Visual Communications: Art & Graphic Design

Bachelor of Technology Degree

The Visual Communications Department has a history of more than a half-century of innovation and excellence. Our design program offers a comprehensive and relevant educational experience that prepares students to be real-life creative problem solvers in traditional as well as emerging fields. Upon graduation, they demonstrate valuable professional skills and technological competencies vital for succeeding in an evolving creative environment.

The Visual Communications: Art & Graphic Design Baccalaureate Degree experience also includes opportunities that enable students to gain essential professional experience and participate beyond the classroom: two internship courses encourage students to pursue professional opportunities while the “in-house” agency courses allow students to work collaboratively and directly with clients. The Design Club and a student chapter of the AIGA, the premiere professional association for design, give our students an opportunity to participate in the industry as student learners. There are also industry-related field trips and special study abroad programs with trips that range from a few weeks to an entire semester.

The success of graduates in positions of responsibility in some of the best-known agencies, design teams, studios and corporations in the region and around the country illustrates the strength of our program. Many alumni have become thriving entrepreneurs by opening their own agencies and art-related businesses or as well as through active freelance careers.

For additional information, or to schedule an interview and tour of our facilities, please contact the Visual Communications Department.

Typical Employment Opportunities

Art Director
Brand Identity Designer
Creative Director
Editorial Designer
Graphic Designer
Interface Designer
Mobile Interface Designer
Package Designer
Photographer
Production Manager
Social Media Designer
User Experience Designer
Visual Content Developer
Web Designer & Developer
Web Developer

Visual Communications (BT) Program Outcomes:

  • Graduates will receive a strong foundation in design, will have opportunities to explore, experiment, and master skillsets in traditional disciplines and digital techniques.
  • Graduates will demonstrate diverse knowledge and skills required to perform professionally in an evolving creative work environment.
  • Graduates will exhibit the knowledge necessary to understand design from an historical perspective, as well as current and future trends of industry.
  • Graduates will have learned specific professional skills addressing résumé development, self-promotion, job search skills, industry procedures and practices and presentation techniques.
  • Graduates will have created a portfolio of work, which will meet industry demands in order to successfully compete in the current job market.

Admission to Farmingdale State College - State University of New York is based on the qualifications of the applicant without regard to age, sex, marital or military status, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability or sexual orientation.

Visual Communications | Prof. Bill Steedle, Chair | artdept@farmingdale.edu | 934-420-2181

Fall 2020

Subject to revision

Liberal Arts and Sciences (39 credits)
EGL 101 Composition I: College Writing (GE) 3
ART 200 History of Graphic Design (GE) 3
ART 201 Survey of Art History: Prehistoric Times through the Middle Ages (GE) 3
ART 202 Art History – to Present 3
ART 302 History of American Art
OR
ART 303 MesoAmerican Art History 3
American History (GE) 3
Mathematics (GE) 3
Basic Communication (GE) 3
Natural Science (GE) 3
Western or Other World Civilizations (GE) 3
Social & Behavioral Science (GE) 3
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
Support Courses (3 credits)
BUS 131 Marketing Principles 3
Visual Communications Core (81 credits)
VIS 110 Drawing I 3
VIS 112 Two-Dimensional Design 3
VIS 114 Color 3
VIS 115 Three-Dimensional Design 3
VIS 116 Digital Media and Methods 3
VIS 120 Drawing II 3
VIS 122 Typography I 3
VIS 222 Graphic Design I 3
VIS 225 Photography I 3
VIS 226 Design Production I 3
VIS 228 Four-Dimensional Design 3
VIS 232 Graphic Design II 3
VIS 234 Design Production II 3
VIS 236 Typography II 3
VIS 238 Illustration for Designers 3
VIS 250 Photography II 3
VIS 332 Graphic Design III 3
VIS 334 Design Production III 3
VIS 336 Advertising I 3
VIS 340 Industry Preparation 3
VIS 346 Advertising II 3
VIS 414 Interaction Design 3
VIS 416W Senior Project I 3
VIS 418 Portfolio 3
VIS 426 Senior Project II 3
VIS/IxD/BUS/BCS Electives or RAM 303 6
Total Credits: 123

Transfer credit is granted at the discretion of the faculty based on grades and a portfolio assessment. All students entering the program, including transfer students, will be required to take VIS 116 Digital Media & Methods.

