week 1

1.28 Introduction


Readings for Week 1

Homework for Week 2

Think about your favorite object (could be a physical thing or a virtual thing) and describe its aesthetic quality based on the three levels of processing — Visceral, Behavioral, Reflective — we have discussed in the class. Post your writing here with a photo or a sketch/illustration of the object. Please submit your post by Sunday evening so that we have a chance to see each other’s entries before the next class on Monday.

week 2

2.4 Beyond desktop


Readings for Week 2

  • Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown (1995). Designing Calm Technology.
  • Buxton, W. (1995). Integrating the Periphery and Context: A New Model of Telematics Proceedings of Graphics Interface ‘95, 239-246.
  • Ishii, H. and Ullmer, B., Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms, in Proceedings of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI ‘97).
  • Billinghurst, M., Kato, H. and Poupyrev, I. (2001). MagicBook: Transitioning between Reality and Virtuality.

week 3

2.11 Type I


Recommended Readings for Week 3

  • “The Elements of Typographic Style” by Robert Bringhurst
  • “Typography” by Wolfgang Weingart, 2000
  • “Designing with Type: The Essential Guide to Typography,” by James Craig, Irene Korol Scala, William Bevington

Homework for Week 3

Find two examples of type in your environment (i.e., not from the web).

  • Successful type: text that you believe fits its purpose.
  • Unsuccessful type: text that you believe does not fit its purpose.

Take a straight photo of each ‘found’ type example, minimizing distortion.For example, don’t take the photo at a strange angle. Post your photos here below by Sunday, February 10th.

week 4

2.25 Type II deconstruction


Recommended Readings for Week 4

  • “The Elements of Typographic Style” by Robert Bringhurst
  • “Typography” by Wolfgang Weingart, 2000
  • “Designing with Type: The Essential Guide to Typography,” by James Craig, Irene Korol Scala, William Bevington

Homework for Week 4

Find an example of typographic emphasis on a printed poster or flier in your environment (i.e., not from the web).Take a straight photo of the ‘found’ type example, minimizing distortion. Describe how the emphasis was acheived (e.g., through boldface, italics, point-size, leading, kerning or all of the above). Post your photos here by Sunday, February 16th.

week 5

3.03 Layout and the Grid


Readings for Week 5

  • “Grid Systems in Graphic Design” by Josef Muller-Brockmann and Josef Muller
  • “Grid Systems: Principles of Organizing Type” by Kimberly Elam
  • “Making and Breaking the Grid” by Timothy Samara

Homework for Week 5


Find both successful and unsuccessful examples of layout design in posters and flyers. Post the photos of your examples and briefly describe what is working and what is not working in terms of layout. Post your images here.

week 6

3.10 Workshop: Type / Layout

Homework for Week 6

Identify two pairs of typefaces from your collection of fonts and, for each pair, describe the context in which you would use them. Robert Bringhurst suggests pairing type faces based on their type designer, cultural/historical attributes, or physical attributes (e.g., x-height, geometry). Bodoni and Futura, for example, have similarly geometric letter-forms and are often successfully paired in print design. Post an image of your two chosen typeface pairs and your descriptions to the course website here by next Sunday. You will use these typefaces in class next Monday. Additionally, if you own a laptop, please bring it to class next Monday.

week 7

3.17 Color I (basic)


Readings for Week 7

  • “The Elements of Color” by Johannes Itten
  • “Interaction of Color” by Josef Albers

Homework Week 7From your favorite art, design, movies, etc, identify a palette of 3-5 colors that expresses your sense of color harmony. Post your color palette here (with one image or multiple images) with a briefly description. Due Sunday night. 

Week 8



Week 9

3.31 Pictograms, Logos, and Icons 


Week 10

4.7 Printed Media and Materials


Homework for Week 10Post a description about your course project. Describe how you are going to apply rules and techniques learned in class to your project. Post your description here by Friday, April 11th. 

Week 11

4.14 Design for Dynamic Display / Web Design


Week 12

4.21 Workshop: Web Design


Homework for Week 12Post a website with successful design here by Sunday, April 20. Drawing from the guidelines discussed in class, describe the elements that make the website successful.

Week 13

4.28 Critique

Week 14

5.5 Synthesis


Week 15

5.12 Exhibition