Course Objectives | Textbooks | Office Hours and Lab Hours | Grading | Late Assignments and Attendance | Supplies and Equipment
Student Conduct, Plagiarism and Acceptable Use Policy

Course Objectives:
This course is designed to help students develop proficiency in and knowledge of print-based graphic communication principles and techniques, and state-of-the-art computer graphics programs. Students will learn graphics design programs including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, and gain hands-on experience in the applications of related design principles and tools. Students will work on several small projects that will lead to a comprehensive layout assignment. The goal is to emphasize more than just the skills associated with individual programs, but the integration of several programs and design techniques into creating effective and attractive publications.

The class will address historical and social implications of design, and will focus on design principles and theory. At the end of the semester, students will receive an introduction to Web graphic techniques so as to create an online portfolio of work created in this class.

The course requires attendance at all lectures and lab sessions as topics tend to build upon one another. Students who attend class regularly tend to turn in the more creative, impressive projects. Attendance at evening open lab periods will be necessary to complete many of the projects.

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Basics of Design: Layout and Typography for Beginners, Delmar/Thomson Learning
Adobe Photoshop CS, Classroom in a Book
Adobe InDesign CS, Classroom in a Book

Optional Texts:
Adobe Illustrator CS, Classroom in a Book
The Non-Designer's Design Book

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Office and Lab Hours:
Cindy's office hours are on Tuesday from 1-4pm in TEMPL 2208D. Please email or call 827-3733 before coming by, if you can. You may use the lab in the evenings whenever Open Lab Hours are held. Check the course web site for the Open Lab Schedule. This is additional time for you to work on your projects. You may also use other labs on campus or your own computer, but be aware that they may not have the programs, versions, or fonts that you will need to use.

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Basic assignments (3) 30%
Web project 10%
Final layout project 25%
Quizzes (2) 20%
Short presentation 5%
Participation 10%

See Assignment Page for details

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Late Assignments and Attendance:
Assignments for this course are challenging and fun, but the class moves very quickly, so you will not want to fall behind. Missed assignments will receive a grade of F. A student may turn in one (1) assignment late during the semester, if there is an excused reason with prior arrangement with professor. Any other late assignments will receive a grade of F.

Attendance is important in this course. You may have three absences without penalty throughout the semester. For the fourth and fifth absence, your final course grade will be reduced by 10% each. After the fifth absence, you wll be encouraged to drop the course or you will receive an F. There are no excused absences, sickness and work-related absences must be covered within the three. Because we cover so much ground in this class, it is no coincidence that the best projects historically have been turned in by the students with the best attendance.

Students (and teachers, too) often learn best from one another, so an open environment is encouraged. Ask questions and help each other.

We will start class at 10am. It is important that you show up on time, as announcements tend to be made early, and you could miss valuable information. If you arrive later than 10:05am, you will be marked as late. This can effect your participation grade, as well as your ultimate course grade.

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Supplies and Equipment:
You will need a USB storage device to save a backup of your files. You will also receive access to a Transfer folder on the department server, but it is best to have a backup on disk.

You will need to purchase the following materials, available at the VCU Bookstore, Plaza Art Store, 927 W. Grace St. or Main Art Supply on W. Main St.

Students should also have an email account that they check frequently. This will be the main method of course communication. If you do not have an email account, the instructor can assist in obtaining one.

Equipment Checkout - We have a digital still camera assigned to this class. Please contact me in advance if you want to check it out. You will be allowed to keep it from one class period to the next (i.e. checkout on Monday, return on Wednesday), so plan your shoots accordingly. On the day you return a still camera, you must download your photos and delete them from the memory stick at the first available lab time and return the camera to the Instructor. To reserve a camera for a specific date, email me.

You MUST return any equipment in full working order on the following class period. It is important to respect other classmates' needs to use the equipment. No Excuses will be accepted. Failure to return the equipment on the next class period will result in an automatic reduction of 10% from your final course grade, and your equipment checkout privilege will be revoked for the remainder of the semester.

You are responsible for the equipment that you checkout. Failure to return any equipment due to loss, damage, theft or any other reason will result in the replacement value of that equipment being charged to your VCU account.

