Design in Context (Online)

Because the outlines of the profession continually change, the graphic designer must know how to integrate an understanding of visual literacy with broad-based cultural knowledge. This seminar examines the theoretical basis of graphic design, defining basic concepts and vocabulary used within the profession, such as information architecture, pattern-recognition, grids, proportion, rhythm, sequence, and gestalt. In addition, the course explores the contemporary history of graphic design from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, with an emphasis on cross-disciplinary inspiration, varied cultural influences, technological innovation, and expanded applications. Great emphasis is placed on thorough research as an integral part of the ideation process. Throughout the course, weekly exercises and small projects that build on one another provide the student with a comprehensive understanding of the discipline of graphic design. Students will have access to Adobe Creative Cloud software throughout the course. / Open to students ages 18 and above. View complete policies.

This online course will have a weekly synchronous meeting using Google Meet from 7:00–8:30 p.m. CST. The course is project-based, with 2 to 3 deadlines per week. Course activities may include readings; video demonstrations and tutorials; online discussions; projects; and critiques. The workload of this course is roughly 8-10 hours per week, whether the course is being taken for credit or noncredit. 

Prerequisites: As this is a graduate level class, an undergraduate degree or instructor approval is required.

Required software: Adobe Creative Cloud (provided by MCAD).

Required hardware: A computer capable of running Adobe Creative Cloud software, with internet access, a camera, and microphone. 

Required textbook:
See for a list of required textbooks.

Register Before: August 18
If the minimum enrollment is not met by the deadline above, the class will be canceled on this date. Registration will remain open after this date if the minimum enrollment has been met.

Class Savings
Register on or before May 10 and save $25.
Register for more than one class at a time and receive $25 off each additional class (same-day registrations only).
Additional savings. Are you eligible?

Contact MCAD Continuing Education at or call 612.874.3765.

Course Details

GWD 6405 20 FA21
Date Start: 
Monday, August 23, 2021
Date End: 
Friday, December 10, 2021
7:00–8:30 p.m. (Central Time)
Age Group: 
Age Requirement: 
Open to students ages 18 and above.
Days of Week: 
Graphic and Web Design
Online Classes