Class Descriptions

Class titles reflect our old department and program names. Look for our new class titles starting Fall 2014.

VMD students working

© 2014 VMD Department. Photo by Julia Sperling, VMD student 


First Semester Credit Classes

These courses are the foundation of our program of study. Most are prerequisites to advanced courses. As a new student, you should take these courses before any others. If you believe you already have these skills, follow the department prerequisite policy. See below for non-credit courses.

DSGN 101 – Design Fundamentals
A multidisciplinary collaborative design course covering the theories, processes, vocabulary, techniques and skills common to design disciplines. Equivalent to MMSP125 which focuses specifically on web design.

GRPH 23 – Orientation to Design & Graphic Communications
Survey class acquainting students with areas of study and employment in graphic design, illustration, industrial design, prepress and print production. Equivalent to
MMSP 110 which focuses on careers in the multimedia industry.

GRPH 25
 – Digital Skills for Visual Media
Introductory Macintosh computer class – hardware and operating system software, networks, type and text formatting, raster and vector graphics, time-based media, layout for print and web, and best professional practices. Software covered includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver and HTML.

VDM 111– Print Processes for Designers
A practical course to familiarize design students with processes and workflows involved in producing digital and offset printed materials. Students complete in-class exercises for the stages of print production — prepress, press, and finishing — using digital and traditional equipment. (Required only for students who are in the AA or Certificate in Graphic Design programs).

GRPH 110 – History of Graphic Design
A study of the development of visual communication in art, graphic design, illustration, and popular culture from the 19th century to the present. The influence of political, social, technological, and commercial forces are examined with an emphasis on the use of interpretation of imagery, symbols, and type in design. (Required only for students who are in the AA or Certificate in Graphic Design programs).

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Graphic Communications Courses

These courses deliver the theory, skills and practical experiences required in our program. Multimedia courses are listed below. Please pay attention to the pre/corequisites.

GRPH 35 – Graphic Design
Introduction to design for visual communications. Design Fundamentals, basic typography and design process explored. Practical exercises and assignments. Prereq: DSN 101.

GRPH 36 – Intermediate Graphic Design
Continued study of conceptual development, iterative design process, typography and layout for graphic design. Prereq: GRPH 35.

GRPH 37  – Advanced Graphic Design
An advanced design class focusing on the development of 
a personal voice and conceptual approach to design thinking. Design process is emphasized. Prereq: GRPH 36.

GRPH 53A – Basic Typography
Beginning typography with a study of the terminology, classification, history and use of type in communications. Practical exercises and assignments. Prereq: DSN 101.

GRPH 53B
 – Typographic Design
Continued study of typography with an emphasis on developing an awareness of typographic form and structure. Practical exercises and creative projects. Prereq: GRPH 53A.

GRPH 68 – Design Studio Practicum
In-house design & production internship in Emerge Studio for the development of advanced skills. Prereq: GRPH 35, 53A, 98A, 101A.

GRPH 92A  – Letterpress Printing
A hands-on course in letterpress printing. Course covers handset metal type, printing on the Vandercook and Chandler & Price presses, bookmaking and more. Short-term course.

GRPH 98A  – Beginning Adobe Photoshop
An introductory hands-on course in digital imaging using the program Adobe Photoshop. Prereq: GRPH 25.

GRPH 98B  – Advanced Adobe Photoshop
Advanced hands-on course in digital imaging using the program Adobe Photoshop as a creative tool. Prereq: GRPH 98A.

GRPH 100A – Beginning Adobe Illustrator
Introduction to the program Adobe Illustrator and its use in graphic design and illustration. Prereq: GRPH 25.

GRPH 100B – Advanced Adobe Illustrator
Advanced class in digital illustration, focusing on the development of illustration skills. Prereq: GRPH 100A.

GRPH 101A – Beginning Adobe InDesign
Introduction to Adobe InDesign for page layout: basic typesetting, introduction to styles and master pages, importing graphics, preparing jobs for print. Prereq: GRPH 25.

GRPH 101B
  – Advanced Adobe InDesign
Continued study and use of Adobe InDesign. Advanced typesetting; tables; complex documents; grid development and usage; transparency; and interactivity are covered. Prereq: GRPH 101A.

