Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

GDS 222 Graphic Design III
Syllabus (Spring 2017)

Instructor: Paul Young

Course Description

Gain experience in visual problem solving through advanced design projects. Communicate creative concepts through effective use of type and images. Develop presentations skills and become power users of Adobe Creative Suite. Prerequisite: GDS 122.


This course is designed specifically for the graphic designer whose objective is to function effectively in today's commercial art field.


Going beyond form and aesthetics, we will become content creators giving visual form to memorable creative concepts that communicate on a higher level. Some of the narrative devices we will explore include:

  • irony
  • subversion
  • symbolism
  • subtext
  • contradiction
  • paradoxes
  • allegory
  • metaphor

Client communication, presentation skills and proficiency in print production will be emphasized.

Class Format

This course will consist of projects, exercises, demonstrations and critiques. Each student will maintain a blog with a new post once a week. It is expected that additional time, on a weekly basis, will be spent on projects and homework assignments. 

It is important that the entire class work together in a collaborative environment, learning from each other as well as the instructor. Therefore, everyone should be working on the same assignments at the same time. Understanding that there might be technical expertise differences, it is expected that more experienced users will be willing to help beginners users with software issues. Conversely, less experienced designers should elicit feedback from more experienced designers during their working process.


Required textbook:


  • USB flash drive, portable hard drive, or access to a cloud service
  • 3-ring binder & dividers (Process Book)
  • Felt tip pens
  • Parkland Identification Card
  • Other art supplies may be required for specific exercises and project
Grading System

In this class, your grade will be based on attendance, class participation, software proficiency and the quality of the work you do.

  • A = 100-91 (exceptional work beyond the class requirements)
  • B = 90-81 (excellent technical and creative abilities exhibited)
  • C = 80-71 (all work accomplished on time and minimum goals achieved)
  • D = 70-61 (minimum goals not achieved, late assignments)
  • F = 60 or less (failure to finish assignments or doing "D" work late)

Your grade will be discussed during your individual reviews at midterm and at the end of the semester. You must bring all the work you have done up to that time (including all research/reference materials, sketches, preliminary proofs, revised proofs, final proofs, digital files, etc.). Do NOT delete any work-in-progress from this class. Your grade will depend on it. At any time during the semester, you may request individual reviews to check your progress. You may revise and re-submit projects and exercises as many times as you like up until the final review.

Earning Points

Points can be earned in each of the following categories:

  • Projects (40%)
  • Blog (30%)
  • Homework Discussions (15%)
  • Exercises (10%)
  • Process Book (5%)

Projects/Process Book will be graded based on creativity, problem solving ability, design, craftsmanship, typography and adherence to project specifications. Numerical grades will be awarded for these assignments.

Homework Blog Posts will be graded based on adherence to assignment specifications. Weekly homework blog posts will be graded by the instructor.

Homework Discussion Posts will be graded based on quality feedback and participation. Weekly homework discussions and replies will be graded by your peers.

Exercises will be graded based on accuracy and craftsmanship. Exercises are due by final review and will be graded pass/fail.

At the end of the semester, all the points earned in each category will be averaged and weighted to determine your final grade.

Extra credit points may be awarded for submitting excellent work into the annual Graphic Design Student Exhibition.

Bonus points may be awarded for active participation in class.

Late Work Policy

Projects have multiple critique deadlines. If you miss a critique, I will deduct 10% off your project grade for each critique missed. Students have the option of continuing to work on and improve each project after the due date and class critique for (possibly) a better grade. Grades for re-worked assignments will be no more than one full letter grade higher than the original grade at final critique (re-worked project grades will never drop in grade). All re-worked assignments are due by the final review date.

Weekly blog posts and discussion assignments must be posted on time in order for you to receive credit (therefore the late work policy does not apply).

Exercises have no deadlines, but must be completed by final review (therefore the late work policy does not apply).

The Process Book will be graded twice, once at midterm review and again at final review (therefore the late work policy does not apply).


Attendance is mandatory. Attendance will be taken promptly at the beginning of each class. Being late counts as an absence, but you should come to class even if you are late because it is not possible to make up in-class critiques, exercises or tutorials that you missed.

Your semester grade will drop by one letter grade for every two classes missed. "Excused" absences will only be discussed under extenuating circumstances and only if you have missed more than two classes. If you know you are going to be absent, you have the option of emailing me assignments before they are due to avoid any penalties for late work.

If you stop attending, I may drop you from the class with no refund of tuition or fees. After midterm, you should not plan on an instructor withdrawal if you want to withdraw from the course. You are responsible for your own withdrawal by the withdrawal date. Non-attendance after midterm will result in a failing grade if you don't withdraw from the course.

Note: Attendance is required for the entire scheduled class period. If you have an issue that requires you to leave early, please inform the instructor beforehand. Leaving class early will count as an absence.

Online Gradebook

All students have an account in Cobra Learning (an online course management system). In this class, we will be using Cobra for:

  • Grading
  • Attendance records
  • Online discussions
  • Dropboxes (digital assignment submissions)
  • Communication

Cobra can be accessed via or

Last updated: 1/19/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young