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Welcome to Introduction to Design.  This foundation course explores the basic principles and elements of design using a variety of graphic me diums and elementary drawing skills. 
This is a studio course requiring extended hours. 

“GRAPHIC DESIGN is the profession that plans and executes the design of visual communication

according to the needs of audiences and the context for which communication is intended.

Their work is composed of images and typography.”

American Institute of Graphic Arts and National Association of Schools of Art and Design


Design impacts every aspect of contemporary life. Billboards, magazines, advertisements, toothpaste containers, cell phones, the pattern on bedspreads/floor covering, airport or metro maps, and logos, just to mention a few are all created by a designer. Graphic Design provides structure within the arena of contemporary communication, and lies at the core of ALL other art forms.  The relationship to other art disciplines and content areas make this an obvious choice for a general education course.

The overall objective of the course is to provide students with the ability to solve communication problems through identifying the problem, research, critical analysis, solution generation and outcome evaluation. Students will construct meaningful visual responses to these communication problems, by utilizing various research techniques, problem-solving strategies, critiquing processes, tools and technology.

Students who are new or unfamiliar with Tigernet should take an hour or so to explore the system. The best way to do this is to view a course. Click the navigation buttons and observe the results. Note how the content is organized, and learn how to use the system tools for communicating and submitting assignments. For additional information, students are encouraged to review the Tigernet Student User Guides.

CLASS LOCATION: Graphic Design Building, DWU Campus



1.     Beginner’s Mind, Open Mind
2.     Defining Design

Two Dimensional-Design

1.     Basic Elements

a.     Line

b.     Shape

c.     Texture

d.     Value


2.     Color

a.     Color Theory

b.     Color Physics

c.     Color Interaction

d.     Defining Color

e.     Color Schemes

f.      Composing with Color

g.     Color, Emotion, and Expression


3. Principles of Two-Dimensional Design

a.     Unity and Variety

b.     Balance

c.     Scale and Proportion

d.     Rhythm

e.     Emphasis

4.     Illusion of Space, Illusion of Motion

a.     Creating the Illusion of Space

b.     Animated Space: Constructing Mulan

c.     The Illusion of Movement


Concepts in Critical Thinking

5.     Cultivating Creativity

a.     Seven Characteristics of Creative Thinking

b.     Goal Setting

c.     Time Management


6.     Problem Seeking and Problem Solving

a.     Problem Seeking

b.     Convergent and Divergent Thinking

c.     Brainstorming

d.     Visual Research

e.     Variations on a Theme

f.      An Open Mind


7.     Developing Critical Thinking

a.     Establishing Criteria

b.     Form, Subject, Content

c.     Stop, Look, Listen, Learn

d.     Types of Critiques

e.     Developing a Long-Term Project

f.      Turn up the Heat: Pushing Your Project’s Potential

g.     Concept and Composition

h.     Accepting Responsibility


8.     Constructing Meaning

a.     Building Bridges

b.     Purpose and Intent

c.     Context

d.     Connections

e.     Aesthetics

f.      Drama


REQUIRED BOOK: Launching the Imagination 4th Edition by Stewart.

Books can be ordered through the DWU Bookstore or Online

REFERENCED TEXTBOOK: Basic Visual Concepts and Principles for Artists, Architects, and Designers by Wallschlaeger and Busic-Snyder, Principles of Form and Design by Wucius Wong.

ADDITIONAL REQUIRED READING: All additional required reading is provided through online links, located in the Online Resources Tab.


Review the Student Tigernet Tutorials found in the Student tab at the top of your screen once you have logged into Tigernet. Course materials will be found under the Introduction to Design tab which you will find once you log into Tigernet.


This foundation course combines studio work with classroom instruction. Utilizing the elements and principles of design, and working in various black-and-white and color media along with elementary drawing skills, students in this course develop an understanding of the various organizational possibilities available in designing for the flat surface.  Along with learning and applying professional presentation skills and craftsmanship, the development of ideas, problem-solving skills, creative thinking and understanding design concepts are the focus of this course. This is a studio course requiring extended hours.


Since this is a basic design COLLEGE art course, it is imperative that you maintain discipline and keep up with the pace. You should develop a regular routine and stick with it.  Daily in class assignments referencing our reading, along with major design projects will be assigned.  Part of your grade is determined by your ability to participate in class and contribute to the learning environment.


I want this to be not only a productive learning experience for you, but also a positive experience.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can help you with an assignment or answer questions related to the course content.

My office hours are by appointment. I will respond to emails within 48 hours. Do not text me. If you need to converse with me we can set up a conference or visit on the phone. Email me your phone number and I will call you.

I read my e-mail ( regularly.


Be diligent in your studies, be prepared, strive toward excellence and ask for help before you feel overwhelmed.

I look forward to meeting you all.

Technical help should be addressed to Rod Brown at the DWU Helpdesk.


Go to for complete technology requirements.

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