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

  • 72 credits in studio art courses
  • 30 credits in humanities & sciences courses
  • 12 credits in art history courses
  • 6 elective credits from among the undergraduate course offerings
First-Year Requirements

AHD-1010 Survey of World Art I 
AHD-1015 Survey of World Art II
FID-1130 Drawing I
FID-1135 Drawing II
FID-1220 Painting I
FID-1225 Painting II
FID-1430 Sculpture
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:

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
ADD-2030 Basic Advertising I
ADD-2035 Basic Advertising II
DSD-2153 Basic Three-Dimensional Design
DSD-2168 Designer as Image Maker
DSD-2174 Visual Storytelling: Autobiography Through Visual Language
DSD-2179 Digital Photography for Designers
DSD-2186 Originality
ILD-2133 Design Principles

REQUIREMENT B
Second-year students must take one of the following courses:

AHD-2121 History of Advertising
AHD-2127 History of Graphic Design
AHD-2129 History of Typography


SUMMER SEMESTER
Second-year design majors who have not successfully completed all sophomore studio requirements and/or did not pass the sophomore 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 junior year the following fall semester. 

DSD-2220 Design Procedures
DSD-2230 Basic Typography Workshop
DSD-2240 Basic Graphic Design Workshop

Third-Year Requirements

REQUIREMENT A
Third-year students must take at least one of the following courses per semester:

DSD-3010 Communication Graphic Design I
DSD-3015 Communication Graphic Design II
DSD-3611 Designing with Typography I
DSD-3612 Designing with Typography II

REQUIREMENT B
Students must choose one course per semester from any of the following areas. Note: Students may take more than one course from this area.

Interaction Design
DSD-3742-3769 Interaction Design: Digital Design
DSD-3772-3799 Interaction Design: Designing and the Digital Ecosystem

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

REQUIREMENT C
Third-year students must take one of the following courses per semester.
Courses may be chosen from any of these specialized areas.

Advertising
ADD-3202/3208 Advanced Advertising I
ADD-3212/3218 Advanced Advertising II
ADD-3162 Design in Advertising I
ADD-3163 Design in Advertising II

Graphic Design
DSD-3010 Communication Graphic Design I
DSD-3015 Communication Graphic Design II
DSD-3306 Toys and Games
DSD-3341 Design Photo
DSD-3351 Design for Social Change I
DSD-3352 Design for Social Change II
DSD-3378 Information Graphics
DSD-3387 Graphic Design Workshop
DSD-3392 Drawing Inside Out for the Graphic Designer
DSD-3414 Package It
DSD-3426 Branding
DSD-3433 Package Design
DSD-3476 Book Jacket Design and Beyond
DSD-3478 Experimental Book Art
DSD-3521 Editorial Design
DSD-3556 The New Editorial: Digital Publishing I
DSD-3557 The New Editorial: Digital Publishing II

Interaction Design
ADD-3181 Advertising 3.0
DSD-3642 iPad, iPhone, App Design
DSD-3646 Interaction Content Creation and Design I
DSD-3647 Interaction Content Creation and Design II

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

Typography
DSD-3611 Designing with Typography I
DSD-3612 Designing with Typography II
DSD-3626 Advanced Type I: The Perfect Paragraph
DSD-3627 Advanced Type II: The Perfect Paragraph

Honors Courses
DSD-3648 Design for the 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

SUMMER SEMESTER
Third-year design 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 and Illustration

Fourth-Year Requirements

REQUIREMENT A
DSD-4003/4187 Graphic Design Portfolio I and II

REQUIREMENT B
Students must choose one course per semester from any of the following areas:

Editorial Design
DSD-3521 Editorial Design
DSD-3556 The New Editorial: Digital Publishing I
DSD-3557 The New Editorial: Digital Publishing II

Graphic Design
DSD-3306 Toys and Games
DSD-3341 Design Photo
DSD-3351 Design for Social Change I
DSD-3352 Design for Social Change II
DSD-3378 Information Graphics
DSD-3387 Graphic Design Workshop
DSD-3392 Drawing Inside Out for the Graphic Designer
DSD-3426 Branding
DSD-3433 Package Design
DSD-3476 Book Jacket Design and Beyond
DSD-3478 Experimental Book Art
DSD-4702 Website Design

