About this Course
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Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level

Approx. 16 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 2-3 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English

What you will learn

  • Check

    Recall and explain a lexicon of key terms relating to form, meaning, and audience, and apply them successfully within an appraisal of graphic design

  • Check

    Establish and articulate criteria for successful outcomes in a design project that are not limited by personal taste.

  • Check

    Employ various ways of talking about visual form, meaning, and context for a given work of design in an objective way. 

  • Check

    Develop an ability to engage with a work of design in an objective way.

Skills you will gain

Visual CommunicationGraphic Design
Learners taking this Course are
  • Designers
  • Artists
  • Graphic Designers
  • Art Directors
  • UI/UX Designers

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level

Approx. 16 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 2-3 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
22 minutes to complete

Week 1: Course Orientation and Overview

4 videos (Total 9 min), 5 readings
4 videos
Defining Critique2m
Using the Lexicon and the Critique Framework2m
Who this course is for1m
5 readings
About CalArts and the Program in Graphic Design2m
About the Critique Framework2m
How to Pass This Course5m
Forum Guidelines2m
Requesting Peer Reviews2m
2 hours to complete

Week 1: Audience/Context/Culture

5 videos (Total 29 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
5 videos
Thinking Through Making Form6m
Audience5m
Visual Language & Cultural Hierarchy10m
Agenda and function4m
2 readings
Lexicon and Bibliography: Audience/Context/Culture2m
Instructor Critique: Audience/Culture/Context5m
1 practice exercise
Audience / Context / Culture15m
Week
2
2 hours to complete

Week 2: Basics of Form

11 videos (Total 72 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
11 videos
Introduction: Basics of Visual Form3m
Visual Contrast: Scale, Shape, Color, and Value5m
Visual Contrast: Line, Texture, Direction, and Movement6m
Contrast and Visual Hierarchy13m
Legibility and Readability4m
Sharpening and Leveling14m
Composition: Figure/Ground (from Introduction to Imagemaking)2m
Case Study/Demonstration Critique 1: April Greiman poster8m
Case Study/Demonstration Critique 2: Raymond Scott Poster6m
Case Study/Demonstration Critique 3: Superbad poster6m
2 readings
Lexicon and Bibliography: Basics of Form2m
Case Study/Demonstration Critiques: Introduction2m
1 practice exercise
Basics of Form15m
Week
3
2 hours to complete

Week 3: Meaning and Concept

5 videos (Total 28 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
5 videos
Denotation and Connotation3m
Visual Icons, Similes, Symbolism, Metaphors, and Themes5m
Cliche, Pastiche, Appropriation, Parody, and Satire6m
Narrative / Sequence / Storytelling10m
2 readings
Lexicon and Bibliography: Meaning and Concept2m
Instructor Critique: Narrative/Sequence5m
1 practice exercise
Meaning and Concept30m
Week
4
2 hours to complete

Week 4: Synthesis: Critique and Effective Design

7 videos (Total 25 min), 2 quizzes
7 videos
Agenda and Authorship6m
Why does design look contemporary?4m
Synthesizing the Lexicon, Part 11m
Synthesizing the Lexicon, Part 24m
Synthesizing the Lexicon, Part 32m
Synthesizing the Lexicon, Part 43m
1 practice exercise
Synthesis20m

Instructors

Avatar

Yasmin Khan Gibson

Program Director, Graphic Design
School of Art
Avatar

Randy Nakamura

Adjunct Professor, MFA Design, California College of the Arts

About California Institute of the Arts

CalArts has earned an international reputation as the leading college of the visual and performing arts in the United States. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

  • Besides a computer or mobile device and access to the internet, no specific software or tools are required to complete this course.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.