Fall 2012

Production for [digital] Design

Course Overview

Production for Design provides students with a basic understanding of business practices associated with planning and managing their print and on-screen design projects from beginning to end.

The course is not intended to be an in-depth comprehensive guide to production but focuses on what designers need to know—to talk comfortably about their design projects in professional terms, to ask the necessary questions, to reason effectively through the process and to be a productive team member in the production process.


Herron School of Art and Design



Course Number

HER-A 341

Credits + Contact

3 Credits / TR 9:00-11:30am

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be
able to:

  • Explain the work-flow involved in completing professional jobs from beginning to end.
  • Describe the basics of commercial printing: inks, specialty printing, binding, and commercial papers for use in creative and meaningful applications.
  • Describe the basics for designing on-screen:, resolution, color, deliverable, tools and the constraints and roles for designing on-screen solutions.
  • Effectively communicate with venders and other production or development experts.
  • Explain basic business practices associated with commercial printing and designing on-screen —including writing specifications, obtaining cost estimates and approvals.
  • Describe ethical issues and legal consequences associated with copyrights and licensing.

Course content

This course is set up to review a wide range of client-based deliverable projects: print collateral materials, book and binding solutions as well as on-screen communications in all capacities. In the professional world, as a designer and innovator of smart visual communications, you will be faced with coordinating designs across all media types.

Course focus

50% Commercial print production, coordination and project management

50% On-screen design, coordination and project management

Class structure and format

Production is a lecture class with lots of hands-on examples shown. We try to keep a relaxed atmosphere. When you arrive go to your studio desk where role will be observed. Both sections will then combine for lectures—we will try our best to alternate rooms when lecturing.

Project Sheets

Course Syllabus (PDF)

Class Schedule (PDF) 

Digital Production Course Notes (PDF) 

Intro to HTML Course Notes (PDF) 

Presentation Slide Decks

What is on-screen design? (PDF) 

The Pixel (PDF)

Screen Resolution (PDF) 

Web Typography and Color (PDF) 

Required Texts

The Graphic Designer's Electronic-Media Manual by Jason Tselentis

Forms, Folds and Sizes, Second Edition by Aaris Sherin and Poppy Evans