USC Upstate Syllabus

Spring 2014 Computer Graphics I SART 108, Section 1

T/Th 1:40-4:20, MWF 12:00pm-1:50pm

Instructor: Bridget Kirkland Office Hours: Mon, Wed & Fri: 10:50-12 HPAC 121

Twitter 7 days a week 8am-10pm

Twitter: @KirklandDesign

Office: KVAC 110

Office Phone: 864-503-5803



Course Description

SART 108 Computer Graphics I is an introduction to the software and hardware used in the fields of graphic design and illustration.

Course Objectives

1. To cultivate a structured, creative open work environment in order to grow and explore design.

2. “Self-Motivated work principals” The student is to explore and research design, the applications and the MAC outside of class in order to aid in the growth of discussion and use of terminology.

3. Develop a strong understanding of the principals, theory, vocabulary, skills and technology associated with graphic design.

4. To stimulate the students drive for knowledge and understanding of the implementation of design and the processes involved.

5. To learn how to solve intellectual/visual problems through critical thinking and the principals of design covered in class.

6. During this course students will be responsible for keeping up with readings, tutorial videos and sketching/thoughts/pictures in an 8×10 or larger sketchbook as a source of inspiration for all projects. 

7. The student will be able to navigate Adobe Creative Suite: Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat.

8. The student will actively participate on the class (private) word Press blog. This shall be a place for all students to freely go to at any time any day and post technical questions where other students in the class can help to answer, where class thoughts, questions on discussions and anything class related be posted. This blog will be the source for everything from assignments, syllabus, posting projects, helpful tips and everything design. On the first day we will all create a member login. Participation in this blog is a must to help yourself and your classmates. This will be a part of your participation grade.

9. Projects will be transfered to professor via pdf for grading on a free drop Box account. (If you don’t have one, no worries we will set this up in class.)

10. You will need a Twitter account for this class, so you can follow the accounts of other designers, ad agencies and peers in the art and design field. Twitter is an excellent place to acquire freelance and full time jobs. It is time to start branding yourself as a designer or artist. If you don’t yet have a Twitter account—or if you prefer not to use your personal account for classroom work—then sign up for a new account. I strongly encourage you to create a disposable account if for any reason you prefer not to share your personal account for classroom activities. When we tweet about this course, we will use the hash-tag #SART108

When using Twitter in the classroom. You have permission to keep your personal and academic lives separate, even when using social media in the classroom. It is perfectly acceptable to use a disposable account. Students can use an alternate email to sign up for a class-specific Twitter account (or even sign up for a dummy email address for this purpose), use that account to meet the requirements of the social media assignment, and delete or abandon the account when the semester ends. Students can even create entirely pseudonymous Twitter accounts for class. So long as the student tell me which account they’re working under, I do not care if the account reflects any of their personal information. I will follow you and you will need to follow me @KirklandDesign to continue our discussions outside of the classroom. Here is also another opportunity to follow others in the class and respond to each others questions, problems or concerns. As well as share interesting design finds with each other. This is also a part of participation grade. If you do not have a smart phone it is ok, you may create and follow with you twitter account on a desk top computer. I will encourage class tweets of questions, comments or quotes as the class is in session. 


Be respectful of your peers. The goal of a critique is to be a learning experience.

Discuss specifics, offer suggestions. Participation is part of your grade.

Required Book & Materials:

Book: “Graphic Design The New Basics” by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips

ISBN13: 978-1-56898-702-6

Non required reading but great advice and rules to follow as a designer

ISBN # ”Steal Like An Artist” by Austin Kleon

ISBN 9780761169253

( found this book on eBay with shipping included for under $9.00on Amazon it is about $14.00 ) (discount book search)

1. 8×10 or larger sketchbook

2. 16GB or larger flash drive you can find reasonable drives on the following:

Amazon, NewEgg, ebay or Costco. 

I will be requiring all students to sign up for DropBox and you will receive a free 1 GB account to upload all projects for semester to my shared account. (I will explain this in first day of class) Please note, you still need a flash or external harddrive to store your projects on. 

These items won’t be needed right away for class, however know they will be utilized towards the end of the semester.

3. x-acto knife and blades, self healing cutting mat Corked backed, metal 24” ruler

4. Spray mount, rubber cement or glue stick

Student Learning Resources:

Adobe TV

Adobe cloud student version:

University of South Carolina Visual Arts

Curtis R. Harley Art Gallery

Course Requirements/Students Responsibilities

Be prepared for class especially on critique days. If you enter the classroom after the door is closed on Critique day you are late for your clients presentation. This means your client could potentially choose your competitor and you would lose out on business. This lateness on critique day automatically results in a deduction of one full letter grade. If your project is an A, automatic B and this is if your design had no issues. So don’t be late on critique day. Absences on critique day are also frowned upon. If for some reason you can’t make class on a critique day, I still expect you to upload your project by the due time/day. You might not be there but your project is.

