Course Information

COMD1100 Graphic Design Principles I
This foundation design and color theory course explores graphic communication through the understanding and use 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 careers such as advertising, graphic design, web design, illustration, broadcast design, photography, and game design.

Credits, Hours
3 Credits, 6 hours (1 lecture, 5 lab)


Course Site

Class Meetings

Online information:  Zoom classes

Faculty Information

Professor Carol Diamond

Online office hours/information:

  • Mondays Zoom 5:00-6:00pm

Contact Information:


Learning Outcomes

Through hands-on experiments, collaborative learning, and individual projects, students will demonstrate:

  • visual literacy using basic design elements and principles to understand and create visual media
  • design process and practice utilizing effective time management and project organization
  • accurate use of design vocabulary to articulate ideas and concepts in written and verbal peer critique
  • an inspired personal vision to enable curiosity, creative problem-solving, and design thinking.

Teaching/Learning Methods

  • Presentation and discussion
  • Visual and tactile examples
  • Hands-on projects
  • In-class and online peer critique sessions
  • Team collaboration
  • Design thinking exercises
  • Individual reflection/documentation
  • Field trips / Museum visits
  • Sketch book
  • Writing and blogging on OpenLab & ePortfolio

Grading Policy

Grades will be awarded using the College’s standard grading scale, but your coursework will be evaluated using a rubric that takes into consideration effort applied, technical understanding, and creative use of resources. Your final grade will reflect how well you explored and integrated the design concepts and practices introduced in this course.

Grades will be based upon:

  • 70% Projects & Experiments
  • 10% Participation
  • 10% Documentation
  • 10% Quizzes

Review details for successfully completing your coursework on the grading policy page.

Class Etiquette & Netiquette

Learning is a group activity. The behavior of each person in class affects the overall learning environment. As a COMD student you are expected to act in a professional manner; to be respectful of the learning process, your instructor, and your fellow students. And hopefully have fun!


Attendance is taken and is important to success in this class. Both absences and arrival more than 15 minutes after the start of class will be marked. If excessive, the instructor will alert the student that they may be in danger of not meeting the course objectives and participation expectations, which could lead to a lower or failing grade.

Make-ups / Late Submission

If a student finds they will not be able to present or hand in a project on the scheduled due date, it is their responsibility to notify the instructor PRIOR to the due date and request alternate arrangements.

Points will be deducted for late projects and missed critiques. It’s better to turn in incomplete projects than late projects. If you turn in your work on time, you will have the opportunity to rework to improve your grade.

Academic Integrity (Cheating/Plagiarism)

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 citation of 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 and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension and expulsion. More information about the College’s policy on Academic Integrity may be found in the College Catalog

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]