Design & Education

PEM / Syllabus

Graphic Design Intensive 2

Spring 2019

CDGD 401-12

Graphic Design Intensive 2

School of Design
Communications Design Department

3 BFA Studio Credits
Prerequisite: XXX

Thursday 09:00AM - 01:20PM,
Pratt Studios, Room 307 

Course Description

Bulletin Description:

This course will expose students to design problems that are dimensional in nature and/or exist in a physical space. Students will develop an understanding for how to generate and design their own objects/products, displays, utilize effective materials and design the environments that these products ultimately live in, whether real or fictional. Students will be able to harness three-dimensional design principles to develop a series of explorations that relate to space and human behavior.

Detailed Description:

Communications Designers are often asked to solve 3-dimensional design problems – whether it be a retail package design, display case, educational toy, or wayfinding signage system. It is important that students are familiar with the conceptual building blocks to frame their approach to these special design problems. Students will achieve a greater understanding of 3-dimensional design principles by learning how to research, conceptualize scale, use materials appropriately and ultimately present a full suite of ideas that express the integration of product, package, signage and/or technologies into an environment. All of these elements work together in that environment to reinforce meaningful messages and ultimately create a positive experience for their audiences.

To do so, they will explore the imaginative and considered use of materials, textiles, surface graphics, super graphics, signage, technology and structural elements. Students will learn the fundamentals of visual merchandising, construction and branding of 3-dimensional containers, characters, toys, educational materials, books and/or products. Additionally, students will take into consideration how that piece may be better designed to meet safety standards, withstand transportation, and remain in pristine condition for the duration of its shelf life.

Work in class will consist of presentations and discussions focusing on issues specific to dimensional design as a communications tool. Group critiques as well as one-on-one critiques by the instructor will provide feedback and aid in the crafting of effective dimensional solutions.


Course Goals

  1. To develop a user-centered, audience-specific approach to 3-dimensional design problems and related processes and factors, including sustainability and its issues.

  2. To gain a greater understanding of human dimensions, movement through spaces, and product interaction scale as they relate to messaging or narrative.

  3. To gain a deeper appreciation for audience buying behavior for products and their retail displays visual merchandising.


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course students will be able to:

  1. Develop visually cohesive communication systems for environments that may include: packaging, product display, window display, integrated technology, environmental design, signage, and wayfinding.

  2. Factor a basic awareness of code compliance, standards and sustainability issues related to dimensional work in the communications design field into their design process.

  3. Use materials effectively to convey the deeper message or more layered experience of a given product or identity

  4. Design dimensional experiences and systems that reach target audiences and analyze their findings to check against their design ideas

  5. Apply a knowledge of applicable materials and production techniques to be used for signage, packaging and displays.

  6. Produce comps and deploy systems that look market ready.



Project 1: …


Project 2: …

Project 3: …

Reading & Research Assignments

Select readings will be provided throughout the semester, giving students critical insight into the format and subject matter, with the intention of supplementing research and class work. Each week, one or two students will be assigned to present a specific topic in the assigned reading material.

Process Log (Process Book)

A Process Log is an easy way to share the back-story of a project - it allows a viewer to see the progression of a project from the beginning to end through research, rough sketches, screen shots, scans, photos, and multiple rounds of work. It must be organized according to course/program guidelines and include a cover with your name and the course title clearly visible. It should reflect the use of appropriate research and analytical skills. The Process Log should include the following chapters detailing the design process for each of the three assignments; Debriefing, Research, Observation, Discovery, Brainstorming, Ideation, Prototyping, Comping, Implementation.


Homework Projects Will Help You:

  • Closely examine the role of research and process in communications design,
  • Understand the impact that audience analysis and cognitive science have on strategic thinking and concept development, and
  • FInstigate your own self driven design process derived from personal interest and exploration.

  • Always safeguard your work by making a second copy on a back-up disk. Lost work due to disk malfunction or deletion is not excused and will have to be recreated for a lesser grade. Submitted work should be in PDF format unless otherwise specified. You should create a PDF document for each projects that includes all elements of your work for review.




