Student working on Graphic Design

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Intro to Graphic Design

This course offers a broad introduction to the profession and practice of graphic design. Through weekly take-home exercises and two core projects—supplemented by critical readings, lectures, and weekly critiques—students learn personal and collective visual communication skills.
Topics include (but are not limited to) graphic design history, communication hierarchical, print and web-based grid systems, typography, color theory, and corporate identity systems. Slide presentations accompany many of the lectures. 
Computer skills and software programs will not be covered but are essential to the implementation of assignments and projects. Access to Adobe Illustrator and InDesign is strongly advised and Lynda tutorials are suggested at the first session.
Bring: One example of good and one example of bad design—in your opinion. Be prepared to example your reasoning., a notebook and writing supplies (i.e., pen or pencil), Sketchbook (any form that you prefer), assortment of compressed charcoal (variety of widths), Strathmore 300 series tracing paper (14 in. x 17 in., 25 lb., 20–50 sheets), #1 Xacto knife + blades (#11), Metal cork-backed ruler (12/18 in.), Cutting mat (12/18 in.)
Required textbook:
Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the Field by Helen Armstrong, Princeton Architectural Press, 1 edition ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-1568987729


Interior Design imnages from students

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Intro to Interior Design

In this studio-based overview of the practice of interior design, you review the history and current applications of the practice. Participants explore the multifaceted technical and aesthetic principles of design.

You also examine concepts of programming, planning, and three-dimensional form. Principals of light and lighting, color, materiality, furniture overview and layouts are covered through hands-on exercises.

You develop one long-term project of your choice from conception through presentation. SketchUp, a free software application, may be used in place of hand drafting.

Bring a 12” roll of trace paper, an architectural scale, and a rollerball pen.

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Ideation Sketching & Visual Notation 

  • San Francisco campus
  • EXGRP-1504-01
  • Instructor: Lewis Bangham
  • Sat, Oct 6-Dec 8 (No Class Nov 24),1 p.m-4 p.m.
  • 9 sessions. $330. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: one previous drawing class or equivalent experience

Whether you are a designer, artist, or filmmaker, what inspires you to create art and design are the pre-visual concepts that arise in your mind. These previsualized concepts may potentially become the foundation of a great painting, product, movie, or advertisement.

In this class, students learn how to form and evolve ideas that arise from their imagination through the use of various drawing techniques.  Students then use these images to communicate their ideas with clients, art directors, or in meetings, using sketch techniques. Class time is divided among demos, short lectures, and in-class studio time.

This class instructs students to learn the fundamentals of translating 3D space and objects onto 2D-drawn space. Topics covered include using 1, 2, and 3 point perspective, laying out your ideas, using backgrounds, and finding your style. Various types of notation (arrows, typography) are explored to help clarify your drawn ideas. Weekly homework assignments assist in practicing in class topics.

Bring to first class: 14" x 17" pad of layout paper and a pad of tracing paper, a variety of drawing pencils (2H, HB, 2B), a ballpoint pen or sharpie.

Projects made in Fashion Design Workshop

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Fashion Design Workshop

  • San Francisco campus
  • EXFAS-1505-01
  • Instructor:Cris Applegate
  • Sat, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m., Oct 13 - Dec 8 (No Class Nov 24th)
  • 8 Sessions. $300. Noncredit
  • Prerequisite: basic knowledge of hand sewing, straight sewing machine, and sewing basic seams

This fashion workshop introduces students to free-form draping, fabric manipulations, and simplified garment construction (i.e. minimal in terms of technical method and construction) to explore creative form-finding for designing garments.

Workshop projects allow students to explore these innovative methods while mixing fabrics and other materials to construct tops, pants, and accessories, as well as combining existing garments.

Through instructor demonstrations and individual student practices, students enhance their ability to create and build garments.

Bring to first class:  2 yards of plain weave light to medium weight woven fabric, such as cotton, silk, muslin etc.


typography for personal branding and logos

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Typography: Personal Brand Studio

  • San Francisco campus
  • EXGRP-1510-01
  • Instructor: Rodrigo Cavazos
  • Thurs, Oct 4 - Nov 29 ( No class Nov 22), 7:15 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
  • 8 sessions. $245. Noncredit
  • Prerequisites: none
The Personal Brand Studio explores a range of techniques and exercises for developing a personal logotype.  Students go hands-on with lettermark / monogram / wordmark studies, all while learning the core principles of letter composition, typography, and brand design. 
The course covers best practices for ideation, sketching, drafting, and typesetting for personal brand marks. Traditional drawing tools are used, with optional finishing in Adobe Illustrator. Students complete the course with a distinct personal logotype suitable for business cards, web sites, and other uses.
While computer skills are not covered in this class, students with knowledge of design programs are welcome to bring laptops/iPads.
Bring: Pens and paper will be provided for the initial session. Please bring your own favorite pens and drawing paper (tracing paper or designers' vellum is ideal) for all subsequent sessions. Digital tools (e.g., iPad + Apple Pencil, and laptop computer) are also welcome.
Image for animation in after effects

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After Effects I: Introduction to After Effects & making abstract animated gifs

  • San Francisco campus
  • EXMED-1201-01
  • Instructor: Helene Park
  • Wed, Nov 7 & 14, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
  • 2 sessions. $150. Noncredit
  • Prerequiste: Knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator

This two-day workshop introduces participants with some design background (at least Photoshop and Illustrator) how to make motion graphics and animations through the use of Adobe After Effects.  

Students start the course exploring the After Effects interface and the best practices of working with the program. Topics covered include: Creating compositions and pre-compositions, creating shapes with solid layers and shape layers, creating a moving texture, and learning how to import images.  the basics of motion curves, frame rates and keyframe animation.

We will look at movement in the natural world as a model for movement of abstract shapes. Through observing and animating live objects such as plants, ribbons and balloons moving in the wind, students will develop an understanding of weight, lightness and balance, in order to create animation that has an intuitive feeling of satisfaction.

Students will export their animations into videos, and convert video files into animated gifs.

Bring to Class: Laptops with After Effects


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After Effects II: Using After Effects for Original Motion Design

  • San Francisco campus
  • EXMED-1204-01
  • Instructor: Helene Park
  • Sat, Dec 1 & 8, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • 2 sessions. $250. Noncredit
  • Prerequiste: Knowledge of After Effectrs, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

This workshop can either deepen the practice begun in After Effects 1 or help designers, who are already proficient in After Effects, approach motion design from an intuitive, organic, and artistic angle.

Objects, patterns, and behaviors in nature are the core building blocks of great motion design, and these are the key principles explored here.

Using traditional approaches inspired by the classical animators of the Walt Disney era, the workshop takes a close look at various instances of organic movement. Through careful observation and replication of real objects in motion, students develop a keen eye towards weight, lightness, and balance. We will explore animating from a place of sense and natural intuition.

Bring to Class: Laptops with After Effects