Hurst Class Catalog: Basic Computer Design

Hannah Brooks, Features editor

Any student who is interested in learning fundamental basics of graphic design may want to consider putting Computer Design Basics (ART-128) on their schedule for the next time advising comes around.Per the syllabus, Computer Design Basics is “a 15-week, 3 credit entry-level course geared to develop a sense of good design practices for professionals who are not primarily design oriented in their career path.” Over the course of the semester, students will learn several major design concepts such as Proximity, Alignment, Repetition, Color, Contrast and Type through the creation of projects relating to each concept.

Students will be introduced to Adobe Creative Cloud 2021, InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. By the end of the course, the goal is for students to be able to present and critique works of art using appropriate criteria and terminology, create works of art using the methods, tools and skills learned throughout the semester, generate and revise ideas throughout the creative process, and develop works of art and designs that utilize concepts, elements and principles of art and design.

Though we are not far into the semester yet, this semester’s class has gotten to explore Adobe Photoshop, which is a graphic design software that is primarily used to edit photos. The next software that this semester’s students will learn about is Adobe Illustrator and Indesign, which are tools that are essential to the graphic design field. The projects that students will create over the course of the semester are both engaging and interesting. Some examples of projects that students create throughout the course are fun photoshopped photos, such as “space dog” (which, just as the name suggests, depicts a dog in outer space) and the creation of posters, which includes the next project that students will create this semester: students will reimagine a “Jurassic Park” poster.

“Students will use their Photoshop skills to create their own ‘Jurassic Park’ concept in a moodboard format, then progress to rough sketches, and finally create the finished piece in Photoshop,” said Jade Mitchell, the professor of the course. In addition to teaching this course, Mitchell is the Creative Director at Erie Arts & Culture. She graduated from Gannon University with a bachelor’s in Theater and Communication Arts, and received a two-year post baccalaureate certification in Graphic and Web Design here at Mercyhurst University. Though this course is one that is very engaging and fun, it is also one that will give students several skills that will be useful to them for years to come.

“Anyone can take this course,” Mitchell said. “You’ll learn graphic design principles and skills to enhance any visual digital assets you might create in your profession, from resumes, to presentations, to data/info graphics, to social media graphics.”

Though it feels that the Spring semester has just started and classes still feel new, the time to schedule is already looming overhead! Whether you are a graphic design student, or one who has a credit in Expression to fulfill, make sure to add ART-128 to your schedule for the Fall 2022 semester.