Creative & Design
It’s cliché to say design is everywhere, especially at a moment when design practice lags behind meme culture. Either way, visual communication is derived from a few core elements. Whether we use the creative process to develop a poster, brand identity, ad / social campaign, digital product, the fundamentals remain the same.
This track involves a series of courses ranging from graphic design elements to digital product design. This class familiarizes students with tools and practices, while sharing industry-experience based knowledge about how to develop your own creative process and establish your creative practice.
Design is the creative process—from from concept to execution. This track is broken into 2 main courses—Graphic Design and Digital Design—following a chronology of knowledge and skills. All Students have basic reading on design theory assigned over email, and will be expected to know standardized design tools Adobe Creative Suite, and have a mouse.
Design basics such as typography, color theory, scale, figure/ground, gestalt, and grid systems. Students explore first principles through a series of formal exercises.
The Creative Process
How to start from a concept, refine it, and develop it to meet your goals. Students will learn the art of giving and receiving feedback, how to ask the right questions of clients in order to receive the most useful answers, how to orient ourselves to trends, and how to creatively think at scale.
How to apply design principles to a brand. Students will explore logo design, visual communication, and how to maintain consistency across a series of different placements and objects.
Interfacing with technology
The internet, phones, and computers are designed objects, like any other. Students will explore histories of design and technology, and think about these histories in the new digital world.
How to do user research, developing personas to communicate issues with your team, wire-framing and prototyping solutions before development. In this section, students will focus more on user needs than on brand.
How do we merge UX with brand language? Students will take their branding explorations and apply them to their prototypes.
About the instructors
Kim West is a creative director and principal at ALTR Studio, a full-service boutique design agency. With over 15 years of experience in branding, systems thinking, and visual communications; she’s participated various projects and initiatives large and small. Her approach is collaborative and human-centered. Her clients have included Apple, Incase, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Levi’s, Oracle, VMWare and Stanford d.school. She’s been published in books such as Radical Album Cover Art and has been awarded the Communication Arts Award for Web Design.
Michael Appuhn is a product manager with a background in graphic design, user experience, data science, and both front and back-end development. As a consultant, he often serves as a center-point between engineering, business, and creative teams. His clients have included Commune Magazine, Co—Star Astrology, Sotheby’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Cole Haan, Paper Magazine, MTV, and NBC, among others. He holds a bachelors in graphic design from the School of Visual Arts.
Marc Jonathan is a self-taught graphic designer / art director with a passion for identity systems and dumb edgy trends. Marc skipped the Yale program and went straight to eating shit, freelancing in New York’s fashion and creative industry. He currently works as an art director for ALTR studio. His clients have included The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Michael Kors, MTV, Mac Cosmetics, and recently Commune Magazine.