ART 130 - Intro to Graphic Design

ART 130 Syllabus

Welcome to Introduction to Graphic Design. This is a rigorous course that teaches you how to follow the process graphic designers use to solve problems. You’ll also learn how to use important design principles to improve the quality of your design work.


By the end of this course, students should be able to do the following things:

  1. Explain basic principles of design and demonstrate how to use them.
  2. Follow a basic design process to create appropriate solutions to design problems.
  3. Demonstrate good craftsmanship in project creation and presentation.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic characteristics and rules of typography.
  5. Explain basic vocabulary terms used in the design industry, and use those terms to discuss graphic design.
  6. Explain the basic purposes of standard software tools, and use these tools to produce graphic design.

General Information


To be eligible to take this course, students need to be enrolled at BYU-Idaho as an art or web design & development major, have art with an emphasis in graphic design as part of a cluster, or be given the instructor’s permission to take the course.

Time Expectation

Plan on spending 9–12 hours per week to complete each module.


The weekly schedule will be the same throughout the course. There are two major deadlines to meet each week. The first is in the middle of the week. This deadline is for submitting the completed process book for each module. Reading quizzes and discussion posts will be due at the end of the week.

For the first four days of the week, you will need to do the following:

Work on the module. Once all pages in the module are complete, export a PDF, and submit it as a single file. You will also attach it to a post in the feedback discussion at this time.

Before the end of the week, you will need to do the following:

Give and receive feedback, and take the reading quiz.

Office Hours

Office hours will be held once a week. (Please see your instructor's profile for office hours.) Students can submit work in progress for live feedback. The sessions will be recorded for use by all of the class members.

Supply List

All materials should be exactly as specified, except for the drawing tools. The following brands have been selected for their reliable output quality. Students will be graded on the quality of sketch, so keep this in mind when purchasing supplies for this course. This course requires the following materials:


A module covers a unit of time, usually a week. This course is divided into 14 modules.

During each module, students will have projects to work on, reading assignments and quizzes to take, and discussions to participate in. Be sure to review what is due at the beginning of each module. Pay attention to deadlines and follow all directions for submitting your work.

Project Information

The projects you’ll create for this course are the most important parts of the course. Everything else you learn during the semester will help you complete successful projects. As each project is introduced, the Project Information section of the module will provide instructions for how to begin.

Process Book

A template of the final process book has been created using Adobe InDesign. The process book consists of several parts, including cover, project, activity, and ponder pages.

Each process book template is completed and submitted at the end of each module. At the end of the semester, all of the files will be compiled into a completed PDF book and submitted.

The process book files in the Downloads folder are saved as IDML files. IDML files always open in Adobe InDesign with the file name "Untitled." One of the first things you should always do is rename the document. Please use the following naming system:

Some recommendations and suggestions for this course include the following:


Once the process book is complete, export it as an interactive PDF. The following specifications are required:


Upload the completed process book PDF in I-Learn. This allows the instructor to give feedback and grade the process book.


Peer feedback is an important part of this course. Each week students will create a post, attach a PDF of the process book to it, and ask three questions about the project that they would like feedback on.


Review the posts of peers, read their questions, and review their process book PDFs. Provide feedback to at least three peers, focusing on the questions they asked in their initial post.

Grading Policies

During the semester, students will work on projects, document the process followed to create those projects, complete reading assignments, take reading quizzes, and participate in class discussions. The grade weighting for these different activities is listed below.

Category Weight
Projects 60% of final grade
Process Books 20% of final grade
Reading Quizzes 10% of final grade
Discussions 10% of final grade

Grade Categories Defined

For this course, grades have been designed to give students important feedback concerning their development as designers.

A Distinguished and represents consistently outstanding understanding, application, and integration of subject material and extensive evidence of original thinking, skillful use of concepts, and ability to analyze and solve complex problems.
B Proficient and represents considerable or significant understanding, application, and incorporation of the material which would prepare a student to be successful in next level courses, graduate school, or employment.
C Developing and represents sufficient understanding of subject matter. The student demonstrates average initiative to be prepared for class. Sequenced courses can be attempted, but mastering new materials might prove challenging.
D Unsatisfactory and represents poor performance and initiative to learn and understand and apply course materials. Retaking a course or remediation may be necessary to prepare for additional instruction in this subject matter.
F Represents failure in the course.

Final Project Grading Policies

Final projects are worth 60% of each overall grade. Students' project grades are calculated as shown below:

40% Creativity and exploration
40% Design quality
20% Craftsmanship and following directions
20% Submitting the project on time

Module Process Book Grading Policies

Module process books are worth 20% of each overall grade. The module process book grade is calculated as shown below:

90% Completing all of the work required in the module process book
10% Submitting the module process book on time

Reading Grading Policies

Reading, quizzes, and tests are worth 10% of each overall grade. Your reading grade is calculated as shown below:

75% Cumulative weekly quiz scores (quizzes are open book)
25% Cumulative midterm and final exam

Discussion Grading Policies

Class discussions are worth 10% of each overall grade. The Discussion grades are calculated as shown below:

25% Posting work correctly and on time
75% Providing helpful feedback to peers

Resubmitting Work (Repentance)

If a student is unsatisfied with the quality of a final project (that was turned in on time), they may redo the project as often as they like, prior to the last two weeks of class, and receive a new grade. (Please provide both the original and the reworked projects.) This repentance policy applies only to the projects created for this course (not quizzes, tests, or discussion board participation). The highest grade for each assignment will be the only grade recorded. If a lower grade is recieved for a redo, the grade for the project will remain unchanged. If the grade for the redo improves, the grade on that project will be replaced with the better grade.

When submitting a redo for a final project, please submit the original project, the redo, and the revised process book, including any additional research, sketches, digital versions, etc. Students will need to set up a time to meet with their teachers and present their revised assignments.

Late Work

Final projects that are not handed in on time will receive a two letter grade deduction in score and will not be allowed to be redone for a better grade.

Weekly process books (work done leading up to the final version of a project) can not be redone for a better grade.


Emails & Announcements

Information regarding the class, projects, assignments, etc., will be posted to I-Learn at various points throughout the semester. Sometimes, updated information will be emailed to everyone in the class. Students should remember to check their campus email often. “I’m not prepared because I don’t check that email account or visit I-Learn” is not an acceptable excuse.

Syllabus Updates

This syllabus may be updated periodically during the semester as long as the instructor posts an announcement notifying students of the change or clarification.

This is a dynamic class so it is always in flux. If the information on I-Learn contradicts what your teacher said in class, always follow your teacher’s instructions. The hierarchy of instruction to follow is:

What the teacher says >  downloads or templates from I-Learn

This is important to remember. If there are questions about what to do when you come across contradictory information, just ask your instructor.