Visual Communications

 

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Program of Study

The Visual Communications: Art & Graphic Design baccalaureate degree program consists of eight semesters of sequential coursework totaling 123 credits, including 42 general education and support course credits. The admission process is the same for entering freshman, transfer students, and returning professionals with advanced degrees. It begins with an official Farmingdale State College Application (or a SUNY application) specifying Visual Communications — code#1091— as the curriculum of choice. An online application is available on the Office of Admissions website: www.farmingdale.edu.

The Visual Communications: Art & Graphic Design program accommodates an incredibly rapid pace of change in our disciplines, the economy, the needs of industry and the needs of our students. The program also prepares students for study in the many specialized areas of design. It increases the exposure to new forms of communication and provides the prospective graduate with skills that transcend the traditional delivery platforms. It builds a solid foundation for the student's most valuable resources: thinking and the ability to generate solutions and effectively communicate ideas to collaborators, clients and the audience.

  • Visual Communications Core

    • Year One

      VIS 110 Drawing I

      Drawing is the foundation for all other applications of design. To that end, this course explores the principles of freehand drawing, and emphasizes the use of line, light and shade, perspective, proportion and pictorial composition. Subject matter in class will include both still-life (natural and fabricated) and an introduction to drawing the figure. Students will experiment with a variety of black and white media as they learn about drawing and all its possibilities, both creative and analytical.
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 112 Two-Dimensional Design

      This course is an in-depth examination of the elements and principles of design and how they influence the creation of two-dimensional compositions. Students will acquire vocabulary and concepts that will be used throughout their careers. Individual visual expression will be emphasized through design assignments that allow the exploration of a variety of media and tools. Contemporary and historically significant works of art and design will be utilized. This will help students recognize the successful application of the elements and principles of design for evaluating their own work and that of their peers.
      (2,2) Credits: 3

      2D Design
    • VIS 114 Principles of Color

      This course will explore the vast visual language of color including its characteristics, properties, and schemes, as well as its expressive and symbolic usage. An understanding of the rich vocabularies of both color and design will be enforced. Students will increase their skills in the identification and interpretation of design principles in contemporary and historically significant works of art. Students will experiment with color in many mediums as an avenue to recognizing the power of color.
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 115 Three-Dimensional Design

      Three-dimensional design is the foundation for many of the specialized areas of graphic design, including package design, product design, environmental graphics, animation and three-dimensional modeling. Thus, this course stresses the application and appreciation of the principles and elements that make successful three-dimensional designs. Study will include: mass, volume, line, surface, plane, space, time and motion. In the design and construction of three-dimensional objects, students will explore a variety of materials and construction methods. Constructions will be made typically of wood, paper, bristol board, foam core, corrugated board, plaster and other three-dimensional materials. The course will also stress the efficient and safe use of tools and materials.
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 116 Digital Media and Methods

      The concepts and techniques of digital media are essential for the modern graphic designer. This course serves as an essential foundation for all subsequent courses in computer graphics. Students will gain an understanding of how this evolving technology applies to the visual communication industry and will be introduced to the hardware and software utilized within the field. The terminology that we use as designers when dealing with technology will also be stressed. Networking, printing, file sharing, on-line course management tools, etc., specific to the Visual Communication Department and Farmingdale State College campus will be covered. This course is required and must be taken in residence at Farmingdale.
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 120 Drawing II

      This course furthers the investigations of drawing as the foundation for all other applications of design. Students will expand their understanding of perspective and structural drawing, and continue the development of the perception, skill and knowledge necessary to draw the human figure. In addition to working in graphite and charcoal, students will also experiment with a variety of drawing surfaces and media, including ink wash and watercolor.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 110
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 122 Typography I

      Typography is the formal study of letterform. Each typeface has qualities that allow it to be identified, classified and appreciated for its own individual beauty. In this course, students will gain perspective into this important field by starting with a focus on early visual communication, symbols handwritten letterforms, calligraphy and the development of movable type. Students will then explore ways to categorize type into families and identify and define the similarities and subtle differences in classical typeface. Class discussions, projects, critiques and lectures will focus on typographic terminology and vocabulary, as well as the aesthetic discipline of using type effectively as a designer. An emphasis will be placed on typography as an essential element of graphic design.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 112 and 116
      (2,2) Credits: 3

      Student samples from Typography I
    • Year Two

      VIS 222 Graphic Design I

      The graphic designer conceives, plans, and executes a design that communicates a direct message to a specific audience. It is through a formal understanding of this design process that students learn to create successful designs. The general principles studied and practiced in this course are based on the integration of type and image to convey meaning. The student will begin the process of defining a personal design aesthetic and will work with a variety of traditional and digital media. This course is taken simultaneously with Design Production I.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 122, Co-requisite(s): VIS 226
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 225 Photography I