Interaction Design
DSD-3646 Interaction Content Creation and Design I
DSD-3647 Interaction Content Creation and Design II
DSD-3648 Design for the Good

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

Typography
DSD-3626 Advanced Type I: The Perfect Paragraph
DSD-3627 Advanced Type II: The Perfect Paragraph

Senior Honors Courses
DSD-3648 Design for the Good
DSD-4801 Designing a Phenomenon

Senior Project Courses
DSD-4601 Visual Storytelling Projects
DSD-4701 Production Studio for the Graphic Designer
DSD-4714 Designing a Business
DSD-4722 Senior Type Design
DSD-4746 Differentiate or Die: How to Get a Job When You Graduate

Design General Course Listing

First-Year Courses 

AHD-1010 / AHD-1015
Survey of World Art I and II
Two semesters: 3 art history credits per semester
As an introduction to the art of Western and non-Western cultures, these courses will examine art from the Paleolithic period to 1450. Key monuments and styles will be explored in architecture, sculpture and painting through methods of visual analysis. Discussions will link the ways in which concepts in art develop and change within different cultural contexts. The second semester begins with the art of the Renaissance and continuing into the modern world, and will explore painting, sculpture and architecture in both Western and non-Western cultures. Discussions will link the ways in which concepts of art develop and change within different cultural contexts. Methods of visual analysis will be explored. Field trips and museum visits will augment course material.

FID-1130 / FID-1135
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.

FID-1220 / FID-1225
Painting I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Foundation-year painting will explore various means of representation through the application of pigments to canvas, panels and paper. Color and its organizational principles will be investigated—both as a practical and theoretical endeavor. An exploration of form and content will be undertaken with an emphasis on technical skills. Class critiques and museum visits will be employed as vehicles to develop critical terms concerning painting.

FID-1430
Sculpture
One semester: 3 studio credits
As an introduction to the material world, this course explores diverse media and their potentialities to create volume, line and mass. Ranging from the ethereal to the fabricated, materials such as clay, plaster, cardboard, wood, resin and wire will be investigated by exercises in casting, mold-making, installation and site-specific work. Discussion will include concepts of space, gravity and light, among others, as they pertain to three-dimensional form.

SMD-1020
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 Advertising I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Learning about good advertising is the focus of these courses. How to take a product and give it a unique concept, and how to take that concept and creatively execute it in a print ad or TV commercial will be examined.

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.

DSD-2070
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.

AHD-2121
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.

AHD-2127
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.

AHD-2129
History of Typography: Western Letterforms
One semester: 3 art history credits
This course will trace the development and use of Western letterforms from inspirational Roman capitals through the invention of type to the present. Typefaces will be examined as products of culture and technology as well as examples of changes in aesthetic ideas of form. Typography will be explored from its roots in manuscript practice to its evolution in books, advertising, posters and ephemera. How typography functions as visual language will be emphasized.

ILD-2133
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.

DSD-2153
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.

DSD-2168
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.

DSD-2174
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.

DSD-2179
Digital Photography for Designers
Monday 3:00-5:50
One semester: 3 studio credits
Instructor: A. Robinson
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.

DSD-2186
Originality
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-3162 / ADD-3163
Design in Advertising I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Good design can’t save a bad idea. So, in these courses we’ll begin with ideas. At the initial stage, we’ll reject the bad ones and improve the good ones until we find a great one. That’s when the fun begins. That’s when we turn that great idea into a great ad—a skillfully designed, computer-generated piece that will play a prominent part in your portfolio. You will study how great art directors work, how to make body copy your friend, how to pick the right photo or illustration, how to find a home for a logo, how to avoid boring backgrounds, how to choose the right typeface and, most importantly, how to make sure an ad doesn’t look like an ad. Structured as a workshop, a new assignment will be given every three weeks.

ADD-3181
Advertising 3.0
One semester: 3 studio credits
Advertising 3.0 represents the next frontier of advertising: combining the power of storytelling with social connectivity and digital technology, allowing for greater creative freedom and impact. This course will focus on the ever-changing and fast-paced world of digital advertising, soon to become the mainstay. You will walk away with a well-informed understanding of social and digital media tools and demonstrated experience in harnessing them to tell stories in ways never before possible.

