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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
  • 15 credits in art history courses
  • 3 elective credits from among the undergraduate course offerings
First-Year Requirements

AHD-1010 Art History I
AHD-1015 Art History 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

The recommended course load is 15 credits per semester. All students should see their advisor about individual humanities and sciences distribution credit needs.

Requirement A
Second-year students must take one semester of:

DSD-2005  Design Thinking/Thinking Design
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-2090  Computers in the Studio I
DSD-2095  Computers in the Studio II
ADD-2030*   Basic Integrated Advertising and Communication I
ADD-2035*   Basic Integrated Advertising and Communication II

Note: Students may substitute two of the following courses in place of ADD-2030 and ADD-2035. Students who elect to pursue an advertising/design double concentration must take ADD-2030, Basic Integrated Advertising and Communication I, and ADD-2035, Basic Integrated Advertising and Communication II.

DSD-2168  Designer as Image Maker
DSD-2169  Experimental Book Art
DSD-2174  Visual Storytelling: Autobiography Through Visual Language
DSD-2179  Digital Photography for Designers
DSD-2186  Originality
FID-2863   Basic Typography Letterpress Workshop

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

Third-Year Requirements

The recommended course load is 15 credits per semester. All students should see their advisor about individual humanities and sciences distribution credit needs. Design students who are pursuing a double concentration in advertising and design should refer to the Design section of this book for portfolio course selection. 

Requirement A
Third-year students must take one semester of:

DSD-3611  Designing with Typography I
DSD-3612  Designing with Typography II

Students must register for the corresponding spring component for each section. Students cannot change sections in the second semester.

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 in the mid-year. 

ADD-3202/3209               Advanced Advertising I
ADD-3212/3219               Advanced Advertising II

Graphic Design
DSD-3010  Communication Graphic Design I
DSD-3015  Communication Graphic Design II
DSD-3306  Toys and Games
DSD-3351  Design for Social Change I
DSD-3352  Design for Social Change II
DSD-3378  Information Graphics
DSD-3392  Drawing Inside Out for the Graphic Designer
DSD-3426  Branding
DSD-3433  Package Design
DSD-3521  Editorial Design
DSD-3626  Advanced Type I: The Perfect Paragraph
DSD-3627  Advanced Type II: The Perfect Paragraph

Motion Graphics
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

Fourth-Year Requirements

Students should see their advisor early to determine remaining credit needs and requirements. You must be able to complete all 120 credits of the BFA degree, including all course and credit requirements to be eligible to graduate. In addition to the requirements that follow, students may take supplemental portfolio courses for credit. Design students who are pursuing a double major in advertising and design should refer to this section for portfolio course selection. 

Requirement A
Fourth-year students must take one semester of:
DSD-4003/4087 Graphic Design Portfolio I
DSD-4103/4187 Graphic Design Portfolio I II

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

Editorial Design
DSD-3521  Editorial Design 

Graphic Design
DSD-3306  Toys and Games
DSD-3351  Design for Social Change I
DSD-3352  Design for Social Change II
DSD-3378  Information Graphics
DSD-3392  Drawing Inside Out for the Graphic Designer
DSD-3426  Branding
DSD-3433  Package Design
DSD-4702  Website Design 

Motion Graphics
DSD-3221  After Effects and Final Cut Pro
DSD-3222  Motion Graphics Workshop I
DSD-3223  Motion Graphics Workshop II
DSD-4706  MoGraph Essentials—CINEMA 4D and After Effects I
DSD-4707  MoGraph Essentials—CINEMA 4D and After Effects II 

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

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

Senior Project Courses
DSD-4701  Production Studio for the Graphic Designer
DSD-4711 Creative Computing for Interaction Experiences
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

Design Thinking/Thinking Design
One semester: 3 studio credits
What is design and how can it be used to create, engage and even drive social change? You are entering the profession at an exciting time. Design is everywhere, and designers now have opportunities that were unimaginable even a few years ago. Design is an ever-expanding industry where the role of the designer is highly valued both as arbiter of taste and creator of systems that educate, entertain and impact consumer behaviors. This course will provide an overview of the contemporary design industry in both traditional and emerging media. Through guest lectures, presentations, writing and selected readings, you will come away with a fuller understanding of the designer’s expanding role. Class projects will explore problem solving through design and will encourage typographic experimentation. You will also be asked to discover design in your day-to-day experiences. 

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. 

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, guest 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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Basic Typography Letterpress Workshop
One semester: 3 studio credits
Once considered a doomed technology, letterpress printing is experiencing a renaissance. This course will increase each student’s basic knowledge of typography by getting back to basics—designing with movable wood and metal type and printing by hand. Students will learn to approach design and typography in a new way and create beautiful portfolio pieces. While the course will cover printing techniques and the use of the Vandercook presses, the focus of the class will be on hand typesetting and typographic details. Exercises will address type layout, letter spacing, leading, justification and type hierarchy, and overall page composition. 

