Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Web Design I Fall 2010
New Jersey City University – Art Department
Thursdays: 9am – 3pm Room 201
Professor Doris Caçoilo
dcacoilo @

In this course students learn how to structure and design for the Internet with HTML scripting, the use of digital layout programs, and vector and raster imaging software. Design issues relevant to electronic display and related to typography, imaging, information structure, and layout form the principle assignment topics. Technical aspects of electronic delivery and their relationship to print, as well as the social and political implications of Internet distribution, are researched and discussed.

This is an advanced design course. Design projects will allow students to explore the fundamental concepts of graphic design for the web. You will learn how to design a site, script text using HTML, and design webpages using Dreamweaver. You will learn digital imaging, create image maps and buttons, structure layouts and you will gain experience with the design of interactivity for the web environment.

This class is intended to help students develop the ability to create thoughtful and visually engaging graphic design projects for the web. Graphic design is an arrangement of forms and symbols that communicates an idea. To create a well designed work not only requires technical skills, but a good idea that propels it and an aesthetic sensibility that supports it.

We develop our ability to manipulate images by studying them, by analyzing the work made by artists and designers, as well as by observing those images that surround us in everyday life. Over time, we assimilate these principles and use them without even noticing; they influence the way we perceive our surroundings and the decisions we make during the design process (when organizing a layout or when framing a photograph, for example.)

Feedback from your classmates is a valuable resource for the improvement of your design work. Critiques allow us to share our projects with others and express our intentions. The idea is to be able to understand the concept behind each work and to analyze the method of every student to determine whether they achieved their goals. Feedback from other gives us valuable information in order to keep making progress. For this reason, class participation is essential.

Class sessions will be divided into presentations, time for individual work, and group critiques. Presentations will address both technical and conceptual issues related to web design. Some class time will be dedicated to work on individual projects but it is the student’s responsibility to finish his/her work and present it on time. Technical classes will address: image manipulation, illustration, specific software tools, scripting HTML and organizing figures and types. Other classes will address the composition and structure of the layout, and design and communication strategies.

Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator
We will also discuss Content Management Systems (CMS), php based website development.

6 projects will be developed during the semester. You must complete these in a professional matter and ON TIME. NO LATE WORK will be accepted for a full grade evaluation. If late work is accepted, it will be dropped a full letter grade. The assignments will be related to the issues discussed in class, allowing students to explore new technologies by working on simple design assignments. It is suggested to keep a process notebook to record ideas and phases of a project: research, brainstorming, development of the idea and design. All of these elements can contribute to your final portfolio.

Critiques are important both for developing your own design sensibilities and in helping to form important skills in communication and in forming developed opinions and ideas. Participation in critiques and in class discussions will be very important in forming your grade.

The final portfolio will take form as an interactive website.
It must contain all work developed during the semester: all completed short projects, parts of your process notebook, as well as individual research conducted during the semester. Students will present their work on the last day of class (or before) and submit final portfolios to the professor. No late submissions (after the last day of class) will be accepted.

Digital Foundations: Intro to Media Design with the Adobe Creative Suite by Xtine Burrough & Michael Mandiberg. Available in print and for free online at (all chapters available on the wiki.)

BLOG: Please consult the class blog daily to check for announcements and post your work.

Pen drive or any other digital storage device, sketchbook, and access to a photo camera. Digital cameras are recommended though not necessary, they will help create images for your projects. Cell phones usually do not have a great resolution, but are also a possibility.

ATTENDANCE and grading policy:
Attendance is required. Attendance is taken at the beginning of each class, and will be considered when determining the final course grade.

More than 3 excused absences will lower your final grade by one letter grade. Four or more absences will require you to withdraw from the class or receive a failing grade. You are required to make up any and all work that is missed if you are absent. If at all possible, notify the professor if you will be absent or e-mail asap. As work will not be accepted late, please contact the professor to hand in work ontime!
Lateness, leaving early or leaving class unexcused for an extended period of time will also be recorded. Two of these instances will count as one absence.

20% Contributions to class, participation and attendance
50% Projects (interest, idea, design, execution and presentation)
30% Final portfolio
Design work will be evaluated according to the interest demonstrated by the student and his/ her ability to explore forms and techniques integrating concepts discussed in class. Process is considered as important as the design work itself.

NOTE: BACK-UP your work frequently, even as you are working on the files. It is recommended to save files on the server as well as in a back-up device or disc.
******PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AND I WILL INFORM YOU OF SPECIFICS AND CHANGES PERTAINING TO THIS SCHEDULE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you ever have questions or concerns about the schedule, due dates, changes or anything else please e-mail me at dcacoilo @
Class meetings are also subject to surprise critique sessions. Students should always be prepared to present work in progress on any class meeting day whether or not it is announced on this schedule.

Week 1: Thursday 9/2 Introduction and discussion.
Week 2: Thursday 9/9 Discussion and work session.
Week 3: Thursday 9/16 Discussion and work session. Project 1 Due
Week 4: Thursday 9/23 Discussion and work session. Project 2 Due
Week 5: Thursday 9/30 Discussion and work session.
Week 6: Thursday 10/7 Discussion and work session. Project 3 Due

Week 7: Thursday 10/14 Introduction of portfolio assignment. Discussion and work session.
Week 8: Thursday 10/21 Presentation of design ideas and sketches for portfolio site Group critique.
Week 9: Thursday 10/28 Discussion and work session.
Week 10: Thursday 11/4 Discussion and work session.
Week 11: Thursday 11/11 Presentation of student Portfolio sites. Group critique.

Week 12: Thursday 11/18 Introduction of website assignment. Discussion and work session.
Week 13: Thursday 11/25 NO CLASS Thanksgiving
Week 14: Thursday 12/2 Discussion and work session.
Week 15: Thursday 12/9 Group Critique Presentation of website projects
Week 16: Thursday 12/16 Final presentation of PORTFOLIOS including website projects.

*Weekly presentations:
RESEARCH – present the work of a web designer, studio or web artist or collective of your interest.
A new student will present each week. Every student will present once throughout the semester.

Create a digital poster addressing a political/local issue of your interest using only images – either illustrations or photographs. You may use symbols but no words.

Create a digital composition using only type (whole characters or parts of them). You may choose to create an abstract or figurative work as long as it communicates a concept.

Create an interactive non-linear short story. You may use photos, drawings, text, and/ or illustrations.

*Portfolio site Individual student portfolio sites over several weeks of development. Details will be discussed in class when the assignment begins.

*Website development. Working to create a website over several weeks of development. Details will be discussed in class when the assignment begins.

*6 total projects: Projects 1, 2, 3, the weekly presentation, the portfolio and the website project will be weighed in determining your grade — (see basic course requirements-evaluation)

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