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Course Materials

*Any first person references (I, me, my, etc.) refer to the author of the course content, not your instructor.*

What You Should Already Know

No previous art experience is necessary to succeed in this course, but a minimal familiarity with a computer is helpful. At the very least, you should have access to an e-mail account. Your assignments will be graded on your ability to follow directions and show effort, not on your artistic ability.

Learning Outcomes

Once you have successfully completed this course and all of its assignments, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Apply the concept of simplification.
  2. Discuss the history and function of typography.
  3. Apply principles and elements of design.
  4. Apply important concepts of advertising.
  5. Use a computer to research, create, or manipulate an image.

Course Materials

You have a choice in how you can complete and each assignment in this course:

If it’s at all possible, it would be most beneficial to do the assignments contained in this booklet on the computer, as that’s how they’re done by professionals in the business. But no matter how you do them, all the same concepts will apply, and the assignments will be graded the same—on content, not on the method of creation. If you choose to do your work on paper, you will need a few basic tools:

If you choose to do your assignments on the computer, there are several good programs available which will work well. Some are included free in your computer’s software bundle, and others can be somewhat expensive. Here are just a few:

While there is ample information to complete every assignment contained in Brainhoney, there is an endless supply of other helpful sources out there. For research, you can use the Internet or local libraries, visit design companies, or do field research in shops and stores. You can use a simple pencil and paper, or invest in some more expensive drawing tools.

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This course consists of six units, six art projects and a final exam. There are several different types of assignments and projects to complete, as explained in the following paragraphs.


There are six units with valuable information and instructions as well as six projects in which you will apply that information. There will be a section called Self Check questions at the end of each lesson, plus a unit quiz and a project at the end of each unit.

Self Check Questions

Each unit will have a section of Self Check questions at the end of each lesson. These questions will test your retention and help you review the things you’ve learned. These questions will not be submitted for a grade, but are for your benefit only.

Unit Quizzes

The unit quizzes are designed to see what you have learned throughout the course. Each quiz consists of matching and/or multiple-choice questions collectively worth approximately 30 percent of your course grade. Once you have completed the assignment, you will submit it electronically through Brainhoney.

Graphic Design Projects

For each unit, there will be a project you must complete. You should complete each project as you work on the unit associated with that project (don’t wait until the end to complete them).


Each final-draft version of your commercial art projects are worth 7% of your overall course grade.

Your projects will be graded on how well you've followed directions, your craftsmanship, and the effort you've put into them.

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Final Exam

The final exam is worth 28% of your final grade.

The final exam will consist of 52 multiple-choice and 15 matching questions. The questions are similar to those found in the Self Checks and unit quizzes throughout the course.

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Grading Breakdown

Assignment Course Grade Percentage
6 Unit Quizzes (5% each) 30 percent
6 Art Projects (7% each) 42 percent
Final Exam 28 percent
Grading Scale
A 100-93
A− 92-90
B+ 89-87
B 86-83
B− 82-80
C+ 79-77
C 76-73
C− 72-70
D+ 69-67
D 66-63
D− 62-60
E (fail) 59 or below

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I assume you have chosen this course because you have either an interest or a proficiency in art. I have tried many different media, including drawing, painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, and of course, graphic design. No matter which medium I try, I find that the concepts I learned in my design classes have only served to make my art better. I hope through your studies you will find the same improvement in your work. But in order for you to get the most out of this course, it’s important to read and follow all the directions very carefully. It’s also important that you complete every assignment in order.

I expect you to complete the Self Check section of each unit and review the questions you answer incorrectly. I expect you to complete the unit quizzes and projects before moving on to the next unit. In order to do well on the final exam, you’ll need to study the Self Check and quiz questions carefully. If you will do all of these things, you should be successful in this course. As with any class you take, you should find the concepts taught in this course to be useful to you in other areas. I encourage you to apply these concepts to other art courses you may take, or even in an art project you may do on your own.

Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


Summary: 6 computer-graded assignments and 2 instructor-graded assignments, may be resubmitted once for a fee


You will complete an art project for each unit. These will be turned in as two portfolio assignments. The first portfolio, containing your projects from units 1-3 will be turned in after unit 3. After unit 6, you will submit your second portfolio submission containing the projects for units 4-6.

Important: Portfolios must be submitted in hard copy by mail to Independent Study. You cannot fax your portfolio items. Your instructor needs a hard copy of your projects for them to be graded properly.

How to Turn in the Portfolio

In each Portfolio Submission module, there is an Overall Grade page with a notification area to complete after you have mailed each portfolio. It is important to wait until you have mailed your portfolio to open the notification box. By clicking on "Submit," you are notifying the instructor that your portfolio is ready to be graded.

Send each portfolio in hard copy to Independent Study by mail according to the instructions listed here. There is a Portfolio Submission coversheet for each of the two portfolios, and all assignments on the Portfolio Submission coversheet must be turned in together.

An incomplete portfolio may result in a failing grade, and a fee will be required to resubmit your portfolio. You need to take a color digital photo of your art projects before you send them in. Your original artwork will be returned to you, but it is a good idea to take photos of them in case they are lost in the mail or misplaced.

Place the projects in the portfolio as listed in the respective Portfolio Submission module in your course. Include the Independent Study Coversheet with each portfolio.


Fill in the information and click submit to display the PDF, then print the coversheet. Note that the Confirmation Number field is optional; it refers to the number you received when you enrolled in the course, but you can leave it blank if you no longer know the number. For the Assignment Number field, list the portfolio number (1 or 2).

NOTE: Your portfolio submissions require two different submission coversheets, so don't get confused. The Independent Study Submission Coversheet is for mailing purposes. The Portfolio Submission Coversheet comes from the instructor and is for grading purposes. BOTH cover sheets need to be filled out per submission.

With the Independent Study Submission Coversheet on top, include the following items in the order listed:

  • Portfolio Submission Coversheet for the instructor to use for grading (a link is found in the respective Drawing Portfolio Submission module in Brainhoney)
  • The projects for that portfolio, in order

Remember, all portfolios mailed to BYU Independent Study must include the Independent Study Submission Coversheet on top of the portfolio items. Place the collection of items in a large padded mailing envelope, write the Independent Study address on the envelope, add postage, and put the package in the mail.

Submit your portfolios by mail to the following address:

BYU Independent Study
229 HCEB
Provo, UT 84602

Note: BYU Independent Study is not responsible for items damaged in the mail.


Each project must be computer printed or completed by hand on either a standard 8 ½ x 11 inch or 9 x 12 inch sheet of paper (you may use a product called hot-press illustration board, which is a thicker, smooth-surfaced board you can get at most arts and crafts stores, but which costs considerably more than plain paper). The finished product (if done by hand) should be done first in pencil, then traced over in ink, using a fine-tipped felt pen. Finally, erase any pencil lines that still show. Use a ruler for any straight lines.

Final Exam

Summary: 1 proctored, computer-graded exam, may retake once for a fee, must pass to earn credit for the course.

Remember, you must pass the final exam with a score of 60% or higher to pass this class.


It is important that you understand that plagiarism is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in this course. Plagiarism is claiming someone else’s work as your own. If you quote work from another author either directly or through paraphrasing, you must cite your source both in the text as well as in a bibliography page. Remember, if you quote someone directly, you must use quotation marks around the text. BYU Independent Study has provided you with definitions of plagiarism along with a website to check your work for plagiarism. If you plagiarize any part of a unit, appropriate action will be taken which may include the following: rescinding the grade for the unit, failing the course, or being prohibited from retaking the course. Please take this information to heart and do your own work. To check your work before you submit it, use the website

Course Duration

You have 1 year to complete this course. You may purchase one 3-month extension if you need more than a year to complete this course. 

University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.