Printable PDF of Syllabus

Class meets:
Tuesdays, P123, 2:30 – 5:00 pm
Fridays, P125, 2:30 – 5:00 pm

Contact email:
Office Hours: Tuesdays, 12:00 – 2:00 pm
Other meeting times available upon request via email

Course Information

COMD1100 Graphic Design Principles I
This basic design and color theory course explores graphic communication through the understanding of the elements and principles of design, as well as the design process, including idea development through final execution. Students develop basic skills in two-dimensional design, color and content creation while
employing the design process of research, sketching and experimentation. Communication designers use the concepts explored in this course in disciplines such as advertising, graphic design, web design, illustration, broadcast design, photography, and game design.

1 class hr, 5 lab hrs, 3 credits

Prerequisite: CUNY proficiency in reading, writing and mathematics or concurrent enrollment in ENG 092R, ESOL 022R or 032R; ENG 092W, ESOL 021W, or ESOL 031W; MAT 0630 or MAT 0650 as required

Masking Recommendation

Masking is highly encouraged to protect our peers and make this class truly accessible for all.

Health, Safety, and Self-Screening

For the health and safety of our entire community, please stay home if you are feeling sick. In case of absence, students can email for materials and what class went over and what to bring for next class.

Academic Integrity

Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York (CUNY) and at New York City College of Technology (City Tech) and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion.

Accessibility Statement 

City Tech is committed to supporting the educational goals of enrolled students with disabilities in the areas of enrollment, academic advisement, tutoring, assistive technologies, and testing accommodations. If you have or think you may have a disability, you may be eligible for reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments as provided under applicable federal, state, and/or city laws. You may also request services for temporary conditions or medical issues under certain circumstances. If you have questions about your eligibility and/or would like to seek accommodation services and/or academic adjustments, please contact the Student Accessibility Center (SAC) at 300 Jay Street. Room L-237; telephone: 718-260-5143; WWW:  

City Tech Diversity & Inclusive Education Statement

This course welcomes students from all backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. In accordance with the City Tech and CUNY missions, this course intends to provide an atmosphere of inclusion, respect, and the mutual appreciation of differences so that together we can create an environment in which all students can flourish. It is the instructor’s goal to provide materials and activities that are welcoming and accommodating of diversity in all of its forms, including race, gender identity and presentation, ethnicity, national origin, religion, cultural identity, socioeconomic background,sexuality and sexual orientation, ability, neurodivergence, age, and etc. Your instructor is committed to equity and actively seeks ways to challenge institutional racism, sexism, ableism and other forms of prejudice. Your input is encouraged and appreciated. If a dynamic that you observe or experience in the course concerns you, you may respectfully inform your instructor without fear of how your concerns will affect your grade. Let your instructor know how to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally, or for other students or student groups. We acknowledge that NYCCT is located on the traditional homelands of the Canarsie and Lenape peoples.


Notebook/Sketchbook/Documentation – 20%
Participation – 20%
(class exercises, asking questions, critiques, class site submissions, etc)
Projects – 20%
Final Portfolio – 20%

Class Policies

  1. Respect each other by listening actively and attentively. Respect will be given to preferred names and pronouns.
  2. Discussions and critiques will be to build one another up and conducted professionally. These can challenge each other but done so respectfully.
  3. Students should try to arrive 5 minutes early and be on time to respect everyone’s time and lessen distractions during lectures.
  4. Arrive to class with all materials needed for assignments. Instructor will communicate what is needed.
  5. Ask questions if lectures, assignments, and exercises are unclear.
  6. Electronics will be muted and only used for class activities (note-taking, assigned tasks/exercises). They are not to distract or annoy your fellow classmates.
  7. Please reach out to the instructor for any issues or emergencies regarding coming into class or handing in assignments.

Supply List

*Optional Supplies

Supplies can be used and shared for other classes. No need to purchase if you already have them.


General Supplies

Drawing Supplies

Digital Supplies

  • A free Dropbox or Google Drive account to store and share large files
  • 32 GB USB Flash Drive
  • *Laptop or Desktop to run Adobe CC or equivalent
  • *Digital camera or phone with camera and cable
  • *1TB Portable External Hard Drive

Color Supplies

NOTE: Total cost should not exceed $250 if you shop around.

Places to shop for supplies in NYC and/or Online:

Artist & Craftsman Supply

  • 307 2nd Street, Brooklyn, New York
  • 761 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, New York
  • 1449 Broadway, Brooklyn, New York
  • 34-09 Queens Blvd, Long Island City, New York
  • 2108 7th Ave Adam Clayton Powell Blvd, New York


  • 41 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn
  • 1-5 Bond Street, NYC
  • 237 W 23rd St, NYC
  • 148 Lafayette St, NYC
  • 111 4th Ave, NYC
  • 650 6th Ave, NYC
  • 21 East 13th Street, NYC
  • 536 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn


  • 675 6th Ave, New York, NY
  • 252 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY
  • 410 Gateway Dr, Brooklyn, NY
  • 5106 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY
  • 9030 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY

CityTech Lab Hours

Atrium Learning Center – LG18

Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

iTEC Student Lab – G600

Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 6:00pm

iTEC Student Lab – V217

Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 6:00pm

Design Resources

Graphic Design Thinking : Beyond Brainstorming, edited by Ellen Lupton, Princeton Architectural Press, 2011. ProQuest Ebook Central [City Tech Library Card Required]

Lupton, Ellen, and Jennifer Cole Phillips. Graphic Design : The New Basics, Princeton Architectural Press, 2008. ProQuest Ebook Central [City Tech Library Card Required]

Leborg, Christian. Visual Grammar, Princeton Architectural Press, 2006. ProQuest Ebook Central [City Tech Library Card Required]

Lupton, Ellen. Thinking with Type : A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, and Students, Princeton Architectural Press, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central [City Tech Library Card Required]

Vit, Armin, et al. Graphic Design, Referenced : A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design, Quarto Publishing Group USA, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central [City Tech Library Card Required]

Norman, Don. Emotional Design : Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, Basic Books, 2007. ProQuest Ebook Central. [City Tech Library Card Required]