Course Catalog - Maine College of Art

Fall 2018 Course Schedule 
Spring 2019 Course Schedule


    GD 101

    Design Basics: Form & Meaning 

    This is an introduction to the fundamental elements, skills, and possibilities of graphic design. Emphasis is placed on experiencing a practice of making meaning visual through exploring the expressive potential of design. Students will create visual compositions in which typography and creative concepts play a primary role in communicating ideas through a physical shaping of language. Graphic design tools such as hand skills, analog and digital materials, iteration and research methodology will be applied throughout the semester. An emphasis is placed on basic ideation and the working methods of the designer that combines the practical with the expressive.

    No Prerequisites

    3 credits
    GD 220

    Perpetual Play: XYZ

    Through various media and processes that inform the technical and communicative canon of design, students are introduced to 3D environments. The class will explore a range of materials and comping techniques in the production of scale models, mock-ups and final projects both analog and digital. The class will promote the development of artistic/conceptual expression and a critical/analytical vocabulary through assignments and critique. Methods for image generation of various media using the fab lab and the RISOGRAPH printer among other materials and techniques will promote hands-on explorations. The goal is to experience the indivisible connection between the media and methods of design that informs expression across 2D and 3D environments.

    Prerequisites : None

    3 credits
    GD 301/404

    Visual Identity & Dynamic Branding

    In this studio course, students will approach the subject of visual identities from multiple scales and platforms. Students will spend the semester exploring how individuals, organizations and places use the language of design to develop effective marks and brands. Furthermore, students will consider the characteristics of identity systems – including typography, color, imagery and language. In addition to design, the class will engage in research and strategy when approaching their assignments and will examine historical and contemporary examples of visual identities.Students will develop strengths in the formal and conceptual attributes of successful identity design and branding. Final multiple-part solutions are obtained through a series of projects: 1) the visual translation of research and ideas; 2) the creation of symbols and icons that represent core conceptual identities; and 3) the development of flexible and dynamic systems. Personal, individually invented objectives or assigned objectives by an outside client provide the course with its project basis.

    Prerequisites : GD 101 and GD 102 or permission of instructor.

    3 credits
    GD 311

    Core Studio I

    This course is an advanced investigation into conventional and unconventional forms of typography. Projects that are typical of various genres of typographic design provide exposure to complex issues of organization, hierarchy and sequence in traditional and contemporary typographic communication. Special attention is given to refinement, detail, and finishing skills in all forms of typographic design while understanding the significance of context and audience, as well as the voice and narrative potential of type. Major requirement and may be repeated for credit.

    Prerequisites : GD 102

    3 credits
    GD 320/420

    Design Studio

    This course is modeled after a professional design studio and the first employment opportunities students will face upon graduating. The professor functions as Art Director, and the students as young designers modeled after an actual studio environment with collaborative work time built into the class structure. The class introduces motivated graphic design majors to a wide range of projects, some real, some very close to real, including hands-on opportunities in creating work for actual clients. Client partnerships are developed as students learn skills in presenting ideas and directing discussions.

    Prerequisites : Major standing. 9 GD credits or permission of instructor

    Additional Notes : Major requirement for GD Juniors and GD Seniors. 6 hours/week.

    3 credits
    GD 353

    Design Issues & History

    Readings, discussions, student presentations and studio projects will explore and examine contemporary issues and design history that affect the way we perceive the practice of design. Topics and projects will engage the student in the critical thinking and research specific to design methodology. This serves to expand the individual student’s personal palette of form and context. Major requirement. 

    Prerequisites : Major standing.

    Additional Notes : Major requirement. 6 hours/week.

    3 credits
    GD 411

    Core Studio III 

    This project-based course emphasizes the potential for artistic/conceptual expression within the practice of the designer. Sequential and intensive projects will place emphasis on the presenting, articulating, editing and refining of work that defines individual designer portfolios. End results are more emphasized as well as evidence of a personal working methodology. This course often refers to professional situations, production and application Major requirement for GD Juniors and GD Seniors.

    Prerequisites : Major standing.

    3 credits
    SEM 451

    Professional Studio (Craft, Fine Arts, Digital Media, Illustration and Design)

    This one-semester course is designed to deliver professional development information to seniors through presentations and lectures pertinent to artists and designers. Topics from how to establish a studio/community to various ways of working with individuals and the public; to making a professional identity package and finances plus many more will be explored. In addition to lectures and tutorials, there may also be field trips connected to appropriate topics, as well as visiting artists and professionals such as a CPA and Maine Arts Commission. Class projects are designed to offer specific experiences and skills pertinent to the student’s professional development. Sections will be split to focus on area-specific professional information and assignments.

    Prerequisites : Must be majoring

    3 credits