Computer Graphics: ART 356
Fall 2008 - Tuesday-Thursday 11:00 am-2:00 pm AC404
Dr. Paula DiMarco (

This Syllabus is subject to change according to the professor's discretion.


Course Description
Application of graphic design principles to computer generated page layout. Using current software applications, covers design of text documents, graphic elements, and their incorporation into page layouts. Emphasis on the use of the computer for decision-making and experimentation.
Nine hours lab

Course Objective
This course will cover Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CS3 (basic to advanced skill levels). We will deal with both technical and creative aspects of each application.

Course Pre-requisite ART 200; Art 244

Required Texts (2)
• Adobe CS3 Classroom in a Book for InDesign,
(ISBN# 0321492013)

• Adobe CS3 Classroom in a Book for Illustrator
(ISBN# 0321492005)

***Please read****

InDesign book: $32.99
Illustrator book: $32.99
They will cost a total of:
Standard Shipping  (3-5 business days) cost: $74.26
Two-Day Shipping  (2 business days) cost: $83.25
-DO NOT do free shipping as it takes 5-9 business days and you need your book by next week.

Borders & book store:
Each book is typically $54.99 - total before taxes: $109.98

Supply List
• 2 Mini Flash USB Drives (minimum of 512MB)
• CD-Rs and DVD-Rs as needed


Attendance is mandatory in this class. Lectures, directions, demonstrations and critiques will not be repeated. Do not miss class on project deadline days as you will be marked down one grade point for missed deadlines.

You are allowed 3 excused absences. The excused absences are for illness and emergencies, not excused “cuts”. If an illness or emergency requires more than 3 absences, official documentation will be required.

Any unexcused absences will result in lowering your final grade. For every absent unexcused there will be a deduction of 4 points from your final grade.

For example: if your final grade is a 100 [A] because you have handed in all assignments on time and according to criteria, but you have 3 unexcused absences, then you will be deducted 12 points from that grade. This means you will have an 88 [B+] Or if you earned a 90 [B+] grade point with 3 absences then you would have a 78 [C+].

The instructor will make necessary marks for students who are continually late. Attendance and promptness will greatly affect your overall final grade.


Lateness is discouraged. Every late = half of unexcused absence (2 pts). (Students have know to get a very low grade because they come late or are absent frequently.)

During the first 15 minutes of the class, the instructor
will take attendance. If you are not present at this time, you will be marked as absent. Please notify the instructor if you were late or not present during role call. If you have missed a class, you should always contact your fellow students or the Instructor for information on the class missed before returning to class. The university gives authorization to lower grades or fail students for poor attendance and tardiness at the instructor’s discretion.


Late Project Penalties
A project not ready at the beginning of class or handed in after a critique on the due date will be penalized by 1/3 grade unit for each class it is late. An absence is not an excuse for a late project. Limited lab access is not an excuse for a late project. Plan ahead
for lab time!

Classroom Courtesy:

  1. Be on time
  2. Do not leave class early
  3. Be respectful: to teacher and classmates always
  4. Turn off cell phones: Do not answer your phone in class or walk out of the class to answer your phone. Please turn your phone off and store it in your bag.
  5. Focus while in class: Leave all your other class work and problems outside this class.
  6. Help others: If someone is strugling help them. we are a community of learners.
  7. Practice: Spend the time to focus on your skills and learn as much skills as possible in and outside of class.

Studio Principles:

Teacher will Demo
Train yourself
Quizes are inevidable
Ask questions
Use your skills

1. Teacher will Demo: Demonstrations will be in every class. it is your responsibilty to follow along. You will need your book and the CD that comes with the book in order to use the images in the demonstrations.

2. You will Read: It is your responsibilty to read all chapters that are assigned. Even if there is no exercise due that week. All reading will be from either book or in some cases an online article or worksheet. (Also read the review in the back of every chapter.  This will be the quiz part)

3. You will practice: Practice is the most important thing to becoming a better designer and graphic artist. Without practice you will not be prepared for the real world of design.



4. Learn to train yourself: Practice also means to go through every exercise in the books. You must learn to read software manuals and make it a habit to problem solve and fine information on your own. The teacher will guide you but will not hold your hand. because of software changing, you must get into a habit of learning through books.

5. Teacher will quiz the class: You will be quized on what you have read and practiced. So at any point in the class the teacher will call on you to demonstrate a particular technique to the class on the teachers computer station. So be prepared and study up on all that has been discussed.

6. You will ask questions: You should have questions to ask the teacher in the beginning of class. Asking is one way to become a more skillful individual.

7. Use your skills in main projects: All skills and techniques learned will be used in the main projects. The skills must be perfected and refined through practice. So when the main project is assigned to you, you must be prepared to execute with the finest skills and techniques.


Design Studio Projects:
There are 2 types of studio activities: In-class exercises and Main design projects. These activities are considered in class and out of class assignments and must be handed in for course credit as appointed in the grade section of this syllabus. Some in-class days may be lab works days, however, plan to spend at least 9 hours per week outside of class time in order to complete these assignments. Students are required to attend all critiques for each

In-class exercises:
These exercises are vehicles for learning about the skills in the computer programs. Exercises are graded. (see grade breakdown for value)

Main design projects

These projects are to be done outside of class. The main design projects are given as a way for the student to explore and practice visual communication. Students are encouraged to push the boundaries of design through innovation and conceptual development. The main studio projects are evaluated according to design, presentation, innovation, and skills. (See assignment sheets for further details on evaluation criteria)

Project #1: Illustrator
Graphic Art the Vote
campaign on an issue

Team project (2 people to a team)
2 different surfaces for each team member, 2 designs that work with the campaign.

Choose 2 from the following:
postcards (4 x 6), Business card size flyers, T-shirts, Stickers (various sizes), Buttons with a card (size TBA), Posters (18" x 24", 18" x 36", 18" x 48" or 24" x 36"), tote bags, Temporary Tattoos, other (you come up with something)

Project #2: InDesign


  • Northridge Copy Center, (9130B Reseda Blvd.) is the best place to get computer print outs. Do not go on weekends or after 5pm.

  • Costco has a service that you can send you files on line and go pick up the print out.

  • Buy a printer somethimes is the best solution. If you plan to buy, purchase a printer that can do 11 x 17 paper.
Final Exam
You are required to meet at the posted exam time
for this class. Final Exam is Portfolio Presentation .
You will be required to attend the exam day to show your portfolio. Students must be present and can not be late for this presentation or they will be deducted points from their grade. See class schedule for exam day time.


A = 95 - 100   B+= 87 - 90   C+= 77 - 79   D+= 67 - 69
A-= 91 - 94    B  = 83 - 86     C  = 73 - 76    D = 63 - 66
                        B- = 80 - 82    C- = 70 - 72    F  = 0  - 62


*note the following
If a students has any of the following items, they will receive an incomplete on the assignments and will be asked to re-do. (This means even if money has been spent on printing and mounting.)

1. Crooked lines or paper fraying.
2. Pixilated images or graphics
3. Glue residue or dirt marks
4. Uneven folding.
5. Misspelling or grammar problems
6. Any font not approved by professor

None of the following fonts can be used.
Fonts w/ city names -Chicago, Monaco, New York, Geneva
Helvetica /Arial or equivalent
Comic Sans
Courier (unless the concept requires typewriter style)
Script fonts must be approved before using.
(if you are not sure ask)

*Please Print out
Please download contract sheet. This sheet is to confirm that you understand what is expected of you in the course. You will comit yourself to the work and the course content in the course.