Fall 2018

GD Studio Overview

This sequence of three courses is a series of workshops looking at some of the foundational principles of Graphic Design and how they can be applied to real-world jobs and commissions as well as personal creative projects.

Combining design education approaches from both an academic and a practical perspective, the aim of these courses is to introduce and build competence and confidence with tools and ideas of graphic design that can be applied to a wide range of applications / outcomes / etc. These courses are intended to provide a strong foundation upon which you can build, through professional practice, or by transferring to a 4 year college or university for further study.

There will be a strong focus in all three courses on concept, revision, and inventive form-making.

The sequence of courses builds in complexity, and are as follows:
→ GD Studio 1: Typography Workshop
→ GD Studio 2: Form and Research Workshop
→ GD Studio 3: Real World Projects

1. Typography

2. Form / Research

3. Real Projects



The typography workshop’s focus is in introducing students to the history and usage of typography as a powerful tool of communication. In his classic book The Elements of Typographic Style, Robert Bringhurst writes: “As a craft, typography shares a long common boundary with writing and editing on the one side, and graphic design on the other, yet typography itself belongs to neither.” This course explores some of the ways that Typography is a perfect place to learn some foundational principles of graphic design: communication, composition, scale, hierarchy, texture, clarity, and expression.

Through a sequence of progressively more complex and challenging projects we will explore the different ways that typography can support, enhance, and subvert the meaning(s) of the texts, words, and phrases it conveys.

Form and Research

In the Form and Research Workshop we will focus on creating images, analyzing their meanings, and looking at ways that graphic design can be used to teach, inform, persuade, and critique. We will also be looking at ways of making images (by hand, photographically, digitally). We will also be looking at different ways of combining type and image, and the ways that sequencing (order) can be used to tell stories.

Real Projects

In the final course in this sequence, we will focus on process-based design solutions to increasingly complex real-world and real-world-inspired briefs, with a selection of longer-form projects. Building on everything learned in Graphic Design Studio 1 and 2 and applying these techniques, skills, and ways of thinking and making to the creation of a complex identity system, and then applying that system to print, interactive web, and/or app interfaces.

Local Resources

The City of Los Angeles itself is an incredible resource for artists, designers, and thinkers of all kinds. In addition to the entertainment industry, the city is home to world class libraries, museums, galleries, and studios. It would be impossible to list all the incredible things that Los Angeles has to offer but this is a starting point for further exploration.

Typography References: Fonts in UseBrutalist WebsitesTrendlist.orgType WolfLibre and Open Source Type Resources

Form and Research References: Laslo Moholy-NagyCorita KentJoanna NeborskyDavid WiseEd FellaAIGA Eye on DesignIt's Nice ThatThe Noun ProjectIsotypeWalker Art Center Gradient BlogManystuffQuipsologies

Real Projects References: ELLAActual SourceTasheka Arceneaux-SuttonDante CarlosExperimental JetsetEkene IjeomaTracy MaNontstikelelo MutitiManuel RaederBrian RoettingerJon SuedaWesley TaylorGhazaal Vojdani

Local Resources and Places of Interest: Los Angeles Public LibraryLACMAMOCAThe Underground MuseumPacific Design CenterMAK CenterEames FoundationREDCATICA LAUCLA Hammer MuseumUCLA Fowler MuseumSelf Help GraphicsWomen's Center for Creative WorkWende Museum of the Cold WarCenter for Land Use InterpretationHauser and WirthThe BroadMarciano Art Foundation

About LACC

Los Angeles City College empowers students from the diverse communities it serves to achieve their educational and career goals by providing learner-centered pathways to success through transfer, career and technical education, and foundational skills programs.

Established in 1929, Los Angeles City College is home to one of the most vibrant and diverse campuses in the country. Located minutes from Hollywood and neighboring Silver Lake and Echo Park, the campus provides a wide range of professional and vocational programs at a fraction of the cost of state and private colleges. Our programs include certificates, transfer programs and degrees. Ranked in the top three Best Southern California Community Colleges by USA Today News, we provide students and adult learners vital pathways to more advanced education and enhanced employment.

855 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90065


If you have any questions please contact us.

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This session of LACC Graphic Design Studio is taught by Joe Potts, and is a project of The Southland Institute, which is dedicated to the exploration, identification, and implementation of accessible, affordable, sustainable offerings in higher education in art and design in the United States.

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