Visual Communication Design undergraduate student work

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DESIGN 466 A: Publication Design

We look forward to safely returning to in-person instruction and activities this autumn quarter. Current and prospective students please visit our COVID-19 Updates pages.
Meeting Time: 
MW 8:30am - 11:20am
ART 247
Jayme Yen
Jayme Yen

Syllabus Description:

Publications come in many forms — physical, digital, audio, or video — and deliver many kinds of content (the news, fiction, facts, sounds). The best publications communicate not just in type and images but through an entire ecosystem of creative decisions, from the order of content to the weight of paper, from the the size of margins to the typographic furniture that let readers know where they are. No decision is inconsequential in a publication, and the smallest choices contribute to creating an overall experience.

In this class we’ll focus on the design of print publications by keeping in mind our primary method of interacting with them, reading. How can meaning and comprehension be shaped by materials, format, typography, layout, and more? You will be asked to read and think critically about content, and then devise original and inventive ways to make that content speak to an ideal reader on the other side of the page.


Learning Objectives

This course will focus on the creation of a multi-page document (from concept to final execution) such as a book, catalogue, or magazine. Topics covered in this course include:

  • Concepting, designing, and producing print publications
  • Integrating type, color, graphics, and imagery to produce compelling layouts
  • Developing grid and typographic systems to unify multi-page/screen documents 
  • Careful attention to the hierarchy of information in order to communicate content effectively and persuasively
  • Making decisions about form that enhance meaning and reader experience
  • Printing and binding multi-page documents


Course Structure + Requirements

The first few weeks of the quarter will cover a few exercises. The bulk of the quarter will focus on one large project. The primary deliverable is a print publication. Class time will be divided between lectures, critiques, and workdays. For large class crits you will be split into two groups. One group will present on Mondays, the other group on Wednesdays. The final exam is Tuesday, Dec 11, from 8:30–10:20am.


Course Web Site

Des466 through Canvas.

Readings and references will be posted as needed to supplement your learning. You are expected to complete all readings, even if they are not explicitly discussed in class.

InDesign is still, by far, the best software with which to put together a multi-page document. There are many InDesign tutorials available online. If you’re a member of the Seattle Public Library you can also access the tutorial library for free. Adobe also offers InDesign tutorials.


Policies + Evaluation

Please make every effort to be on time. All work (process and final) should be completed and ready by the beginning of class. Late work is heavily discouraged and will not be accepted without prior permission.

Grading is based on the quality of your work during the quarter (both visually and conceptually), your design process (the extent of exploration and variation throughout the project), and class participation in group discussions and critiques.

Consider this class an open forum for ideation and discussion. Debate and disagreement are a natural part of design discourse. Sharing your ideas and work in progress will benefit everyone. You are expected to produce all work with consistent effort and creativity. The most successful students start with the basic assignments and go beyond them on their own initiative: trying out new ideas, experimenting with new processes, and working hard to understand the principles in new contexts. The best work comes to people who take risks and who learn to thrive on challenges and uncertainty. You should be willing to take chances, experiment formally, and push the work in new directions in an effort to broaden your own visual language.

Be respectful of your colleagues. Clean up your space after class and critique
sessions. Cell phones should be off during class. Laptops are for class assignments only. You are expected to remain in class for the entire lecture or work session.


Grading Breakdown

  • Exercises (30%)
  • Quarter long publication  (50%)
  • Class participation, individual effort, and process (20%)


The following criteria is used when determining grades:

  • A 3.8–4.0 is given to a student who has exhibited the highest possible performance in all aspects of the course—final projects, the design process and participation are excellent. This student independently seeks out additional information on design and is highly committed/passionate about their work.
  • A 3.4–3.7 is given to a student who exhibits superior performance in all aspects of the course—the final projects, design process, and participation are uniformly of high quality. This student has a thorough understanding of all concepts presented, and is motivated to improve and succeed.
  • A 2.9–3.3 is given to a student who has good performance in most aspects of the course. This student follows a thorough design process, has good design work, and consistent participation that reflects a clear understanding of almost all concepts being presented.
  • A 2.5–2.8 is given to a student who has fair performance in the course. The final work is adequate, with a design process that reflects the minimum needed to complete assignments. Participation and motivation are moderate.
  • A 0.0–2.4 is given to a student with poor performance in the course. Projects are incorrectly prepared, incomplete or missing. This student does not understand the majority of concepts presented and rarely participates in class. This student is not prepared for subsequent courses in design.


Note: All students are required to pass every design studio class with a minimum grade of 2.0. Receiving a grade below the 2.0 benchmark will result in a one-quarter probationary period. Continued failure to pass subsequent design studio courses with a minimum 2.0 grade will result in expulsion from the design major.


Email and Correspondence

Class announcements are sent to registered students via the course email list. Check your UW email daily. As a matter of policy, no assignments will be critiqued through email. Use your fellow students, critiques during class time and office hours for feedback on your work.



Bring your laptop to every class unless told otherwise. Be prepared to take your own photos or to scan images to use as content. If you don’t own a digital camera you can check one out through Kane Hall or SOACC (two-day check out).


Back Up Your Work

Please back up your work, either to a hard drive or a cloud service. Make it a regular part of your working process. You will not be excused for preventable loss of data.



To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, 543–8924. If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating you have a disability that requires academic accommodations, please present it to me so we can discuss what you might need for the class.


After-Hours Access to the Art Building

For after-hours access to the Art Building, please bring your Husky Card to the Advising Office (Room 104, open M–F, 8am–4pm). Student cards will be swiped, and you will receive an access sticker for your Husky Card. Access is instant after swiping. Access will be removed at the end of the year.


Art Building Hours:

M–Th 7:00am–7:00pm; F 7:00am–5:00pm; Sat 1:00–5:00 pm,
Sun 9:00am–5:00pm


Anyone in the building after hours is responsible for the safety and security of the building. Anyone who allows someone into the building or a workspace, or who props open a door for any reason risks losing after hours access to the building. Students who are not enrolled in classes for the quarter may not use the facilities. The campus police frequently monitor the building to insure your safety and security.



Plagiarism is defined as using in your own work the creations, ideas, words, inventions, or work of someone else without formally acknowledging them through the use of quotation marks, footnotes, bibliography, or other reference. Please check with faculty if you have questions about what constitutes plagiarism. Instances of plagiarism will be referred to the Vice Provost/Special Assistant to the President for Student Relations and may lead to disciplinary action.


Violence Awareness and Prevention




Catalog Description: 
Stresses the research, development, organization, design, and presentation of a complex printed document, such as a journal, annual report, or large publication. Addresses all aspects of design, content, image creation, and production through a quarter-long project. Prerequisite: DESIGN 368; DESIGN 378.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
September 16, 2021 - 3:33pm