on one side, and vast webs of fluctuating information on the other? In this course students develop typographies, visual languages, and motion vocabularies appropriate for these pervasive conditions of the modern world, found in experiences as varied as Facebook, YouTube “supercuts,” the game of chess, automated stock trading, and the organization and speech patterns of political movements. The course posits that designed form may sometimes be visible, and at other times be relational or latent rather than directly seen. The class is primarily a studio course but also includes a programming lab in which fundamentals of coding are taught through hands-on work each week. No previous programming experience is assumed, and completed projects are expected to be technological in nature. Weekly reading discussions from a range of sources complete a triangle of design, practice, and theory. Prerequisite: ART 750.  3 Course cr

ART 743a or b, Letterform DesignStaff

Type design is distinct from “lettering” in that it necessarily calls for a systematic approach, not just a concern for individual forms. The course focuses on a clear, systematic procedure to building the design of a typeface, as well as the aesthetic issues presented by single letters. The class is taught with RoboFont, a type-design program for the Macintosh® that allows designers to digitize letterforms on screen and turn them into usable fonts. Students learn the software, together with the principles of designing and spacing type. Fully fledged type designers are not made in one term; the object is to “demystify” the subject and teach users of type an increased appreciation of it. Students work on individual projects, chosen in consultation with the instructors. Individual projects should be carefully chosen, so that the availability of the student’s new font makes a real contribution and serves a clear purpose. With the problems of type design so deeply interconnected, a clearly defined project is necessary to establish solid criteria for subsequent work. The nature of the project determines the route each student takes in researching the design. If appropriate to the project, students spend time rendering letterforms by hand, investigating historical sources, or starting immediately on screen.  3 Course cr

ART 744a, Moving Image MethodsNeil Goldberg

This class explores the signature formal properties and possibilities of video and provides critical frameworks for understanding moving image work. A series of hands-on projects introduces video production techniques, with a focus on accessible approaches over technically complex ones. Screenings from various cinema and video art traditions provide context for these explorations and help guide critique of the students’ own work. One thematic focus is on framing the everyday, the overlooked, and the incidental, providing a useful bridge to some of the key concerns of graphic design practice: how to direct attention, create emphasis, make manifest the latent and the liminal. In addition to production strategies, the course offers exercises that focus attention on the act of attention itself, to investigate how video can augment and transfigure the act of observation and uniquely represent what is observed. These exercises build toward the completion of a larger video project incorporating the approaches introduced throughout the term. Students gain the technical and critical facility to incorporate moving image work thoughtfully in their own design practices.  3 Course cr
M 1:30pm-5:30pm

ART 745b, Total TypographyJulian Bittiner

Part methodological, part historical, part experimental, this studio course investigates contemporary Latin-based typography with an emphasis on craft and expression. Typography is not the dutiful application of a set of rules; however, both inherited and emerging conventions across various geographies and media are closely examined. Students learn to skillfully manipulate these conventions according to the conceptual, formal, and practical concerns of a given project. Supported by historical and contemporary writing and examples, assignments aim to develop observational and compositional skills across a variety of media, oscillating between micro- and macro-aesthetic concerns, from the design of individual letterforms to the setting of large texts, and everything in between. The course includes a short workshop in lettering, but the primary focus is on digitally generated typography and type design. Experimentation with nondigital processes is also encouraged. Students develop an increasingly refined and personal typographic vocabulary, customizing assignments according to their skills and interests.  3 Course cr

ART 750a, The Trough of PracticalityStaff

“Learning to code through reading and writing.” This studio course introduces fundamental concepts of programming for the web. Students learn technical skills solely through the development of their own writing. The course asserts that programs should be written not only for computers to process but also for humans to read. While best practices are discussed, a variety of techniques that consider craft, tone, and style—challenging the notion of a singular, universal method—are discussed and explored. After being introduced to document structuring and semantic HTML, students learn PHP through intensive writing exercises. In this course, writing is considered a forward-facing web application, its constituent code, and the code’s annotation as written for a future reader. The course is intended for first-year students with little or no programming experience and is a prerequisite for ART 742.  3 Course cr
W 9:30am-1:30pm

