Graphic Design


Unit Essential Questions Content Skills and Processes Assessment Resources Multicultural Dimension Integrated Learning
Graphic Design

Who is your audience?

What is the purpose of design?

How do you design with a "less is more" approach?

What is the relationship of form and function?



  • Elements of design 
    • line, shape, texture, value, form, color, shape
  • Principles of design
    • proportion, unity, balance, rhythm, emphasis
  • Simplification
  • Working with type
  • Composite imaging
  • Basic animation
  • Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash)


 Project-based units and exercises that help students explore

  • elements & principles
  • simplification of form
  • type as a graphic element
  • layout conventions 
  • color theory
  • packaging design systems
  • market research

Technical Skils

  • Adobe workflow
  • digital drawing
  • vectors vs. bitmapped design
  • constructing paths
  • alignment (columnar, grid design, leading, tracking, etc.)
  • motion tweening

Project rubrics

sketchbook exercises

class critques

instructor conferences (online tutorials) 

Visualizing Text

InDesign Production Cookbook (O'Reilly)

Dove Campaign for Real Beauty


 Ongoing discussion of visual literacy: how our ability to "read" images is informed by our dominant cultural identity.  Extensive discussion of politics of representation in media - particular attention to race and gender.

 Student graphic products such as images for calendar are used to promote other programs in school - ie. Middle School Gardening program.  Client projects link graphic designers with school and community partners to produce print pieces (brochures, posters, logos, etc.) to promote and broaden partners' outreach to desired audiences.