Introduction to Design

    one semester - .5 credit



    e-mail: tsmith@lmtsd.org



    Welcome to Introduction to Design!  This course is an introduction to the basic skills and concepts used in design.  We will focus on establishing a basic understanding of the elements and principles of design while developing technical skills and craftsmanship. In this studio based course, we will explore various art materials used by designers. 

    NS 2017
    Course objectives:

    Students will understand what design is & the role it plays in every day life.

    Students will experience various design methods including drawing, painting, computer graphics (using Photoshop) & digital photography.
    Students will gain an understanding of the history of art & design as well as contemporary design.


    - Class participation

    - Completion of and presentation of assignments (exercises and projects). Grades will be based on fulfillment of the objectives of the assignment as well as creativity, effort/perseverance, and presentation.

    - Participation in presentations, discussions & critiques.

    - Students are responsible for making up any assignments that are missed due to absence.

     Class Projects & Homework: Please refer to Home Access Center for all in-class and homework assignments.

    What is design??: 


     verb \di-ˈzīn\

    : to plan and make decisions about (something that is being built or created) : to create the plans, drawings, etc., that show how (something) will be made

    : to plan and make (something) for a specific use or purpose

    : to think of (something, such as a plan) : to plan (something) in your mind

    What do designers do?:
    Logos, advertisements, furniture, packaging, clothing and architecture are a few examples of the things that surround us every day that were created by designers.   Students will explore the various areas of design that surround us every day, such as  graphic design, fashion design, architecture, advertising and environmental design on an introductory level. Integral components of this design course include art production, creative problem solving, art/design history and aesthetics. 
    city circle
    The following projects have been included in this course in the past. Each year new projects are added and projects will change according to the needs and interests of my students:

    Drawing is the foundation of all design and an essential skill for all designers, so we will begin the class with basic drawing exercises including gesture drawing and continuous line drawing.

    Composition project 
     Elements & Principles of Design:
     Discussion topics for 21st century sustainable design:
    3 minute Film on Climate Change shown to 120 world leaders at the UN Climate Summit 9-22-14: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lyn-lear/the-story-of-a-3minute-fi_b_5863998.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000044
    Plastic in our Seas - Why you should Care - infographic: 
    Architecture Project:

    Choose from the following list of famous architects for inspiration for your project:
       Antonio Gaudi
       Louis Kahn
       Robert Venturi
       Wharton Esherick
       Frank Lloyd Wright
       Zaha Hadid
       Frank Gehry
       Louis Henri Sullivan
       Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
       Michael Graves

    see this link for basic information on each of the above architects:

    Research the architect of your choice and copy some examples of his or her buildings into a Word document.  Include your name and the name of the architect on the document.  Print the document.  These examples will be used as the inspiration for your One Point Perspective Architectural Design Project.
    Frank Lloyd Wright - Fallingwater, house over waterfall: 

     Graphic Design projects:


    What is graphic design?: http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/guide-whatisgraphicdesign


    Text based Design:
    Wordle.net project: create a "Wordle" design using at least 30 words that describe you and things that you like to do.  When you are happy with your wordle, print it out & hand it in. http://www.wordle.net/

    Introduction to photoshop


    • Introduce how to open a new document & how to use the tools:


      Elliptical and Rectangular marquee

      Creating shapes

      Gradient tool, etc. 


    • Students will experiment with the program & will create an abstract design using the tools that are introduced.
    • Text & Filters project: 

      • Introduction to copying and pasting, and text
        • Copy and paste 4 of the art element assignments into a new document, merge layers and filters and text
    • Andy Warhol / Pop Art Photoshop Project
      • Introduce Andy Warhol and his artwork, Assign questions to review information. 
      • Magnetic Lasso
      • Lasso
      • Copy and paste
      • Paint bucket
      • Filters
      Self Portrait collage: You will combine images to create a collage that represents who you are. Please include a photo of you & any other images that represent who you are.
        Brain Storming for Self Portrait Collage:
        What is your favorite:    food?
        What is your ethnic background?
        Do you play an instrument?
        What do you like to do in your spare time?
        Do you have a pet?
        Are you close with certain family members?  Friends?
        • What else makes you unique and special?
          You will create a Self Portrait Collage inspired by the artist Audrey Flack, whose photorealist paintings used symbolic imagery in a complex composition.
          Find images on the internet, and/or use your own photos representing some of the qualities about yourself that you listed above.  Find  at least 10 photos including one of yourself (let me know if you need a photo of yourself & I can take one).
          Find or create a pattern or color field that will create an interesting background.
          Carefully trim all images around the contour of the shape.
          Some images should overlap.
          Create an effective design with balance and a focal point.
        • Select images using either the masking or lasso tools
          • Get to know eachother
          • Students will present their collage, and explain a little bit about themselves
          • Mrs. Smith will show her art 
    Movie Poster


    • Composition
    • Advanced Photo Editing and manipulation
    • Text Techniques

Last Modified on August 30, 2019