David Shields
Associate professor and chair

arts.vcu.edu/graphicdesign

Graphic design is a creative and analytical process that integrates art and technology to communicate ideas and information. The goal of the Department of Graphic Design at VCU is to educate students to become innovators and leaders in three related areas of professional practice: print design, sequential design and interaction design.

Mission statement

The Department of Graphic Design encourages the exploration of diverse problem-solving methodologies, innovative investigations and creative research in all forms of communication. It is dedicated to excellence in teaching, scholarship, academic and creative research and professional practice. The Department of Graphic Design provides both an undergraduate and graduate education stressing creative and intellectual thinking; awareness of individual, social, cultural and communicative issues; the integration of new technology; and a concern for ethical implications and the natural environment. The program actively contributes to the university, local, state, national and international communities through its scholarly and creative activities, educational programs and service efforts.

 

GDES   567. Visual Interface Design. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. A course concentrating on the visual design and development of human-computer interface systems. Emphasis is placed on visual design processes and methods in the diverse arena of user interface design.

GDES   591. Advanced Studio Topics in Visual Communications. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 3 studio hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Topical studio focusing on research and experimentation in specialized visual communication media.

GDES   593. Visual Communications Internship. 3,6 Hours.

Semester course; 3 or 6 credits. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of chair required. Supervised study in cross-disciplinary visual communications research projects to integrate theory with practice. Training is provided under the direction and supervision of qualified professional practitioners and a faculty adviser.

GDES   610. Visual Communications Workshop. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: permission of the graduate director. A studio course focusing on the philosophical, communicative and aesthetic relationships of visual communications problem-solving and the effective articulation of concepts.

GDES   611. Visual Communications Workshop. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 sutdio hours. 4 credits. May be repeated for a maximum total of 16 credits. Prerequisite: permission of the graduate director. A studio course focusing on the philosophical, communicative and aesthetic relationships of visual communications problem solving and the effective articulation of concepts.

GDES   612. Research Methods in Visual Communications. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: permission of program director. A studio-based examination of design research methods with emphasis place on linking knowledge, comprehension and application of historic and emerging methods of experimentation to generative and iterative studies. The course culminates in the writing and presentation of a research proposal for the second year of study.

GDES   621. Visual Communications Seminar. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 4 lecture hours. 4 credits. May be repeated. A detailed examination of selected theoretical, historical, aesthetic and social areas of concern to the designer. Scholarly research, critical analysis and discussion are expected.

GDES   631. Visual Communications Teaching Practicum. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 6 practicum hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of department chair. Observation, instruction, and practice to develop skills in the design, organization, and conduct of courses in visual communications. Explores multiple teaching strategies, student development, learning styles, and evaluation techniques.

GDES   692. Visual Communications Research/Individual Study. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 6 studio hours. 3 credits. May be repeated. The structuring, research, execution, and presentation of an independent project in visual communications under the guidance of a faculty adviser.

GDES   698. Research Documentation and Exhibition Design. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 3 studio hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of program director. A studio-based course focusing on the design and production of final research documentation in both book and exhibition formats.

GDES   699. Directed Thesis Research in Visual Communications. 1-8 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours (three studio hours per credit). 1, 4 or 8 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Prerequisites: successful completion of 30 credit hours of graduate study and permission of department chair. Supervised investigation and presentation of selected problems in visual communications. Executed under the supervision of a graduate adviser and review committee.