Design Education

Graphic Design

Principles DeCal

Summary

DeCals are student-taught courses at UC Berkeley. Undergraduates can take DeCals for units without a letter grade. I introduced the "Graphic Design Principles" DeCal in Spring 2014. Throughout the course, students survey visual design topics ranging from typography to packaging design. Each week, students are given an assignment to help improve their design aesthetic and technique.

Each 2-hour class consists a critique, short lecture, and group activity. I read many, many books and blogs in order to develop content for the course. Some of my favorites include:

  • The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
  • Just My Type by Simon Garfield
  • Creative Workshop by David Sherwin
  • ROY. G. BIV. by Jude Stewart
  • The Anatomy of Type by Stephen Coles
  • Making and Breaking the Grid by Timothy Samara
  • Teaching this class helped me understand the more "technical" side of graphic design. I learned to explain different design concepts that seemed intuitive to me. I also learned how to hold constructive critique sessions. The course material is all available online here.