Graphic Design


Graphic design is everywhere. It is impossible to go through a day without seeing countless combinations of words and images on DVD covers, in magazines and books, on billboards, online, and even inside your kitchen cabinets! This yearlong course is designed for students who are interested in expressing themselves visually and digitally.

In this class students will learn about graphic design principles, creative and expressive typography, page layout, and digital image manipulation through the completion of print based assignments. Projects may include, but are not limited to the creation of logos, posters, ads, magazine spreads, information graphics, and book covers.

Industry standard software such as iLife and the Adobe Creative Suite will be used for all class projects and homework.

With that being said, sitting down in front of a computer and throwing a few words and images on the screen does not make you a designer. Good design does not just happen on its own. All projects will be created through a process that involves research, conceptualization and synthesis of ideas, sketching, and finally, skillful execution of your ideas. A sketchbook and your laptop will be your constant companions for this course. You must have each with you each time you come to class.

Your sketchbook is your place to keep notes, brainstorm concepts, collect visual examples, sketch out ideas and reflect upon your work. The documentation of your creative process is as important as your final projects. While I do not expect AP or IB quality drawings, I do expect you to put a a great deal of effort into your planning and drawings. If sketches look like they were done five minutes before coming to class, you will be assigned the SCR in order to redo your work properly.

Many research assignments, such as finding examples of design that inspire you, are expected to be completed outside of class. Most other assignments and projects are designed to be completed within the allotted class time if class time is used effectively.


While the specific projects will vary from year to year, here is a general outline of this course’s main units:

Photoshop- Students will explore how to use Photoshop to digitally edit and combine photos. Lessons will also focus on helping students develop an eye for typography and learn about art elements and design principles.

Illustrator-  Students will primarily use Illustrator to create vector based graphics. Projects are designed to help students become familiar with the program’s pen and other shape making tools.

InDesign- In this unit students will focus on creating multipage, text heavy documents that combine Illustrator and Photoshop files.


Laptops will be used on a daily basis for research, reflection and the creation of projects only. Anyone found to be on websites or using programs other than what was assigned will be sent to the Second Chance Room to make up for the time that you wasted. I love Skype, Facebook and checking my email just as much as the next person, but there is an appropriate time to visit these places and using these programs. My class is not one of them.

Attendance will be taken right at the start of each class. You are late if you are not in your seat when class starts. You will be marked absent if you enter the class more than 20 minutes late.


  1. Summative assessments include sketchbooks, final projects, and self reflections which demonstrate your learning.

  2. Formative assessments include homework, media experiments, research, and sketchbooks.

  3. Grades will be updated on Powerschool on a regular basis. If there is a grade issue, please see me before or after school to discuss it. Grades will not be discussed during class, as class time is for making art.

  4. Powerschool automatically rounds up grades, therefore grades will not be changed unless there is a human error.

Grade Categories:

  1. Summative Assessments: 80%

  2. Final Assessment: 20%

  3. Formative Assessments will be entered into Gradebook, but will not be counted in your final grade.


Specific rubrics will be provided with each unit so you will know what is expected of you before you even begin the project. These rubrics are posted on each project page of this website. If you do not understand what is expected of you, it is your responsibility to come to me for clarification.


If homework is not completed by the start of the class, you will be given the opportunity to complete it THAT day in the Second Chance Room (SCR). You will need to turn it in to me before school begins the very next day. Should you choose not to, you will be given many chances to visit the SCR until it is finished. To turn something in ‘the next day’, means next school day, not next class period.

Formative homework assignments will not be graded, but will be marked “missing” in Gradebook if not handed in. Summative Homework assignments will be graded and marked with an “incomplete” if not handed in.

Make-Up Work and Late Work

Projects are designed so that the majority of work can be done in class. Due dates and deadlines are given far enough in advance, and are extremely fair. Project components that receive the grade of 80% or below may be reworked. A decision to rework an assignment must be made within 3 days of receiving your final grades. All reworked/resubmitted pieces are due within 2 weeks of the original due date. You will need to complete a re-submittal plan, and get it approved by me before the project can be revised and regraded.

You have 1 week to make up any work from an excused absence. It is the student’s responsibility to check for missed assignments and to turn in missing work.   

In emergencies and serious illnesses, other accommodations between the student and teacher will be arranged.

I am available after school and at lunch time for open studio/extra work time, however it is your responsibility to schedule time in advance.

Homework: If homework is not completed for the start of the class, you will be given the opportunity to complete it THAT day in the Second Chance Room. You will need to turn it in to me at the beginning of the next class period. Should you choose not to, you will be given additional chances to visit the SCR until it is finished. 

Major Projects: If you do not complete or turn in a major project, the following steps will occur:

  1. -Log Entry: Parents, administrators and counselors are contacted immediately when projects are not turned in.

  2. -Second Chance Room (SCR): you will be given the opportunity to complete your project in the SCR. If the project is not completed at the end of the session, you will automatically be assigned to the SCR until the work is done.

  3. -The project will be marked as Missing in Gradebook. Additionally, your grade will be temporally changed to an Incomplete until a grade is given for the assessment.

  4. -A zero will replace the Missing/Incomplete grade if the work is not submitted by two days before the start of exams.


This Art class should stretch your artistic abilities and your imagination. The course expects that you create original and personal work which is not copied from other sources. You are expected to practice artistic integrity at all times!

“Any work that makes use of other artists’ work (including photographs) and/or published images must show substantial and significant development beyond duplication. This may be demonstrated through manipulation of the formal qualities, design, and/or concept of the original work. It is unethical, constitutes plagiarism, and often violates copyright law simply to copy an image (even in another medium) that was made by someone else.”

Artistic Integrity also includes taking responsibility and not allowing someone else to physically do your work for you. Turning in someone else’s work with your name on it is cheating. The school cheating policy will be strictly enforced, and you will need to create an entirely new project within a designated amount of time.

Should you commit a form of academic dishonesty the following steps will be followed:

  1. 1.A Log entry for ALL levels of academic dishonesty will be made

  2. 2.You will be given an alternative assignment and assessment. This assignment is exempt from the resubmittal policy stated above.

  3. 3.Consequences will be administered by Mrs. Doleman, Ms. McKenna or Dr. Heckmann

Not quite sure what academic dishonesty or plagiarism in art looks like? Read this article for more information. In addition to the categories listed in the article, having your friend, parent or family member work on your piece of art counts  as well.

Learner Profile

Active Learner: Active learning is contributing to class discussions, group brainstorming sessions and critiques. Time and effort goes into the planning and design of projects, as well as pushing the boundaries and going beyond the minimum requirements.

Integrity: In addition to following the SAS Academic Honesty guidelines in the Student Handbook, a student demonstrating integrity is focused and on task at all times- no Skype, games, texting, etc.

Responsibility: Responsibility includes meeting deadlines, being prepared for class, and helping to clean up.

Images on this page were found on the following websites:

Class Description

Design is in everything we make, but it’s also between those things. It’s a mix of craft, science, storytelling, propaganda, and philosophy.

— Erik Adigard