Scroll down to read descriptions of the graphic design courses offered at Carthage, or click on these links for additional resources:


ART 1070 / 4 credits 
A studio-based course designed to cultivate a student’s ability to understand and create images. Students will work fluidly across two-dimensional and three-dimensional processes and across material-based and digital-based projects. Projects will involve fundamental principles of design, color, and visual organization through drawing, printmaking, painting, fiber art, book arts, 3D media, technology, and lens-based media. Course content will explore the context of images in the larger culture and the potential of art and design to make inquiries into social, cultural, philosophical, scientific, political, or technological topics. Students will take projects through the creative design process, from ideation to construction, presentation, and critique.
Prerequisite: None


ART 3010 / 4 credits 
Illustration is an applied art that communicates specific content through image making. Drawing is emphasized as both a practice and a discipline in illustration. A variety of narrative approaches will be introduced with an emphasis on individuality of expression. Introduction to various media is based on class projects. The goal of the course projects will be to communicate ideas for commercial reproduction resulting in a varied portfolio of finished works. A studio art course containing lectures, demonstrations, theory, and practice. Previous drawing experience is highly suggested.
Prerequisite: None

Human Communication (SI)

CDM 1150 / 4 credits 
This course provides a broad grounding in the history and current interdisciplinary understandings of human communication. Students will explore the role of identity/self and perception, verbal and nonverbal communication, listening, and culture in human interaction. These concepts will be further applied to the study of relationships, small groups, organizations, rhetoric, and media. 
Prerequisite: None

Public Speaking (OC)

CDM 1200 / 4 credits 
A study of the role, rights, responsibilities, and ethics of the speaker, medium, and audience in a variety of speech situations in a democratic society. Speaking techniques examined include the processes of invention, organization, and presentation in informative, demonstrative, persuasive, and ceremonial settings. Students must demonstrate effectiveness in integrating media (e.g., presentation software or other video or audio elements) into their speech communications. Targeted instruction is arranged as necessary to ensure basic competency in the technical use of presentation software.
Prerequisite: None

Visual Communication (AI)

CDM 1300 / 4 credits 
An introduction to the practice of critical observation and analysis of static, dynamic, and interactive visual information. Students develop theoretical and applied skills in interpreting a wide range of visual information, and demonstrate their own abilities to design and produce visual information.
Prerequisite: None

Basic Adobe Creative Cloud

CDM 1925 / 4 credits
This course focuses on learning the basics of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign for students planning to work in the realm of communication, marketing, and other fields within the creative industry. Students taking this course should be a total beginner or have very limited knowledge of the programs. They will use these software tools to create and edit multiple small projects, a crucial skill for many majors seeking to gain entry into their professions. The steps of the creative process will also be introduced, from brainstorming to final solution. Students will be required to have access to a computer with Adobe CC, which can be found in several labs on campus.

Advanced Adobe Creative Cloud

CDM 1950 / 4 credits
This course focuses on enhancing students’ previous knowledge of Adobe and progressing their skill set to the level of advanced work with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. It is intended for students planning to work in the realm of the creative, communication, and marketing industry. Students will create and edit multiple projects with the Adobe tools as a base; other supplemental programs may be introduced as well. The steps of the creative process will also be used for project advancement, from brainstorming to final solution. Students will be required to have access to a computer with Adobe CC, which can be found in several labs on campus. For students to do best in this course they should have existing knowledge of the following: Adobe Illustrator: creating basic vector graphics through image trace or drawing tools such as the pencil or blob brush tool, color swatches, affecting line, pathfinder, and basic pen tool Adobe Photoshop: editing image size and resolution, basics of selections and using layers, healing tools, adjusting images using levels and color correction, layer adjustment and styles. Adobe InDesign: creating multiple page layouts, with placed image and type, laying out guides and grids, using typography tools such as creating columns, master pages, and swatches.
Prerequisite: CDM 1925 or instructor approval

Graphic Design I (AI)

CDM 2000 / 4 credits 
This studio course serves as an introduction to the practice of graphic design. Basic design and communication principles, along with the processes and techniques associated with the creation of effective visual communication, will be emphasized. Students will also be instructed in the use of digital drawing and painting programs for the production of graphic design solutions. Projects will range from visual exercises addressing basic principles of two-dimensional design to practical design problems requiring conceptual and critical as well as compositional evaluation. Exploration of materials and creative ideation, along with industry trends, issues, and significant practitioners, will also be discussed.
Prerequisites: CDM 1300 and ART 1070

Basic Digital Photography (FAR)(AI)

CDM 2500 / 4 credits 
An introduction to photography in which students practice the art of photography, introducing them to the technical and stylistic aspects of digital photo making. Students are required to supply their own digital camera, which has manual capabilities such as aperture and shutter speed priority mode. Using Photoshop software, students will also work with their own photos in the digital realm, applying what they learn to select, manipulate, display, and print work.

New Media Theory and Aesthetics (FAR)(CL)(IDP)

CDM 2600 / 4 credits 
Students will learn and apply a variety of critical methods for understanding and evaluating the current landscape of new media. The course will investigate mobile technology, social networks, streaming, the internet and its cultures, as well as various other forms of emerging media (including VR, AR, and interactive technologies). The course is designed to provide students with a knowledge base for future work in emerging arts and sciences, digital production, screen arts and cultures, and other communication-related fields.

