Department of Design

Vision Statement

The Department of Design impacts the global design marketplace through top-level instruction, integrating individualized attention with professional perspective. By applying truth and beauty, the Bachelor of Arts in Design Studies prepares students to be critical thinkers and stellar communicators, and to create professional-quality print and digital designs.

Department Overview

The design studies major prepares students to think creatively about visual communication problems and find aesthetically appropriate and effective solutions for them. Within this area, students gain experience in print design, designing for digital formats, and developing comprehensive design systems. Majors are required to take courses that provide foundational art and design skills, and become adept with a number of design software programs. Students also develop skills in research and concept development; are encouraged to hone craftsmanship abilities; develop a professional skill set that includes image creation, visual communications, and artist/client relationships; and give a final presentation in commercial settings.

With this broad exposure, graduates are prepared to enter the professional design sector, working for printing firms, product and user experience design firms, corporate in-house agencies, or churches or other nonprofit organizations. 

Program Learning Objectives

The design studies major is designed to develop students who will:

  • Demonstrate competencies in the tools and technologies required for professional completion of a project.
  • Display an understanding of aesthetic engagement, artistic perception, and critical judgment through writing and speaking.
  • Practice problem-solving skills resolving communication and compositional issues.
  • Define an understanding of audience/client needs prior to production.
  • Effectively apply verbal and written criticism to relevant communication aesthetics.
  • Engage with and integrate an understanding of Christian faith through critical, creative, and collaborative endeavors, that demonstrate a sense of responsibility and ethical awareness.
  • Understand the commercial design world.
  • Engage in public and private professional presentations.

DSGN 115, Using Digital Media in a Visual World, 3 Units

This course introduces students to common software/media used to create digital, visual communications. The emphasis includes the application of software to improve communications in a culture that is increasingly visual. The course is for students who are not graphic design majors or minors, who desire to learn to use digital media more effectively and particularly in application to their particular field of study. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Fine Arts. 

DSGN 120, Introduction to Computer Graphics, 3 Units

This course introduces the computer as a medium used for graphic design and art. Design principles are explored in creating and organizing visual communication and other media. Students are introduced to graphics software programs such as QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Macromedia Dreamweaver. Meets six hours weekly.

Special Fee Applies

DSGN 221, Production for Print Design, 3 Units

The commercial printing process requires exacting pre- press production skills and knowledge. This studio course provides graphic design students the opportunity to learn those skills and production techniques. Projects provide students real life experiences that challenge creativity but also solve the technological needs of production. Meets six hours weekly.It is recommended that this class be taken following ART 220.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: ART 281 (may be taken concurrently)

DSGN 281, Graphic Design I, 3 Units

This studio course introduces students to the building blocks of design: typography and the principles of design. It includes a rigorous introduction to the fundamentals of designing with type with an emphasis on letters, text, and grid. Students develop a basic visual vocabulary by focusing on the formal aspects of design such as point, line, texture, color, and organizing principles such as scale, contrast, rhythm, and balance. Meets six hours weekly.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: ART 120

DSGN 320, Digital Imaging, 3 Units

This is an intermediate-level graphic design class with projects using art, graphics, and illustration techniques. Traditional media and software from Adobe Creative Cloud will be utilized. Meets six hours weekly.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: ART 120 and DSGN 130 or instructor's permission.

DSGN 358, History of Graphic Design and Illustration, 3 Units

Students study the evolution of printed words and symbols across time and through various cultures. From the printing press to the computer, art and design reflect and influence society. This lecture course examines chronologically the development of visual communication chronologically.

DSGN 382, Adaptive Design I, 3 Units

This class is an introduction to current web and mobile design concepts and technologies, with a focus on responsive layout techniques. Students will plan and design an online platform that adjusts itself for a wide range of devices, while intentionally considering the communication objective.

Prerequisite: ART 383 or instructor consent

DSGN 383, Graphic Design II, 3 Units

This studio course explores and develops concepts used in solving graphic design and visual communication opportunities. Projects address the elements and principles of design. Students use original photography and illustration and appropriate uses of typography for project solutions, creatively integrating both traditional media and digital production techniques. Meets six hours weekly.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: ART 281 or instructor consent

DSGN 384, Interactive Design, 3 Units

ART 384 is an introduction to Human Computer Interaction (HCI) with a focus on developing the broad set of skills needed for user-centered design especially User Interface and Experience Design. Students are introduced to the process of ideation, needs assessment, rapid prototyping, and evaluation of user interface, and also touch upon data-driven design, emotional design, analytics, and A/B testing. The process will expose them to modern-day, full-stack design: research, wire-framing, visual, high-fidelity prototypes, and HTML/CSS/JS development. Meets six hours weekly.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: ART 382 or instructor's permission

DSGN 385, Graphic Design III, 3 Units

This studio course for advanced graphic design students furthers the development of ideation skills introduced in Graphic Design I with continued emphasis on conceptual thinking and visualization skills. This class provides essential tools of good basic design thinking and the solid building blocks of the desing process that are encountered in a professional setting. Class meets six hours weekly.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: ART 383 or instructor consent

DSGN 386, Multimedia I, 3 Units

This course introduces students to the concepts and methods of Motion Graphics This course starts with graphic design concepts and sets them into motion. Graphics such as; Titles, VFX panel simulations, educational graphics are designed and animated.

