Course Description
This course introduces core concepts underlying all digital media —graphic design, web, broadcast, animation, illustration and game design—that the Communication Design department offers in its associate and bachelor degree program. Weekly lectures explain technical concepts such as resolution, compression, and color space; concepts that allow one to produce creative work across media with more predictable results. We will work with a variety of graphic arts software programs to reveal how the software application’s tools and menus incorporate the scientific principles discussed during lecture.

Because this course is designed as an orientation to various forms of media, lab exercises and assignments will require an exploration of industry sources, archives and association sites. One field trip will offer an opportunity to witness first-hand professional work in artistic and commercial settings. You’ll be expected to produce one print design project and one three-minute video, both of which will be posted to your Openlab site, along with a written explanation of  how your work meets the goals of the assignment. Both projects must incorporate the technical and aesthetic knowledge discussed in lecture and practiced in laboratory exercises.

ENG 0920W, ENG 0920R or CUNY certification in reading, writing and mathematics

Course Objectives


For the successful completion of this course, students should be able to:


Evaluation methods and criteria:

Gain awareness of the media industry and the design community by exploring industry, museum and association web sites and by attending one field trip. Laboratory exercises, summaries of industry articles and Openlab blog posts.
Explain the differences among key file formats for digital images, digital audio, digital video and print output Laboratory exercises, design project, video project and Openlab site.
Demonstrate the ability to apply technical understanding of color space and color management to the production of their design project files and the posting of images on their Openlab site. Quizzes and exams, design project, video project and Openlab site.
Demonstrate descriptive and analytic verbal and writing skills by preparing one field trip report, one research report and by participating in classroom critiques/discussions Research report, lab exercises, design project, and Openlab site.
Demonstrate an ability to use the library’s resources to find articles related to topics discussed in class. Develop an awareness of industry resources and publications. Citation and documentation of supporting material, classroom presentation, article summaries and research report.
Understand the differences between proprietary and open source software tools & formats and understand the importance of using industry standards Design project, video project research report, and Openlab site.

General Education Goals

General Education Outcome covered: How the outcome is assessed:
Thinking Critically: Demonstrate the ability to determine whether certain conclusions or consequences are supported by the information provided. Research Report, Design Project and Video Project
Writing: Demonstrate the ability to write clearly articulated thoughts in a professional, informed manner. Research Report, Open Lab Site and Quizzes
Academic and Professional Reading: Demonstrate the ability to read pertinent information using industry-specific and academic sources. Classroom Discussions and and Open Lab Site
Information Literacy: Demonstrate the ability to research subjects with alacrity, find proper resources and formulate relevant queries Research Report, Design Project and Video Project.

Attendance is taken and is important to success in this class. Students arriving 15 minutes after the class start time will be marked “late.” Two “lates” equals one absence. If a student’s class absences or equivalents are excessive, the instructor will alert the student that he or she may be in danger of not meeting the course objectives and earning a grade of “F”.

Please notify me in advance if you will be unable to attend a class session. It is your responsibility to obtain class notes and assignment details from your peers for missed sessions from your peers. You will be expected to submit homework assignments electronically before any missed sessions.

Absence from class does not excuse you from submitting homework assignments on time.

Academic Integrity Standards
You are responsible for reading, understanding and abiding by the NYC College of Technology Student Handbook, “Student Rights & Responsibilities,” section “Academic Integrity Standards.” Academic dishonesty of any type, including cheating and plagiarism is unacceptable. “Cheating” is misrepresenting another student’s efforts/work as your own. “Plagiarism” is the representation of another person’s work, words or concepts as your own.

Research Report: 10%
Quizzes: 10%
Design Project: 15%
Video Project: 15%
OpenLab ePortfolio Site: 25%
Final Exam: 25%

Required Text
Digital Media Primer (3rd Edition), Yue-Ling Wong, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2012. ISBN: 0132893509

Additional Resources
AIGA Design Archives, Society of Illustrators, SiGRRAPH, Computer Graphics World, How Design, Wired, New York Times, Creativity Online, World Wide Web Consortium, The Art Directors Club, CMYK magazine, Print, Printing News. Make Magazine, Interactive Advertising Bureau, Society for Publications Designers, et al., Gamasutra

Course Materials
Plan to use a portable hard drive for storing, transporting and managing your digital files. For this course a 32gb or 64gb USB storage device will be sufficient.

