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To earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Advertising at SVA, students must complete 120 credits as follows:

  • 72 credits in studio art courses
  • 30 credits in humanities & sciences courses
  • 15 credits in art history courses
  • 3 elective credits from among the undergraduate courses
First-Year Requirements

ADD-1010 Principles of Visual Language I
ADD-1015 Principles of Visual Language II
ADD-1020 Foundations in 3D Graphic Design
ADD-1030 Foundations of Drawing I
ADD-1035 Foundations of Drawing II
AHD-1010 Art History I
AHD-1015 Art History II
SMD-1020 Foundations of Visual Computing
HCD-1020 Writing and Literature I
HCD-1025 Writing and Literature II

Second-Year Requirements

Requirement A
Second-year students must take one semester of:
ADD-2030 Basic Advertising I
ADD-2035 Basic Advertising II
DSD-2020 Basic Graphic Design I
DSD-2025 Basic Graphic Design II
DSD-2050 Basic Typographic Design I
DSD-2055 Basic Typographic Design II
DSD-2060 Intermediate Drawing I
DSD-2065 Intermediate Drawing II
DSD-2070 Visual Literacy
DSD-2090 Computers in the Studio I
DSD-2095 Computers in the Studio II

Requirement B
Second-year students must complete one of the following courses:
AHD-2121 History of Advertising
AHD-2127 History of Graphic Design
AHD-2129 History of Typography

Third-Year Requirements

Requirement A
One semester of:
ADD-3202/3209 Advanced Advertising I
ADD-3212/3219 Advanced Advertising II
DSD-3741-3769 Interaction Design & Communication I
DSD-3771-3799 Interaction Design & Communication II

Requirement B
Students must choose one course per semester from any of the following areas. For two-semester courses, students must register for the corresponding spring component for each section. Students cannot change sections at the mid-year. Note: Students who plan to specialize in motion graphics in their senior year must register for DSD-3222, Motion Graphics Workshop I, and DSD-3223, Motion Graphics Workshop II.

Creative Advertising
ADD-3151 Unconventional Advertising I
ADD-3152 Unconventional Advertising II

Graphic Design
DSD-3010 Communication Graphic Design I
DSD-3015 Communication Graphic Design II

Motion Graphics
DSD-3221 After Effects and Final Cut Pro
DSD-3222 Motion Graphics Workshop I
DSD-3223 Motion Graphics Workshop II

Three-Dimensional Design
DSD-3336 Three-Dimensional Design I
DSD-3337 Three-Dimensional Design II

Honors Courses
DSD-3643 Communications, Design and Typography I
DSD-3644 Communications, Design and Typography II
DSD-3648 Design for Good
DSD-3651 The Project Class: Webisodes I
DSD-3652 The Project Class: Webisodes II
DSD-3667 Visual Identity and Multimedia
DSD-4754 Yearbook I
DSD-4755 Yearbook II

Third-year advertising majors who have not successfully completed all junior studio requirements and/or did not pass the junior portfolio review will be required to take one or more of the following courses during the summer semester. These requirements must be successfully completed in order to advance to the senior year the following fall semester. 

DSD-3012 Advanced Graphic Design
DSD-3331 Three-Dimensional Design
DSD-3626 Advanced Type I: The Perfect Pitch

Fourth-Year Requirements

Requirement A
ADD-4101/4019 Advertising Portfolio I 
ADD-4111/4119 Advertising Portfolio II

Requirement B
Students must choose one course per semester from the following:
DSD-3221 After Effects and Final Cut Pro
DSD-3222 Motion Graphics Workshop I
DSD-3223 Motion Graphics Workshop II
DSD-3336 Three-Dimensional Design I
DSD-3337 Three-Dimensional Design II
DSD-3351 Design for Social Change I
DSD-3352 Design for Social Change II
DSD-4702 Website Design
DSD-4706 MoGraph Essentials—CINEMA 4D and After Effects I
DSD-4707 MoGraph Essentials—CINEMA 4D and After Effects II
DSD-4708 Interaction Design, Coding and Content Strategy I
DSD-4709 Interaction Design, Coding and Content Strategy II
DSD-4711 Creative Computing for Interaction Experiences
DSD-4712 Computing for Interaction Experiences

Advertising General Course Listing

First Year Courses

ADD-1010 / ADD-1015
Principles of Visual Language I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
These studio courses will explore the fundamental principles of two-dimensional design and how these principles relate to visual communication. Through direct, hands-on participation in assignments and independent projects, students will work toward developing their own unique “visual language.” Experimentation with composition, visual hierarchy, typographic design, color interaction and visual narrative will be stressed. Students will explore a wide range of visual concepts, including abstraction, symmetry and asymmetry, contrast, figure/ground relationships, rhythm and harmony. Class time is used for the creation and execution of design work, along with critiques and discussions. Assignments are paper-based: supplies include construction paper, drafting and cutting tools, and gouache paint. The primary technique will be collage.

