Graphic Design 3

Time + Motion + Graphic Design

Fall 2014, Brown 304

Wednesdays, 4pm–10pm

Catalog Description

Students actively engage motion graphics as strategic medium for experimentation, idea generation, problem solving and communication. Motion and interactivity are studied in the context of aesthetic, cultural, historical and critical issues. Students learn essential design processes and techniques in their exploration of time-based media both as a tool and as a medium for evolving designers.

KB Additions

Design is increasingly living in all places and mediums simultaneously and we Graphic Designers must be aware of and ready for the conceptual and technological implications that come along with this. The goals of this class are to try and clarify and explain these implications; cover the broader concepts of time and motion and their connection to all facets of a design practice; and begin to introduce software, tricks, and techniques for creating motion design.

This course travels broadly but shallowly. I will (hopefully) pique your interests on many things, but we do not have enough time to delve into any of them very intensely. There are too many interesting things to try and get to, so more than 2 or 3 weeks cannot be spent on any one thing. Intense practice and study will have to be at each of your own impetus.

Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects will be our main tools — but flipbooks, HTML5/JS/CSS3, Processing as well as some other applications and processes will be discussed. We’ll look at both historic and contemporary examples of designers using film, animation, and temporal tools and methods in their work will be referenced to help frame our discussions and projects.

Motion Graphics are still Graphic Design. You do not have to think of this class as covering something else. While we are learning things about Animated Gifs or After Effects or Relativity we are still learning about form, narrative, typography, etc. Do not let the fact that we’ll be using potentially new mediums and ideas upset the design principles you have already learned.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate skill in producing work with standard tools and techniques for time-based media and motion graphics.
  2. Students will identify fundamental principles of design for time based media such as sequencing, transitioning, pacing, timing and rhythm
  3. Students will demonstrate strategic thinking about motion and its role in storytelling
  4. Students will experiment with formal and conceptual fundamentals for the design of motion graphics
  5. Students will incorporate the language of motion as a design principle
  6. Students will develop a working process for the design of motion graphics

Contact Information / Office Hours

Kristian Bjornard / [email protected]
Cell: 507-301-8402
Tuesdays 12–3pm, Wednesdays 12–3pm

I’ll probably be around more than just those hours on Tuesday Mornings and Afternoons during the whole semester. I’ll also generally be around Wed, Thurs, and Friday afternoons until 5 or so after my morning classes.

It’s best if you can email me and let me know you’d like to talk so students don’t show up at the same time and have to wait — but please feel free to stop by and ask me questions or voice your concerns whenever you see that I’m in my office.


You need the following:

  • a Vimeo Acct.
  • a Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram, personal website, or other acct. for posting a group of short animations (This is for the Design-a-mations project)
  • a way to move your files around
  • These two books: Graphic Design the New Basics and Understanding Comics
  • Access to a camera of some kind
  • Access to at least Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects

Required Reading



Due to the quantity of content, this is on its own page.


A+ A A- Superior
B+ B B- Above Average
C+ C C- Average
D+ D D- Below Average
E Failure

Plus or minus may be used. However, for purposes of obtaining a quality point average, each grade category is assigned the following quality points:

A = 4
B = 3
C = 2
D = 1
E = 0

(For more information see the Statement of Academic Standards in the Student Handbook.)

One grade will be awarded per project unless otherwise noted — though some projects will have multiple components. Each grade will evaluate process, execution, and presentation. Final grades for the semester will be an average of all project grades, completion of reading assignments, attendance, plus a final evaluation of quality of resolve and follow-through in a student’s work, visual experimentation, growth of skills, and class participation & preparedness throughout the semester.

  • Class participation is paramount & should show marked progress in the student’s ability to talk about design intelligently & constructively.
  • Punctuality & participation to in-progress & final critiques will have an impact on the grade for each project.
  • Grades for late projects will be lowered one letter grade for each class period that they are late.
  • Work lost due to technological problems will be considered late. It is important to get in the habit of backing up & duplicating files. Technical trouble is not a valid excuse for missing a deadline — neither academically or professionally.

Hints for Success

Attend class regularly and on time, meet deadlines, take thorough notes, participate in class discussions and critiques, show a strong sense of concept and design. Do your absolute best on each project and push yourself to do even better on the next project. Strive to be perfect in both concept and craft. Do more than is asked for. Be inventive! Think! Experiment! Bring a positive, enthusiastic, open mind to class. Take advantage of opportunities to be responsible for your own education

Hints for Failure

Don’t come to class. Don’t complete the projects to the absolute best of your ability. Disrupt class often with snide and personal insults directed at student’s work or at them personally. Don’t participate in class critiques. Don’t ask questions when you have questions and need clarification. Decide you’re not responsible for your own education and expect me to somehow pour the information and practice into your brain.


Students are encouraged to discuss complaints & concerns regarding class, projects or grades with me first.Issues that students do not find to be resolved should then be reported to the Department Chair (Brockett).

The Christgau Scale

Robert Christgau used a clever grading scale when analyzing albums. Think about these things when you are completing your work — design can be measured according to similar criteria.

