Graphic Design

Curriculum - Branding Option

The following are the required courses for this major. Students meet with the Education Department to provide personalized academic counseling. Transfer credits, placement tests, changes in curriculum, and other factors may affect the academic plan for individual students. The FIDM Education Department can provide additional information.

Click on the green tab to see curriculum for each degree. Click on a course title to expand and read the course description.

GNST 1040
English Composition
UNITS: 3
In this process-oriented course, students combine deep, disciplined research with careful writing and revision to produce a thoughtful, creative, and personally meaningful research essay. They learn to formulate focused research questions, identify and investigate credible sources, and synthesize expert opinion with their own insight in support of a clearly defined, complex thesis. The emphasis is on curiosity, exploration, and discovery. As part of the process, students also gain confidence and competency in two primary areas of written expression: organization and mechanics.
GNST 1080
Drawing Fundamentals
UNITS: 3
A course in which students learn to communicate quickly and effectively through the medium of the sketch, a graphic means for recording and transmitting a visual experience or mental image. In mastering the fundamentals of line, form, composition, and perspective, students acquire the techniques of a visual language which are useful in many endeavors.
GNST 1230
Color & Design Theory
UNITS: 3
An introductory study of the principles and elements of color and design theory. Students critique aspects of a visual representation by analyzing the components of design and the use of color by the artist.
GNST 1600
Effective Speaking
UNITS: 3
A course in oral communication designed to give students poise, speaking confidence, and the ability to develop and produce a focused, well-organized speech that holds the audiences attention through effective delivery methods. Presentational skills and audience-centered communication are emphasized.
GNST 1650
Critical Thinking
UNITS: 3
Designed to foster independent thinking, this course strengthens students capacity to reason clearly, critically, and creatively, including the ability (1) to analyze the arguments of others, (2) to synthesize effective arguments of their own, and (3) to solve problems skillfully. Students also gain experience in reading closely and conducting purposeful, imaginative research skills essential to the examination of demanding social, moral, political, and personal issues. Prerequisite: GNST 1040
GNST 2020
Survey of Western Art I
UNITS: 3
A survey of art, architecture, and design from the Prehistoric Period through the Middle Ages. Included are the social, economic, cultural, political, and religious influences which have prompted or affected the art of each period. Students examine works of art and their iconography, stylistic techniques, and different media, with the goal of being able to recognize, understand, and discuss various art forms in their broader contexts.
GNST 2220
History of Design
UNITS: 3
An exploration of important developments from the Industrial Revolution to the digital age in the history of decorative arts, architecture and ornaments, interiors and furniture, textiles, products, and graphic design.
GNST 2420
Survey of Western Art II
UNITS: 3
A survey of art, architecture, and design from the Renaissance through the 20th century. Art movements such as Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Abstraction, and Surrealism are studied. Particular emphasis is placed on the artist's role in society and the effect of society on art.
GNST 2780
Major Art Movements
UNITS: 3
This course is an introductory survey of the art and artists influencing and informing the international visual arts of the late modern and contemporary periods. Beginning with Post-War Expressionism and Pop Art, the course covers the diverse movements of the late 20th century, including Feminist art, Minimalism, and Conceptual art. Students examine the art and architecture of the postmodern, post-pop environment of today, paying special attention to new media and modes of expression such as video, installation, and performance art. Students investigate the intersections of fine art and popular culture as well as explore unique voices from the margins that inform visual culture today.
GNST 2960
American Political & Economic History
UNITS: 3
A survey of American history from 1930-2000. Emphasis is on the political and economic features, both domestic and foreign, that contributed to the emergence of the welfare state and the nations rise to global leadership after World War II. The course provides an understanding of the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Cold War, Americas eventual emergence as the worlds only superpower, and the interrelation of all these factors.
GNST 2980
Professional Practices
UNITS: 3
To become more self-reliant and enterprising in the job search, students investigate career opportunities and the career path, personal traits, job responsibilities, and qualifications necessary to be competitive and promotable. Students build research tools that enable them to develop a plan of action, conduct informational interviews, practice interviewing skills, and produce a digitized professional resume, biographical statement, and cover letter for immediate submission to prospective employers.
GRPH 1050
Digital Imaging
UNITS: 3
In this introduction to digital graphics using Adobe Photoshop, students learn how to use programs, tools, layers, and palettes to enhance and manipulate photo composites and original art into conceptual designs. Prerequisites: GRPH 1100, GRPH 1300
GRPH 1100
Desktop Publishing
UNITS: 3
