Class Descriptions

VMD students working

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

Introductory Courses

These courses have no prerequisites and can be taken during the first semester. VMD 100, 101, and 105 are foundation courses for all of our certificates and degrees, and are prerequisites to most of the advanced courses. As a new student, you should take these courses before any others. If you believe you already have the skills taught in these classes, see the Department Prerequisite Policy. All of our courses are credit; we no longer offer non-credit courses.

VMD 100 (GRPH 23) – Orientation to Visual Media Design
Overview of the Visual Media Design industries and the requirements for programs of study. Lectures provide an overview of the areas of study, transfer options and employment opportunities. Studenys will identify the necessary skills to succeed in these fields and determine their program of study.

VMD 101 (DSGN 101) – Design Fundamentals
Foundational design course, covering the theories, processes, vocabulary, and techniques common to visual design disciplines. Students will develop and apply their knowledge through analysis, critique and individual and collaborative exercises and projects.

VMD 105 (GRPH 25) – Visual Media Digital Skills
A foundational hands-on Mac computer class for all Visual Media Design students. Topics of instruction will include computer hardware and OS software, networks, type and text formatting, raster and vector graphics, time-based media, layout for print and web, and best practices. Topics will be covered through lecture and practical exercises.

VMD 110 (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 will be discussed and analyzed, with an emphasis on the use and interpretation of imagery, symbols and type in design. (Required only for students who are in the AA or Certificate in Graphic Design programs).

VDM 111 (GRPH 27)– 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).

VMD 113 – Current Topics in VMD
Exploration of current issues in multimedia production, including industry standards and innovations. Topics will include file formats and content/asset editors, as well as current and future trends. Other topics will vary. Prereqs: VMD 105 or as indicated for specific topic. Check current schedule for details.

VMD 114A (GRPH 92A) – Letterpress Printing I
The art and craft of letterpress printing and hand set type. Skills development in typesetting, proofreading, polymer plate usage, stock selection, calculation and presswork.

VMD 116A (GRPH 153) – Book Structures, Boxes, and Bindings I
An introductory historical overview of contemporary book design and production techniques for promotion and portfolio use.

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Design and Typography

The design and typography classes range from beginning to advanced levels and cover topics related to both screen and print design. Please note these courses have prerequisites. To learn about waiving prerequisites, see the Department Prerequisite Policy.

VMD 120 (GRPH 35)– Graphic Design I
A beginning graphic design course focusing on visual problem-solving skills including iterative design process and creative use of design elements and principles for visual communication. Introduction to typography, grid and non-grid layout, identity design, poster design and additional design principles such as Gestalt theory.
Prereq: VMD 101 (or DSGN 101 or ART 125)

VMD 122 (GRPH 36)– Graphic Design II
Continued study of conceptual development, iterative design process, typography and layout for graphic design. Prereqs: VMD 120 and VMD 152.

VMD 124 (GRPH 37) – Graphic Design III
An advanced graphic design class focusing on the development of a personal voice and conceptual approach to design thinking. Topics include: visual language, sequential design, information design and design writing and research. Design process is emphasized. Prereq: VMD 122

VMD 126 (GRPH 140) – Design for Interactive Media

A graphic design course focusing on interactive media products. Topics of study include information architecture, interface and user considerations, content/structure relationships, and visual design for computer and mobile devices. Students will research and design solutions for various interactive products. Prereqs: VMD 120 and VMD 140.

VMD 127 (MMSP 136) – User Experience
This course focuses on industry-standard concepts and vocabulary used in User Experience (UX) for interactive projects, including interface design, information architecture, and UX principles, processes, and techniques. Students explore key topics of user-centered design through a series of hands-on exercises and projects. Prereq: VMD 140

VMD 130 (GRPH 53A) – Typography I
Introduction to typography as key element of visual communication. Exploration of the fundamental aspects of typographic form and use. Students will develop the ability to see, select and use type in meaningful ways through exercises and assignments.
Prereqs: VMD 101 (or ART 125 or MMSP 125) and VMD 105. Coreq: VMD 152.