Special Fee Applies

DSGN 430, Applied Design, 1-4 Units

This is an individualized advanced course for art students to conduct in-depth research and art production. It may be repeated for 6 units total.

Prerequisite: Advanced study in the area of specialization and department chair's consent

DSGN 446, Graphic Design Processes, 1-3 Units

This course for the advanced graphic design major tailors experiences to meet the individual student's goal as a graphic designer, and may be repeated for 6 units total.

Special Fee Applies

DSGN 450, Portfolio, 3 Units

This is a required laboratory class for all senior art and graphic design majors and should be taken in the final semester of study. Instruction includes portfolio preparation, artist statements, gallery and client relations, graduate school options, business networking, and the role of the Christian artist in today's culture. Meets six hours weekly.Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning. 

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: Review of Artistic Competencies

DSGN 475, Design Internship, 1-4 Units

Graphic design and art majors participate in either volunteer or paid internship positions that are directly linked to their area of concentration, gaining on-site and professional experience.

Prerequisite: Graphic Design Major or Minor

DSGN 481, Graphic Design IV, 3 Units

This course addresses communication strategies including the effective use of metaphor, iconography, and cliche. The nature of symbols and cultural issues is applied to assignments where the dynamic role of image, photography, or illustration is stressed. The development of philosophical and professional attitudes related to the role of the designer as interpreter of society dealing with ethical issues is emphasized.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: ART 385 or instructor consent

DSGN 495, Special Topics in Design, 3 Units

This advanced level studio/research or lecture course allows for occasional offerings of diverse topics in art not covered by regular department courses. Special interests of faculty and students may be targeted under this category. Selection varies depending on student interest and faculty availability. May be repeated for credit as topic varies.

DSGN 503, Research and Design Process Methods [Proposed], 3 Units

UXD is an applied interdisciplinary field reflecting concerns from cognitive science, sociology, philosophy, design, management, and digital media. This course introduces the students to foundational design process methods and equips them with the research tools needed to fully examine those concepts and articulate them in written form.

DSGN 504, Digital Experience Design [Proposed], 3 Units

This course synthesizes 2D, 3D, and 4D conceptions of space with knowledge and skills of interactivity to create and produce the digital experience. This is course helps students expand their ability to innovate within a digital concept.

DSGN 506, Web Design Principles [Proposed], 3 Units

Equipped with a historical understanding of the Web's evolution and key industry-standard design guidelines to ensure strong online presentation, students will have a foundational knowledge of website creation, and will apply it to the planning, design and development of your own Web page over the course of the semester. Students will create, code and post basic HTML and CSS files to the Internet. Critical thinking will be encouraged through class interactions, projects, and online postings.

DSGN 507, Digital Imagery in Web Design [Proposed], 3 Units

This course familiarizes students with the development and impact of imagery in interactive media. Students will learn how visual 'language' is the basis for developing contextual symbolic meanings that are shared throughout a culture. Semiotics, information design and persuasive communication will be explored in this course. Students will develop communicative images using their knowledge gained through lectures, discussion, projects, collaboration and Adobe Photoshop training.

DSGN 514, Mobile Communication Design [Proposed], 3 Units

Students will explore a strategic process of how to design for a multiscreen environment with emphasis on mobile platforms. At the end of the course, students will have an understanding of how to plan, design, develop, and market potential mobile applications.

DSGN 515, Digital Innovation Design [Proposed], 3 Units

This course is comprised of several projects which highlight the role that digital designers play in the multi-disciplinary attempt to bridge the gap between functionality and usability.

DSGN 516, Mobile Communication Design [Proposed], 3 Units

Storytelling has been used as a universal practice that has proven to be a powerful tool of communication for fostering understanding, social inquiry, and self-expression. This course examines theoretical perspectives on both interactivity and narrative structure and provide and overview of the forms, strategies, and conventions of each while emphasizing approaches on how to integrate the two.

DSGN 517, Digital Media Layout and Design [Proposed], 3 Units

This course introduces students to the skills and concepts that will help create documents for both print and interactivity. Using Adobe InDesign, students will apply their understanding of color, type, layout, and design to create a portfolio project. While InDesign permits several possible workflows, this course will focus on those that most readily translate into digital design.

