ART 229 Design Software Applications

Instructor: Gigi Alandt
Instructor contact:

Syllabus | Course Outline | Assignment | Resources
Course Description

Design Software Applications will provide the student with a working knowledge of the computer as a visual tool. There will be an introduction to the computer hardware, software, and peripherals commonly used by professional artists. The class will explore the use and applications of vector and pixel based software programs. The class structure will consist of lecture, demonstrations, and student presentations.

Pre/Co-requisites: Completion of Freshman Core Curriculum

Course Time:

Section 001: Tues, Thrs. 8:00 - 10:50 am


Course Location: Potter Hall 200

Course Credits: 3

Office Hours and phone: Fridays, by appointment only; 271-5602


This course is designed to introduce students to digital graphic image design and creation, and preparation of image files for various multimedia applications. Technical emphasis is placed on image creation and manipulation processes, transparency and masking, file format designations, desktop scanning basics, print output, color models in digital media and optimization of graphics for multimedia use. Creative thinking and problem solving will be emphasized in the major projects. The primary software for this class will be Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CS6. Students will be expected to adhere to project deadlines and to participate in critiques in order to learn to critically evaluate their work and their fellow student’s work.


Upon successful completion of this course you will have:

  • An understanding of the Macintosh Computer: navigate system, folders and files
  • An understanding and working knowledge of the palettes and tools in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
  • An introduction and working knowledge of scanners and lab printers
  • A basic knowledge of terminology and technical aspects related to vector-based and bit map technology and production
  • Demonstrated knowledge on subject matter through completion of various projects
  • An ability to offer both technical and aesthetic criticisms of the work of peers and self
  • Experience thinking critically in evaluating work produced by self and others.

There will be 3 major projects and several mini-assignments structured as basic design and/or technique exercises. All assignments will be graded and weighted according to their complexity.

Projects and assignments must be completed on time. Projects received late without an excused absence will not receive credit.

There will be 2 quizzes. The final exam is comprehensive or may take place as a final project. Make-up quizzes will be given only at the discretion of the instructor and only for excused absences.

Course Supplies

Required Materials:

Books: Real World Illustrator CS5 by Mordy Golding
Photoshop CS6: The Missing Manual by Lesa Snider

Devices: An external hard drive or portable hard drive. (Nothing will be saved to the desk tops at all)

Notebook: Note book and pencils. Design can be very complex and confusing. You will want to write small notes for your own reference in the event I'm not around to help.

*Class Fee: A fee has been added to your tuition and was paid at registration. This fee has been included to pay for printer paper and ink cartridges used for the student projects.


Students are expected to participate in all critiques, class discussions, attend class, and complete assignments on time. Active participation in critiques will positively affect borderline grades.

Course evaluation will be based upon the following:

Class Participation/Demonstrated Effort 20%
Finished Assignment Exercises 10%
Quizzes 20%
Finished Projects 50%

A = Exceptional work: conceptually appropriate, demonstrates strong creative thought, precisely executed, instructions followed to the letter, and turned in on time.
B = Work executed with few errors, conceptually appropriate, demonstrates good creative thought, and turned in on time.
C = Average work, meets minimum requirements.
D = Below average work, sloppy, instructions not followed.
F = Failed to meet minimum requirements of the problem.

Adherence to deadlines is expected. It is the individual student’s responsibility to keep track of the goals and deadlines and to present the work to the class and instructor on the specified dates. Work must be completed and ready to present before class on critique days. Work not ready for presentation at the critique is worth a maximum of 50% for the project. Work submitted past the due date will not receive credit.

NOTE: Lost digital files will not be accepted as an excuse for missing or late assign-ments. You are responsible for keeping back-up copies of all of your assignments until you have received a grade for those assignments.

Western Attendance Policy for All 100- and 200-Level Courses In order to improve student learning and retention, as well as to achieve compliance with federal Financial Aid policies, Western has implemented a mandatory attendance policy for students in all 100- and 200-level courses. Instructors are required to monitor and track student attendance. A student will be given an excused absence when acting as an official representative of the university, provided the student gives prior written verification from the faculty/staff supervisor of the event. Any additional excused absences are at the complete discretion of the instructor. When a student exceeds the maximum number of unexcused absences (see chart below), instructors will complete the Student Absence Reporting Form and submit it to the Registrarís Office, who will administratively withdraw the student from the course and notify the Financial Aid Office to reduce financial aid as appropriate. After the final day to submit the Student Absence Reporting Form (see submission deadlines below), faculty will assign grades according to their grading policies with regard to absences and record an FA when a student fails due to absences. Maximum allowable unexcused absences by term: Fall/Spring Semester: Class Meetings/Week Max unexcused absences 1 1 2 2 3 5 4 7 5 9

