ART370 Publication Design Syllabus

Professor: Jessica Ehleben Shields
Course: ART370C: Publication Design
Course Location:
116 WAB
Course Time: 3:30-5:50 Tuesday & Thursday

Course Objectives

  1. Students will learn skills necessary for publication design.
  2. Students will engage in a thorough study of design concepts through multiple explorations of design possibilities.

Relationship to Major/Minor Areas of Study:

This course may fulfill one or more areas of study:

  1. as an elective for art studio and art history majors and minors. See page 40-41 in the 2010-11 College Catalog for further information on departmental learning outcomes

Required Texts & Materials

Layout Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Building Pages in Graphic Design (ISBN: 978-1-59253-352-7)

Other Materials

  • Materials for taking notes and sketching
  • Graph Paper
  • Ream of 8.5×11 printer paper
  • 1″ 3-ring binder (for process books)

Course Description

Students will learn skills necessary for publication design while engaging in a thorough study of composition concepts including grids, typography and color theory. Fields of publication may include newspaper, periodical, directory, book, or brochure design. Application and output will be explored with the examination of industry processes and methods. Prerequisite: ART 234

Course Schedule

I intend to adhere closely to the course schedule outlined in the syllabus, but I reserve the right to make changes at any time. If changes are made they will be posted online and announced in class. Check the online schedule often. Readings and project assignments should be completed prior to class the day they are due.

  • Week 1: Introduction to InDesign
  • Week 2: Grid Design
  • Week 3: Industry Field Trip
  • Week 4: Typography
  • Week 5: Guest Speaker
  • Week 6: Printing & Prepress
  • Week 7: Design Narratives/Project 1, Final
  • Week 8: Design History
  • Week 9: Spring Break – No Class
  • Week 10: Industry Field Trip
  • Week 11: Experimental Design
  • Week 12: Design Essentials
  • Week 13: Guest Speaker
  • Week 14: Design Essentials
  • Week 15: Project 2, Final
  • Final Exam: Wednesday, May 11 at 3PM

Policies & Behavior


Art Department Policy requires students to attend 80% of the class meetings in order to earn credit for the course. After three absences (excused or unexcused), the student is advised to drop the course. Please see me for further clarification.

Cell Phones & Electronics

Cell phones and other electronic devices, such as iPods, are a distraction during class lecture and discussion. Please turn off and put electronic devices away at the beginning of class. If you disrupt class through use of a cell phone or electronic device, I will ask you to leave the class for the day and you will be counted as absent. Cell phones and other electronic devices may not be used during class activities however, if you have reason for having an electronic device for use in the classroom, please let me know as soon as possible and I will do my best to assist you.

Disruptive Behavior

Behavior the disrupts the learning of others will not be tolerated. Students participating in this type of behavior will be asked to leave class for the remainder of that day and will be counted as absent.

Work Days

In-class work days are designed to provide one-on-one interaction with the professor for feedback and help. Students are expected to be in class working on the current project. These days are not, however, the only time you should put into your projects. If it becomes apparent that no work is taking place outside of class, future work days will be canceled.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to abide by the college honor system. Your name on any assignment indicates that you are responsible for all the content and have not received unfair help from another person. See pages 234-35 of the College Catalog.

Field Trips

There are two scheduled field trips for this course: one to Lexington and one to Louisville. Both are on the course schedule and all students are expected to attend. If you have scheduling conflicts with either trip, please notify me the first week of class.

A written reflection (minimum of 300 words) reflecting and analyzing what you learned from the trip will be due the following class. NEXUS credit may be earned for these trips.

Grading Information

Final assessment for each assignment will be determined by the broadest scope of your efforts. The quality of the final design, although important, is not the sole factor. It is crucial that students present a plethora of preliminary studies and explorations, as well as generous proof of research, and a clear articulation of the topic. Your final grade will be composed as follows:

Process Books

Grades will be assigned for each piece of your process book as well as the final design. As you complete each section of your process you need to label and compile all of the sections in a 1″ binder.

Late Work

Assignments will be accepted up to a week late, but will be penalized five percentage points for each day that they are late.


Participation will account for 10% of your final grade. This includes a presentation on a design project and engagement in class critiques and discussion.

Grading Scale

View an explanation of how grades are assigned.

Improving Grades

Students wishing to improve their grades on any assignment may earn an additional five points by submitting a written analysis of their work the class period following the grade. If grades are given on a Tuesday, the analysis would be due the following Thursday. This should be a minimum of 500 words detailing what could be improved upon for that particular assignment.

For example, if the color choices were cited as weak the design could be improved by choosing a new palette, different hues of the established palette, etc. Include with your analysis any new visuals. In this same example, a new palette should be shown.