Foundations in Three-Dimensional Design
One semester: 3 studio credits
A study of visual perception through the use of three-dimensional media is the focus of this course. A conceptual approach toward problem solving, technical skills and utilization of various media will be emphasized. 

ADD-1030 / ADD-1035

Foundations of Drawing I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Focusing on the perceptual skills involved in image-making, these courses will examine drawing as an act of producing independent works of art and as a preparatory process in organizing a finished work. Assigned projects will explore the formal elements of art, such as line, space, scale and texture. Materials will include pencil, charcoal, pen-and-ink and wash, among others. Projects range from the figure and still life, for example, to mapping and storyboarding. 

Art History I
One semester: 3 art history credits
As an introduction to the art of Western cultures, this course will examine key monuments and styles in architecture, sculpture and painting through methods of visual analysis. Ranging anywhere from the Paleolithic period to the early 19th century, our exploration will link the ways in which concepts in art develop and change within different cultural and historical contexts. Field trips and museum visits will augment the course as appropriate. 

Art History II
One semester: 3 art history credits
Through the methods of visual analysis acquired in AHD-1010, Art History I, this course will investigate painting and sculpture from various regions and periods. While topics might include such areas of study as the transition of Renaissance art into modernity, the arts of the Ancient Near East and Southeast Asia, the arts of Africa, or Islamic art, the focus is to gain an understanding of the sociopolitical conditions that produce these artworks. Field trips and museum visits will augment the course as appropriate. 

Foundations of Visual Computing
One semester: 3 studio credits
Serving as an introduction to the tools, terms and techniques of visual computing for artists, this course will cover basic skills for operating and maintaining a computer, as well as the techniques to create collages and layered images and the tools required to display work on the web. The impact of technology on the visual arts will be examined and discussed from contemporary and historical perspectives.

HCD-1020 / HCD-1025

Writing and Literature I and II
Two semesters: 3 humanities and sciences credits per semester
The first part of this two-semester offering will help students become capable, critical and independent writers. With its focus on developing an argument, the course offers an introduction to some of the skills necessary for critical analysis of written art. It will include a review of writing basics (grammar, coherence, idea development, sentence and essay structure). Since reading widely is a foundation of good writing, course readings are drawn from a selection of premodern Western works, including drama, poetry, the narrative and the critical essay, which will be used as discussion and writing prompts. The second semester will emphasize essay development, reading and critical thinking. Students will write essays and a research paper, and continue to work on their grammar and essay development. Readings are drawn from a selection of modern works, including drama, poetry, the narrative and the critical essay.

Upper-Level Courses 

DSD-2020 / DSD-2025

Basic Graphic Design I and II
Two semesters: 2 studio credits per semester
These courses are an introduction to the various aspects of graphic communication, and will cover concepts, typography, layout and general graphic techniques.

ADD-2030 / ADD-2035

Basic Integrated Advertising and Communication I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Whether you aspire to work at a digital agency, studio, or start-up, the “new normal” is influencing everyday human behavior as we interact with products, services, environments and systems. In these courses, students will focus on identifying and solving big problems, concept ideation, designing for human interaction, branding digital spaces, iterative refinement, prototyping and communication of novel solutions. At each stage of the design process students will practice conveying their ideas by leading critiques and through presentations. 

DSD-2050 / DSD-2055

Basic Typographic Design I and II
Two semesters: 2 studio credits per semester
The applications of typography and color to a variety of graphic design projects will be explored in these courses. Assignments will also address the general rules of design and students will be encouraged to develop a personal vision within the framework of successful design solutions.

DSD-2060 / DSD-2065

Intermediate Drawing I and II
Two semesters: 2 studio credits per semester
These courses will explore drawing techniques using concepts of design, form, action, space, scale, texture and systems inherent to cohesive compositions.