Students are expected to come to class on time and prepared. Attendance will be recorded at every class session. Roll call will be taken at the beginning of class only. Your 3rd unexcused absence will lower your grade by 10% or one full letter grade . Each subsequent unexcused absence will lower your grade an additional 10% or one letter grade. 6 unexcused absences will result in an automatic F; no exceptions. It is your responsibility to inform the instructor that you are late, if you don't inform the instructor you will be counted absent. Absences will only be excused with prior notification and/or documentation. E-mail is a good method of informing the instructor.

Arriving more than 15 minutes late is an absence.

What is an excused absence?
There are two standard types:
Type 1: You know ahead of time that, for good reason, you will have to miss class. You see me before the day of the absence and negotiate an excused absence, generally with some kind of appropriate written documentation.

Type 2: Some emergency prevents you from getting to class. In this case, it 's vital that you present some formal documentation that you had good reason to be gone--e.g., verification from an MWSU official that you were off campus on university business, or a written memo from a doctor, a cop, or other responsible party indicating that you were unable to make it to class for good reason.

All other absences will be deemed unexcused. The maximum number of unexcused absences allowed for this class before the midterm report, is 6 Thus, when you have 5+1 unexcused absences you will be reported to the Registrarís Office, who will automatically withdraw you from this class. The Financial Aid Office will reduce financial aid as appropriate.

Students are expected to come prepared for class. Those in attendance who are not prepared to work during class hours will be asked to leave and counted as absent.

Attendance is important as each class will build upon the previous one. Much of the required instruction will be in lectures and demonstrations and will not be found in your books or handouts. If you miss a class it is your responsibility to get any material you miss. Get with another student to go over the material covered in your absence, or make an appointment with me. The progress of the class will not be stopped to review material you miss during your absence. I will be willing to help you during office hours, but I won't hold a private re-teaching of the class. Students that attended the classes will have a priority during office hours.

Also see the University Attendance Policy (Western Course Catalog available online at

NOTE: Lost digital files will not be accepted as an excuse for missing or late assignments. No allowance is made for computer or network failures. You are responsible for keeping back-up copies of all of your assignments until you have received a grade for those assignments. Be sure to backup your work frequently and do not wait until the last minute to complete the assignment; to backup a file, save it first to one computer drive such as your F:\ drive (student drive), and then save it again to another drive such as a zip, USB drive, or a flash drive.

Class Conduct
  • Cheating will result in a 0 for the test/assignment and possible removal from class. This includes plagiarism and copyright infringement. Use of images or written material created by someone other than yourself must be used only in accordance with classroom assignment parameters, and must be attributed and/or permissions must be obtained.
  • No surfing the internet, checking e-mail or messaging during class unless it is necessary for a project.
  • No non-class materials loaded into the computers.
  • No disruptive behavior.
  • Computers located in the labs are for educational purposes only.
  • Leave cell phones off, or if needed for emergencies, on vibrate.
  • Students who are not enrolled in this class will not be permitted in the lab without the instructor's permission.

  • Academic Misconduct
    Academic honesty is required in all academic endeavors. Violations of academic honesty include any instance of plagiarism, cheating, seeking credit for another's work, falsifying documents or academic records, or any other fraudulent activity. Violations of academic honesty may result in a failing grade on the assignment, failure in the course, or expulsion from the University. When a student's grade has been affected, violations of academic honesty will be reported to the Provost or designated representative on the Academic Honesty Violation Report forms.

    A grade of F will be given to any assignment that exhibits undeniable plagiarism.

    Please see the Student Handbook and Calendar for specific activities indentified as violations of this policy and the student due process procedure. This handbook is also available online at:

    If you have been diagnosed with a disability or if you suspect that you may have a disability that has never been diagnosed and would like to find out what services may be available, please visit the Office of Disability Services (ODS) in Eder Hall, room 203N or visit the ODS website at as soon as possible.
    Other Important links

    This syllabus, as well as all other printed or electronic materials, can be made available in alternative/accessible formats if requested with sufficient prior notice. Missouri Western is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.