This is a technical skills building course, you still should strive for creative solutions to projects and assignments. Be open and willing to learn. Please ask questions if things are not clear. Please ask your fellow students as well. They are also a good resource for answers.

Keep clean digital files, as the semester progresses, (I will notify you in advance,) you will be graded on how your files look and if the project is set up as clean as it can be. This is very important when working with a printer and other designers. It is good to practice this in the beginning so you don’t get in any bad habits.

Cell phones must be on silent (no ring or vibrate.) If you need to make a text or a phone call after instruction is finished, I understand. You may use your phone for twitter class participation. This is encouraged. However abuse of this privilege, it will be removed.

All correspondence outside of classroom will be with Word Press, Twitter and/or students official Upstate email account. I will not accept any other outside email account, no exceptions.

No food is allowed. Water is acceptable in a sealed container and kept away from computer equipment.

Headphones are allowed once instruction is finished and only on in-class working sessions, however if it becomes a distraction to others, the privilege will be removed.

Be professional in your work. Craftsmanship is important. Participate in class discussions and critiques. Communication on the verbal level is an important skill to develop and is part of your grade. Participation on Word Press Blog and Twitter is included as class participation, especially for those of you that are quiet in public situations, these are your places to shine. Evaluation of artwork in discussions and written is a critical skill to learn. Twitter and Word Press continues this discussion after classes. There are times I will post extra credit questions on twitter.

Back up your work on separate flash drives every class. Technical problems are not an excuse for late work. Technology is not always reliable, so have a back-up plan.

Expect to spend at least 5 hours a week outside of class on projects. If you don’t want to spend time in the computer lab, if you are a graphic design major, now is the time to purchase a laptop.

Students are challenged to explore and develop their own unique artistic voice. Students are expected to use originality and artistic integrity throughout the course, understanding that work based on published photographs or the work of other artists must move beyond duplication. (See USC Upstate Student Handbook p.126-127) Ideas and even photographs that are acceptable to use of others must be correctly cited.

“USC Upstate supports the ongoing development of an accessible university that embraces diversity through educational programming, services, resources, and facilities that are usable by all members of the campus community. In keeping with University policy, any student with a disability who requests academic accommodations should contact Disability Services at 503-5199 to arrange an appointment with a Disability Services staff member. Students are encouraged to seek an appointment as early in the semester as possible, as accommodations are not provided retroactively. Students should visit for more information.”


You are required to attend the entire class period. Coming in late or early dismissal is not an option. I understand special circumstances, just communicate that to me prior to class. You are allowed (3) three class absences. The fourth absence is a full letter grade below what you would have received for your final grade. Please don’t abuse attendance. This number is for both excused and unexcused absences.

(4) Four times tardy or early dismissal equals one absence. The participation portion of your grade will lower with each portion of class missed.

Projects/Graded Assignments (7) Total including Final portfolio. There are a total of 100 points for the semester with possibilities for extra credit points.

1. InDesign Business System (must have all three digital letterhead, BC, #10) (10 points)

2. InDesign Magazine 3 page spread (10 points)

3. Illustrator Personal logo (10 points)

4. Illustrator & Indesign personal logo bc, t-shirt design or web banner promo (10 points)

5. Illustrator & Photoshop Poster (10)

6 Illustrator, Indesign and Photoshop CD package (20 points)

7. Final Portfolio (30 points)

Other Class Projects

• Apples (illustrator)

• 12 sq. inches of class collaboration (photoshop)

• Animated GIF

• Attend (2) artist talk/art event (extra credit)

Grading Points

A 100 – 90 Portfolio ready, solid concept/design, original concepts with risks taken

B+ 89 – 85 solid concept/design/needs refinement

B 84 – 80 work is above average

C+ 79 – 75 concept present, minimum requirements met

C 74 – 70 work is average with no further exploration or interest

D+ 69 – 65 work is below average, weak in concept, design and presentation

D 64 – 60 work exhibits a lack of attention and interest, tardies/absences

F 50 – 00 incomplete or total absence of project; excessive absences

Class Calendar/Assignments

Please know I will do my best to keep us on track. However, I reserve the right to alter any assignments as I see fit, with appropriate notice and I will always make that information available in class, posted on the Word Press Blog, twitter, and email. Classwork assigned will be given due dates at time of assignment.

Week 1

Course Introduction/Software and Hardware/Graphic Design, Word Press Blog set up, Twitter set-up, Drop Box Account Set up, Learning about the Mac. 


Week 2- Week 4.5 Adobe InDesign


Week 4.5 – Week 8.5 Adobe Illustrator


Week 8.5- Week 13 Adobe PhotoShop

Week 14 Final Project


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