Visual Literacy

One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is run as an experimental workshop dealing with the various issues of visual communication that pertain to the graphic and advertising worlds. Weekly home assignments will be based on ideas covered in class. The work of leading designers and art directors will be shown and discussed. There will be guest lecturers. 

DSD-2090 / DSD-2095 

Computers in the Studio I and II
Two semesters: no credit
This introduction to design on the Macintosh desktop publishing system will begin with the basics of the Macintosh operating system, and continue with software packages (including Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Bridge) as tools for visual creation. The second semester will include HTML5 and CSS, and will combine acquired techniques to create layouts, book covers, ads and packaging. A minimum of three hours of lab time per semester is required. 

History of Advertising: From the 19th Century to the Present

One semester: 3 art history credits
This course traces the history of advertising in the United States and how it increased from a $200 million industry in the 1800s to a $3 billion industry in the 1900s. Through field trips, guests lectures and documentaries, this course will survey the art directors, writers, photographers, agencies and campaigns that helped to shape American culture from the war raddled 1930s and ‘40s to the prosperous ‘50s to the Mad Men era that continued into the early 1970s and its impact on the ‘80s. In addition to exploring product and service campaigns, we will discuss several topics as they relate to advertising, such as political ideology, energy conservation, deforestation, public service and military recruitment.

History of Graphic Design: A Survey of Styles from the Late 19th Century to the Present

One semester: 3 art history credits
This course will focus on various graphic design movements from art nouveau and Jugendstil to De Stijl and Dada; from the impact of the Bauhaus to the fervor of the streamlined 1930s; from the Swiss International style of the ’50s to the psychedelia of the ’60s and on to the punk ’70s and postmodern ’80s. We will also examine the subjects, themes and relationship of the designer to the period. Using examples of the period as a focal point, the evolving design styles and their relationship to politics, commerce, social mores, technology and pop culture will be explored. From the beautiful to the ridiculous, the ephemeral aspects of design will be studied. Guest speakers will feature individuals who have created important design work of the periods discussed. 

History of Type: Stories, Secrets, Experiments and Accidents

One semester: 3 art history credits
The history of type is a mix of stories, secrets, experiments and accidents. In this course students will explore why letters have thick-and-thin strokes, why the tail of the Q is on the right side, why some types are called “Fat Faces” and others are grotesque, why some people refuse to use Gill Sans, who Mrs. Eaves was, and much more. Everyone has a typeface they love (Helvetica)—and one they don’t (Helvetica). This course will explain why people love certain typefaces and hate others—and why they should love the ones they hate and hate the ones they love. If you have a question about type, this is where you can find the answer.

Design Principles

One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will address various design principles that structure the underpinnings of graphic imagery, which constitute the language of this complex discipline. It will also focus on finding one’s “voice,” more specifically the form, shape, line, space and color that are central to a personal vocabulary. Assignments will range from experimental design to industry-driven projects. There will be an in-depth analysis of the design elements that determine the sensibility of graphic messages. 

Basic Three-Dimensional Design

One semester: 3 studio credits
Three-dimensional design is an emerging field that has opened various job opportunities in a most experimental area. You will be taught to translate your concepts into personalized 3D objects by drawing upon inspiration from all art disciplines. The course will cover many innovative and traditional techniques in assemblage, papier-mâché, wood, casting, and mold-making in several media, among others. Demonstrations of techniques and procedures will be given.

Designer as Image Maker

One semester: 3 studio credits
From the cave wall to the computer screen, the desire to communicate one’s unique vision has always existed. A great concept combined with the right technique, be it finger painting or Adobe Photoshop, can produce extremely powerful images. This course will focus on exploring style in design through experimentation with various mediums such as collage, rubbings, image transfers, use of found objects, and many other techniques. Students will be encouraged to think and create in unconventional ways. Projects for this course will include book covers, CD packages, editorial illustrations, food packaging and poster designs. Field trips are included.

Experimental Book Art

One semester: 3 studio credits
The widespread availability of electronic communications has given the physical book an important place in our lives through its tactile three-dimensional quality. In this course students will produce a term project of their choosing, which can be expressed in an experimental and/or practical way; the book will be reviewed regularly throughout the semester. In addition, weekly exercises in a variety of materials will allow students to hone their bookbinding techniques. Typography, architecture, and the history of bookmaking and fine arts will come into play. The objective of the course is for students to explore their full potential and learn to trust their creative sensibilities.