ADD-3193
Production in Motion: The Advertising Process
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will introduce students to the advertising production process. We will chronicle the creation of television and online commercial content from concept to screen. Topics include scripts, storyboards, bidding, prep, preproduction, shoots, editorial and animation. Sessions will meet at several production facilities and will feature guest speakers from agency creatives to production and editorial personnel. This course is suited to creatives, account management, business managers, producers, and anyone looking to learn about the production process in advertising.

ADD-3202 through ADD-3218
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.

DSD-3221
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-3306
Toys and Games
One semester: 3 studio credits
Instructor: A. Benkovitz
The toy industry is a trendy business where many innovative designs are introduced every year. In this course, we’ll analyze successful products from different categories (games, plush, action figures, novelties, etc.) and explore what great toy concepts are and how to originate them. Various tools, techniques and materials will be demonstrated and utilized by students to create renderings and prototypes. By taking part in brainstorming sessions, hands-on workshops and play testing their own designs, students will learn how to develop their concepts into finished products. Product manufacturing and marketing, as well as career opportunities in the toy industry will be discussed. We’ll visit a toy store to examine the effectiveness of toy packaging and merchandising. Although weekly projects will be assigned, students are encouraged to work on any product they wish, limited only by their imaginations. The goal of this course is to create at least one finished product suitable for presentation to a toy company or for inclusion in a portfolio.

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-3341
Design Photo
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will begin with an investigation of design elements such as color, perspective, contrast and composition. Through a series of photographic assignments, students will learn how to identify and apply designs that exist in everyday situations. Their photographs will then be manipulated in Adobe Photoshop and used for a variety of design projects, such as magazines, posters and book jackets. We will discuss basic camera operation and equipment. Demos in lighting techniques and shooting on location will complete the course.

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-3378
Information Graphics: How to Present Information Visually
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course explores the full range of information graphics, from the printed page to multimedia, from simple charts to complex mega-graphics. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the field of information design, and the skills needed to create solutions of the highest caliber. In our information-driven age, design directors are looking for designers who can bring an understanding of information design to their department. It can also be a complete career in its own right.

DSD-3387
Graphic Design Workshop
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course provides the opportunity to discover how to become more decisive and versatile in their graphic solutions to any design problem. Using a revolutionary you-can-design-anything-in-three-hours approach, this workshop will give students a small taste of the pace and excitement of a real-world design studio. The projects will range from posters, brochures, logos, book covers and package designs.

DSD-3392
Drawing Inside Out for the Designer
One semester: 3 studio credits
Drawing can be a very intimate exercise of personal freedom, and a lifelong source of inspiration. This course will concentrate on the self as the reservoir of creative energy from which to produce original drawings. We’ll work on hand-heart rather than just hand-eye coordination. Our purpose isn’t to compete with scanners, cameras, copiers, and computers to reproduce the realities around us. Instead, attention will be shifted to our individual experience of our “inner” energy. Drawing from it intuitively, you’ll develop a personal style that becomes an organic part of your creative repertoire. Originality is nurtured and evolved in this course.

DSD-3414
Package It
One semester: 3 studio credits
Cans, bottles, soft drinks, perfume, pasta, point-of-purchase displays—you name it, we package it. In this course, students will develop a line of products from concept through finished design. Marketing, manufacturing and ecological concerns will be addressed. Demonstrations will be provided in Cinema 4D.

DSD-3426
Branding
One semester: 3 studio credits
This overview and studio course will cover the study of identity design, and the development of leading identity design programs. Researching, naming and designing an identity system will be assigned, including design explorations, presentation techniques, refinement and the application of a logo. Typographical, color standards and the design of a graphic standards manual will also be covered, as well as the application of systems—stationery, packaging, signage and collateral materials. The study of identity and logo design will focus on the works of designers and design firms such as Paul Rand, Saul Bass, Chermayeff and Geismar, Pentagram, Landor and Charles Anderson.

