Fall 2018

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4 Sessions
Maryland Institute College of Art
Skill Level
Design Thinking, Signs & Symbols, Stortelling
Course Description

This course explores various roles that designers can play to generate and organize content and create visual forms and structures. Conversations between Lupton and Horne will examine diverse approaches to the production of form and content. The instructors will apply each method to contemporary practice, from problem solving to narrative thinking. Students will explore both theory and practice by considering some prevailing ideas about the designer’s agency to author compelling content.


This course is in scheduled mode and starts Fall 2018. Learn more about scheduled courses here.

Session 1: Design Thinking
Design thinking is a widely practiced method that involves studying a problem, observing users, generating multiple ideas, prototyping solutions, and testing results. Design thinking is a non-linear process that is often conducted with multidisciplinary groups. It is especially effective at the early phases of the design process, when it is valuable to think broadly and openly about why a project is being pursued and how people might benefit from its outcomes.
Session 2: Form and Content
Graphic designers continually break down the dichotomy of form and content. One of modern design’s most crucial insights is that the way texts and ideas are framed, visualized, and delivered changes their meaning and impact. This lesson looks at different methods or strategies for using form to lead—rather than follow or serve—the design process.
Session 3: Signs and Symbols
Semiotics is the theory of how signs and symbols convey and create meaning. This lesson examines the relevance of key concepts from the field of semiotics (theory of signs), including icon, index, symbol and pragmatics, semantics, and syntactics, as these concepts relate to contemporary graphic design practice.
Session 4: Storytelling
Human beings are drawn to stories. Animations and graphic novels are time-based works, but even a flat, two-dimensional poster can contain the elements of a story by implying action and movement, representing characters and conflicts, and issuing a call to action to viewers. This lesson introduces basic principles of visual storytelling, and prepares students for the second half of this course, which focuses on user experience.
Enroll for College Credit

Credit Eligible

Kadenze has partnered with Maryland Institute College of Art to offer this program for 3.0 college credits.*

How much does it cost?

This course costs $900 USD to take for college credit.

*Upon completion, this rigorous college-level program will provide credits that are recognized and transferable from the partnering institution. Credit as workload and transferability is defined by the granting institution. Participation in these courses does not represent an acceptance decision or admission from the institution that offers them.

Whenever you complete a course as a premium member, you can earn a verified Certificate of Accomplishment .

This course is also part of the Program: Graphic Design Methods. Earn a verified Specialist Certificate for successfully completing a Program.

These certificates are proof that you completed an online course on our platform and can easily be shared with its unique link.

Credit Elligible Program
This course is one of 3 courses in the Graphic Design Methods Program and is offered for credits from Maryland Institute College of Art.

Earn a verified Specialist Certificate after successfully completing a Program. And whenever you complete a course as a Premium member, you earn a verified Certificate of Accomplishment . These certificates are proof that you completed an online course on our platform and can easily be shared with its unique link.

Instructors & Guests
What You Need to Take This Course


  • Access to note-taking tools and basic design tools, such as pencils, scissors and tape, drawing pens


  • Laptop, desktop, or tablet device


  • Access to digital drawing software, such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop
Additional Information

Please note: Taking part in a Kadenze course as a Premium Member, does not affirm that the student has been enrolled or accepted for enrollment by Maryland Institute College of Art.

In order to receive college credit for these program courses, you must successfully complete and pass all 3 courses in this program. If a student signs up for the Graphic Design Methods program, it is recommended that these courses are taken sequentially.

*Partial credit will not be awarded for completion of only one course.

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