Graphic Design

College of Arts and Letters, Department of Design

Program Description

The curriculum in the Graphic Design program at California State University, Sacramento has been developed to prepare students for professional practice and/or preparation for admission to graduate level study.

The Graphic Design program is part of the Department of Design which houses majors Interior Design and Photography. This combination provides a unique collection of disciplines and broadens the student’s exposure to professions they will potentially be working with in the future.

The course of study is a layered exploration that starts with fundamental principles of visual communication paired with an intensive introduction to the creative process. Each successive layer builds in complexity to encompass technical, conceptual, and research challenges that culminates with a series of classes devoted to professional practice. Historical perspective and ethical concerns are addressed throughout the curriculum. The programs goal is to provide the community with a comprehensive visual problem solver that has a strong aesthetic ability coupled with a clear understanding of the strategic and conceptual challenges facing them in practice.

Degree Program

BFA in Graphic Design

Accreditation

In addition to California State University, Sacramento's full accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design is also individually accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Licensure and Credentialing Disclosure

Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or tax payer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements are available from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Sacramento Hall 234, (916) 278-5344.

Special Features

All of the faculty in the Graphic Design program have diverse and extensive expertise in the field and continue to work in the profession. Exhibitions and lectures by nationally recognized designers, field trips, and guest instruction add further exposure to professional practice and methodology. Students have been recognized in national competitions, as well as community and campus exhibitions.

Work experience is highly valued in the field of graphic design, and internships, for academic credit, provide students with practical, hands-on experience. Faculty members are instrumental in coordinating a wide range of student internships at highly respected firms and organizations throughout the region. Service learning is also a strong component of hands-on opportunities available through the program.

Graphic Design majors form an active student group called G.R.I.D.S (Graphic Resources and Information Design Students). This group is also a student chapter of the AIGA the professional association for design. Students meet regularly and organize workshops, field trips, and lectures. These activities increase understanding of and exposure to the graphic design field. G.R.I.D.S also provides internal networking opportunities that offers members support as they pursue their studies in design.

Being located in California’s capital city, California State University, Sacramento offers a wealth of cultural, professional, and employment opportunities. Graduates from the Graphic Design program at Sacramento State have secured positions in design and multimedia firms, advertising agencies, and major corporations.

Career Possibilities

Advertising Designer · Brand Designer · Broadcast Designer · In-house Corporate Designer · Identity Designer · Information Architect · Multimedia Designer · Packaging Designer · Prepress Technician · Print Designer · Production Artist · Project Manager · Publication Designer · Signage Designer · Type Designer · Web Designer

Contact Information

Andrew Anker, Chair, Department of Design
Richard Pratt, Program Coordinator
Rhonda Franks, Administrative Support Coordinator
Mariposa Hall 5001
(916) 278-3962
FAX (916) 278-6116
Graphic Design Program Website

Faculty

ESTIOKO, MARIO

FORREST, JOHN

PARK, MYUNG

PRATT, RICHARD

How to Read Course Descriptions

GPHD 5.     Introduction to Graphic Design. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Arts (Area C1)

Term Typically Offered: Fall only

Introduction to the field of Graphic Design. Subjects include career possibilities, current trends, issues and practices in the industry. The basic theory, techniques and practices involved in solving a visual communication problem will also be introduced.

GPHD 10.     Introduction to Digital Design. 3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Spring only

Designed to familiarize students with basic understanding of the digital hardware, software, and vocabulary utilized by visual artists from a variety of disciplines. Discussions and activities will cover both creative and efficient application of digital tools and techniques. Students will complete assignments utilizing a variety of applications which may include page layout, illustration, digital image processing, and 3-D rendering software.

GPHD 20.     History Of Graphic Design. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Arts (Area C1)

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Overview of the history of graphic design. Emphasis on symbol, type, and image development, from early pictographs to modern communication design.

GPHD 25.     Visual Basics. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): ART 20A or Pre - Interior Design Major.

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Provides a basic understanding of how visual structures are created and interpreted. Students study the main components of visual structures, become familiar with basic laws of color, and learn the basics of the gestalt principles of visual organization.

GPHD 30.     Visual Basics II. 5 Units

Prerequisite(s): GPHD 25

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Introduction to the tools, materials and methodologies of the creative process in graphic design. Students study the main components of visual structures, become familiar with basic laws of color, and learn the basic principles of visual organization. The skill of rapid prototyping, through the processes of idea development, thumbnailing, sketching, and mockup, will be covered. Basic concepts in visual systems and graphic message making will be introduced. A special emphasis will be placed on craftsmanship in this course.

GPHD 120.     Typography I. 5 Units

Prerequisite(s): DSGN 4, INTD 20, INTD 25, PHOT 20, PHOT 11, GPHD 5, GPHD 20, GPHD 25, GPHD 30, and acceptance into the major via supplemental application.

Corequisite(s): GPHD 125 Fee course.

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Explores the history and perceptual development of typography and its application in design solutions. Theoretical constructs of typography as they relate to legibility, clarity, composition and output will be addressed. Techniques using compositional layout applications will be covered with an emphasis in typographic accuracy and efficiency as well as preparation of digital files for proper output in a variety of digital and analog formats.

Fee course.

GPHD 122.     Design Production and Management. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): GPHD 5 or GPHD 20, and ART 20A, PHOT 40, GPHD 10, GPHD 20, GPHD 25, GPHD 30, and be a declared GPHD major.

Corequisite(s): GPHD 120, GPHD 125.