VMD 131 (GRPH 53B) – Typography II
Continued study of typography with emphasis on the development of an awareness of typographic form and structure. The role of typography in contemporary communications will be explored through practical exercises in typesetting and typographic design.
Prereqs: VMD 130 and VMD 152.

VMD 134 (GRPH 151) – Lettering and Type

Instruction in hand-lettering with an emphasis on the relationship between calligraphy and type design. Study of and practice in various hands and techniques; creative exercises in letterform design. Prereq: VMD 101. Advisory: VMD 130.

VMD 136 – Digital Font Creation
Hands-on experience in creating fonts for the Macintosh computer. Practice in all the digital aspects of the process from concept to execution. Discussion of standards, uses and techniques of type design, and of the current state of the industry. Prereqs: VMD 100, VMD 150. Advisories: VMD 130, VMD 134.

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Digital Skills for Visual Media Design

VMD 140 (MMSP 130) – Web Production I
Overview of web development, planning and production through a hands-on approach. Topics include: multimedia planning, budget development, creating wireframes, and design, production and marketing techniques for a web site. Assignments will focus on pre-production planning and production of a web site. Prereq: VMD 105. Advisories: VMD 101 and 126.

VMD 141 (MMSP 135A) –  Web Production II
Development for web and smart devices using Dreamweaver and professional level code editors. Topics include separating markup, presentation and content. Section 508, production of accessible web sites and using HTML5 and Cascading Style Sheets are also covered. Prereq: VMD 140. Advisory: VMD 101.

VMD 142 (MMSP 135B) –  Web Production III
Overview of advanced tools for designers interested in developing web sites using professional level code editors. Topics include static versus dynamic websites, database-driven websites, creating and styling web forms, adding web form input validation, online databases, creating and styling dynamic web pages, and standards-based web production. Prereq: VMD 141.

VMD 150 (GRPH 100A) – Illustrator I
An introductory course in Adobe Illustrator, covering concepts of vector-based image creation. Students reproduce existing images to learn the various tools available within the application. Accuracy and control of Bezier curves is emphasized. Prereq: VMD 105. Coreq: VMD 111.

VMD 151 (GRPH 100B) –  Illustrator II
An advanced course in Adobe Illustrator. Creative projects are used to help students to develop a deeper understanding of Illustrator as a design tool. Prereq: VMD 150.

VMD 152 (GRPH 101A) – InDesign I
An introduction to Adobe InDesign for print and screen page design. Topics include introduction to interface, typesetting, styles, master pages, creating objects, importing graphics, layers, transparency, preflight and packaging. Emphasis on best practices. Prereq: VMD 105.

VMD 153 (GRPH 101B) –  InDesign II
Continued study and use of Adobe InDesign for print and screen with emphasis on advanced features and design projects. Introduction to tables, books, interactive documents for web and tablets.
Prereq: VMD 152. Advisories VMD 120 and VMD 130.

VMD 154 (GRPH 98A) – Photoshop I
This is an intensive, hands-on course using Adobe Photoshop. A broad understanding of raster image creation and editing is achieved through in-class projects. Prereq: VMD 105.

VMD 155 (GRPH 98B) – Photoshop II
An advanced, hands-on course in Adobe Photoshop. Creative projects are used to help students develop an understanding of Photoshop as a design tool. Prereq: VMD 154.

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Animation, Digital Illustration, and Gaming

VMD 156 (MMSP 140) – Flash
Adobe Flash, including drawing, animation, sound and interac
tivity using beginning ActionScript 3.0. This course prepares students for advanced multimedia classes in 2D animation, Flash web design and Flash game development. Prereq: VMD 105.

VMD 162 (MMSP 146) – 2D Animation
An introduction to techniques used in animation. An overview of the industry of animation, as well as the specific tools and techniques currently used in industry. Prereq. VMD 101 (or ART 125 or DSGN 101) and VMD 105.

VMD 164 (MMSP 147) – 3D Animation
Introduction to techniques used in 3D modeling and imaging. An overview of the 3D industry, as well as the specific tools and techniques used in multimedia. Prereqs: VMD 105 and VMD 101 (or ART 125 or DSGN 101).