      This course introduces photographic principles with the primary emphasis on the technical issues of photography in studio and natural lighting conditions. Students will learn the concepts and techniques for proper lighting, exposure, focus, depth-of-field, and creative composition. The methodology for the creation of compelling and original photographic images will be covered as it applies to graphic design projects. Image management software, archival storage solutions, and presentation techniques will be explored. Students must supply their own digital camera.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 112 and 116
      (2,2) Credits: 3

      Mandatory Equipment Requirements for VIS225 Photography I & VIS250 Photography II:

      1. DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera with automatic, semi-automatic and manual exposure controls.

      2. High-quality tripod.

      3. Portable USB hard-drive.

      4. A least two high-capacity camera memory cards.

      5. One or two extra camera batteries and a battery charger.

      For more specific recommendations, please contact your instructor. Please Note: "point-and-shoot" compact digital cameras, film cameras, etc., are insufficient and not acceptable for Photography I & II.

    • VIS 226 Design Production I

      While Graphic Design focuses on the development of a creative concept, Design Production deals with the professional execution of that concept. As designers we use a vast array of tools and technology to create our designs and this course introduces students to the primary software for print and web. Students will utilize texts and online resources for software training and the instructor will provide additional training. Classroom focus will be on the use of the software to solve specific problems related to Graphic Design I projects. Software will include solutions for vector illustration, bitmap image manipulation page layout and print production with an introduction to web design and web production concepts. This course is taken simultaneously with Graphic Design I.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 116, Co-requisite(s): VIS 222
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 228 Four-Dimensional Design

      Four-dimensional design will explore the process of designing user experiences that rely heavily on time, space and motion to communicate an idea. In this course students will examine the increasingly important role time-based media plays in the world of graphic design. Applications may include web design, video, animation, storyboards and sequential narratives. Students will concentrate on using storytelling techniques and experiential structures to provide a viewer with an immersive experience.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 116
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 232 Graphic Design II

      Students will continue to explore the creative process that helps them communicate ideas and information to a target audience. The general principles studied and practiced in this course are based on the formal integration of type and image to convey meaning. A further refinement of the student's personal aesthetic will be encouraged. Graphic Design II will introduce higher level, theoretical ideas related to communication, design and cognitive theories. Students will work with a variety of traditional and digital media. This course is taken simultaneously with Design Production II.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 222, Co-requisite(s): VIS 234
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 234 Design Production II

      As the Graphic Design II projects become more sophisticated, the demand for student self-study will increase as will the need for project and solution-oriented training from the instructor. The primary software tools include print, web, rich-media and interactive design, with more emphasis placed on web-oriented projects. Outside resources will be used for general software instruction. Classroom focus will be on the use of the software to solve specific problems related to Graphic Design II projects. This class is taken simultaneously with Graphic Design II.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 226, Co-requisite(s): VIS 232
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 236 Typography II

      This course will offer the students the opportunity to refine their skills in typographic design and application using digital technology. Class discussions, projects and critiques will concentrate on the crucial role of typography and the relationship of type as image in contemporary graphic design. Students will learn advanced techniques and refine typographic design skills while exploring the many ways in which typography can be utilized to express the message of design.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 222, Co-requisite(s): VIS 226
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 238 Illustration for Graphic Designers

      An understanding of illustration can help graphic designers to create more conceptually powerful designs and to differentiate their work from the competition. This course will focus on sketching and drawing to facilitate the efficient communication of ideas from the initial thumbnail sketch through to a finished piece. Design projects will be solved through the integration of traditional design skills, with illustrations created in a variety of media. It will provide insight into the language and practice of illustration while offering graphic design students the opportunity to develop a personal approach to illustration that can become integral to their design work.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 120 and 222
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 250 Photography II

      Students will continue to examine the concepts and techniques for proper lighting, exposure, focus, depth-of-field, and creative composition. Using electronic media, students explore the production and processing of digital image making and the application of studio techniques. Advanced technical skills for digital photography are covered to increase student awareness of photographic methods necessary for commercial communication, advertising, and photojournalism. Using digital photographic technologies, students experiment and further develop their understanding of the photograph as a vehicle for communicating ideas. Prerequisite(s) required and/or Department approval.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 225
      (1,3) Credits: 3
    • Year Three

      VIS 332 Graphic Design III

      Students will combine their knowledge of type and image, communication theories, problem solving techniques and conceptual skills developed in Graphic Design I and II to create integrated solutions to multi-part, sophisticated design and communication problems. Students will be introduced to Strategic Design concepts that help produce successful solutions to complex design problems. This course is taken simultaneously with Design Production III.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 232, Co-requisite(s): VIS 334
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 334 Design Production III