Term Typically Offered: Fall only

Introduction to project management techniques specific to the creative business and technical processes for graphic design. Orchestration of image editing, vector and compositing software will be covered with an emphasis in accuracy and efficiency. Various codes and regulations related to graphic design will be reviewed.

GPHD 125.     Graphic Design Systems I. 5 Units

Prerequisite(s): DSGN 4, GPHD 5, GPHD 20, GPHD 25, GPHD 30, INTD 20, INTD 25, PHOT 11, PHOT 20, and acceptance into the major via supplemental application.

Corequisite(s): GPHD 120 Fee course.

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Introduction to the language and perception of design as it is applied to systems. Complex visual structures are created, used in composition and interpreted. Techniques on ideation, design thinking, storyboarding and presentation are covered. Color theory as an integral component of message is addressed. Introduction to project management techniques specific to the creative business and technical processes for graphic design.

Fee course.

GPHD 130.     Typography II. 5 Units

Prerequisite(s): GPHD 120, GPHD 125.

Corequisite(s): GPHD 135. Fee course.

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Advanced typography and its relationship with message. Application of typographic principles to a diverse series of graphic design problems utilizing type and image. Techniques in using a range of digital tools to execute solutions are reviewed.

Fee course.

GPHD 135.     User Interface Design. 5 Units

Prerequisite(s): GPHD 120, GPHD 125

Corequisite(s): GPHD 130

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Emphasis is on design of a user-centered experience in an interactive environment. Enables the students to understand the characteristics of relevant technology and select appropriate forms and functions to create specific experience for users. Introduction to formative research techniques to establish context and audience and summative research techniques to determine success of screen based design solutions.

GPHD 140.     User Experience Design. 5 Units

Prerequisite(s): GPHD 130, GPHD 135

Corequisite(s): GPHD 145

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Emphasis on the development of conceptual themes, formal exploration, and user-centered interaction in time-based design. Enables the students to create vital experiences using text, sound, image, motion, and interactivity. The ability to compile, use, and defend relevant formative and summative research in creation of an appropriate design solution will be covered.

GPHD 142.     Advanced Graphic Design I. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): GPHD 130, GPHD 135.

Corequisite(s): GPHD 140, GPHD 145.

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Builds on established research, process and project management techniques and provides students with the opportunity to focus on a practical investigation in design. Theoretical, professional, and historical issues facing the design profession will be reviewed. Development of both visual and written research material will culminate in an oral presentation and then be applied to an appropriate project.

GPHD 145.     Typography II. 5 Units

Prerequisite(s): GPHD 130, GPHD 135.

Corequisite(s): GPHD 140 Fee course.

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Builds on established research, process, and project management techniques and provides students with the opportunity to focus on a practical investigation in design. Development of both visual and written research material will culminate in an oral presentation and then be applied to an appropriate project. Semiotics as applied to advanced design problems will be discussed. Image making will be stressed in this course as students experiment with techniques and media including, but not limited to, photography and illustration.

Fee course.

GPHD 150.     Professional Practice. 5 Units

Prerequisite(s): GPHD 140. GPHD 145.

Corequisite(s): GPHD 155.

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Introduction to the concepts and tools used to present credentials for entry into practice or advanced study. Development of the graphic design portfolio and communications package. Discussions will cover such topics as networking, interview tips, employment issues, and presentation skills. Projects refine the student's individual design process and advance their understanding of professional practice. Professional, business, and ethical issues facing the design profession will be reviewed. Development of visual presentations, written material, and oral presentations will be required.

GPHD 152.     Advanced Graphic Design II. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): GPHD 140, GPHD 142, GPHD 145.

Corequisite(s): GPHD 150, GPHD 155.

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Advanced course in graphic design that requires students to provide solutions to real world design problems. Helps refine the students individual design process and advance their understanding of professional practice. Professional, business, and ethical issues facing the design profession will be reviewed. Development of both visual and written material will be required in a group environment as well as oral and visual presentations of this material.

GPHD 155.     Graphic Design Systems II. 5 Units

Prerequisite(s): GPHD 140, GPHD 145.

Corequisite(s): GPHD 150 Fee course.

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Advanced study of visual systems as applied to branding and way finding. Construction of visual systems for an expansive multi-dimensional design solutions will be covered. Introduction to methods, techniques, and approaches of emotion-driven brand development. Application of syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic aspects of pictorial design systems to wayfinding system development. Exploration of the interplay between environmental conditions and human culture impact decisions in wayfinding system development.

Fee course.

GPHD 195.     Fieldwork in Graphic Design. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Upper division status; GPA of 2.5 or above; GPHD 130, GPHD 135; instructor permission.

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Directed observation and supervised work experience in an approved business, government, or service agency. Internships are offered to increase student understanding of the nature and scope of agency operations and giving students orientation in occupational specialties. Supervision is provided by authorized persons in the cooperating agencies and collaborative supervision is provided by the Graphic Design faculty. Minimum of three hours per week per unit of credit is required. Each student maintains a record of activities and assignments and prepares periodic reports.

Note: Students must make arrangements with a faculty member for a work program prior to admittance. No more than 6 units of GPHD 195 may be counted toward the major.

Credit/No Credit

GPHD 199.     Special Problems. 1 - 3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Individual projects or directed projects open to students who wish to attempt independent work.

Note: Faculty approval is required. No more than 6 units of GPHD 199 may be counted toward a Graphic Design degree.

Credit/No Credit