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-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.  

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. 

Toys and Games
One semester: 3 studio credits
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 develop their concepts into finished products. Manufacturing, marketing and career opportunities in the toy industry will be discussed. Although weekly projects will be assigned, students are encouraged to work on any product they wish, limited only by their imagination. 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-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 ( 

Meditation for Designers
One semester: 3 studio credits
Meditation develops a focused mind—an open mind. Meditation discovers our intuition, a mind of courage, a bright creative mind, a mind without fear, a mind without anxiety and doubt. What is so surprising about meditation is how creativity shows up effortlessly. There is no resistance. This, of course, takes practice, and practice is what we will accomplish in this course. 

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. 

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. 

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.  

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. 

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-3611 / DSD-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-3651 / DSD-3652
Honors: The Project Class–Webisodes I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Students are offered a firsthand opportunity to develop, direct and produce a short film (5 to 12 minutes in length). Coursework will include developing a story, writing or optioning a screenplay, producing, casting, directing and finishing the film. The experience will include 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 award-winning short films. Each student will be required to examine the challenges of producing a short film—conceptual screenwriting, casting, location scouting, directing the camera, the cast, the edit, and choosing an effective film crew. Films will be included in a year-end film festival held at the SVA Theatre. 

ADD-3652 / ADD-3653
Honors: Pop-Thinking x ACLU I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Together, with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), we will explore ways to use advertising to defend human rights. In order to do so students will cultivate the ability to pervasively communicate with an audience in a digital world. Our primary goal is to explore and understand topical moments in pop culture, current events, social media and technology to effectively aid the ACLU with their campaign efforts. This will enable us to think, act and create like our audience—that is pop-culturally obsessed, digitally savvy and constantly consuming content. However, unlike other courses, we will be working with an actual client and presenting ideas. This is a hands-on experience of what it’s like to work with a real-world client. 

DSD-3653 / DSD-3654
Interdisciplinary Design I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
In these courses students will synthesize their study of design, typography, image-making and visual storytelling. We will depart from a simple overlapping of different disciplines and push further toward combining different disciplines into a single interdisciplinary language. Through exposure to deep connections among varying subjects, students will be encouraged to think outside the box and develop fresh, unexpected ideas. Projects will include typographical assignments, animated infographics, visualizing music, visual storytelling (both graphic and video), image projection on the wall, documentation/promotion of the creative process, and more. In addition to using familiar tools and applications, students will be introduced to video editing software for video project execution. Through these courses students will discover how much seemingly distant media and techniques have in common, and how these practices are at the designer’s disposal to create a powerful message. 

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-3681 / DSD-3682
Honors: Finding Your Voice as a Graphic Designer I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
With the splintering of the discipline, it is more important than ever to have a specific point of view as a graphic designer. This course will focus on the journey each student has taken as a designer up to this point, and we will work toward identifying and developing each student’s unique process, ideas, typography, form making and approach. The course will consist of a combination of lectures, field trips and individual (and group) design projects and in-class critiques. Projects will be geared toward empirical explorations to gain an understanding of each student’s design process, whether working individually or in groups. The development of a critical judgment and unique “design voice” is encouraged. 

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 this course, 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. 

FID-3842 / FID-3843
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. 

FID-3847 / FID-3848
Printmaking: Letterpress
One semester: 3 studio credits
This workshop will give a thorough introduction to letterpress printing. We will begin with hand-set, 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
Graphic 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. 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-4754 / DSD-4755
Honors: Yearbook I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Students will create the concept and design of the SVA undergraduate yearbook. 

One-Semester Senior Project Courses

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. 

Creating Augmented Reality
One semester: 3 studio credits
Many things in daily life, from communication to commerce, has been defined by major shifts in technology. The newest shift is augmented reality (AR). In this course you will create AR through a series of hands-on exercises. Held at R/GA, you will explore the latest technology platforms to inspire your ideas. Using visual prototyping tools, you will work on making a memorable campaign, digital product, or innovative service. Knowing how to code is not necessary. The only prerequisites are an imagination and a drive to create something that has never been thought of before. 

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. 

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. 

One semester: 3 studio credits
Students can gain valuable experience and broaden their professional network through an internship with an 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 apply online during the designated application period, be approved by the Career Development Office, and registered for the internship by their academic advisor. Students need to work 150 hours during the semester (usually 10 to 15 hours per week), participate in a weekly online course with other SVA interns, and complete midterm and final self-evaluations. Elective studio credit is awarded for the successful completion of an internship. For more information go to

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