SYLLABUS 2021-2022

Graphic design is everywhere. It is impossible to go through a day without seeing countless combinations of words and images on everything from DVD covers to magazines and books, on billboards, online, and even in the clothes you wear.   This yearlong course is designed for students who are interested in expressing themselves visually and digitally. 

In this class students will learn about graphic design principles, creative and expressive typography, page layout, and digital image manipulation through the completion of both print and multimedia based assignments. Projects may include, but are not limited to the creation of logos, posters, ads, magazine spreads, information graphics, book covers, animations and websites. 

Industry standard software Adobe Creative Suite will be used for all class projects and homework. 

Simply sitting down in front of a computer and learning design programs, however, will not make you a designer. Good design does not just happen on its own. Projects will be created through a process that involves research, writing, conceptualization, sketching, and finally, skillful execution of your ideas. 

A sketchbook will be provided.  Sketchbooks are an integral part of the class and must be brought to every class period.  Your sketchbook is your place to keep notes, brainstorm concepts, collect visual examples, sketch out ideas and reflect upon your work. The documentation of your creative process is as important as your final projects. I expect good effort in your planning and drawings.  

You are required to back up your work at the end of every class.


Many research assignments, such as finding examples of design that inspire you, are expected to be completed outside of class. Most other assignments and projects are designed to be completed within the allotted class time if class time is used effectively. 

The curriculum has been created with the needs of students in mind, and adheres to the National Visual Arts and K–12 curriculum standards. In addition to visual communication, a core focus of this curriculum is design thinking: a strategic form of creative problem solving that is not limited to graphic design—or even art—but is being applied to problems as diverse as land use and traffic flow, to agriculture and engineering. While the curriculum has been created to help prepare students interested in pursuing graphic design at the college or university level, its focus is on how people communicate visually and how to utilize design thinking to help students prepare for any occupational or academic field they may choose.

If homework is not completed for the start of the class, you will be given the opportunity to complete it THAT day. You will need to turn it in before school begins the next day. To turn something in ‘the next day’, means next school day, not next class period.

The majority of work is done in class; therefore, there is no excuse for missing assignments. Due dates and deadlines are given in advance. All re-worked/re-submitted pieces are due 2 weeks before the end of each 6 week grading period, at the latest.  Make up work from an excused absence will follow the Notre Dame guidelines. It is the student’s responsibility to check for missed assignments in a timely manner and to turn in missing work. In emergencies and serious illnesses, other accommodations between the student and teacher will be arranged.

In the case of incomplete assignments or major projects, the following steps will be taken:

  1. Missing/Incomplete entered into Gradebook

  2. Parents and counselors are contacted immediately when large projects are not turned in. 

Academic Honesty
This class should stretch your artistic abilities and your imagination, and I expect original and personal work, not copied from any other source. You are expected to practice artistic integrity at all times.

“Any work that makes use of other artists’ work (including photographs) and/or published images must show substantial and significant development beyond duplication. This may be demonstrated through manipulation of the formal qualities, design, and/or concept of the original work. It is unethical, constitutes plagiarism, and often violates copyright law simply to copy an image (even in another medium) that was made by someone else.”