This focus area track addresses both traditional and computer-based forms of graphic design in the allied fields of cinema, animation, game development and interaction design.​

GD 105



GD 200


This course introduces the world of graphic design in a social and historical context. The goals are to explore formal structures and research methods with emphasis on the role of analysis and conceptual thinking as the first tasks of the print and multi-media designer. The course includes basic instruction in typography, color, problem-solving in print and on screen. PREREQUISITE(S): GD 105, ART 105, ANI 105 or GPH 211.

GD 230


Study of the formal structures of letterforms and text. Exploration of typography to create and extend meaning, emphasizing the relationship between form and content. PREREQUISITE(S): GD 105, ART 105, ANI 105 or GPH 211

GD 300


This course explores design problems in visual communication through word (text) and image (digital, photographic, collage, video) primarily based on the student's own research and writing. Historical word/image art models including dada, surrealism, futurism and contemporary communication and design art are studied as models for the generation of projects. This intermediate level course requires previous mastery of basic design concepts and typography as well as both hands-on and basic computer design skills. PREREQUISITE(S): GD 200 and GD 230

ANI 101


Course introduces a variety of basic animation techniques for cinema and gaming, such as hand-drawn, cutout, stop-motion and (very basic) 3D, with an emphasis on the use of computer technology. Examples of diverse animation genres and styles (experimental, cartoon, anime, special effects, computer games) from different cultures will be screened and discussed. Students will explore the unique qualities of the medium through a series of hands-on projects that can be adapted to their own personal interests. They will learn about professional animation process (storyboard and animatic) during the production of a final project that encourages them to consider the role and potential of animation in our society.

ANI 201


This course is an introduction to the art and practice of animation. It is a studio-based class, which will emphasize learning through process, experimentation and creation. Students will explore the limitless possibilities of animated motion in the context of cinema, computer games and the Internet. All genres and styles are within the scope of this class, including Anime, cartoons, computer game art, experimental art and special effects. In addition to how?, we will also explore and discuss why?, and the role and potential of animation in our society, and its place in other cultures as well. This course is designed for the student who wishes to pursue further study in the field, and provides intensive practice of the basic skills and methods through production. PREREQUISITE(S): ANI 105 or GPH 211 or ART 105 or GD 105

ANI 230


Students will use computer modeling to explore the principles of 3-dimensional design. Projects involving object, character and architectural modeling will emphasize the aesthetic concepts of spatial proportion (scale, angle and position), silhouette, negative space, rhythm, balance, light/shadow and texture. Students will emerge with the ability to create well designed 3D models, and be familiar with the basics of polygonal modeling, texturing, lighting and rendering for animation, computer games and cinema. This course has an additional fee. PREREQUISITE(S): None

ANI 260


This course will introduce the student to effective communication using motion graphics, including its application in the areas of film titles, broadcast and commercial design, interactive media, and gaming. The combination of music, visuals and typography will be explored following the basic theories of kinetic composition and aesthetics. Students will study the history of the field, including the work of pioneers such as Norman McLaren, Saul Bass and Len Lye. PREREQUISITE(S): Sophomore Standing and one of the following: ANI 105, ANI 101, GD 105, ART 105, GPH 211, DC 205

ANI 360


This course builds on motion graphics fundamentals covered in ANI260 Motion Graphics. In Advanced Motion Graphics, students will work to develop a better understanding of how to develop a distinct visual style in both personal work and in work for clients. The course also focuses on gaining familiarity with contemporary styles and trends in professional motion graphics, and an awareness of Chicago-based motion graphics production. PREREQUISITE(S): ANI260

DC 125


This course is an introduction to the history and aesthetics of still photography and to the concept of photography as a descriptive and interpretive artistic medium. Students studying photographs in this context will discover relationships between individual photographers choices and their own understanding of meaning. The role these artistic choices play in conveying meaning in still photography. Discussions of the photos' cultural contexts and meanings will deepen their understanding of the role of still photography as a conduit for cultural values. Students will learn the fundamental concepts necessary to shoot, edit, manipulate, and print digital still photographs. Also, students will acquire the knowledge needed to analyze and critique existing work. Students will be required to use their own digital still cameras for this course. This course has an additional fee.

DC 220


Students analyze and assemble dramatic scenes under a variety of conditions and narrative strategies. Editing theories, techniques and procedures, issues of continuity, effects, movement and sound are examined as they relate to the fundamentals of cinematic montage and visual storytelling. This course has an additional fee. PREREQUISITE(S): NONE.

DC 225


This course is an introduction to the history and aesthetics of still photography and to the concept of photography as a descriptive and interpretive artistic medium. Students will learn the fundamental concepts necessary to shoot, edit, manipulate, and print digital still photographs. Students will learn to scan, capture, correct and enhance digital images and prepare files for output on black and white and color printing devices. Introduces students to theories, terminology, and applications of digital imaging technologies. Students will acquire the knowledge needed to analyze and critique existing work. In addition, students will involve themselves in hands-on exercises with digital still photography, manipulation and printing. Demonstrations will facilitate learning software techniques and systems of working. Use of Adobe Photoshop will be extensively covered in this course. This course has an additional fee.

DC 320


This course expands on topics covered in DC 220. Emphasis is on developing the student's understanding of the art of cinematic storytelling and montage. Work on more advanced projects is integrated into the class as a means of mastering advanced editing tools and techniques. This course has an additional fee. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 220

DC 376


Definition, analysis, and structure of visual components that cinema employs to support and emphasize the story. Theory of visual design will be applied through student still photos, as well as an original, visually-oriented, narrative or documentary short film, animation or game design. PREREQUISITES: DC 220

ISM 220


This course applies interactive media principles for a variety of contexts with a goal of exploring relative merits among common interaction paradigms. Based on assessed needs and intended functionality, students create working prototypes that demonstrate a range of design patterns, particularly those with a high level of interactivity such as rich internet applications, games, and visual simulations. Emphasis is given to visual design principles and aesthetics for creating interesting and engaging interactive experiences. Formerly IM 220. PREREQUISITE(S): ISM 210

ISM 222


This course discusses the basic problems and techniques of visualizing quantitative and qualitative data. Topics include: perception, types of information, representation of univariate and multivariate data and relational information, analysis of representations, presentation, and dynamic and interactive visualizations. Students will create visualizations using graphical software PREREQUISITES: LSP 120

ISM 320


This course will use complex interactive web projects to challenge students to solve real-world problems. Students will build upon the organizational and analytical strategies learned in ISM while expanding their knowledge of Flash subjects such as site integration, utilizing remote data and manipulating video. PREREQUISITE(S): ISM 220 Interactive Design and Prototyping

ISM 270


Principles of interactive design for web pages and sites. Design patterns for information navigation. Use of HTML and CSS to produce standards- and accessibility-compliant web pages. Overview of technologies supporting dynamic and interactive content. Formerly IM 270. Prerequisites: IT 130 or HCI 201

IT 130


An introduction to the Internet, the World Wide Web, and web development for students with a strong interest in technology. Students will create interactive web pages by writing HTML and CSS and by programming in JavaScript. Topics include the origins of the web, the roles and operations of web browsers and web servers, interacting with web applications through forms, and using style sheets to separate document structure and document formatting. PREREQUISITE(S): NONE.

GD 105


This course introduces the basic concepts of design for time-based digital media. Students study the principles of composition and color theory, and how these are affected by movement, duration and display. Vector and bitmap manipulation tools are explored in relation to game design, video and Internet production. PREREQUISITE(S): None