Syllabus link Schedule link Assignments link

Overview of Assignments

  • Reading and Class Participation (10%)- I selected a wide range of reading material for this course so that we could explore various approaches to design and visual rhetoric from multiple perspectives. I assign reading as a way of introducing design issues, helping you to think more critically about the communication concepts it represents, and preparing you for class discussion. It is therefore critical to your success in this course to complete all assigned readings for a given day before coming to class.

  • Design Analysis Notebook (20%)- This notebook is intended as a place to collect both good and bad examples of design in a wide range of documents. I encourage you to gather as many samples as you can from as many sources as possible. Additionally, you will use the notebook and approximately one example per week (12 total) to analyze the design choices in a document, to make connections to our readings, and to reflect on our class discussions.

  • Business Card (5%)- Applying basic design principles outlined in Williams’ Non-Designer’s Design Book, this first hands-on project asks you to create a rhetorically meaningful business card for yourself or a client.

  • Résumé or Curriculum Vita (10%)- Being attentive to more sophisticated design principles suggested by Kostelnick & Roberts, Meggs, Kinross, and others, this assignment asks you to create an informative and visually-appealing résumé for yourself or a client.

  • Brochure for NMSU Writing Center (15%)- Working with at least one other person, you will design a logo that creates an appropriate, memorable visual identity for the NMSU Writing Center. Using this logo, your team will then design or redesign at least two of the following documents: brochure, flyer/poster, bookmark, evaluation form, and/or student information form.

  • Web Site (10%)- Taking into consideration our discussions about the design challenges unique to creating web-based communication, you will work with a group of two to three to develop a small (3-5 pages) web site for yourselves or a client.

  • Outside Client Project (25%)- Working in a group of two to three people, you will locate a client needing some kind of document design work (i.e. a web page, newsletter, suite of forms or brochures, etc.) and use what you have learned in the course to develop those documents. This project will include a written proposal, several draft versions, a presentation, and a final design justification memo.

  • Final Presentation with Visuals (5%)- Taking place during the last regular week of the semester, this assignment calls on your outside client project group to create and deliver a presentation about your work. Its evaluation will emphasize preparedness, organization, and the quality of your accompanying visuals (PowerPoint or other multimedia, posters, handouts, etc.).