Graphic Design: Year 3

Design Electives

Each year the School of Design offers elective courses with changing topics. The following are Spring 2015 design electives recommended for Graphic Design majors:

DES351 Social Media Design : Play and Constraint
Investigates graphic design as an iterative practice of game-playing. Design, at its highest level, can consist in the specification of rules for the production of things, in addition to the production of the things themselves. Students will practice from both positions — rule-maker and rule-follower — in order to investigate graphic design as a procedural and conceptual activity: as the formulation, interpretation, and execution of rules for production. Experiments will be informed by readings in ‘60s and ‘70s conceptual art and systems theory. The semester concludes with class curation of archive of printed matter, under dialectical conditions of constraint, into a final exhibition and publication.

Image: Sol LeWitt; instructions for "Wall Drawing #118"; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; 1971


DES400 Advanced Photography for Designers : The Visual Narrative
When we combine a photo with text we are combining two different systems of signs. The word is a sign constructed alphabetically
and presented syntactically in a mutually agreed upon way to have a mutually agreed upon meaning. The sensations we receive from an image are unmediated. Photographs inform us in a direct way through tone, shape, apparent movement, etc. We think in, and perceive the world through, images, and we assign words to these sensations in order to communicate. But neither words nor images necessarily specify their opposing category—just  as every picture is worth a thousand words, so too is one word evocative of a thousand different images. The resolution of these two sign sets into a single coherent message is one of the most important and complex problem that a designer faces. Through readings and projects based on self-generated images and texts, this course will explore how the designer can shape messages through word and image.

For course registration approval, please email