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Course Materials

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Course Learning Outcomes


The assignments in this class are meant to help you develop skills and give you the opportunity to demonstrate what you have learned. Keeping up with the reading and thoughtfully completing smaller assignments will give you the background necessary to be successful on the projects and final portfolio.


(syllabus, design principles, proximity, hierarchy, contrast, typography, alignment, repetition)

These quizzes cover the readings to test whether you are assimilating the material effectively. Answers to quiz questions should be only as long as necessary to show an understanding of the answer—longer answers do not get better scores.


58 responses in 17 lessons.

Because of their high volume, these responses may seem unimportant, but the real work of this class is thinking. Students cannot develop a real understanding of the content of this class without analyzing designs. These responses give you a place to really develop your ability to recognize and understand good design. I will expect responses to be thoughtful and to demonstrate an understanding of the lesson content. Responses do count towards your final grade.

It is recommended that you type your responses in a word doc and then copy and paste into Brainhoney.

In-Lesson Assignments

(practice concept activity, concept vs. message, concept brainstorming activity, business card color evaluation, identifying type)

In-lesson assignments are another way for you to integrate and practice lesson knowledge on particularly difficult or confusing subjects before the more high stakes projects.


(Doc Clean Up, In-Class Article)

These two smaller assignments will help you solidify the program knowledge in Word and InDesign.


(Identity, Flyer, Magazine Article, Book)

Projects are large design assignments that contain several smaller sections, which will be assigned separately but will all contribute to the same project. Each project contains the following portions:

Final Portfolio

The final portfolio will be the culmination of all your work in the class. It will include a final version of each project, taking into account the feedback given on the revision.

Please note: Lesson lengths and time to complete lessons will vary. Some of the first lessons you will be able to complete quickly while some of the later lessons will take longer to complete.

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Project Descriptions


Businesses, universities, and other organizations establish visual identities that help govern how their printed materials are designed. For this project, you will develop such an identity for a real or imaginary organization and carry that identity through a logo and a business card.

Through this project, you will learn


Printed flyers are still commonly used to advertise events, products, and services. Effectively designed flyers grab viewers’ attention and then lead their eye through the important details. For this project, you will design a flyer for a real or fictional event, paying special attention to the principles of design you have learned in class.

Through this project, you will learn

Magazine Article

Magazine spreads must be laid out with extreme care because they must capture readers’ attention but then present much more information—or copy—to the reader. In this project, you will work in a group to design and typeset a multipage magazine article.

Through this project, you will learn


Besides cookbooks and travel guides, books may seem rather under-designed. They aren’t as flashy as magazine spreads, and only their cover is designed to attract attention (like a flyer). It’s actually quite the opposite. Because books exist primarily to convey information in the form of text, they tend to be fairly repetitive in their design. Rather than minimize the importance of design, this accentuates the impact of each design decision. Mistakes like picking the wrong paper, placing the page number in an odd place, or—worse—choosing a less-than-readable body font will grate on the reader.

But book designs shouldn’t be boring. Although the risk of innovative design is great, so is the reward of making it work. Through this project, you will learn

*For the magazine article, the text will be provided for you, but you will be responsible for finding the text for your book. Whether you choose to use personal text such as a family history or someone else’s text that is past copyright, this final project will give you an opportunity to design a book that is meaningful to you.

Final Portfolio

A portfolio is one of a designer’s most important tools in applying for jobs, searching out clients, and working with other designers. A well-compiled professional portfolio shows not only the work a person has done but also who they are as a designer and as a person.

The purpose of this assignment is to showcase the skills you’ve gained in the class, so you will be expected to go beyond just the comments given previously on projects (which are generally informed by what has been covered up to that point.) While previous assignments have been graded based on what you had learned and read up to that point in the course, grading for the portfolio will be based on everything learned throughout the semester. Assignments that previously received full credit will almost always still need to be revised in order to receive full credit in the portfolio.

