Graphic Design III
ART  3933  
Spring 2016

sec 004 
12:00-2:00, Tue/Thu
MonH 206


Graphic Design III is the third in the core sequence of graphic design courses. It deals not only with the interaction of text and image, but the interaction of designed communication with its audience and with the social/economic world. Students will develop and hone skills in understanding audience and client as they create solutions to a series of design problems. Visual literacy will be increased through exposure to contemporary design issues and graphic design history. Students will be expected to expand their proficiency in all aspects of the design process, including visual research, knowledge of the business world, knowledge of the world of professional desigh, creative brainstorming, conceptualizing, critical thinking, the use of formal design principles, collaboration, and presentation.

Rob Wittig Office: MonH 234
Phone: 726.7545
Office Hours:
Mon 1–3

Tue 2–3
or by appointment

Here's what I care about:

I care about ideas and creativity. (Otherwise, why bother being alive, right?)

I want you to understand the audience for your design. I want you to connect to the world outside -- outside the University, outside North America, -- so that the people there become real to you.

I want you learn more about your own creative process while you're learning about how designed communication works, how the design world works and how the world of money and organizations works.

I want you to be an idea person, this semester and for the rest of your life. I want you to always have interesting things to talk about during a meeting or over lunch --- really interesting things, things that genuinely interest you. Your enthusiasm for the world is the flame that keeps your creativity alive (and earns you a living).

I want you to be able to speak basic Business-Speak. In other words, to be able to empathize with the people you work for and communicate with them.

I want you to read the readings and listen to the listenings. Repeating. I want you to actually read the readings. *laughs* Don't worry, it'll be fun! I'll support you, and I'll quiz you.

I want us to have fun playing with in-class simulations of design office processes and designer/client meetings, so that you learn about real-life professional practices and can hit the ground running when you're interning and working at a design firm.


Participation in class for the full class period is mandatory. Studio classes provide the oportunity for interchange between student and teacher and among students. This interaction is vital to the learning process and cannot take place when a student is absent. Late arrival or early depature counts as 1/2 an absence. Students who miss class are required to inform themselves about what they missed from other students in the class and are expected to meet all homework deadlines.

This course adheres strictly to UMD's Student Academic Integrity Policy, which can be found at

Required supplies
_book: "Social Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman

_unlined sketchbook at least 8"x10"
_print portfolio
_final work mounted to fit into portfolio
_electronic portfolio

Required Current Events Research
You will be assigned to a team that will be responsible for updating the class on a breaking news situation somewhere in the world.

Final designs and presentations must be well crafted and presented in a professional manner. This is both expected in the field, and shows you respect your own work as a designer.

Process is a crucial part of what you'll be learning in this class. For that reason, you are required to complete, keep, and turn in every sketch, note and rough design for each exercise and project. Projects will not be considered complete without all the working stages; you cannot skip any steps.

Attendance grading policy You may miss 3 classes, no questions asked. If you miss 4 classes, the maximum final grade you can earn is a B. If you miss 5 classes the maximum final grade you can earn is a C. If you miss 6 classes the maximum final grade you can earn is a D. With 7 or more absences, you fail the class. No exceptions, no excuses.

In-class "sprints" and small homework assignments are required and will be assigned throughout the semester.

Evaluation will be based 70% on all phases of design projects (sketch, thumbnails, full comps, and finished work), 30% on attendance and engaged participation in all class discussions, exercises, sprints, homework, and critiques. Final projects count for only 10% of the total grade.

Special needs If you have any limitation which affects your ability to perform in the class, please see me at your earliest convenience to arrange for equitable participation.



You, yes you, have to actually do your reading and listening assignments. Srsly. No, srsly!

In class readling/listening notes are required for this class. In-class writing and discussion will happen regularly on the days we meet in ABAH 335. You will hand in printed or photocopied versions of your notes along with your four projects.

Required reading notes from Social Intelligence. As you read the book take notes on passages that interest you, by hand or electronically. Put the page number of each passage you note. Each week write three original (3) sentences about ways what you're reading relates to design. Be prepared to write or talk in class based on these notes.

General Information:
Student Conduct Code:
Appropriate classroom conduct promotes an environment of academic achievement and integrity.  Disruptive classroom behavior that substantially or repeatedly interrupts either the instructor's ability to teach, or student learning, is prohibited. Student are expected adhere to Board of Regents Policy:Student Conduct Code:  
Teaching & Learning: Instructor and Student Responsibilities:
UMD is committed to providing a positive, safe, and inclusive place for all who study and work here.  Instructors and students have mutual responsibility to insure that the environment in all of these settings supports teaching and learning, is respectful of the rights and freedoms of all members, and promotes a civil and open exchange of ideas. To reference the full policy please see: 

Academic Integrity:
Academic dishonesty tarnishes UMD’s reputation and discredits the accomplishments of students.  Academic dishonesty is regarded as a serious offense by all members of the academic community.  UMD’s Student Academic Integrity Policy can be found at: 

Final Exams:
All 1xxx-5xxx courses offered for undergraduate credit should include a final graded component or end of term evaluation that assesses the level of student achievement of one or more course objectives. All final graded components are to be administered or due at the time and place according to the final exam schedule and not during the last week of class. To reference the full policy please see:

Excused Absences:
Students are expected to attend all scheduled class meetings.  It is the responsibility of students to plan their schedules to avoid excessive conflict with course requirements. However, there are legitimate and verifiable circumstances that lead to excused student absence from the classroom.  These are subpoenas, jury duty, military duty, religious observances, illness, bereavement for immediate family, and NCAA varsity intercollegiate athletics.  For complete information, please see: 

Appropriate Student Use of Class Notes and Course Materials:
Taking notes is a means of recording information but more importantly of personally absorbing and integrating the educational experience. However, broadly disseminating class notes beyond the classroom community or accepting compensation for taking and distributing classroom notes undermines instructor interests in their intellectual work product while not substantially furthering instructor and student interests in effective learning. For additional information, please see:

Learning Outcomes of this Course Include Your Ability To:
Understand the relationships among culture, society, business and design.
Know the basics of design history and theory, and recognize the connections and influences on contemporary practice.
Use an interdisciplinary design process that includes research, collaboration, spontaneous and experimental thinking, systematic thinking, iterative development, effective choice of materials and techniques, and presentation of finished work using the vocabulary of design.
Solve visual communication problems in 2D, 3D, and 4D using conceptual thinking, imagery, typography, and type-and-image combinations powerfully, effectively and responsibly, all with a high degree of usability.
Analyze, interpret, critique and evaluate graphic design taking into consideration issues including (but not limited to) impact, cultural relevance, effectiveness, ethics and ecological sustainability.



1_Audience Building Phase One
In this project you will identify an audience that you wish to contact through graphic communication. You will then research the audience and create a knowledgeable strategy to reach them. You will present your research and strategy in a beautifully-designed strategy document.

2_Audience Building Phase Two
Using the strategy document you created as your foundation, you will create designs for a variety of print, web and environmental media. You will create a beautifully-designed presentation document and present your design system to the class.

3_Design System Phase One
In this project you will identify an existing organization with an ailing design plan, or invent a new, needed organization and re-conceive and improve it. You will research the organization from the executive's perspective and create a knowledgeable strategy to revitalize the brand. You will present your research and strategy in a beautifully-designed strategy document.

4_Design System Phase Two
Using he strategy document you created as your foundation, you will create designs for logos, messaging and environments. You will create a beautifully-designed presentation document and present your rebranding program to the class

The good news is


that all this only will work so long as you stay relaxed and stay playful!

Yes, designeers get to play for a living.