    A (4.0) / A- (3.7)

    Excellent Sustained level of superior performance in all areas of course requirements.


    B+ (3.3) / B (3.0) / B- (2.7)

    Above average Consistent level of performance that is above average in a majority of the course requirements.


    C+ (2.3) / C (2.0)

    Acceptable Performance that is generally average and course requirements are achieved.


    C- (1.7) / D+ (1.3) / D (1.0)

    Below average Poor level of work and performance and achievement of the course requirements


    F (0)

    Failure Accomplishment of the course requirements is not sufficient to receive a passing grade


    INC (n/a)

    Incomplete Automatically expires after the following semester.


    Recommended Reading

    Signage and Wayfinding Design by Chris Calorie and David Vanden-Eynden, Wiley, Second Edition 2015

    Structural Packaging PLUS Folding Techniques for Designers from Sheet to Form by Paul Jackson, Laurence King Publishing, 2011

    Packaging Design Workbook: The Art and Science of Successful Packaging by Steven DuPuis, Rockport Publishers, 2008


    Attendance, Participation

    Departmental Attendance Policy

    There are no unexcused absences or cuts. Students are expected to attend all classes. Any unexcused absence may affect your final grade. Three unexcused absences may result in course failure at the discretion of the instructor. Unexcused tardiness may also affect your final grade. 

    Daisuke Attendance Policy

    Three unexcused absences will automatically result in failure for the semester. The first and second unexcused absences will result in a reduction of your final grade by one half letter. (Chronic lateness may also affect your grade.) An excused absence means that I have received notification of a legitimate excuse (such as illness or a personal or medical emergency) before class starts—preferably by the night before. We can then schedule a makeup time for our discussion.

    You are expected to arrive on time and be prepared to work for the entire period. Being late to the class twice count as one absence.

    Class Participation

    Class participation is an important part of this course. Students are expected to contribute to classroom discussion at every class meeting: to ask questions, make a comment or observation, respond to questions asked by faculty, guest presenters or classmates. Students are expected to work in class and be ready to sketch, work with analog or digital processes and present and discuss their assignments every week. Class participation will be monitored and the student’s grade will reflect the contribution made each week.

    Class time is devoted to presentations and critiques within which you will be asked to review your classmates’ displayed work. Such evaluations are very important in the development of self-analytical judgment.


    Required at Each Class

  • Weekly assignment completed to deadline date.
  • All previously completed work on the assignment as well as all related research materials.
  • Fulfillment of any other requirements issued in writing by your instructor.

    Course Calendar / Weekly Schedule

    Week 1 / Date


    1. Agenda 1

    Week 2 / Date


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    Week 14 / Date


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    Week 15 / Date


    1. Agenda 1


    Pratt Institute-Wide Information

    Academic Integrity Policy

    At Pratt, students, faculty, and staff do creative and original work. This is one of our community values. For Pratt to be a space where everyone can freely create, our community must adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity.

    Academic integrity at Pratt means using your own and original ideas in creating academic work. It also means that if you use the ideas or influence of others in your work, you must acknowledge them.

    At Pratt,

    • We do our own work,

    • We are creative, and

    • We give credit where it is due.

    Based on our value of academic integrity, Pratt has an Academic Integrity Standing Committee (AISC) that is charged with educating faculty, staff, and students about academic integrity practices. Whenever possible, we strive to resolve alleged infractions at the most local level possible, such as between student and professor, or within a department or school. When necessary, members of this committee will form an Academic Integrity Hearing Board. Such boards may hear cases regarding cheating, plagiarism, and other infractions described below; these infractions can be grounds for citation, sanction, or dismissal.

    Academic Integrity Code

    When students submit any work for academic credit, they make an implicit claim that the work is wholly their own, completed without the assistance of any unauthorized person. These works include, but are not limited to exams, quizzes, presentations, papers, projects, studio work, and other assignments and assessments. In addition, no student shall prevent another student from making their work. Students may study, collaborate and work together on assignments at the discretion of the instructor.