Design in Motion

One semester: 3 studio credits
More and more, everything in design is moving. In this course students will learn the basic principles of motion and video. From the awareness of movement in everyday life, i.e., capturing the drama of the setting sun (a lesson in motion), we will study time, space and composition. We will look at the principles of lighting and editing, and the importance of sound effects and music. More importantly, how to create drama and how to arrive at concepts that move the viewer will be considered. The course is supplemented with guest lecturers and viewing of both historical and current films.

Visual Storytelling: Autobiography Through Visual Language

One semester: 3 studio credits
Providing an overview of autobiographic storytelling through visual language, in this course we will examine the evolution and history of documentary storytelling, from the early cave paintings to The New York Times Op-Docs. Through interviews, documented research, travel (virtual or physical) and an examination of physical archives, students will complete a 15-week project that explores how they connect to the world with a unique voice and perspective. Any medium can be used for the project, including collage, drawing, rudimentary digital video (iPhone), graffiti and performance art, even a blog.

Storytelling in Sound

One semester: 3 studio credits
Exploring the soundscape, creating a palette of ambient sound, interviews and audio textures to craft stories, portraits, journeys, moods, dreams and analogs will be addressed in this course. We will listen to highlights from the history of audio storytelling, from documentaries and radio drama to podcasts and audio fiction. The basics of audio editing with Pro Tools and field recording with binaural, stereo, parabolic and contact microphones will be covered. Students will complete four assignment challenges and one final project, with formats ranging from mini-docs and memoirs to ring tones, audio tours and unexpected contexts.

Basic Design for Social Innovation

One semester: 3 studio credits
A new field with explosive growth and exciting career opportunities, social innovation design integrates the skills of advertising, interaction design and graphic design. Plus it will put your brain and heart to work in ways you never experienced. In this introductory course, students will take on projects for real clients in the corporate and nonprofit world, and create campaigns that work hard to solve the big issues of our time. Students will learn how to develop strategies, do ethnographic research, develop and implement campaigns and work deeply with clients. 

Digital Photography for Designers

One semester: 3 studio credits
The basics of digital photography will be covered in this course to provide a fundamental understanding of image capture. Technique will be practiced through a series of creative photographic assignments where the focus is on creative image-making. Assignments will be designed to explore a range of photographic genres including portraiture, still life and documentary. 


One semester: 3 studio credits
Oscar Wilde said, “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” How can we make our work stand out as distinctly ours in the midst of the many thousands of visual and verbal messages that we absorb each day? Are we able to be visible in the ocean of images produced by thousands of designers around the globe? For more than 40 years this course has been successfully helping students to remove the obstacles that block their unique identity in their work and life itself. New ideas do not come from thinking in the same old way. By bringing to attention the preconceptions, unconscious assumptions and the multitude of influences shaping us throughout our life, we will create a space for your individual, unique art path. 

DSD-3010 / DSD-3015
Communication Graphic Design I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
An exploration of various working methods by which graphic designers precisely and effectively solve communication problems will be the focus of these courses. Design solutions will be executed from roughs to finished comps. 

ADD-3151 / ADD-3152
Unconventional Advertising I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
What happens when students apply an unconventional approach to the creative process? They become part of an advertising course that has produced work that has won more prestigious global awards than perhaps any class in history at The One Show, CLIOs and Art Directors Club, among others. Students will develop unconventional approaches to attacking everything from the concept to execution phases of various advertising mediums. The focus of the course is to create award-winning work that will separate your portfolio from the others on job interviews. Students will also be taken on an inspiring visual journey of the most effective and memorable unconventional ideas ever produced. This course is not just about creating. It’s about inventing.

ADD-3202 through ADD-3219

Advanced Advertising I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
With heavy emphasis on concept, these courses will focus on the creative process of creating original and innovative, yet traditional, print advertising. We will also explore the many aspects of the advertising field, by learning the duties of the art director, creative director, copywriter and designer. 

After Effects and Final Cut Pro

One semester: 3 studio credits
Motion graphics is an exploding field and designers have new opportunities to work in television, film, web and interactive DVD design and production. This course will provide a foundation for working in this specialization by exploring motion and the ways in which it is created. Initial assignments are process-oriented and focus on maintaining a level of experimentation; more complex, finished pieces will be created during the second semester. The basics of special effects, compositing and video editing will be explored using Adobe After Effects and Apple Final Cut Pro.