DSD-3426
Branding
One semester: 3 studio credits
Understanding the fundamentals of brand identity and how to create exciting and engaging brand experiences through design will be the focus of this course. Through exposure to a variety of visual identity issues, students will be challenged to create unique ideas and solutions that meet real world concerns. An emphasis will be placed on understanding and capturing the essence of a chosen brand (corporation, product, service, organization, personality, etc.) to ultimately develop visual identities that target all platforms on which the brand has to perform (packaging, editorial, environmental design, online, advertising, etc.). We will begin with specific visual branding exercises and students will choose topics to approach them. These exercises will then be extended into a visual identity development that encompasses several branding challenges.

DSD-3426
Brand Identity and Branding
One semester: 3 studio credits
The focus of this course will be to design brand identities in the form of logos, marks, wordmarks and symbols for a business or organization, a service, a product, or to express an idea. We will explore establishing a visual language with the help of typography, color, scale, composition, patterns, layout, etc. Once the visual identity is established students will design applications, such as print material, packaging, signage, website, social network apps and motion graphics, or whatever is appropriate for the chosen client. While honing the craft of design thinking and problem solving, students will do their own research on their chosen client and explore solutions with sketching, typography, color, symbols, marks and all the electronic tools at their disposal. At the end of the semester, every student will design and produce a brand book.

DSD-3433
Package Design: Appetite Appeal Food Packaging
One semester: 3 studio credits
Food packaging is not just clear plastic. The best package demands superb typography and startling graphic design in two and three dimensions. Type is unlimited and color must challenge the senses. In this course, you will design an array of packages for specialty and fancy foods—from olive oil to pastas, candy and wine. You will learn how to source out distinct containers, special printing and other tricks and tips. And you will understand the unique restrictions involved in producing functional package designs.

DSD-3476
Book Jacket Design and Beyond: Book Covers Uncovered
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will approach the field of book and book cover design as the basis for a greater understanding of graphic design and what it means to communicate visually. Through the application of real-world assignments and more theoretical, personal experiments, we will attempt to unlock new ways to approach a format that is the very essence of type and image communication. Developing strategies for creating strong cohesive concepts and refining the skills needed to communicate these ideas will be the main focus of the course. We will also look at the future of book publishing and the potential for innovative new ways to approach book design.

DSD-3478
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 thee-dimensional quality. In this course, students will produce a term project of their own choosing, which can be expressed in an experimental and/or practical way, and 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.

DSD-3521
Editorial Design
One semester: 3 studio credits
In this course, you will conceptualize and create a lifestyle magazine, honing your layout skills and developing your unique editorial style. Furthermore, as it is important to be on trend with the fast changes into digital publishing, you will be encouraged to think beyond the norm and develop your magazine for the iPad as well. You will share your pages with the class each week and will be encouraged to be verbal, insightful and helpful in critiques of your classmates’ work. We will begin by focusing on how to design features and the general look of the magazine, and then concentrate on finessing your magazine for a beautiful product to add to your portfolio. This is a great opportunity to access editorial design as well as familiarize yourself with digital print, which is now an integral facet of publishing.

DSD-3556 / DSD-3557
The New Editorial: Digital Publishing I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
 “Edit once, publish everywhere” has become the mantra of magazine makers as they attempt to stay relevant in a world where margins are slim and readers expect content to arrive simultaneously in their mailbox and on their devices. These courses aim to inspire and equip students to become the drivers of digital publishing and to understand its place in the overall process of creating editorial content.

GDD-3611 / GDD-3612

Designing with Typography I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester

These advanced design and typography courses will focus on working through each project to create portfolio-quality work. Assignments will include book design, packaging, branding, posters, newspapers and magazines. Typographic craft, language, hierarchy and form will be emphasized in conjunction with ideas and narrative.

DSD-3626 / DSD-3627
Advanced Type I and II: The Perfect Paragraph
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
In these courses, students will examine the principles of typographic design and color theory, as well as the fundamentals of traditional typesetting. Experiments with letterform design will include an exploration of color theory as applied to typographic design. Typographic books, original type treatments, word marks and logos for digital display and print will be created. Students will be encouraged to work with their own content, including original typeface designs.