  • An A+ record is an organically conceived masterpiece that repays prolonged listening with new excitement and insight. It is unlikely to be marred by more than one merely ordinary cut.
  • An A is a great record both of whose sides offer enduring pleasure and surprise. You should own it.
  • An A- is a very good record. If one of its sides doesn't provide intense and consistent satisfaction, then both include several cuts that do.
  • A B+ is a good record, at least one of whose sides can be played with lasting interest and the other of which includes at least one enjoyable cut.
  • A B is an admirable effort that aficionados of the style or artist will probably find quite listenable.
  • A B- is a competent or mildly interesting record that will usually feature at least three worthwhile cuts.
  • A C+ is a not disreputable performance, most likely a failed experiment or a pleasant piece of hackwork.
  • A C is a record of clear professionalism or barely discernible inspiration, but not both.
  • A C- is a regrettably successful exploitation or a basically honest but quite incompetent stab at something more.
  • A D+ is an appalling piece of pimpwork or a thoroughly botched token of sincerity.
  • It is impossible to understand why anyone would buy a D record.
  • It is impossible to understand why anyone would release a D- record.
  • It is impossible to understand why anyone would cut an E+ record.
  • E records are frequently cited as proof that there is no God.
  • An E- record is an organically conceived masterpiece that repays repeated listening with a sense of horror in the face of the void. It is unlikely to be marred by one listenable cut.

Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the '70s, 1980

Attendance Policy

Unless otherwise indicated by the instructor, students are expected to attend all meetings of each class in which they are enrolled. They are expected to be ready to start work at the opening of class and to remain for the entire class session.

Irregular attendance or habitual tardiness usually leads to lower grades and, ultimately, to probation or dismissal. Although an instructor's discretion is clearly involved, unexcused absence from as few as three classes will result in a failing grade.

In the case of extended illness or other legitimate absences that may keep the student from attending a class for more than three meetings, students must contact the Student Development Specialist in the Division of Student Affairs so that instructors can be notified.

IF YOU MISS MORE THAN THREE CLASSES THEN YOU DO NOT PASS THIS COURSE. This isn’t my decision, it is MICA policy across the board — if you miss 4 class sessions you get withdrawn from the course, this means you don’t get credit for it. If you miss a class, check the course website. I will be posting info on what we discussed and files or readings you might need. If you have additional questions contact me immediately; please don’t wait until the next week. You will still be expected to present or be prepared for the following class after any absence. It is also important you show up to class on time and prepared. We’ve got a lot to cover and it sets the whole class behind when any of you shows up late. However, being late — even 2 hours late — is favorable to not coming at all. Since I am teaching all 3 sessions of GD3 this fall, you could potentially make up a missed class by attending another section that week. If you have a legitimate reason for needing to miss a class, please take advantage of this and let me know in advance if possible.

I don’t appreciate free coming and going from class if we are in the middle of a critique, discussion, lecture, or demonstation. Please do not just get up and leave the classroom if all you need is a drink of water or to use the restroom. We’ll take plenty of breaks and once we get through a lecture or demo or a reasonable number of critiques you’ll be free to get a coffee, grab your smoke, or whatever.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Any student who may need an accommodation based on the potential impact of a disability should contact the Learning Resource Center at 410-225-2416, in Bunting 458, to establish eligibility and coordinate reasonable accommodations. Contact the instructor privately to discuss specific needs. For additional information please refer to:

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)

It is the responsibility of faculty and students to follow health and safety guidelines relevant to their individual activities, processes, and to review MICA’s Emergency Action Plan and attend EHS training. It is each faculty member’s responsibility to coordinate with the EHS Office to ensure that all risks associated with their class activities are identified and to assure that their respective classroom procedures mirror the EHS and Academic Department guidelines. Each of these policies and procedures must be followed by all students and faculty. Most importantly, faculty are to act in accordance with all safety compliance, state and federal, as employees of this college and are expected to act as examples of how to create art in a way to minimize risk, and reduce harm to themselves and the environment. Faculty must identify and require appropriate personal protective equipment for each art making process, for each student, in all of their classes, when applicable. Students are required to purchase personal protection equipment appropriate for their major. Those students who do not have the proper personal protection equipment will not be permitted to attend class until safe measures and personal protection are in place.


Each discipline within the arts has specific and appropriate means for students to cite or acknowledge sources and the ideas and material of others used in their own work. Students have the responsibility to become familiar with such processes and to carefully follow their use in developing original work.

MICA will not tolerate plagiarism, which is defined as claiming authorship of, or using someone else's ideas or work without proper acknowledgment. Without proper attribution, a student may NOT replicate another's work, paraphrase another's ideas, or appropriate images in a manner that violates the specific rules against plagiarism in the student's department. In addition, students may not submit the same work for credit in more than one course without the explicit approval of the all of the instructors of the courses involved.

When an instructor has evidence that a student has plagiarized work submitted for course credit, the instructor will confront the student and impose penalties that may include failing the course. In the case of a serious violation or repeated infractions from the same student, the instructor will report the infractions to the department chair. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the department chair may then report the student to the Office of Academic Affairs, which may choose to impose further penalties, including suspension or expulsion.

Appeal Process
Students who are penalized by an instructor or department for committing plagiarism have the right to appeal the charge and penalties that ensue. Within three weeks of institutional action, the student must submit a letter of appeal to the department chairperson of the course for which actions were taken. The chairperson will assign three members of the relevant department to serve on a review panel. The panel will meet with the student an the instructor of record and will review all relevant and available materials. The panel will determine whether or not to confirm the charge and penalties. The findings of the panel are final. The panel will notify the instructor, the chairperson, the student, and the Office of Academic Affairs of their findings and any recommendations for change in penalties.