DSD-3222 / DSD-3223

Motion Graphics Workshop I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Digital video is the future of graphic design. Think of graphic design that moves in time and space, and is accompanied by a sound track. Learn Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe After Effects, and experiment with a new form of design that allows you to include digital video that you shoot, TV that you capture, typography that you design, animation that you create—all mixed together with a sound track to form video with a graphic vision of your own. We will help students define their visions and teach the programs needed to achieve them.

DSD-3336 / DSD-3337

Three-Dimensional Design I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
These courses will explore design and illustration solutions to problems that involve making 3D structures. Discussions about methods and materials will include everything from fiberglass to hubcaps: whatever conveys the designer/illustrator’s ideas. There will be demonstrations of various techniques like mold-making, paper and cardboard construction and casting in plastic. Although problems will be given in class, students may bring in assignments from other courses to be completed. You will produce finished pieces that may be photographed for your portfolio. Guest lecturers will include professional designers and illustrators who have successful careers based on 3D work.

DSD-3351 / DSD-3352

Design for Social Change I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
We’ll use design to call out new ideas and a new ethos of truth-telling. We’ll create ads, posters, books and logos to present alternatives to mind-numbing consumer culture. The focus will be on subjects that affect our lives—such as owning our own time, corporate impact on the physical environment and the human psyche, issues of economic fairness and alternatives to money obsession, gender, food, voting, animal rights, etc. We’ll explore and develop various means for making ideas for social change public. Work from these courses is in the poster collection of the U.S. Library of Congress, on the website of the Center for Constitutional Rights, was produced for the Washington, DC, subways and distributed throughout the New York City public school system, as well as in exhibitions, conferences, book fairs and guerilla contexts (postnobull.org).

DSD-3643 / DSD-3644 
Honors: Communications, Design and Typography I and II

Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
These courses will explore key elements of formal design and their ability to strengthen and impact conceptual thinking. Through a series of assignments, both abstract and real life, students will gain insight as how to leverage the tools of design to better express their ideas. Big ideas executed with attention to detail and meticulous craft is the motivation for and ultimate goal of these courses.

Honors: Design for Good

One semester: 3 studio credits
Join what Paul Hawken calls “The largest movement in the world.” At every level of society, business and government people are taking on the challenges that face humanity. This course is intended to help students explore interaction and communication design to engage people and inspire positive change. Working with real-world clients to understand the context of the work they do, students will also create their own program for something they care about, and complete short assignments to develop their skills. Writing briefs and creative strategies will be addressed. The course will cover how to make work more personal and more powerful, how to move and motivate people in several mediums, the gap between what’s intended and what’s received, how to present work and positively critique the work of others, how to change people’s minds and move them to action, and how to collaborate. This course is a discussion and studio format.

DSD-3651 / DSD-3652
The Project Class: Webisodes I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Students are offered a firsthand opportunity to experience the creation and execution of a short film (5 to 12 minutes in length). The fullness of the experience will include the experience of optioning current work from an author(s), adapting a chosen story into a short-film screenplay, producing, casting, directing and editing the film, meeting and, hopefully, forming relationships with some of the city’s most notable Indie filmmakers and, ultimately, being thrown into the ever-changing world of media production. Students will discuss and analyze international Academy Award-winning short films and other films inspired by adapted material—of various techniques and subjects. Each student will be required to examine the challenges of producing a small movie—conceptual screenwriting, casting, location scouting and choosing an effective film crew. Directing, photography, editing and finishing will be addressed and experienced. The final product will examine all of the short films as they are included in a year-end film festival held at the College.

Start-Up 101
One semester: 3 studio credits
If you’ve ever been called a “troublemaker,” this course is for you. It will provide you with the skills needed to succeed as an independent maker and leader. Traditional design careers focus on honing the craft of design, while being an entrepreneur requires an individual to wear many hats. The ability to seamlessly transition between roles—and learn how to connect and utilize their intersections—is a craft unto itself. By the end of the course you’ll the ability to be not just a designer, but also a leader, speaker, writer, researcher and coordinator. The ultimate goal of this course is to help you to become a more powerful designer: a design entrepreneur.