DSD-3642
iPad, iPhone, App Design
One semester: 3 studio credits
In this course, you will be designing your own app for the iPhone and iPad. As print becomes increasingly integrated with other media, and the demand for instant gratification on your mobile device skyrockets, it is an exciting time for designers. You will design such things as a 60-minute guide to the Museum of Modern Art (that can be navigated as an app), or a game or music player app that you can personalize to your own interests. The goal is to create a beautiful, modern portfolio piece that shows off your ability to stay on-trend, think outside the box and design for the page as well as the screen. 

DSD-3646 / DSD-3647
Interaction Content Creation and Design I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
The aim of these courses is to reinforce, with practical experience, the tools that designers need to create content for the web in some of its forms: websites, user interface design, video, motion graphics, slideshows, animation. Designers who are “content thinkers” have a greater chance at getting attention and jobs in a competitive environment. Gaining practical experience and understanding what journalists, writers, editors, producers and designers do to complete a project is valuable and critical. These courses are about learning how to tell stories using the design and communication skills in which students are deeply engaged, and to take advantage of the technologies the web affords. 

DSD-3648
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 and execute the creation of a series of short films that fit into a common theme for webisodic distribution—in the ever-changing world of media production. Students will discuss and analyze international Academy Award-winning short films and webisodes of various techniques and subjects. Each student will examine the challenges of producing a small movie—conceptual screenwriting, casting, location scouting, directing, photography, editing and finishing will be addressed and experienced. The final product will examine all of the short films as a theme-based webisode and exhibited as such. 

DSD-3656
Start-Up 101
Fall 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. 

DSD-3742 through DSD-3769
Interaction Design: Digital Design
Fall semester: 3 studio credits
The foundations of designing for digital experiences will be the focus of this course. Students will explore how to adapt their design skills from traditional to new media, with emphasis on the classic digital channel and websites. Topics include grid systems for interfaces (designing for flexible, interactive modules), choosing and using typefaces for electronic interfaces, designing at 72 dpi, working in the RGB color space, how to visually distinguish content areas from function areas, designing for touchscreens and motion.

DSD-3772 through DSD-3799
Interaction Design: Designing the Digital Ecosystem
Spring semester: 3 studio credits
Serving as a continuation of Interaction Design: Digital Design, this course will incorporate additional digital channels and disciplines to those covered in the fall semester. Topics will include user-centered design methodology; the interface—where brand and consumer meet; thinking in systems to design a single experience across multiple channels; designing in flexible, modular systems rather than rigid templates; designing the right experience for the right context. There will be small projects that address channels, including mobile technology (iPhone or Android applications), touchscreen (iPad or kiosk applications), retail (in-store digital experiences), OOH (interactive billboards and signage) and social media experiences. 

FID-3842
Poster Power through Screen Printing
One semester: 3 studio credits
Exploring the power of the poster as art and advertising is the premise of this course. 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. In the spirit of artists like Shepard Fairey, Barbara Kruger and Andy Warhol, we will examine how to experiment with concept, symbolism, form and function. Projects will be collectively researched and ideas will be presented for discussion. Projects will be printed using a range of screen-printing techniques, and students will experiment with printing on substrates, applying various inks and ink alternatives. We will also examine the aesthetic and the expressive power of posters created by masters in this field. 

FID-3844
Create a Subculture Using Screen Printing: Zines, Graffiti, Dirty Graphics, Self-Publishing, DIY, Stickers, Flyers, Ephemera
One semester: 3 studio credits
This is an experimental screen-printing course in which students will be encouraged to design alternative printed matter that conveys both a personal vision and an understanding of art as a glue that can hold the group dimension of subculture together. Projects such as mailers, zines and entrepreneurial or “business art,” stickers, and the production of a fictional subculture will be our focus. The challenge will be to incorporate multiple formats in your work. The course will include critiques, guest lectures, studio visits and field trips. 

FID-3847
Printmaking: Letterpress
One semester: 3 studio credits
This workshop will give a thorough introduction to letterpress printing. We will begin with hand setting movable wood and metal type in combination with etched plates and linocuts, and then explore making and using photopolymer plates from digital files. This medium is versatile and adaptable, mixing easily with other printmaking processes; the quality of image can range from hard edge to painterly. Letterpress printing also impresses a third dimension of depth and texture to the image and text on paper. Simple, accurate color registration is easy on the letterpress. The experience of hand typesetting using vintage metal and wood typefaces will enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of typography. Printing blocks and plates range from completely manual, hand-cut and collaged to digital photopolymer plates. Letterpress die cutting allows students to actually shape their projects. Operation and maintenance of several letterpresses will be included. Each session will begin with a demonstration followed by studio time to work on individual projects, from type-based graphic designs to fine art limited editions. 