This course introduces students to desktop publishing with the use of InDesign. Students learn the programs tools, menu bar, and palettes as they begin designing single and multipage layouts. Adobe InDesign is a professional prepress application that emphasizes text and typography.
GRPH 1300
Computer Illustration
UNITS: 3
This class introduces the students to digital illustration. Students learn the Adobe Illustrator software with its many tools, palettes, and menu bar. Illustrator is used to assist the students in rendering original sketches into high-resolution vector images.
GRPH 1500
Critical Concepts
UNITS: 3
Students are introduced to conceptual thinking and the role of a graphic designer as a visual problem solver. Students identify a design problem, develop a visual solution, and present ideas through thumbnail sketches for group critique. Brainstorming sessions and teamwork are integrated as part of class participation. Prerequisite: GNST 1080
GRPH 1720
Typography
UNITS: 3
This course explores the fundamental traditions of typography combined with computer technology. It provides the foundation from which the students can develop both an understanding of typography and a personal aesthetic. Prerequisite: GRPH 1100
GRPH 2050
Brand X
UNITS: 3
Students investigate the visual and physical personality of a current brand and develop an effective visual identity for it, utilizing all applicable marketing materials. Prerequisites: GRPH 1450, GRPH 1720
GRPH 2120
Publication Design
UNITS: 3
As extended applications of text and image, this course helps students craft a variety of image and text-based content into a harmonious and legible design in catalogue and magazine formats. Prerequisites: GRPH 1450, GRPH 1720, GRPH 2780
GRPH 2250
Website Design I
UNITS: 3
This introductory class offers a practical introduction to the World Wide Web and the challenges it poses for the graphic designer. Using Adobe Dreamweaver, students learn how to apply their own ideas to create a successful website using this multifaceted application. Topics include HTML, interaction, site architecture, file optimization, and website principles and practices. Prerequisites: GRPH 1450, GRPH 1720
GRPH 2300
Prepress Production
UNITS: 3
A fundamental class in preparing art files for print reproduction, this course covers desktop publishing, printing techniques (conventional and digital), paper, color, inks, imposition folding, and finishing. Students prepare a design from concept to final reproduction. Prerequisites: GRPH 1450, GRPH 1720, GRPH 2780
GRPH 2380
Packaging Design
UNITS: 3
Students develop creative packaging solutions that attract attention while communicating visually through the use of three-dimensional form, packaging materials, typography, color, and graphics. Prerequisites: GRPH 2250, GRPH 2400, GRPH 2540, GRPH 2500
GRPH 2400
Graphics/Licensing (6 hours)*
UNITS: 3
This course introduces students to product licensing through the development of original characters and their related products. The students create their own intellectual property and present it as a Style Guide. Includes a three (3) hour lab. Prerequisites: GRPH 2050, GRPH 2120, GRPH 2300
GRPH 2500
Logo/Symbol Design
UNITS: 3
Students create a logo for a company or product using the elements of design and the psychology of color.  They demonstrate understanding through application and usage of identity to create a brand and public awareness.  Thumbnails, participation, class critiques.  Prerequisites: GRPH 2050, GRPH 2120, GRPH 2300
GRPH 2540
Applied Branding
UNITS: 3
This course takes students through the entire graphic design process of creating a professional retail brand. Students define a target audience, invent a fictitious store name, and write a mission statement. For their final presentation, they create a conceptual store brand delivered through a visual marketing plan. Prerequisites: GRPH 2050, GRPH 2120, GRPH 2300
GRPH 2680
Graphic Design Portfolio
UNITS: 3
This is an advanced class in portfolio development. Students design, produce, and gain experience presenting their work in a professional working environment. They also write a comprehensive resume and present their portfolios before the class. Prerequisites: GRPH 2250, GRPH 2400, GRPH 2500, GRPH 2540
GRPH 2720
Website Design II
UNITS: 3
Working with Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and Dreamweaver, students create a complete interactive site from concept to final development. Prerequisite: GRPH 2250
GRPH 2780
Introduction to Digital Photography
UNITS: 3
This course enhances students appreciation of the skill and creativity of photography by challenging them to produce their own photographic art. Course discussions include terminology, innovations in digital photography, and various experimental processes.  The course illustrates the practice of buying commercial photography for fashion, graphic design, and general marketing purposes, including negotiating with art reps, buyout of stock photography, and coordinating photo shoots. Prerequisite: GRPH 1050
MMKT 1550
Marketing & Brand Development
UNITS: 3
Marketing & Brand Development introduces and highlights the basic marketing principles which provide the framework for understanding the importance, value, and impact of marketing and brand management.
Total Units of Credit: 90
GNST 1080
Drawing Fundamentals
UNITS: 3
A course in which students learn to communicate quickly and effectively through the medium of the sketch, a graphic means for recording and transmitting a visual experience or mental image. In mastering the fundamentals of line, form, composition, and perspective, students acquire the techniques of a visual language which are useful in many endeavors.
GNST 2220
History of Design
UNITS: 3
An exploration of important developments from the Industrial Revolution to the digital age in the history of decorative arts, architecture and ornaments, interiors and furniture, textiles, products, and graphic design.
GNST 2420
Survey of Western Art II
UNITS: 3