Honors: Visual Identity and Multimedia

One semester: 3 studio credits
Today’s constantly evolving multimedia world demands that a successful graphic identity be simple, bold, memorable and flexible. Held in the Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv studio, this course will teach students how to create powerful, concept-based identities that thrive in the multimedia realm. Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv has developed an idea-driven methodology for identity design that has resulted in identities for hundreds of major clients like Chase Bank, NBC, Museum of Modern Art and the Library of Congress. Affording students the opportunity to design directly for real-world clients, the course will lead students through the firm’s problem-solving approach to graphic design as they work with an organization or small business to develop a visual identity from start to finish. Students will be encouraged to explore opportunities for identity expression in new media.

DSD-3741 through DSD-3799
Interaction Design and Communication I and II

Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Working in today’s digital world encompasses both the usability and aesthetic of a product, service, brand or strategy that relies on technology. In these courses you will learn how to tackle the unique challenges and opportunities that will be encountered on the job. Sessions will cover user interface design principles, information hierarchy and navigation, context and human-technology interactions, and how these elements combine to create a compelling experience. The course format will include lecture, discussion, exercises, interim presentations, and a thorough documentation of the research and design process.

Poster Design: Silkscreen

One semester: 3 studio credits
This course offers the opportunity to explore the world of poster art. The process of creating a poster—from concept through final execution—will be covered. Students will complete a minimum of eight projects, each with a different focus (cultural, social, advertising), and emphasis will be placed on creating strong and memorable ideas. Projects will be researched and sketches will be presented for in-class discussion. After the approval of the concept, projects will be printed using silkscreen techniques. Silkscreen is a printing method with endless possibilities. We will experiment with printing on colored and textured papers, applying various inks and screens. How visual metaphors work successfully and how to make the work accessible and challenging will be analyzed. We will also examine the beauty and the expressive power of posters created by the masters in this field—from expressionism to Dada to the contemporary perfectionism of Japanese designers.

Guerrilla Graphics: Zines, Graffiti, Dirty Graphics, Self-Publishing, DIY, Stickers, Flyers, Ephemera

One semester: 3 studio credits
This is an experimental silkscreen course in which students will be encouraged to design alternative printed matter that conveys a personal aesthetic. Projects such as mailers, zines and self-publishing, graffiti, stickers and posters (framed around guerrilla graphics) will be our focus. Reflecting upon New York’s urban landscape and utilizing books, film, street signage and experimental art and design, students will be encouraged to go outside beyond conventional design by exploring high- and low-brow art and dirty graphics, as well as expressions of image and type as both art and design. The course will include critiques, guest lecturers, studio visits and field trips.

ADD-4101 through ADD-4119

Advertising Portfolio I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
These portfolio development courses will teach advertising skill sets, conceptual thinking, originality of the idea, strategic value, art direction, copywriting and self-editing. The courses will also cover presentation skills and how to write about your own work. We will develop an idea, a story and campaign rationale around one idea. We will explore self-editing of your campaign voice, how to create a voice and cover a new language for the idea/brand through copy and art.

Senior Project Courses

These courses are intensive one- and two-semester offerings in specialized areas. Projects are geared toward additional diversity for student portfolios.

DSD-4706 / DSD-4707

MoGraph Essentials—CINEMA 4D and After Effects I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Whether your field of work is print, advertising, graphic design, film, or motion graphics, MAXON CINEMA 4D gives you all the tools you need to make your ideas reality. Students can create 3D elements for storyboards, animations and designs. The software’s intuitive interface and logical workflow make it possible for those new to 3D artistry to dive right in. In this course CINEMA 4D will be used for enhancing animation to go hand-in-hand with Adobe After Effects. Students will start by learning the application and working on real world projects ranging from a logo animation to a full television promo spot. 

DSD-4708 / DSD-4709
Interaction Design, Coding and Content Strategy I and II

Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
These courses have three objectives: 1) Teach the technical coding skills (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) required to create websites for desktop, tablet and mobile devices. 2) Make students better design thinkers by challenging them to articulate strategic thinking in the form of wireframes, sitemaps, content and social media strategies, client presentations and writing assignments. 3) Convey best design practices for the web and information about how the Internet works in general. Underlying the courses is the belief that designers who are able to think clearly and strategically about design as well as execute complex coding projects will be better equipped to succeed in our evolving digital landscape.