    Examples of infractions include but are not limited to:

    1. Plagiarism, defined as using the exact language or a close paraphrase of someone else’s ideas without citation.

    2. Violations of fair use, including the unauthorized and uncited use of another’s artworks, images, designs, etc.

    3. The supplying or receiving of completed work including papers, projects, outlines, artworks, designs, prototypes, models, or research for submission by any person other than the author.

    4. The unauthorized submission of the same or essentially the same piece of work for credit in two different classes.

    5. The unauthorized supplying or receiving of information about the form or content of an examination.

    6. The supplying or receiving of partial or complete answers, or suggestions for answers; or the supplying or receiving of assistance in interpretation of questions on any examination from any source not explicitly authorized. (This includes copying or reading of another student’s work or consultation of notes or other sources during an examination.)

    For academic support, students are encouraged to seek assistance from the Writing and Tutorial Center, Pratt Libraries, or consult with an academic advisor about other support resources.

    Refer to the Pratt website for information on Academic Integrity Code Adjudication Procedures.

    General Pratt Attendance Policy

    Pratt Institute understands that students’ engagement in their program of study is central to their success. While no attendance policy can assure that, regular class attendance is key to this engagement and signals the commitment Pratt students make to participate fully in their education.

    Faculty are responsible for including a reasonable attendance policy on the syllabus for each course they teach, consistent with department-specific guidelines, if applicable, and with Institute policy regarding reasonable accommodation of students with documented disabilities. Students are responsible for knowing the attendance policy in each of their classes; for understanding whether a class absence has been excused or not; for obtaining material covered during an absence (note: instructors may request that a student obtain the material from peers); and for determining, in consultation with the instructor and ahead of time if possible, whether make-up work will be permitted.

    Consistent attendance is essential for the completion of any course or program. Attending class does not earn students any specific portion of their grade, but is the pre-condition for passing the course, while missing class may seriously harm a student’s grade. Grades may be lowered a letter grade for each unexcused absence, at the discretion of the instructor. Even as few as three unexcused absences in some courses (especially those that meet only once per week) may result in an automatic “F” for the course. (Note: Students shall not be penalized for class absences prior to adding a course at the beginning of a semester, though faculty may expect students to make up any missed assignments.)

    Pratt Institute respects students’ requirements to observe days of cultural significance, including religious holy days, and recognizes that some students might need to miss class to do so. In this, or other similar, circumstance, students are responsible for consulting with faculty ahead of time about how and when they can make up work they will miss.

    Faculty are encouraged to give consideration to students who have documentation from the Office of Health and Counseling. Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities will continue to be provided, as appropriate.

    Refer to the Pratt website for information on Attendance.

    Students with Disabilities

    The instructor will make every effort to accommodate students with both visible and invisible disabilities.  While it is advisable that students with disabilities speak to the instructor at the start of the semester if they feel this condition might make it difficult to partake in aspects of the course, students should feel free to discuss issues pertaining to disabilities with the instructor at any time.  Depending on the nature of the disability, and the extent to which it may require deviations from standard course policy, documentation of a specific condition may be required, in compliance with conditions established by the campus Learning Access Center, and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students who require special accommodations for disabilities must obtain clearance from the Office of Disability Services at the beginning of the semester. They should contact Elisabeth Sullivan, Director of the Learning Access Center, 718-636-3711.

    Religious Policies

    In line with Pratt’s Attendance Policy, Pratt Institute respects students’ requirements to observe days of cultural significance, including religious holy days, and recognizes that some students might need to miss class to do so. In this, or other similar, circumstance, students are responsible for consulting with faculty ahead of time about how and when they can make up work they will miss.

    Departmental Attendance Policy

    There are no unexcused absences or cuts. Students are expected to attend all classes. Any unexcused absence may affect your final grade. Three unexcused absences may result in course failure at the discretion of the instructor. Unexcused tardiness may also affect your final grade.


    Personal wireless devices must be inaudible at all times and used only for class purposes with permission of the instructor.