A survey of art, architecture, and design from the Renaissance through the 20th century. Art movements such as Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Abstraction, and Surrealism are studied. Particular emphasis is placed on the artist's role in society and the effect of society on art.
GRPH 1050
Digital Imaging
UNITS: 3
In this introduction to digital graphics using Adobe Photoshop, students learn how to use programs, tools, layers, and palettes to enhance and manipulate photo composites and original art into conceptual designs. Prerequisites: GRPH 1100, GRPH 1300
GRPH 1100
Desktop Publishing
UNITS: 3
This course introduces students to desktop publishing with the use of InDesign. Students learn the programs tools, menu bar, and palettes as they begin designing single and multipage layouts. Adobe InDesign is a professional prepress application that emphasizes text and typography.
GRPH 1300
Computer Illustration
UNITS: 3
This class introduces the students to digital illustration. Students learn the Adobe Illustrator software with its many tools, palettes, and menu bar. Illustrator is used to assist the students in rendering original sketches into high-resolution vector images.
GRPH 1500
Critical Concepts
UNITS: 3
Students are introduced to conceptual thinking and the role of a graphic designer as a visual problem solver. Students identify a design problem, develop a visual solution, and present ideas through thumbnail sketches for group critique. Brainstorming sessions and teamwork are integrated as part of class participation. Prerequisite: GNST 1080
GRPH 1720
Typography
UNITS: 3
This course explores the fundamental traditions of typography combined with computer technology. It provides the foundation from which the students can develop both an understanding of typography and a personal aesthetic. Prerequisite: GRPH 1100
GRPH 2050
Brand X
UNITS: 3
Students investigate the visual and physical personality of a current brand and develop an effective visual identity for it, utilizing all applicable marketing materials. Prerequisites: GRPH 1450, GRPH 1720
GRPH 2120
Publication Design
UNITS: 3
As extended applications of text and image, this course helps students craft a variety of image and text-based content into a harmonious and legible design in catalogue and magazine formats. Prerequisites: GRPH 1450, GRPH 1720, GRPH 2780
GRPH 2250
Website Design I
UNITS: 3
This introductory class offers a practical introduction to the World Wide Web and the challenges it poses for the graphic designer. Using Adobe Dreamweaver, students learn how to apply their own ideas to create a successful website using this multifaceted application. Topics include HTML, interaction, site architecture, file optimization, and website principles and practices. Prerequisites: GRPH 1450, GRPH 1720
GRPH 2300
Prepress Production
UNITS: 3
A fundamental class in preparing art files for print reproduction, this course covers desktop publishing, printing techniques (conventional and digital), paper, color, inks, imposition folding, and finishing. Students prepare a design from concept to final reproduction. Prerequisites: GRPH 1450, GRPH 1720, GRPH 2780
GRPH 2380
Packaging Design
UNITS: 3
Students develop creative packaging solutions that attract attention while communicating visually through the use of three-dimensional form, packaging materials, typography, color, and graphics. Prerequisites: GRPH 2250, GRPH 2400, GRPH 2540, GRPH 2500
GRPH 2400
Graphics/Licensing (6 hours)*
UNITS: 3
This course introduces students to product licensing through the development of original characters and their related products. The students create their own intellectual property and present it as a Style Guide. Includes a three (3) hour lab. Prerequisites: GRPH 2050, GRPH 2120, GRPH 2300
GRPH 2500
Logo/Symbol Design
UNITS: 3
Students create a logo for a company or product using the elements of design and the psychology of color.  They demonstrate understanding through application and usage of identity to create a brand and public awareness.  Thumbnails, participation, class critiques.  Prerequisites: GRPH 2050, GRPH 2120, GRPH 2300
GRPH 2540
Applied Branding
UNITS: 3
This course takes students through the entire graphic design process of creating a professional retail brand. Students define a target audience, invent a fictitious store name, and write a mission statement. For their final presentation, they create a conceptual store brand delivered through a visual marketing plan. Prerequisites: GRPH 2050, GRPH 2120, GRPH 2300
GRPH 2680
Graphic Design Portfolio
UNITS: 3
This is an advanced class in portfolio development. Students design, produce, and gain experience presenting their work in a professional working environment. They also write a comprehensive resume and present their portfolios before the class. Prerequisites: GRPH 2250, GRPH 2400, GRPH 2500, GRPH 2540
GRPH 2720
Website Design II
UNITS: 3
Working with Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and Dreamweaver, students create a complete interactive site from concept to final development. Prerequisite: GRPH 2250
GRPH 2780
Introduction to Digital Photography
UNITS: 3
This course enhances students appreciation of the skill and creativity of photography by challenging them to produce their own photographic art. Course discussions include terminology, innovations in digital photography, and various experimental processes.  The course illustrates the practice of buying commercial photography for fashion, graphic design, and general marketing purposes, including negotiating with art reps, buyout of stock photography, and coordinating photo shoots. Prerequisite: GRPH 1050
Total Units of Credit: 60

For admittance to the second year, a 3.0 grade point average is required in all courses.

* Three (3)-hour lab included in 6 hours.

Some programs offered may require completion of a second year at the Los Angeles or San Francisco campus. Please contact the campus for details.