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MMEDIA 3EE3 Graphic Design (C01)

Academic Year: Winter 2019

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Lauren Wickware


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 333

Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: Wednesday 5:30PM–6:30PM TSH 333

Course Objectives:

This course examines the language and techniques of visual problem solving with a focus on and communicating with typography and 2D image composition. Students will be expected to demonstrate an aesthetic understanding of relationships between content and material, and how these impact form and communication. Students will use digital tools and traditional methods to explore compositional and typographic principles as they develop their design assignments. These assignments, along with readings, class discussions and critique, are intended to provide students with the formal, conceptual and technical skills needed to produce well-considered and resolved work actuated in 2D vector graphics software.


1. Develop design thinking skills to solve communication problems.
2. Use self-directed and peer-assisted learning techniques to solve design and technical problems.
3. Apply the principles of graphic design and typography and work consciously with these tools to solve design problems and convey meaning.
4. Define the hierarchy of information through the ordering of elements into a comprehensive visual unity.
5. Increase proficiency in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign as production tools for design.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Software Used and Hardware Required
Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, portable external drive or USB drive, access to a digital camera.

Additional Required Course Expenses
Exacto knife, tracing paper, cardstock, cutting matte, tape. Print output costs and any other project-related materials.

Required Text
Lupton, Ellen. Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students. Princeton Architectural Press, 2010. 

Method of Assessment:


Week Due Total Weight
Project 01

Week 2, 3, 4

Project 02

Week 5, 6

Project 03

Week 8, 10, 13


Attendance & Participation



Detailed project requirements will be distributed once in class and then posted on Avenue to Learn.

Professional conduct is required during class time. Cell phones and laptops must be turned off. You are expected to attend all classes, be on time and be prepared for workshops, critiques and discussions. An attendance sign-in sheet will be circulated once at the end of class. You are expected to participate actively and productively and show respect for your peers, instructor and guest lecturers. Unprofessional conduct will result in the deduction of participation marks to a maximum of your participation grade (10%).

You are responsible for making sure you understand the project parameters and are encouraged to begin working on projects and exercises well in advance of the due date. You are responsible for material covered in class including those classes for which you are absent.

Work submitted in this class must be completed between January 9 and April 3, 2019 and cannot be completed for another class. Be prepared to supply original working files if requested.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late assignments will be penalized by 5% per day of the week—weekends included. Extensions will be given if requested before the assignment’s due date and if the instructor considers the reason legitimate.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Week Date Lecture/Tutorial Reading(s) Due Project 01 Project 02 Project 03
01 Jan 09

Type anatomy classifications; resizing and resampling images in Photoshop.


P01 Assigned

02 Jan 16 TBA

Ellen Lupton,
Thinking with Type:
Letter, P7–58

P01.A Due

P01.B Due

03 Jan 23

Illustrator: paths and the pen tool.

Ellen Lupton,
Thinking with Type:
Text, P61–97

P01.C Due

04 Jan 30

Grids; Creating Hierarchy.

Ellen Lupton,
Thinking with Type:
Grid, P111–155

P01.D Due

P02 Assigned

05 Feb 06 TBA



P02.A Due

06 Feb 13

Format; The Book Designer’s Palette; Choosing Type.


P02.B Due

P03 Assigned

07 Feb 20 Reading Week      


08 Feb 27

InDesign; Typesetting.


P03.A Due

09 Mar 06

Expressive Type.


P03. B Review
P03. C Critique

10 Mar 13

Preparing images for print.


P03.B Due

11 Mar 20 TBA      

P03.C Critique

12 Mar 27 TBA       P03.C Critique
13 Apr 03        

P03.C Due


Other Course Information:

The course will be delivered using lectures, software tutorials and peer and instructor critique. Avenue to Learn is used to post course information, project requirements, rubrics, readings and additional resources.

There is no final exam for this class, meaning that term work may seem more intense than in courses with a final exam.