Converse College Syllabus

ART 124 (3) Credits• T/TH 6pm-8:50 pm • Spring 2014• Room Milliken 203

Professor Bridget Kirkland •

Twitter 7 days a week 8am-10pm Twitter: @KirklandDesign



Major, Minor, Elective credit. A beginning course in layout design. Students will complete projects dealing with graphic visualization, packaging and layout. Lab fee


  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 student 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.


  1. Student will be able to cultivate creativity using a computer with Adobe applications.
  2. Student will be able to research the theory of design and implement research in class projects.
  3. Student will be able to acknowledge the difference between good and bad design.
  4. Student will be able to understand why certain processes are used in design and when best to use them.
  5. Student will be able to receive unorganized text and photos and creatively solve problems in layouts.
  6. Student will by watching tutorials outside of the class as well as keeping a sketch book begin to understand their sources of inspiration.
  7. Student will have a beginner base of the Adobe applications of InDesign, Illustrator and Photo shop.


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.


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

ISBN # ”Steal Like An Artist” by Austin Kleon ISBN 9780761169253

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

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


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:

Course Requirements/Students Responsibilities

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.

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.)

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 #ART124

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 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. This lab is open 24/7.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Students with documented disabilities who would like to request academic accommodations must contact the Director of Academic Accommodations and tutoring Services at 577-2028 (extension 2028 on campus)

HONOR CODE: Each of you has signed and is bound by the Honor Code of Converse College. This is not just a tradition or formality. It is a living and breathing document. It is an essential part, not just of Converse, but of the entire social system in which we live. When honesty and trust are absent in any exchange, society losses because of the extra effort that must be expended to make certain that the value of that which is exchanged is what we think. When honesty and trust are absent, the value of anything, whether physical goods, services, or relationships, is debased. Thus, I expect each student to abide by the Honor Code. Violations will be dealt with in an expeditious manner.

CAMPUS SAFETY: Phone extension is 9026. Call them if buildings are locked during operating times/weekends, or if needing assistance.

CAMPUS TOBACCO POLICY: Converse College campus is a tobacco free environment. A designated smoking area exists on the south side of Andrews Hall.

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)


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.

A = 94-100

A- = 92-93

B+ = 87-91

B = 85-86

B- = 83-84

C+ = 76-82

C = 73-75

C- = 70-71

D+ = 67-69

D = 64-66

D- = 61-63

F = 60 and Below

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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