      Design Production III, taught alongside Graphic Design III, will be the culmination of the student's Graphic Design studies. Classroom time will focus on software integration and workflow. The primary focus will continue to include print and web, rich-media and interactive software. Since Graphic Design III includes a significant web or rich-media requirement, the focus in Design Production III will be on web-oriented tools. Software will include solutions for vector illustration, bitmap image manipulation, page layout, print production, and web design and production.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 234, Co-requisite(s): VIS 332
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 336 Advertising I

      Advertising is the art of persuasion and as designers we greatly influence the choices made by consumers. In this course students will learn the fundamental aspects of this significant field with an emphasis on the conceptual development, design methodology, creative writing and clear communication necessary to motivate the consumer to action. The basic principles of advertising will be presented, from creative writing to branding consistency and integrity. Graphic design skills in conjunction with these advertising essentials will be encouraged and expected. The hierarchy and structure of an advertising agency will be discussed to provide students with a realistic view of the industry.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 232 and 234
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 340 Industry Preparation

      Students will explore and develop professional practices to gain future employment in the design field and attain professional success. While students will not be creating a portfolio in this class, they will be introduced to the varied options available for multifunctional portfolios and will choose which option would best promote their work. An emphasis will be placed on defining, organizing, and developing self-promotion, as well as marketing materials. It will also encompass job search strategies, interview skills, and industry best practices.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 332 and 334
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 346 Advertising II

      This course builds upon the principles that were studied in Advertising I and allows for a more concentrated exploration into the myriad of ways to reach a consumer. This course encompasses conceptualization, design and production of actual advertising campaigns. Students will work individually and in teams to complete projects based on client direction and budget restrictions. Traditional and developing media venues will be considered with an emphasis on appropriate and unique creative solutions to advertising problems.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 336
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS/BUS/BCS Elective

      Students may choose appropriate electives from the department of Visual Communications, Business Management or Computer Systems. Please see your advisor for a listing of elective courses being offered each semester and to ensure that the course meets the departmental requirements.
    • Year Four

      VIS 414 Interaction Design

      Interaction Design is an advanced course that pushes students understanding of web page creation to include the methodologies, concepts and strategy of designing user experiences. Interaction Design will stress the planning, design, and production of effective user interface design, information design and information architecture based upon web standards and best practices. The course will also introduce the student to advanced web creation tools including the design for specific digital devices. Students will produce a variety of concepts-from rough pencil sketches to digital prototypes-in a rigorous environment.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 412
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 416W Senior Project and Portfolio I

      The Senior Project and Portfolio classes are the capstone of the Visual Communications baccalaureate experience. In the first semester the focus will be on the students developing and defining their own individual voice in both the written and visual form. Students will begin to develop a self-directed project that will culminate in the second semester in a book, portfolio, and gallery exhibition. The individual creative process will be encouraged through research, experimentation, writing, and critique.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 340
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS 426 Senior Project and Portfolio II

      The Senior Project and Portfolio classes are the capstone of the Visual Communications baccalaureate experience. In this final semester students will produce a series of professional quality works of art, which will be displayed in a senior exhibition, book, and portfolio. A series of group critiques with both internal and external reviewers will aid in the development of this body of work as well as strengthen the student's ability to professionally present and defend their artwork.
      Pre-requisite(s): VIS 416W
      (2,2) Credits: 3
    • VIS/BUS/BCS Elective

      Students may choose appropriate electives from the department of Visual Communications, Business Management or Computer Systems. Please see your advisor for a listing of elective courses being offered each semester and to ensure that the course meets the departmental requirements.
  • Liberal Arts & General Education

    • ART 200 History of Graphic Design

      Graphic design has great power and has both reflected and influenced our society and culture throughout history. This course identifies the key movements within the history of graphic design from the Graphic Renaissance throughout today and highlights how these movements have mirrored and changed the course of our society and the field of graphic design. Lectures, images and texts will be used in of each of the following periods: Graphic Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, Mid-Century Modernism, Late-Modernism Post-Modernism and the Digital Age.
      Pre-requisite(s): EGL 101
      (3,0) Credits: 3
    • ART 201 Art History (to Middle Ages)

      A survey of the history of the visual arts from their beginnings in prehistoric times to the end of the Middle Ages. Works of art are studied both as monuments of intrinsic aesthetic value and as expressions of the needs, ideals, and aspirations of the societies in which they were created.
      Pre-requisite(s): EGL 101
      (3,0) Credits: 3
    • ART 202 Art History - (to Present)