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Student Conduct, Plagiarism, Acceptable Use Policies:
The VCU Honor System will be enforced in this class. Unless specified otherwise, all work done for this course is "pledged" work, as defined by the Honor System. Each assignment implicitly carries this pledge:"On my honor, I have neither given nor received aid on this assignment."A longer summary of the VCU Honor System is provided below.Fabricating material or using another's work without attribution will draw an automatic F in the course, and your name will be turned in to appropriate university officials. In this course, as in the communications industry, plagiarism is not tolerated. For more information about plagiarism and how to avoid it, see:

Students are required to submit original work in this course unless otherwise specified in the assignments. This includes text, content, graphics and photography. Students may use clip art from "free" clip art sites with appropriate credit and identification, but are encouraged to design their own artwork (grades will be higher for using original work as opposed to another's artwork). Students are expected to be responsible with the materials that are prepared for this course.

Student work may be displayed on the Web, which means that it will be available to anyone with Internet access and a browser. Please see the instructor if you have any concerns about posting your projects to the Web.

DISABILITIES: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires Virginia Commonwealth University to provide academic adjustments or accommodations for students with documented disabilities. If you have a disability that requires an academic adjustment or accommodation, you must contact Joyce Knight, the coordinator of services for students with disabilities on VCU's Academic Campus. Ms. Knight's office is in the Education Annex, 109 N. Harrison St. Her e-mail address is, and her phone number is 828-2253.

After meeting with Ms. Knight, you then should meet with your instructor to discuss your needs and how we can address them. For more information, see the university's Web page on Services for Students with Disabilities:

The VCU Honor System
A Summary of the VCU Honor System at Virginia Commonwealth UniversityVirginia Commonwealth University recognizes that honesty, truth, and integrity are values central to its mission as an institution of higher education. Therefore, it must act to maintain these values, even to the point of separating from the University those who violate them. The VCU Honor System describes the responsibilities of students, faculty, and administration in upholding academic integrity, while at the same time respecting the rights of individuals to the due process offered by administrative hearings and appeals. All persons enrolled in any course or program offered by VCU, and all persons supervising the learning of any student are responsible for acting in accordance with the provisions of this policy.

An integral part of the VCU Honor System is the Honor Pledge: "On my honor I have neither given nor received aid on this assignment." At the option of the instructor, work assigned for classes, clinics, internships, and all other types of instruction offered at the University may be accomplished in either of two ways: (1) as "Pledged" work, for which the student will sign a pledge statement indicating that the work was completed independently, without giving or receiving assistance from another; or (2) as "Unpledged" work, which may be completed in collaboration with others as directed by the instructor and for which no pledge statement is required. All work is considered to be pledged unless the instructor specifies otherwise.

The VCU Honor System gives definitions and illustrative examples of six acts which are violations of the policy: Cheating, Plagiarism, Facilitating, Academic Dishonest, Abuse of Academic Materials, Stealing, and Lying. There are also six penalties which may be imposed upon students who are found guilty of violations: Honor Probation, Assignment of Grades, Suspension, Expulsion, Revocation, and Other Relevant Sanctions.

All members of the University community (student, faculty, or administrator) are responsible for bringing charges against a student believed to be in violation of the VCU Honor System with the Honor System Coordinator of the school or college responsible for the course. Charges may be (1) Informal (anonymous and verbal) or (2) Formal (written). Under the Informal route, a verbal description of the alleged violation is given to the Coordinator who meets with the accused to obtain an explanation. If the accused refuses to explain the conduct in question, if the explanation does not satisfy the accuser, or if the accused admits guilt, the accuser must decide whether or not to forsake anonymity in order to pursue the case to formal charges.

Under the Formal route, written charges are filed with the Coordinator who investigates by consulting with all parties involved, and either determines that there is insufficient evidence, makes a finding of guilt and determines a penalty, or refers the matter to the Academic Campus Honor Council for a hearing in instances where the Coordinator feels the accused student may be subject to suspension or expulsion from the University.

The academic Campus Honor Council is comprised of seven members: four faculty and three students. The Council conducts a hearing according to the procedures outlined in the VCU Honor System policy, makes a determination of guilt, and determines a penalty if the necessary. Decisions of the Council may be appealed to the University Appeal Board, which recommends action the President of the University. Records of actions taken under this policy are maintained in accordance with procedures specified in the policy.

For the full text of the VCU Honor System, see

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