VMD 166 (MMSP 145) – Storytelling and Storyboarding
This course aids in the generation and development of content for multimedia projects. Using traditional storytelling methods, personal writing, script writing techniques and performance exercises in and outside of the classroom, the student will explore multiple ways to generate and script content. Emphasis on development of skills and techniques of storyboarding. Prereq: VMD 101 (or ART 125 or DSGN 101).

VMD 168 (GRPH 133) – Visual Development for Animation
An overview of techniques of visual development for animati
on. Students will be exposed to developmental stages including character development and storyboarding. Prereqs: ART 130, VMD 150, VMD 154. Advisory: ART 132A.

VMD 170 (GRPH 110A) – Digital Illustration I
This course covers techniques in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator for illustrators. While gaining technical knowledge, students will also begin to explore stylistic options and build a body of work. Sketching and other techniques for developing concepts are also covered. Prereqs: VMD 150, 154, ART 130A. Advisory: VMD 100.

VMD 172 (GRPH 110B) – Digital Illustration II
An advanced course in digital illustration focusing on the development of conceptual and narrative skills as they apply to a range of illustration projects. Prereq: VMD 170.

VMD 178 (GRPH 118) – Portfolio Development for Illustration
A course in portfolio development, copyright law and professional practices for aspiring digital illustrators. Prereq: VMD 170.

VMD 180 (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.

VMD 182 (GAME 130) – Game Production Workflow
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. Prereqs: VMD 164 and VMD 180.

VMD 184 – Team Production of Games
This course provides students with the experience of working in a videogame development team. It enables students to understand the collaborative model employed in the commercial videogame production environment where different departments each bring special skill-sets to a single product. Prereq: VMD 182. Advisory: VMD 192.

VMD 188 – Career Portfolio for Games
Development of a portfolio for employment in an entry-level position as a designer or producer in the interactive game industry. This course will include resume writing, demo reels, design documents, informational interviewing, licensing issues and other topics based on students’ particular track and special interests within the industry. Prereq: VMD 182.

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Professional Development

VMD 190 (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.

VMD 191 (MMSP 131) – Social Media For Professionals
This 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. Prereq: VMD 105 or BCST 119. Advisories: VMD 140 and CNIT 129.

VMD 192 (GRPH 148) – Professional Practices
Advanced course focusing on graphic design professional practices: resume and portfolio development, freelancing and small business issues, fees, contracts, taxes, copyright, helpful resources and other related topics. Prereq: Third semester standing.

VMD 194A (GRPH 197) – Internship/Work Experience I
Application of skills and development of proficiency in a supervised
work environment. Students must complete a total of 60 hours for 1 unit credit. Prereq: VMD 122 and VMD 131, or VMD 126 and VMD 126.

VMD 194B (MMSP 160) –  Internship/Work Experience II
Application of skills and development of proficiency in a supervised
work environment. Students must complete a total of 120 hours for 2 units credit. Prereq: VMD 122 and VMD 131, or VMD 126 and VMD 126.

VMD 196 (MMSP 151) – Independent Study
This class will allow students to work on individual projects within the CCSF community. This will allow students to gain more real-world experience while serving the CCSF community.

VMD 200A (GRPH 68) – Design Studio Practicum
Emerge Studio, our in-house communication design studio, provides an environment for developing real-world skill proficiency. Students will gain practice with client communications, iterative design process and project management for individual and collaborative design projects, including posters, marks, brochures, booklets and journals, campaigns and other projects. Prereqs: VMD 120, VMD 130, VMD 150, VMD 152, VMD 194.

VMD 200B (GRPH 68) – Design Studio Practicum
Continued experience in Emerge Studio, our in-house communication design studio. Students will take on greater responsibilities in project management and client relations. Students will encounter larger projects and work with greater autonomy and independence. Prereqs: VMD 120, VMD 130, VMD 194, VMD 150, VMD 152

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Design Collaborative

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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As of Fall 2014, all GRPH and MMSP course prefixes, numbers and names will have changed. Old course identifiers are listed after the new ones. For a comprehensive list of name changes, click to download the VMD Course Name Conversion Chart.