      A survey of the history of the visual arts from the Early Renaissance to the Present. Works of art are studied both as monuments of intrinsic aesthetic value and as expressions of the needs, ideals, and aspirations of the societies in which they were created.
      Pre-requisite(s): EGL 101
      (3,0) Credits: 3
    • ART 302 History of American Art

      A survey of the development of painting, sculpture, and architecture in the United States from the early colonial period to the present. Lectures, supplemented by slides and textbook illustrations, will provide the basis for an analysis of the "schools" styles, and influences that determined and are affecting the direction of American Art.
      (3,0) Credits: 3
    • EGL 101 English Composition I: College Writing

      This is the first part of a required sequence in college essay writing. Students learn to view writing as a process that involves generating ideas,formulating and developing a thesis, structuring paragraphs and essays,as well as revising and editing drafts. The focus in on the development of critical and analytical thinking. Students also learn the correct and ethical use of print and electronic sources. At least one research paper is required. A grade of C or better is a graduation requirement.
      Pre-requisite(s): Placement on SAT essay exam or successful completion of EGL 097.
      (3,0) Credits: 3
    • EGL 102 Composition II: Writing About Literature

      This is the second part of the required introductory English composition sequence. This course builds on writing skills developed in EGL 101, specifically the ability to write analytical and persuasive essays and to use research materials correctly and effectively. Students read selections from different literary genres (poetry, drama, and narrative fiction). Selections from the literature provide the basis for analytical and critical essays that explore the ways writers use works of the imagination to explore human experience. A grade of C or better is a graduation requirement
      Prerequisite(s): EGL 101 with a grade of C or better.
      (3,0) Credits: 3
    • American History (GE)

      For this requirement, students may choose any course that meets the General Education American History area.  These courses are listed in the Farmingdale State College catalog and on the back of the advisement sheet that students are given when they enroll in the Visual Communications: Art & Graphic Design program. A student with a questions about whether a course meets a particular General Education area, should speak with his or her advisor.
    • Mathematics (GE)

      For this requirement, students may choose any course that meets the General Education Mathematics area.  These courses are listed in the Farmingdale State College catalog and on the back of the advisement sheet that students are given when they enroll in the Visual Communications: Art & Graphic Design program. A student with a questions about whether a course meets a particular General Education area, should speak with his or her advisor.
    • Natural Science (GE)

      For this requirement, students may choose any course that meets the General Education Natural Sciences area.  These courses are listed in the Farmingdale State College catalog and on the back of the advisement sheet that students are given when they enroll in the Visual Communications: Art & Graphic Design program. A student with a questions about whether a course meets a particular General Education area, should speak with his or her advisor.
    • West or Other World Civilizations (GE)

      For this requirement, students may choose any course that meets the General Education West or Other World Civilizations area.  These courses are listed in the Farmingdale State College catalog and on the back of the advisement sheet that students are given when they enroll in the Visual Communications: Art & Graphic Design program. A student with a questions about whether a course meets a particular General Education area, should speak with his or her advisor.
    • Social & Behavioral Sciences (GE)

      For this requirement, students may choose any course that meets the General Education Social & Behavioral Sciences area.  These courses are listed in the Farmingdale State College catalog and on the back of the advisement sheet that students are given when they enroll in the Visual Communications: Art & Graphic Design program. A student with a questions about whether a course meets a particular General Education area, should speak with his or her advisor.
    • Basic Communications (GE)

      For this requirement, students may choose any course that meets the General Education Basic Communications area.  These courses are listed in the Farmingdale State College catalog and on the back of the advisement sheet that students are given when they enroll in the VisualCommunications: Art & Graphic Design program. A student with a questions about whether a course meets a particular General Education area, should speak with his or her advisor.
    • General Education Elective (GE)

      For this requirement, students may choose any course that meets the General Education Elective area.  These courses are listed in the Farmingdale State College catalog and on the back of the advisement sheet that students are given when they enroll in the Visual Communications: Art & Graphic Design program. A student with a questions about whether a course meets a particular General Education area, should speak with his or her advisor.
  • Support Courses

    • BUS 131 Marketing Principles

      This course provides the student with a sound knowledge of the basic elements of the marketing process. Major topics include the features of consumer and organizational markets, market segmentation, and target market strategies. Product planning and development, brands, packaging and other product features are covered. Price determination and the use of various pricing strategies are discussed. The factors in the selection of channels of distribution and the features of wholesaling and retailing are considered. Elements of the promotional process such as sales, advertising, and sales promotion are included. Ethical and legal issues in marketing, marketing of services, global marketing, and marketing on the Internet are also covered.
      (3,0) Credits: 3