Production Studio for the Graphic Designer

One semester: 3 studio credits
Today’s graphic artist is required to have technical knowledge and production ability. This course offers a unique opportunity to work on projects both in the classroom and then watch the final production on-site at A to A Studio Solutions, Ltd., a full-service production studio, and receive complete instruction in the skills necessary to produce and manufacture finished portfolio pieces. Using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and layout programs such as Adobe InDesign, we’ll examine all aspects of production as they relate to print, including correct document construction, color space and color systems, separations, trapping, preflighting, print production and paper considerations. Assignments will be produced in the studio using various output devices, from inkjet proofers and large-format digital printers to high-resolution film negatives. Students will be able to produce their work combining digital output, transfers, direct imaging, embossing and three-dimensional packaging construction. The opportunity to experiment and work with digital and analog print production tools will be an invaluable experience.

Website Design

One semester: 3 studio credits
Creating innovative websites for the Internet will be the focus of this course. Utilizing HTML for their web designs, students will also be introduced to a variety of software programs to serve as a technical foundation. Students are expected to develop complete websites for their final project.

Creative Computing for Interaction Experiences

One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will introduce the basics of computer programming as a tool for visual communications and user experiences. With no programming experience required, students will study computer graphics programming through hands-on experiences. During the semester p5.js (JavaScript library) will be used to illustrate the fundamentals of computation. The course will consist of lectures and presentations, with a short assignment after each session. We will also look at techniques to build the generative design, image manipulation and digital interaction.

Computing for Interaction Experiences

One semester: 3 studio credits
This course introduces the foundation of computer coding. Working with p5.js (JavaScript library) students will explore techniques to build new design processes, image manipulation and digital interaction. No programming experience is required. The course will consist of lectures and presentations, with a short assignment after each session. 

Designing a Business

One semester: 3 studio credits
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, this course is for you. It will be a comprehensive experience for anyone who wants to learn the skills it takes to make a business idea become a business reality. We will cover the steps to bring an idea to the marketplace: defining the concept for a business or product of your choice, designing the prototype and corporate identity for your company, writing a business plan and the basic legal requirements to open a business and protect your intellectual property. The final step will be the art of the pitch. Guest speakers will offer their guidance and input.

Type Design

One semester: 3 studio credits
This type course is for seniors interested in further developing their type proficiency. The steps to the evolution of a successful type design require an awareness and appreciation of the letterform as a key element of design. We will rigorously apply the basic principles of design to create thoughtful and innovative typographic solutions. Appropriate type selection and good composition leads to a successful outcome. Assignments will challenge students to build confidence in their type decisions by focusing on design that is primarily type driven.

Typography and the Portfolio

One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is for seniors who want assistance with their typography as it relates to their various portfolio projects. Guidance, direction and support are given with the objective of achieving the best possible type solution. This course is useful to students who want to become more confident in their type skills and is beneficial to students who are very confident and want to work toward achieving a higher standard of typographic design. Based on an assessment of each individual portfolio project, any area of type design needing improvement will be addressed. 

Differentiate or Die: How to Get a Job When You Graduate

One semester: 3 studio credits
You are about to graduate, and you might not have relatives that work at Apple or Google. You need to know how to sell, present, cold-call and talk about money to get a job. This course will address how to make a presentation with conviction and meaning; write a project proposal and how to talk about compensation; develop a unique point of view about design or advertising; craft a powerful résumé; sell your design services in the “real” world with more confidence and success; create persuasive, honest, and effective design presentations, and set yourself up to succeed after graduation.

DSD-4754 / DSD-4755
Yearbook I and II

Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Students will create the concept and design of the SVA undergraduate yearbook. 

Independent Study: Advertising
One semester: 3 studio credits
Junior or senior students who wish to pursue a special project not covered by the parameters of their department’s curriculum are eligible to apply for an independent study course. Students must have earned a grade point average above 3.00 at SVA, and must submit their study goals as a detailed proposal for approval by the department chair. Proposals for an independent study must be made prior to the course adjustment period for that semester. 

One semester: 3 studio credits
Students can gain valuable experience and broaden their professional network through an internship with a sponsor/employer. Internships for credit are available to juniors and seniors who have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better. To receive credit, students must get approval in advance from their department chair, academic advisor and the internship manager. Students must work a minimum of 150 hours (10 hours per week), participate in a weekly online discussion board with other SVA interns, complete self-evaluations and a final project. Elective studio credit is awarded for the successful completion of an internship. 

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