You will create cover sheets to give a short design brief and explanation of the challenges you faced with each design and incorporate them into a final PDF portfolio with the final revised version of each of the four projects.

Final Portfolio Presentation

The Final Portfolio Presentation is a video you will create of yourself presenting about your final portfolio. As part of the final portfolio presentation, you will be asked to show your ID before you start your presentation. This way we can verify you are you! Upon completion of your video, you will submit the link to your video to your instructor.

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Grading Assignments

For this course, I am interested in two main things: (1) how well you can understand the design principles and computer skills that will be taught, and (2) how well you can apply them to create printed publications. For each assignment, a more thorough description of what’s required will be included in the coordinating lesson. To better understand the points given for the projects, refer to the rubric portion of this syllabus.

Submitting Assignments

All files related to a given assignment should be named according to the system given (LastName.FirstName.HW/P#) to avoid any confusion with other student’s’ assignments. Improperly submitted homework will be docked.

Viewing Feedback

After your instructor has graded concept, comp, and revision assignments, you will be able to view feedback from the professor. You are expected to incorporate this feedback on the next part of that assignment. If any feedback is unclear or you’re not sure how to incorporate it, you are responsible for contacting the instructor for clarification. Please email at: for questions.

Grading Summary

Title % of Final Grade
Syllabus Quiz 0.5
Lesson 1
Lesson 1 Quiz 0.5
Lesson 2
Lesson 2 Quiz - Typography 0.5
Practice Concept Homework 0.5
Doc Clean Up Homework 0.5
Lesson 3
Concept Homework System 1 1
Concept Homework System 2 1
Lesson 4
Design Principles Quiz 0.5
Lesson 5
Proximity Quiz 0.5
Hierarchy Quiz 0.5
Lesson 6
Logo Analysis 0.3
Logo Concept 0.3
Lesson 7
Contrast Quiz 0.5
Identity Project Comp 3
Lesson 8
Identity Project Critique 1
Lesson 9
Typography Quiz 0.5
Identifying Type Categories Quiz 0.5
Identity Revision Assignment 4
Lesson 10
Alignment Quiz 0.5
Flyer Analysis Assignment 1
Flyer Concept Assignment 1
Lesson 11
Repitition Quiz 0.5
Flyer Comp Assignment 5
Flyer Critique Assignment 1
Lesson 12
Business Card Color Assignment 1
Flyer Project Revision Assignment 5
Lesson 13
Article Homework Assignment 2
Lesson 14
Magazine Analysis Assignment 1
Magazine Concept Assignment 1
Lesson 15
Copyfitting Quiz 0.5
Magazine Project Comp 4
Magazine Critique Assignment 2
Lesson 16
Magazine Project Critique Results 1
Magazine Project Revision Assignment 6
Lesson 17
Book Cover Assignment 1
Book Text Assignment 1
Book Analysis Assignment 1
Book Concept Assignment 4
Lesson 18
Book Project Comp Assignment 7
Book Design Worksheet Assignment 1
Book Critique Assignment 1
Lesson 19
Photoshop Rebuilding Challenge Assignment 1
Book Project Revision Assignment 6
Final Portfolio
Final Portfolio 15
Final Portfolio Video Submission 5
Responses (for 17 lessons) 8 (0.5 per lesson)
Grading Scale
A 93%–100%
A− 90%–92%
B+ 87%–89%
B 83%–86%
B− 80%–82%
C+ 77%–79%
C 73%–76%
C− 70%–72%
D+ 67%–69%
D 63%–66%
D− 60%–62%
E (fail) Below 60%

If you are within .2% of the next grade up, I will give you the higher grade.

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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.


12 computer-graded quizzes, 58 response assignments and 18 instructor-graded assignments. 12 critique/analysis assignments. There are no re-submissions for this course.

You must pass the Final Video Project to pass the course.


There are no exams for this course.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514