ART 751b, Print to ScreenRyan Waller

This course investigates some of the unique challenges graphic designers face working across print and digital interfaces and the opportunities for these two spaces to have a dialogue with each other. Students develop strategies for creating coherent visual and conceptual relationships that bridge this divide. We look at the history and influence of technology on graphic design, the diverse ways contemporary practice explores the virtual and the physical, and consider how, in which way, and if these spaces are indeed different. Among the questions we answer: How can responsiveness translate to print? What is the digital equivalent of binding? Can a website be a time-capsule? Can a book be refreshed?  1½ Course cr

ART 752a, Fictive InterfacesAyham Ghraowi

Behind the buttons, input fields, and location pins of digital interfaces is a world of networks. These networks are made up of computational processes driven by ideologies, biases, and agendas that render in their interfaces a skewed representation of reality that perpetuates narratives for like-minded readers. Reliant on emotions and desires, these narratives, calculated through vast amounts of data collecting, are generated by algorithmic recommendations. With this in mind, it would be naive to think of an interface as a neutral presentation of choices. Consider the way in which narratives are exploited through A/B testing and behavioral science in order for the interface to internalize motivation in users. A calibrated sequence of vibrant colors and loading animations drives dopamine-releasing game-play for the nth hour. An auto-play video queues up. An encouraging prompt from a seemingly omniscient narrator notifies Uber drivers as they’re about to log off, “You’re $10 away from making $330 in net earnings. Are you sure you want to go offline?” These narrative feedback, or compulsion, loops are determined by how real-time data can mutate into fiction. While platforms can be deceptive—in the way that Jim Molan, deputy chair of Australia’s Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media, describes TikTok as perhaps being “a data collection service disguised as social media”—the fictive interface is not merely lies and trickery. It also relies on narratives that describe the plausible—ways to navigate a possible future that, based on one’s belief system, seems likely to happen. Throughout this course, we collect and read relevant articles documenting current events, so as to track the narrative and counter-narrative techniques of digital technologies, including memetic warfare, racism, nationalism, conspiracy, and propaganda. Within this arena, we identify and occupy new digital spaces of discourse for thesis work to be granted the agency in proposing its own narrative—one that will engage with multiple perspectives and challenging viewpoints. The course argues that it is not enough to distrust or oppose these technologies. Instead, understanding what goes on beneath the surface of the interface is necessary to make work that does not capitulate to fictive simplifications. The prompts for the thesis projects ask students to develop methods for translating their research into fictive interfaces. The methods consider James Bridle’s proposition, in New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future, that “what is needed is not new technology, but new metaphors: a metalanguage for describing the world that complex systems have wrought.” Building on technology and data storage and construction skills learned in their first year, students develop imaginative visual forms while also focusing on language and writing. Taking as a point of departure what Alexander Galloway writes in The Interface Effect, we think of the interface as “an entirely different mode of signification, reliant more on letter and number, iconographic images rather than realistic representational images.” Galloway, in regards to the use of data in an interface, continues to note that “gauges and dials have superseded lenses and windows. Writing is once again on par with image.” All notes, sketches, and work produced in the class will be rigorously documented and made as accessible as possible. We collectively develop publishing tools to address not only how these fictions are rendered, but also how they operate. However deceptive the representation offered by fictive interfaces may be, they also do things in the world. It is not just a question of how a button should look, but what possible social and political processes are enacted when that button is clicked.  3 Course cr
W 1:30pm-5:30pm

ART 762b, Exhibition DesignYeju Choi

For second-year graduate students. Problems in the graphic design of a collaborative and self-initiated exhibition. Prerequisite: ART 752.  3 Course cr

Master Classes in Graphic Design These are one or two weeks in duration and generally take place at the beginning of the term when both instructor and students are free to devote full time to a single, intensive project. In recent years, master classes have been conducted by Michael Bierut, Irma Boom, Matthew Carter, Paul Elliman, Karel Martens, Sigi Moeslinger, Jonathan Puckey, Enrique Ramirez, Michael Rock, and Masamichi Udagawa. Students are admitted at the discretion of the instructor.