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Graphic Design

Graphic design involves creating visual meaning through the thoughtful manipulation of typography and image in various media. The graphic design program at EMU stresses conceptual thinking and experimentation balanced by technical and practical knowledge. At EMU, individual and group projects in graphic design classes introduce students to a range of design methods and to various media, including print, web, motion graphics, bookbinding, and silkscreen. As they progress through the program, EMU students build on conceptual, technical, and professional skills acquired in previous classes. Our graduates have been hired as creative directors, art directors, graphic designers, web designers, and illustrators at local, national, and international firms.

Graphic Design FACULTY

Andrew Maniotesamaniotes@emich.edu
Ryan Molloymryan7@emich.edu
Leslie Atzmonlatzmon@emich.edu

Graphic Design Facilities

The graphic design facilities include a computer lab and classroom. The computer lab is equipped with 22 iMacs, a large-format scanner, and a medium-format (11″×17″) black and white laser printer. The computers furnish students with current production software for print, interactive, video, and 3-d modeling and animation production; this includes current versions of the Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Express, and Maya. The classroom contains screen printing equipment and workspace and a critique space.

Graphic Design Courses

ARTS 104 Graphic Design for Nonmajors

Problems will explore fundamental design and basic production considerations and the development of a professional design thought process. (Formerly ART 165)

Prereq: none

ADGD 324 Design Systems and Series

This course explores systematic approaches to applying visual communication components, such as text and images, over multiple graphical formats and media.


Prereq: a minimum grade of “C” in ADGD 301

ADGD 321 Typographic Systems

This course covers the application of typographic principles, such as visual relationships and information hierarchy. These principles are applied to the design of multiple-page documents such as books, brochures, and websites.


Prereq: a minimum grade of “C” in ADGD 301

ADGD 301 Introduction to Graphic Design

This course offers an intensive exploration of the fundamentals and principles of graphic design. Students are introduced to two-dimensional typographic space; language sequence and information hierarchy; families and their structure; typographic aesthetic; typographic history; and basic image creation. The course introduces appropriate tools and software.


Prereq: AD 121, AD 123, and One Art History course (ARTH 100-199)

ADGD 322 Image Making

This course focuses on image making as it applies to the materials and processes of communicating specific visual concepts. It introduces a variety of strategies, material processes, and methods for the creation and design of unique images as they may be applied within graphic design.


Prereq: A minimum grade of “C” in ADGD 301

ADGD 401 Advanced Graphic Design Studio I

This course introduces a strong focus on complex graphic design projects with multiple parts, and portfolio preparation for professional employment. Students will produce work using a range of media.


Prereq: AD 300W, (a minimum grade of “C” in ADGD 321, ADGD 322, ADGD 323, ADGD 324, and ARTH 474), and (passed the Foundations and Graphic Design mid-program portfolio reviews).

ADGD 402 Advanced Graphic Design Studio II

This course continues a strong focus on complex graphic design projects with multiple parts, and portfolio preparation for professional employment. Students will produce work using a range of media.


Prereq: (a minimum grade of “C” in ADGD 401) and (passed Graphic Design mid-program portfolio review)

AD 400W Capstone

This course is taken in conjunction with the last course in each student’s area of concentration. It is designed as the culminating learning experience for students in the BFA curriculum and will help provide direction for their future professional careers. The course will focus on preparation for a required senior exhibition, the development of a professional portfolio, and the creation necessary written documents to support one’s professional career.


Prereq: must be enrolled in final area of concentration and department permission

ADGD 323 Experimental Typography

This course emphasizes conceptual and methodological approaches to the creation of expressive type and typography.


Prereq: a minimum grade of “C” in ADGD 301

ADGD 335L4 Graphic Design Practicum

This course gives students direct experience in the field of graphic design by working on client-based projects. Projects vary each term and include both on and off campus clients


Prereq: A minimum grade of “C” in ADGD 301

ADGD 332 Poster Design

This is a graphic design course focusing on the making of posters as a visual communications vehicle. Students will become familiar with poster making processes including screen printing, spray paint stencils, and digital output. Emphasis will be placed on typography, scaling, production techniques, and other design principles in relation to posters.

Prereq: ADGD 301 or AD2D 303

ADGD 331 Graphic Design Workshop

This studio course explores different topics and issues related to graphic design. The course is designed to give students instruction and exposure to specialized visual communication studies. Coursework may focus upon distinct areas of concept, format, or media, as well as contemporary and historical themes and trends.

Prereq: A minimum grade of “C” in ADGD 301

ADGD 333 Motion Graphics

This course explores the creation of motion-based graphic design work utilizing animation and video compositing techniques as they relate to typography, identity design, information design, and illustration. Introduces appropriate tools, methodologies, and software.

Prereq: AD 127 and a minimum grade of “C” in ADGD 301

ADGD 334 Design for Web and Interaction

This course explores design issues that are unique to user-centered interaction for digital media. Through applied projects, students examine a range of formal and conceptual issues including narrative and sequencing, screen-based typography, information design, user experience, usability, and accessibility. Introduces relevant software, prototyping techniques, and markup/programming languages.

Prereq: AD 127 and a minimum grade of “C” in ADGD 301