Multimedia 463  ::  Graphic Design for Multimedia

Course Syllabus – Fall 2013

Mon, Wed   |   5:00 - 6:50pm   |   HUM 124   |   4 credits

Instructor: Erik Hagen
Office Phone: (805) 493-3505
Office Location: Riparian Building (north campus)
Office Hours: Mon-Fri by appointment

Course Description

If you use any visual medium at all — if you make a poster, type a letter, create a business logo, a magazine ad, a website, a billboard or an album cover — you are using a form of visual communication called graphic design.

What is graphic design? How do designers communicate messages through lines, shapes, colors, images and typography? How do the rules change in an interactive environment?

Answering these questions will provide an understanding of the role graphic design plays in various media, conveying not only information but also moods and emotions. Students will learn how ideas are expressed through imagery, type, interactivity and the timeless principles of design that surround them.

Student Outcomes

Assignments & Grading

Readings will be assigned each week. There will be five design challenge assignments throughout the semester. A final project and presentation will be given on the last day.

Assignment Points
Participation 15
Design Challenge 1 10
Design Challenge 2 10
Design Challenge 3 10
Design Challenge 4 10
Design Challenge 5 10
Final Project 35
Total 100

Course Format

While there will be some lecture, the majority of your time will be devoted to in-class activities. Assigned readings will provide background on each topic. Each class will begin with the “Question of the Day” followed by a brief lecture, and a workshop activity. Syllabus may change due to class dynamics. The course website will provide links to readings, assignments and other resources.

Attendance and Participation

Attendance and participation in class is expected and is a component of the final grade. Students start the course with all 15 participation points given. Each unexcused absence will 5 points being deducted.

Readings will be assigned to assist you in learning the material and preparing for class projects. It will be assumed that you have read and are prepared to discuss the assigned readings before coming to class, as well as any appropriate handout materials.

You are expected to contribute to class discussions and critique the work of others to provide feedback and evaluate design ideas.

Instructor/Student Interaction

If at any point during the course you have questions regarding the topics discussed, course projects or other course-related issues, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Make-up Policy

A student who misses a project deadline will receive a zero on the project. NO MAKEUP allowed unless arrangements have been made prior to the project and only as a result of severe illness or other significant reason documented and approved by the instructor.


If you are requesting accommodations for any physical, learning, or psychological disability please let me know right away and register with the Coordinator for Students with Disabilities (Pearson Library, Center for Academic and Accessibility Resources, Ext.3260) for the facilitation and verification of need.

Make Use of RSS and Feed Readers

After you graduate, it's up to you to keep yourself educated and up to date on the latest trends in the world of new media design and development. Find blogs by experts in your field of interest and subscribe to their posts using feed reader software, such as Feedly.

Continually educating yourself is crucial if you want to stay competitive and evolve as a designer. Make use of the information experts are putting out there for free!

Recommended Books

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People

by Susan M. Weinschenk

Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click?

by Susan M. Weinschenk

Logo Design Love

by David Airey

How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul

by Adrian Shaughnessy

Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills

by David Sherwin

The Principles of Beautiful Web Design

by Jason Beaird

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

by Daniel H. Pink

Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

by Steve Krug