Professor ⁄ Lauren Meranda
Email ⁄
Meetings / Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:00–5:45pm

Course Description

Can design do more than sell products for our clients? Can design move someone enough to change the course of events? Can design play a bigger role in solving societal problems?

This course is an instructor-guided investigation of creative work in graphic design leading to the proposal and preliminary work for Senior Project. Students will go through a series of explorations in finding a topic to investigate further, define a problem, and propose a design solution.

Goals & Objectives

  • To touch someone’s heart with design
  • To push the design process in our work
  • To explore unexpected paths
  • To connect personally with our work
  • To hear criticism and effectively enact it
  • To write to explore, expand, and learn
  • To analyze and distill personal writings
  • To learn research and exploratory techniques
  • To develop a soundly researched concept for a senior design project


Attendance at all class meetings is required. It’s a small class; I will notice if you are late or absent. Due to the nature of this class, late arrivals will be highly disruptive to the rest of the class. Two late arrivals will be marked as an absence. More than two absences will impact your grade negatively, and more than three absences are grounds for an F. Please note: No distinction will be made between excused and unexcused absences. You are responsible for maintaining your own schedule.


You will not receive a grade for each individual assignment but instead assessed on your process and on the final body of work you produce, such that you demonstrate:

an understanding of fundamental design concepts

thoughtful and original responses to assignments

effectiveness and depth of process

active participation in critiques and discussions

care in craft and presentation

You will receive a preliminary midterm grade to help you assess your performance. Final grades are weighted 60% on completed work, 20% on process (consistency of effort and exploration), 20% on class participation.


You are responsible for readings from the textbook as well as the material posted on the class website. The reading assignments will be announced in class and posted on the class website. To be considered complete, you must post a two paragraph or more response to the readings before the next class session, unless otherwise noted. It is suggested to print out the readings and have notes available for class discussions. Participation is mandatory and will be factored into your daily participation grade.

Required Materials

Graphic Design Thinking
Sketchbook / Journal

 Late Work

All assignments are due on the date indicated on the course schedule. Late work will be marked down one grade for each day past the due date, e.g. an A paper turned in after 4pm but within 24 hours will receive an A-. If you foresee a potential conflict, then see Prof. Meranda; with sufficient notice, it might be possible to arrange an alternative schedule.


You are expected to conduct yourself courteously and professionally. Time spent in the classroom will be dedicated to presentation, discussion, and self-directed work time. Any other activities or behavior not conducive to our coursework will NOT be tolerated. Prohibited activities during class time include use of cell phones for talking or texting, surfing the web or social media for unrelated purposes, private conversations amongst students, rude or insulting language or behavior, and any other form of distraction from the tasks at hand.

We have a lot of exciting work to do, and our time together is valuable. Let’s make the most of it.


Judson University is committed to making reasonable accommodations to assist students with disabilities in reaching their academic potential. If you have a disability which may impact your performance, attendance, or grades in this class and are requesting accommodations, you must contact Gineen Vargas, ADAA Compliance Coordinator in the Student Success Center, located in the Lindner Tower—2nd floor at 847-628-1556.

The ADAA Compliance Coordinator is responsible for coordinating accommodations and services for students with disabilities. Accommodations will not be granted prior to receipt of a current  licensed clinician report outlining the disability, possible limitations and reasonable accommodations in order to meet the needs of the post-secondary coursework. Accommodations are never provided retroactively – prior to finalization of the Letter of Accommodation. Gineen will be happy to meet with you to discuss your accommodations. All discussions will remain confidential.

Further information is available by visiting
the Student Success Center website

The instructor reserves the right to modify this syllabus should the need arise.