About this Course
4.4
1,099 ratings
231 reviews
This course for serious makers, and for students new to imagemaking. Imagemaking is a fluid and exciting area of graphic design that comes out of practice and process: experimenting fearlessly, showing and sharing ideas, and giving and receiving knowledgeable and constructive input. For the sake of this online platform, we have applied some structure to our investigations, but for the most part imagemaking is loose and unstructured. If we must adopt a rule in this course it is only this: you will not become a graphic designer by watching videos alone. Or, don't just make stuff just in your head. So here, the focus here is on making, and you are expected to devote serious time and intellectual energy to that activity in this course. Specifically, you will: - experiment with a range of materials and techniques to make images for graphic design - expand your visual vocabulary both in terms of making and talking about work, in order to discuss your work and work of others - learn how to make, manipulate and arrange images to create compositions, eventually culminating in the design and production of an-image-based book. The first half of the course is an opportunity to experiment and explore imagemaking in order to expand your visual vocabulary. You will create pieces that are expressive, meditative, or 'design-y' to instigate, evoke, experiment, record, explain, or try out a media. In the second two weeks, we’ll invite the images to deliberately and intentionally carry meaning and communication through relational moves like juxtaposition, composition, and context. We’ll look at developing and expanding the range of approaches for putting things together by composing page spreads with your images. Since nothing exists without context, we look at how to intentionally drive the image’s connotations, meanings, and associations generated through elements of composition and “visual contrasts.” Ultimately, we will take the images that you create and make a book from them. The results of your assignments (and experiments) may generate something completely unknowable now or in the future—and that's the goal....
Stacks

Course 3 of 5 in the

Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 2-4 hours/week

Approx. 11 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

What you will learn

  • Check
    Compose spreads for your own book
  • Check
    Create ranges of representation using images
  • Check
    Design a book with your own images
  • Check
    Make informed design choices using image-based research

Skills you will gain

Adobe IndesignArtCreativityGraphics
Stacks

Course 3 of 5 in the

Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 2-4 hours/week

Approx. 11 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Week 1: Image-based Research

Welcome! This week we will introduce image-based research and investigate these images in a design context using a range of techniques. You will then choose a subject of your own to research that will become the basis for your experiments and designs in the coming weeks. ...
Reading
3 videos (Total 7 min), 7 readings, 1 quiz
Video3 videos
Practice1m
What Images Do3m
Reading7 readings
About this Course8m
About the Assignments5m
Course Tools5m
Additional Resources5m
How to Critique10m
Visual Research10m
Forms of Presentation10m

2

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Week 2: Making Images

This week is a making session! You will take the subject you selected last week and think about it in different ways. From simple to complex, hand to digital, realistic to abstract and everything in between, we'll explore and experiment freely. We'll also consider different modes of representation, and try a hand at creating our own ranges of representation with images. ...
Reading
3 videos (Total 8 min), 3 readings, 2 quizzes
Video3 videos
Denotation & Connotation2m
Range of Representation2m
Reading3 readings
More Making Methods5m
Sparks: Even More Making Methods5m
Tangible, Sensory & Expressive Quality of Materials and Line5m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Week 3: Composition is Relational

In this third week, we will define and investigate core principles of composition, and begin to compose simple spreads for your book. ...
Reading
7 videos (Total 19 min), 1 quiz
Video7 videos
About Hierarchy1m
Scale2m
Space4m
Figure/Ground2m
Narrative2m
Simple Composition: Creating Page Spreads4m

4

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Week 4: Designing a Book with Your Images

In this final week, we will pull together your work from the previous weeks to make spreads using 10-20 of your favorite images from your assignments and compile them into a self-bound booklet....
Reading
3 videos (Total 12 min), 9 readings, 1 quiz
Video3 videos
Complex Composition: Putting your book together3m
Two simple bookbinding techniques7m
Reading9 readings
Introduction3m
Make thumbnail sketches5m
Make copies in multiple sizes5m
Creating spreads8m
Make printer's spreads8m
Assembling your spreads5m
Introduction3m
Setting up your document5m
Exporting spreads & printing your book8m
4.4
Direction Signs

67%

started a new career after completing these courses
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By LCOct 9th 2017

I'm so happy i did this course. Gail, you're amazing and you made my imagination go wild with just your words. I can see you love your craft and that's very inspiring. Enjoyed this course all the way!

By RJAug 19th 2018

This is more challenging that it seems. It forces you to think creatively and critically with a seemingly simple subject. I recommend this course for anyone who wants to work with their hands a bit

Instructor

Gail Swanlund

Faculty in Graphic Design
School of Art

About California Institute of the Arts

CalArts has earned an international reputation as the leading college of the visual and performing arts in the United States. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. ...

About the Graphic Design Specialization

Graphic design is all around us, in a myriad of forms, both on screen and in print, yet it is always made up of images and words to create a communication goal. This four-course sequence exposes students to the fundamental skills required to make sophisticated graphic design: process, historical context, and communication through image-making and typography. The sequence is completed by a capstone project that applies the skills of each course and peer feedback in a finished branding project suitable for a professional portfolio. The goal of this specialization is to equip learners with a set of transferable formal and conceptual tools for “making and communicating” in the field of graphic design. This core skill set will equip learners for formal studies in graphic design, and a starting point for further work in interface design, motion graphics, and editorial design....
Graphic Design

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.