Photographing Nature: Investigating Biodiversity and Conservation

CDM 2650 / 4 credits 
This course introduces the student to the use of digital photography to explore plant and animal species and their habitats. The course begins with instruction in digital photography, and then moves outside where students will focus on organisms, learning to photograph them while exploring their biology. Photography will be used to engage students in making detailed observations and beginning the process of scientific discovery. After learning about species, their ecological interactions, and conservation, students will complete a final project that utilizes visual imagery to educate others about the value of biodiversity, ecology, and/or conservation issues.
Prerequisite: None

Typography (AI)

CDM 2850 / 4 credits 
This studio course is a hands-on introduction to typography, or the use and design of type. Students will become familiar with the history, classification, and anatomy of type. This course will emphasize the abstract visual design principles critical to the effective use of type in graphic design and will consider the expressive, communicative potential of typographic form. Course projects will include exercises, studies, and formal design problems. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to a variety of design-related practitioners, publications, ideas, methods, and objects.
Prerequisite: CDM 1300 and ART 1070

History of Graphic Design

CDM 3150 / 4 credits 
This course provides students with the knowledge and understanding of the places, people, and events; historical and cultural factors; and technological innovations that have influenced the development of graphic design into the practice that it is today. Historical awareness provides a meaningful context for students to evolve and to contribute in positive ways to the cultures in which they live and work. Students will also be asked to apply what they are learning and design several projects, incorporating the styles they are observing.
Prerequisite: CDM 1300 or consent of instructor

Words and Images in Motion (AI)

CDM 3200 / 4 credits 
This course addresses the creation of motion graphics for graphic design students. Students will be introduced to strategies for communicating with kinetic visual elements that focus on form, speed, rhythm, orientation, color, texture, and quality of motion. The course will include lectures and screenings of the history, techniques, and applications of motion graphics, as well as demonstrations using modern software such as Adobe Photoshop and After Effects. Additional topics include basic animation principles, screen design and composition, timing, storyboarding, sound and music development and synchronization, as well as project management and organization. Students will learn to make informed design decisions and will draw on the basic principles of visual communication, graphic design, and motion literacy in the creation of time-based work that is expressive, dynamic, and inventive.
Prerequisite: CDM 2000

Graphic Design Practicum (AI)

CDM 3250 / 4 credits 
This course will introduce graphic design students to the knowledge and skills necessary to enter the field of graphic design as a professional. Students will embark on a path leading toward the compilation of an entry-level design portfolio. Topics will include self-promotion, creative briefs, client relations, print production, fee estimates, and presentation skills. Students will typically work with one or more real-world clients during the course of the semester. They will learn to effectively market themselves through the creation of a visual identity and a branded basic website. Class discussions and presentations will also address current graphic design techniques, trends, and trendsetters as well as topics more directly related to the student’s individual creative practice, such as effective brainstorming, critical analysis, and reasoning in the evaluation and development of their design solutions.
Prerequisite: CDM 2850

Social Media (SI)

CDM 3400 / 4 credits 
This course examines digital technology as a medium of communication. Issues covered include the social, economic, civic, and global implications of the information age.
Prerequisite: CDM 1150 or consent of instructor

Web Design I (AI)

CDM 3530 / 4 credits 
This course is an introduction to web design aimed at the graphic design major. The course will introduce computer technologies used in page and screen layout for web design. Students will become familiar with the basic technical tools, standards, and guidelines involved in web page design including the hand coding of HTML and CSS documents. In addition, students will be expected to apply the conceptual and technical design skills addressed in Graphic Design I. Coursework will include readings and exercises taken from texts and online sources, along with at least one more extensive project.
Prerequisite: CDM 2000

Web Design II (AI)

CDM 3540 / 4 credits 
An advanced web design course that builds on the skills and topics addressed in Web Design I. The course will address advanced aspects of web design including the design of responsive websites for display on desktop and mobile media devices, and web app design. Topics addressed include user interface design, JavaScript library integration, and the use of a CMS (content management system). In addition, students will be expected to apply the conceptual and technical design skills addressed in CDM 1300 Visual Communication. Coursework will include readings, exercises taken from the texts, and online sources, along with more extensive web design projects.
Prerequisite: CDM 3530

Graphic Design Skills Assessment

CDM 3555 / 0 credits 
This e-portfolio assessment for every graphic design major must be taken during the spring of the third/junior year (the academic year prior to taking CDM 4020 Graphic Design Senior Seminar). Assessment is pass/fail, and the student will have to repeat the assessment with a pass to take CDM 4020. The assessment will contain a variety of focused graphic design skills and ensure students are prepared to continue their studies in the major. All of the items included in the assessment will be introduced in previous courses, but those skills must be sustained to pass the assessment.
Prerequisite: CDM 2000
Spring, taken junior/third year

Graphic Design Internship

CDM 3560 / 4-8 credits 
An internship enabling students to gain practical experience in graphic design. The internship is typically arranged by the student and must be approved by a department faculty member and by The Aspire Center. Students meet regularly with the supervising professor, maintain a log or journal of the experience, and complete a body of professional portfolio pieces.
Prerequisite: None

Graphic Design II (AI) 

CDM 3750 / 4 credits 
This course provides a structure for an intensive exploration of the design fundamentals presented in Graphic Design I. Course projects are extensive and range in focus from theoretical culture and design-related issues to complex commercial design applications. Throughout the course, students are exposed to a variety of design-related practitioners, publications, ideas, methods, and objects.
Prerequisite: CDM 2850

Graphic Design Senior Seminar (AI) 

CDM 4020 / 4 credits 
This capstone experience for graphic design seniors prepares students for entry into professional practice after graduation. Main areas of interest will include ethical, professional, and creative expectations for the practicing graphic designer. Additional topics may include self-promotion, portfolio development, business, and administrative concerns. Students will consider and reflect upon texts as well as the advice and insight shared by experienced practitioners addressing issues of primary concern for the student-designer striving to transition into the professional world. Coursework will include written responses to assigned readings, practical exercises, design projects aimed toward portfolio development, and preparation for an exhibition of design work.
Prerequisites: CDM 3750 and CDM 3555