Access to the Adobe Creative Suite outside of class will be necessary to complete this course. Please familiarize yourself with City Tech lab hours and locations if you do not have access to the necessary programs on your own computer.

We will be using the OpenLab internet application to provide access to course materials, keep current with course developments and to communicate, collaborate and submit course assignments inside and outside the classroom. It will be necessary for you to visit this page on a weekly basis.

Our OpenLab Course page can be found at the following URL:


***Note: Assignments are subject to change throughout the semester. Weekly updates, with links and details will be posted to our OpenLab Course Page.***

Week 1 – August 29
Introduction and Course Overview // Digital v. Analog // Industry Trends
For Next Week:
– Read selected articles (links on OpenLab Course Page)
– Written response: Logos and Branding
– Read Digital Media Primer, Chapter 1

Week 2 – September 5
Design Processes: Pre-production, Production, Post-production // File Storage and Size // OpenLab Intro
For Next Week:
– Written response: File size and resolution
– Write OpenLab Bio 1st Draft
– Sketch Concepts for OpenLab banner

Week 3 – September 12
Type and Image Formats // Raster and Vector // OpenLab Profile
For Next Week:
– Read Digital Media Primer, Chapter 2, pgs. 23-38
– Read selected articles
– Update OpenLab Site

***NO CLASS – SEPTEMBER 19 (College Follows Thursday Schedule)***

Week 4 – September 26
Color Theory Basics // Color Perception in Print and Digital // Soft-proofing
For Next Week:
– Read selected articles
– Update OpenLab Site
– Begin Research Report

Week 5 – October 3
Color Management // Color Calibration and Color Modes
For Next Week:
– Read Digital Media Primer, Chapter 2, pgs. 38-51
– Read selected articles
– Written response: Color

Week 6 – October 10
Print Media // Preparing Digital Files for Print Output // InDesign for Print Layout
For Next Week:
– Read Digital Media Primer, Chapter 3, pgs. 58-71
– Complete Digital Media Primer Self-Test Exercise
– Complete Outline for Research Report

Week 7 – October 17
Capturing and Editing Digital Images // Histograms and Tonal Range
For Next Week:
– Read Digital Media Primer, Chapter 3, pgs. 71-99
– Begin sketching Print Design Project
– Write Research Report 1st Draft

Week 8 – October 24
1st QUIZ // HTML & XHTML // Development and Design of the World Wide Web // Page Source Code
For Next Week:
– Read Digital Media Primer, Chapter 6, pgs. 163-174
– Post Print Design Project concept to OpenLab
– Complete and submit Research Report

Week 9 – October 31
Digital Video // Frame Rates and Compression // Present Print Design Project
For Next Week:
– Read Digital Media Primer, Chapter 6, pgs. 174-195
– Revise Print Design Project
– Write interview questions for Video Interview Project

Week 10 – November 7 – FIELD TRIP
Field Trip to Cooper Hewitt Design Museum (to be confirmed)
For Next Week:
– Written Response: Field Trip Report
– Post final Print Design Project with commentary

Week 11 – November 14
Digital Audio // Adjusting Sound Files // Record Interviews
For Next Week:
– Read Digital Media Primer, Chapter 4, pgs. 108-125
– Review Interactive Audio Tutorial, Audio Examples

***NO CLASS – NOVEMBER 21 (College Follows Friday Schedule)***

Week 12 – November 28
HML5 Video and Audio // Introduction to Animation
For Next Week:
– Read Digital Media Primer, Chapter 15, pgs. 500-511, Chapter 8, pgs. 238-247
– Work on Video Interview Project

Week 13 – December 5
2nd QUIZ // Interactive and Game Design // Massive Online Gaming
For Next Week:
– Read selected articles
– Post Video Interview Project to OpenLab

Week 14 – December 12
3D Printing // Designing in Sketch-up // Review for Final
For Next Week:
– Read selected articles
– Review for Final

Week 15 – December 19
Final Exam

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