Curriculum Summary

Degree Type: BT
Total Required Credits: 123

Please refer to the General Education, Applied Learning, and Writing Intensive requirement sections of the College Catalog and consult with your advisor to ensure that graduation requirements are satisfied.

EGL 101 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 is 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 higher is a graduation requirement. Note: Students passing a departmental diagnostic exam given on the first day of class will remain in EGL 101; all others will be placed in EGL 097. Prerequisite is any of the following: successful completion of EGL 097; an SAT essay score (taken prior to March 1, 2016) of 7 or higher; an SAT essay score (taken after March 1, 2016) of 5 or higher; on-campus placement testing.

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. Prerequisite(s): EGL 101

ART 201 Survey of Art History: Prehistoric Times through The 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. Prerequisite(s): EGL 101

ART 202 Survey of Art History: Early Renaissance to the 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. Prerequisite(s): EGL 101

ART 302 Art History: Survey 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.

ART 303 MesoAmerican Art History

This course is designed to expose students to the art, culture and history of Mexico and Central America from the first peoples of the Americas to the Spanish Conquest, Colonial Period, Revolution, Modern and contemporary eras. The class will introduce the student to visual works of art including sculpture, painting, architecture and other applied arts. The course begins with prehistoric art of the Clovis peoples of the American Southwest and concludes with the contemporary era. The class covers Clovis, Olmec, Maya, Zapotec, Mixtec, Aztec, Mexican and Guatemalan art and touches on significant imported Spanish influences. The history, mythologies, politics, religions, and philosophical thought of the periods are introduced in order to provide a context for the visual art.

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.

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.

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.

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.

VIS 115 Three-Dimensional Design

Three-dimensional 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.

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.

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. Prerequisite(s): VIS 110

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. Prerequisite(s): VIS 112 and 116

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. Prerequisite(s): VIS 122

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 (see department web page for current specific equipment requirements). Prerequisite(s): VIS 112 and 116

VIS 226 Design Production I

Design Production deals with how to professionally execute Graphic Design concepts. As designers we use a vast array of tools and technology and this course introduces students to the primary software used to create those designs. Students will utilize texts and online resources for software training and the instructor will provide additional training in realistic situations and troubleshooting the use of the software relative to specific tasks. Software will include solutions for vector illustration, bitmap image manipulation, layout and print production as they pertain to design decisions. This is not software training (menu by menu, feature by feature) rather it is a focus on the software in terms of the tasks that the student is likely to encounter in a real world print environment. Prerequisite(s): VIS 116

VIS 228 Four-Dimensional Design

4 D (4-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. Prerequisite(s): VIS 116 and VIS 122

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. Prerequisite(s): VIS 222

VIS 234 Design Production II

Design Production II continues to deal with how to professionally execute Graphic Design concepts with more advanced ideas and technology. The primary software tools include advanced 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 best practices with emphasis on the use of the software in the production of real world projects and problems. Prerequisite(s): VIS 226

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. Prerequisite(s): VIS 222, VIS 226

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. Prerequisite(s): VIS 120 and 222

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): Department approval or VIS 225.

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. Prerequisite(s): VIS 232

VIS 334 Design Production III

Design Production III, will be the culmination of the student’s Design Production studies where tools and technology are utilized to professionally execute advanced design projects. Outside resources will be used for software training and classroom time will focus on software integration and workflow, advanced web concepts and execution of sophisticated communication concepts. The primary focus on software will continue to include both print and web, rich-media and interactive. Prerequisite(s): VIS 234

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. Prerequisite(s): VIS 232 and 234

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. Prerequisite(s): VIS 332 and 334 or IxD 320 and IxD 322

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. Prerequisite(s): VIS 336

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. Prerequisite(s): VIS 332, 334 both with a Grade of C+ or higher

VIS 418 Portfolio

The Portfolio class is one of the capstone courses 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 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 students' ability to professionally present and defend their artwork. Prerequisite(s): VIS 416 with a grade of C+ or higher Corequisite(s): VIS 426

VIS 426 Senior Project II

The Senior Project II class is one of the capstone courses 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 and book. 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 students’ ability to professionally present and defend their artwork. Prerequisite(s): VIS 416 Corequisite(s): VIS 418

RAM 303 Research Experience

This hands-on research experience with a faculty mentor is the culminating experience for students enrolled in the Research Aligned Mentorship (RAM) program. Students will be placed in research experiences on the Farmingdale Campus or off-campus in major universities, research laboratories, businesses, industry, government, horticultural gardens, and other settings that fit their academic interests and career goals.

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.