GRPH 110A  – Beginning Digital Illustration
This course covers techniques in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator for illustrators. While gaining technical knowledge, students will begin to explore stylistic options and build a body of work. Sketching and other techniques for developing concepts are also covered. Prereq: GRPH 100A, 98A, ART 130A, Advise: DSN 101.

GRPH 140– Interactive Design
The design process for interactive media: information design, content/structure relationships, interface design and navigation, and presentation design issues. The design and production of a prototype for a simple interactive project. Prereq: GRPH 35, MMSP 130.

GRPH 149 – Portfolio Development
This course will assist advanced students in the conceptualization and development of a portfolio for employment or other uses. Topics covered include portfolio design strategies, format options, editing and sequencing, production and presentation for print and interactive media projects. Prereq: Third semester standing.

GRPH 151–Lettering and Type
Learn to design your own typeface by both traditional and digital methods.



GRPH 153 – Book Structures, Boxes & Binding
A historical overview of contemporary book design & production techniques for portfolio use. Topics include contemporary book design and box structures.

GRPH 197 – Graphic Design Exp/Internship &
GRPH 198 – Production Art Work Exp/Internship
Application of graphic design skills (197) or application of production art skills (198) — proficiency development in a supervised work environment.

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Multimedia Studies Courses

The Multimedia Studies Program prepares students for entry-level employment in the multimedia industry. Created as a cooperative effort by many discimplines, the program offers instruction in the deisgn, development, tools, techniques, and production of computer-based interactive multimedia. Teamwork is emphasized, reflecting the interdisciplinary work environment of the multimedia industry.

MMSP 125 – Multimedia Content and Form
Analysis of function and importance of visual elements and design principles in multimedia products.

MMSP 130 – Multimedia Process and Production
Overview of multimedia development, planning, and production. Prereq: GRPH 25.

MMSP 131
 – Social Media For Professionals
course teaches students how to use online social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to develop, integrate and leverage online social networks. Students learn how to set up a professional media campaign as they engage clients with these tools. Students also critique current social media practices.

MMSP 135A – Web Development for Designers Level 1
Beginning website production. Prereq: GRPH 25.

MMSP 135B – Web Development for Designers Level 2
Overview of advanced multimedia production for the Web. Topics include static versus dynamic websites, database-driven websites, creating and styling dynamic web pages, and standards-based web production. Prereq: MMSP 135A.

MMSP 140 – Flash Essentials
This class covers the essential features of Adobe Flash, including drawing, animation, sound and interactivity using beginning ActionScript 3.0. Prereq: GRPH 25.

MMSP 145 – Storytelling and Storyboarding
Generation and development of content for multimedia that references traditional and digital storyboarding. Prereq: GRPH 25.

MMSP 146 – 2D Animation with Flash
An introduction to techniques used in animation using Adobe Flash. Prereq: GRPH 25.

MMSP 147 – 3D Imaging with 3D Studio Max
An introduction to techniques used in 3D modeling and imaging using 3D Studio Max. Prereq: GRPH 25; MMSP 125 or DSN 101 or ART 125A or ART 130A.

GAME 100 – Exploring Game Worlds
An introduction to the history and status of interactive games. Students examine games as an art form and as part of an ever-growing industry. Includes an introduction to the career opportunities in the game industry. Students will learn how individual games are made, distributed and sold.

GAME 130 – Game Production Workflow
This course develops fundamental skills in production and project management for interactive games. Students will explore the process of game production through designing, scheduling and creating an original playable prototype in a 3D game engine. Students will design independently and as part of a team. Prereq: GRPH 25.

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Design Collaborative Courses

Design Collaborative classes offer students a unique experience in design education. Our multidisciplinary approach is geared towards students interested in exploring many creative fields and solving design problems through multiple perspectives. Students will gain collaborative skills that will help distinguish them in today's highly competative workforce and increase their ability to be successful in the evolving marketplace of art and design.

DSGN 105 – Survey of Collaborative Design
A survey of influences and forces throughout history that drive change in design. Focus will be given to how collaborative processes lead to change. Students will research, analyze, and discuss design case studies.

DSGN 110 – Rapid Visualization
A free hand drawing course for the development of Visual thinking, covering processes, skills and techniques for the rapid visualization of design ideas. Practical application through individual and group exercise and projects.

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