DSD-4003 through DSD-4187
Design Portfolio I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester

Entering the design profession is more demanding than ever. Your portfolio needs to reflect not only your own conceptual voice, but also communicate your values, strengths, interests, skills and ambitions. Whether your design discipline is traditional, motion graphics, interactive, 3D or alternative, this course will be a thorough and intense investigation of what your portfolio needs to be to meet your personal needs and professional goals. Students will develop their own ideas, define content and ultimately design the type of projects they want for their portfolio, as well as hone their communications skills for presenting themselves and their work in a professional environment. 

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. These courses will use CINEMA 4D 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-4701
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. 

DSD-4702
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. 

DSD-4704
Portfolio Production
Spring semester: no credit
This course is strictly for learning production and is designed to help students with the nuts and bolts of production techniques required to build print and digital portfolios. Basic printing terminology, file set-up for print portfolio, paper stock overview, communicating with vendors in NYC, and portfolio binding techniques (perfect binding, sewn, experimental) will all be addressed. For the digital portfolio, students will be introduced to the process of choosing a website provider (Squarespace, Tumblr, etc.), as well as how to prepare work for the web and coding a custom website. Students will present their portfolios to design professionals to gain critical feedback. By the conclusion of the course, students will have a full printed and digital portfolio of their design work. 

DSD-4714
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. 

DSD-4722
Type Design
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is for seniors interested in further developing their individual sensibility and type design proficiency. From information to concept to the evolution of a design, type will be the source of impetus to a cohesive design solution. We will rigorously pursue the key areas for a successful outcome of projects: a strong sense of composition, the elements of typography, aesthetic principles and visual experimentation. 

DSD-4732
Typography and the Portfolio
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is designed for students who want assistance with their typography as it relates to their portfolio projects. Guidance and direction are given in the choice of type and the best application as circumscribed within the contextual framework of the student’s design originating from a given portfolio assignment. The objective of which is to achieve the best possible typographic solution helping to enhance the finished work. The course is useful to those students who feel unsure of their type skills and very beneficial to those who are confident but want guidance in the more subtle aspects of achieving typographic excellence in their work. This course is an adjunct or auxiliary to the primary portfolio course and critiques of work remain within the domain of the portfolio instructor. 

DSD-4746
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. 

ADD-4801
Innovation in Advertising
One semester: 3 studio credits
Innovation is the key to success in the new world. Whether it’s a new product, service, business model and way of communicating, advertising or use of media, an innovative solution can be a great problem solver. But innovation does not live within product or service categories. It lives outside of them. This course will force you out of your comfort zone and show you how to deal with the complexities and difficulties of planning, drafting, designing and creating innovation solutions. You’ll learn how to sell your solutions and turn any “no” into a “yes.” Work will be presented weekly, starting with small assignments and completing the course with fully integrated solutions. 

DSD-4801
Designing a Phenomenon
Fall semester: 3 studio credits
How do you cause a commotion, inspire excitement and get the attention of a city? The challenges and factors that create and cause phenomena are not easily definable. However, this is precisely the puzzle this course will try to solve. We begin by asking the question: Can design create a phenomenon? To answer this question, students will be challenged with rebranding real-world companies and working through the process of creating innovative and dynamic design systems. We will craft systems that can respond to a multitude of needs and opportunities necessary to turn a business on the street into a citywide, sustainable trend. At the beginning of the course, each student will be assigned a company to develop the strategy, execution and engagement of the rebrand. While the course is grounded in formalist theory, students will be challenged with making graphic decisions based on a set of criteria that they will define. The class is incredibly fast-paced and students are required to create work as if they are in a real-design company. Work will be presented weekly. 

Independent Study: Design
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. 

Internship
One semester: 3 studio credits
Instructor: Professional Sponsor
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. For more information and required forms, please contact the Office of Career Development at 212.592.2370.

 

 

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587