DSGN 518, Web Interactivity and Engagement [Proposed], 3 Units

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the most practical tool of a web manager, the content management system (CMS). Using WordPress, students will gain an understanding of CMSs and how they are valuable tools for saving time and handling large amounts of data. Students will also learn more about server scripting using PHP and database integration with MySQL.

DSGN 521, Research Methods and Collaboration in Digital Communications [Proposed], 3 Units

This course is designed to make students think strategically about how, why and with whom they interact via digital media. By the end of the course, students should have fundamental understanding of research tools that will help them plan for and evaluate the effectiveness of online communication methods, including a multitude of social media and web tools. Students will understand search engine optimization (SEO) and the consequences - costs and benefits - of local and global messaging and interactivity.

DSGN 606, Database Management and Scripting [Proposed], 3 Units

Using PHP, Students will learn fundamental server-side scripting concepts like creating arrays and functions, automating Unix commands, gathering and processing user input, and dynamically writing out HTML and JavaScript. The course will culminate with the students creating a web application that ties HTML front-end to a MySQL database using PHP.

DSGN 607, Design Business and Entrepreneurship [Proposed], 3 Units

Students will examine the fields of study related to the design business and explore the basic tenets of entrepreneurship as related to creating and running a design business.

DSGN 608, Mobile Web Technology [Proposed], 3 Units

Mobile Web Technology concentrates on the importance of responsive design and how it has changed the way websites are designed to adapt to mobile devices. The class will include the use of JavaScript and jQuery as well as designing with advanced CSS and HTML5. The course will also include the creation of a mobile app.

DSGN 609, Advanced Web Design: Corporate and Brand Identity on the Web [Proposed], 3 Units

This course synthesizes two different but complementary tools of communication: graphic design and assembly. Students will learn the fundamental design principles and techniques for effective visual communication. These principles and techniques are applied, through projects, to achieve a communication objective across different platforms. Students can expect a practical, hands-on experience. A key tool for creating your digital work in this course is Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator is an effective tool for creating original artwork, and for designing logos, banners, icons and navigational elements for online and print. The artwork can then easily be exported to the Web or imported into other programs.

DSGN 612, Strategic Communication: Ethical Issues and Web Design [Proposed], 3 Units

This course introduces students to the discipline of strategic communications and the ethical and social issues that can arise from its practice. Students are given a background in important concepts in strategic communication, including branding, target audiences, technologies of strategic communication, the history and evolution of strategic communication, and other topics. With this knowledge, students utilize ethical thought and Christian principles to apply these to real-world strategic communications contexts.

DSGN 613, Web Design Internship [Proposed], 3 Units

This course will provide students with the opportunity to complete projects related to the students� career goals under the supervision of an experienced practitioner in the field. By the end of the internship, students will have first-hand knowledge of trends in the field, the skills necessary to be employable after graduation, and the importance of networking. Each student will set goals from the beginning of the course with a supervising professor about what the student needs to accomplish during the internship, and the student will self-reflect about the progress made at the end of the term. The internship must be approved by the program director.

DSGN 614, Web Design Independent Study [Proposed], 3 Units

This course is an option for students already employed in the web design field or in an area of the country where an internship is not available. Students will meet with the program director to outline goals, projects, and outcomes for the independent study. The goals is for the students to gain knowledge of trends in the field, skills necessary for employment, and the importance of networking. Course enrollment must be approved by the program director.

DSGN 615, UXD Internship or Independent Study [Proposed], 3 Units

Under faculty supervision, students work in positions related to their program and/or career goal, develop learning objectives and complete reflective academic assignments. As an alternative, students employed in the UXD area may choose to utilize their current work position as an independent study. These students will also work with a faculty supervisor to develop learning objects and complete reflective assignments that compliment their work environment.

DSGN 619, Web Design Project and Portfolio [Proposed], 3 Units

The course is designed to incorporate acquired design and communication skills into a real-world website, a communications pitch to a client, and a portfolio the student can use to find employment. The capstone project will incorporate skills such as branding, layouts, strategic communication, research methods, coding and web design. Students will develop a comprehensive communication campaign based on research and client needs. The completed campaign will be presented at the end of the course, and a professional portfolio of the students work will be critiqued and assembled for use. Students must have completed 24 units of DSGN graduate web design courses prior to enrolling in this course.

Faculty

Interim Chair

Rebecca Roe, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Terry Dobson, MFA

Adjunct Faculty

Cabrina Alviar, MFA

Matthew Chan, MHCI

Amy Fox, MFA

Nathan Lu, BFA

Stephanie Sabo, MFA

Brenda Whitehill Schlenker, MFA