As you start this course it will probably be a good idea to brush up on Adobe Illustrator and peruse the online manual—especially the part about bezier curves. In the past many students have done a better job when they have not been constrained by the technical limitations imposed upon them by their lack of computer skills.
The most important aspect of this class is doing the projects and thinking about them and then redoing them. Everyone has a sense of design, but it will need careful consideration and a lot of work to improve it. It very well might seem like the person sitting next to you is so much better at designing that it takes them almost no time at all to do a project. Don't believe it – good design takes a lot of time and many revisions, no matter how advanced you are. That person doing so well is most probably spending hours outside of class.
What is probably most noteworthy about this course is what is not in it. Design is a broad field, and there is much to learn after you take this class. We spend only a little time on type. One could easily spend an entire term on typography no matter what their specific area of interest. We briefly cover the printing process and perhaps visit a printing plant. If you are working in graphic design, printing concerns will do much to guide your creations. And so on and so on. Especially if you are a Communications Design Major, you should look at this course as the introduction of knowledge you will gain by study in the library; producing your own work; internships; design concerns in other classes; talking with other students, professors, and professionals; etcetera.
Projects from Past Terms
Newer projects here. PDF opens in a new window. There were many other good projects, but these students' portfolios are very good throughout.
Taylor Vos (W16)
Nicole Letteau (W16)
Mollie Anderson (W16)
Miranda Fober (W16)
Makenzie Thorson (W16)
Jordan Thomas (W16)
Carly Kinning (W16)
Brett Schwickerath (W16)
Molly Zmudka (W15)
Jesse Smith (W15)
Dani Gordon (W15)
Ben Bogard (W15)
Alex Gheysens (W14)
Alyssa Hanson (W14)
Kalyn Ertz (W14)
Kyle Scobee (W14)
Mauricio Salazar (W14)
Natasha Willey (W14)
Lauren Matysik (W13)
Megan Howe (W13)
Kelli Miller (W12)
Miscellaneous Projects from Past Terms
This is a 'pure design' warm-up project.
Letter redesigns with the originals. Embedded tricky layout problem as well.
That redesigned letter (see the previous assignment) is just asking for others to join it to say something.
Resumes combine many aspects of design, from typography to layout. Getting the information in the right place is not as easy as it looks.
A poster that combines the design attributes of a poster with a bunch of information.
An abbreviation of the Mailer Project (see below)