Enrollment Closed
This exclusive course is part of the program:
Graphic Design History and Methods
Go at your own pace
3 Sessions / 16 hours of work per session
Included w/ premium membership ($20/month)
Skill Level
Video Transcripts
Storytelling, Design Thinking, Signs & Symbols

Not available for purchase in India

Starts Apr 30, 2019

Graphic Design Methods

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Enrollment has closed

Go at your own pace
3 Sessions / 16 hours of work per session
Included w/ premium membership ($20/month)
Skill Level
Video Transcripts
Storytelling, Design Thinking, Signs & Symbols

Not available for purchase in India

Course Description

Designers and renowned authors Brockett Horne and Ellen Lupton lead an exploration of various ways that designers can generate content and create visual forms and structures.

In this course you will survey a range of approaches to design practice. Some sessions focus on the agency and decision-making process of the individual designer. Others discuss diverse methods for engaging users, from designing experiences and services to exploring the fundamentals of interaction design.

Each method is applied to contemporary practice with case studies, from problem solving to narrative thinking. You will explore both theory and practice by considering current ideas and debates about how to include and address diverse audiences. By the end of this course, you'll be able to apply these enriching ideas to a portfolio of designed objects, composing a collection of works that explore design methods.


This course is in adaptive mode and starts Apr 30, 2019. Learn more about adaptive courses here.

Session 1: Concepts
In this session, explore how designers build compelling concepts. We will examine strategies for working through a secure and certain process of developing ideas that can be applied at any time. No more creative block! We will examine several concepts relevant to storytelling, so that designers can make their work active and generating ideas: research, brainstorming, mindmapping, sketching sprints, action verbs, and forced connections.
5 lessons
1. Introduction: Function and Fantasy
2. Storytelling
3. Project: Narrative Image + Branding Icon
4. Getting Ideas
5. Project: Pet Hotel Icons
Session 2: Engaging Users
This session offers insights on serving user needs. For many designers, creative methods begin from the perspective of the user: what does she need, believe, or contribute? How can her perspective inform the design process? Multiple methods are explored: design thinking with the audience in mind, designing products and services that create memorable experiences, designing for the senses, and creating effective interactions for complex designed objects.
9 lessons
1. Introduction: Idea Bombing
2. Design Thinking
3. Project: Wellness Product
4. Experience Design
5. Project: Transform a Familiar Product
6. Sensory Design
7. Project: Packaging System
8. Interaction
9. Project: Interactive States
Session 3: Makers
This session examines how makers generate ideas independently from their clients or audiences. We will examine the tools that designers use and question how those tools shape design solutions. We will imagine different methods to author content, looking to related disciplines for inspiration. We will examine how assumptions about intellectual property and re-imagine who can own a designed object.
7 lessons
1. Introduction: Visibility
2. Tools
3. Project: Create a Tool
4. Authorship
5. Project: Design Manifesto
6. Ownership
7. Project: City Poster
Learning Outcomes

Below you will find an overview of the Learning Outcomes you will achieve as you complete this course.

Instructors And 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.

Peer Assessment Code of Conduct: Part of what makes Kadenze a great place to learn is our community of students. While you are completing your Peer Assessments, we ask that you help us maintain the quality of our community. Please:

  • Be Polite. Show your fellow students courtesy. No one wants to feel attacked - ever. For this reason, insults, condescension, or abuse will not be tolerated.
  • Show Respect. Kadenze is a global community. Our students are from many different cultures and backgrounds. Please be patient, kind, and open-minded when discussing topics such as race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or other potentially controversial subjects.
  • Post Appropriate Content. We believe that expression is a human right and we would never censor our students. With that in mind, please be sensitive of what you post in a Peer Assessment. Only post content where and when it is appropriate to do so.

Please understand that posts which violate this Code of Conduct harm our community and may be deleted or made invisible to other students by course moderators. Students who repeatedly break these rules may be removed from the course and/or may lose access to Kadenze.

Students with Disabilities: Students who have documented disabilities and who want to request accommodations should refer to the student help article via the Kadenze support center. Kadenze is committed to making sure that our site is accessible to everyone. Configure your accessibility settings in your Kadenze Account Settings.