explore. experience. expand.
Archive | Design RSS feed for this section

Course Spotlight: Design Sustainability


For students looking to add depth to their coursework, we strongly suggest the elective  Design Sustainability.  In instructor Nurit Katz’s words:

“Designers are problem solvers. Whether you are designing homes, cities or products, you are finding ways to improve the world around you. However, if we are not thoughtful in our designs we may create new problems while solving others. Understanding the impact of our design choices helps us make better decisions, from understanding the full life cycle of a product and the materials we choose, to looking at the health impacts of the built environment.

In this course you will learn about sustainability and how to integrate the concepts of sustainability in design.  One example assignment will be taking apart a cheap product, looking at the materials used, and designing a life cycle info-graphic to illustrate the impacts of the materials.  In past quarters students have gone on field trips to view local sustainable business models, listened to guest speakers, and created final projects which ran the gamut from sustainable housing designs, rain harvesting systems, a “Do Good” app, and more!  You can check out photos from the winter quarter class’s final presentations below.



A previous student had this to say about the course: “Nurit is simply amazing. A great instructor and person as well. I’ve learned so much and had the incredible experience of meeting great colleagues as well.”

This summer quarter Design Sustainability is being team taught by Nurit and Michael Neal.  Save your spot in the course and enroll today!

Introducing Janine Vigus: New Design Fundamentals instructor

We are excited to announce designer Janine Vigus will be joining UCLA Extension this summer as our new Design Fundamentals instructor.  She brings with her an extensive background designing for the non-profit sector, with years of experience creating enriching design for the Greater Los Angeles area.  She took a moment to answer some key questions about her Design Fundamentals course this summer.

This course is considered the first course in the DCA certificate program. What will I take away from it?

We will be looking to the groundbreaking studies from origins of modern graphic design, and exploring the ways in which an understanding of and facility with formal elements – such as point, line, and plane, rhythm & balance, scale, framing, and figure/ground relationships – underpin great design, and provide greater conceptual freedom. Through a series of projects that I hope will be challenging, inspiring, and fun, students will experience design as practice, working through exercises towards successful solutions, and finding grounds for further exercise and experimentation within those solutions.

You’ve had a remarkable career thus far with clients including Chinese American Museum, Getty Conservation Institute, Huntington Library Press, LACMA, and Library Foundation of Los Angeles. What makes you passionate about design?

I’m interested in the way that design can create conceptual and practical clarity, and in the role of narrative and ethics, which I think are intimately connected. I like the idea that emotional and intellectual work are supplementary to each other, and that discipline and freedom have equal weight. I’ve been inspired by colleagues – by designers I’ve worked for and with; by editors, curators, and clients – from my first job in a design studio working for John Coy to my colleagues at LACMA, and by projects with clients that have been rewarding collaborations.

Do you have any sample assignments? 

Students will have the freedom in class assignments to find physical and/or digital solutions in a project to construct an emotive word using point, line, or plane. They will explore rhythm and balance visually through a project that looks at sequential design through construction of an accordion book, and experience the value of responding to chance through the use of accidental images and found content. We will use a course text by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips: Graphic Design, the New Basics. Class exercises will be drawn from the text, which can be found here.

Course Spotlight: Surface Design for Consumer Products

This summer, creative director and DCA instructor John Beach will guide students as they examine the role that style and surface play in consumer products, and how to design their own variety of surfaces for a range of products.  John took a moment to answer some key questions about Surface Design for Consumer Products:

Why is this course important for my design education?

Ultimately, it’s two fold. You learn and understand the structure and usability of a style guide, plus you will explore options in how to create your own content relevant to a target audience.  As designers, we are surrounded by style guides that dictate the fundamental usage of elements used to define brands, products and services. Often we are told how to use specific elements (for instance, the logo) to maintain that strict corporate image when creating beautifully designed packaging, or consumer products (anything that people purchase). More often, we are charged with creating these style guides so major brands will maintain a strong sense of continuity within the marketplace. We will look at how these style guides are built and utilized to control those steps.

What will I take away from this course?

This course is a hands on look at how to develop that style guide, for a product (or products) of  your choice. We will start by developing a concept for your line. Is it soft lines or hard lines? Is it textiles or paper goods? What is your target audience? Is it mass market or the luxury market? Each student will use a combined method of digital and hand built elements that will be turned into icons, badges and pattern work. You will be able to work in almost any medium you choose to generate your art (and then move into digital to complete the process).  We will then look at how to apply those patterns and art to a vast array of consumer products that form today’s modern marketplace.

In the end, you will walk away with a beautifully built style guide, based on your own art, showing a multitude of consumer products that could be built using your creativity. You will also understand, should you need in the future, how to use a corporate style guide to build most of the “every day” consumer products you see on the shelves of stores around you, whether that be Target, Crate and Barrel or Gucci, or your favorite local boutique.

Enroll in Surface Design for Consumer Products today!

AIGA/LA EMERGE at A + D Museum

Earlier this month, DCA students joined other emerging design talent from colleges and universities in the greater Los Angeles area to showcase some of their best work.  Check out some images from the May 12th opening reception below.  EMERGE was organized and sponsored by the AIGA/LA Education Committee, and hosted by the A+D Museum.

Special thanks goes to Loyola Marymount University student Andres Andrieu for documenting the event.

Summer quarter Getty Design internship

Work done by previous DCA intern, Naomi Hotta

The student will partner with a lead designer to develop graphic design solutions for various print ephemera connected with the Getty, including Education and Performing Arts. Work will involve collaborations with internal clients, production and web staff to coordinate deliverables. The Design Studio is a fast-paced, deadline-driven, creative environment that develops high quality design solutions.

The Design Studio at the Getty will offer a fully set-up MAC workstation for the successful student candidate. The Internship position is 16 hours per week. The work must be carried out at the Getty Center Design Studio. Allocation of hours can be flexible —ideally the intern would be here two 8 hour days per week (8:30 – 5:30 with a 1 hour lunch break), and option 2 would be four 4 hour days (8:30-12:30 or 1:30-5:30).
•Working knowledge of InDesign and CS5 programs.
•Ability to generate a design solution quickly and carry it through to completion.
•Strong communication skills.
• DCA certificate candidate.
Send your resume, cover letter and three work samples to dca@uclaextension.edu by Sunday, June 3rd. I’m happy to help you prepare your application and answer additional questions or put you in touch with past interns. Set up an advising meeting by calling 310-206-1422.

Course Spotlight: Functional Problem Solving in Package Design


Award-winning instructor Henry Mateo has created a new elective this quarter: Functional Problem Solving in Package Design. Here he tells us a bit more:

Why is this course important for my design education?
This course will focus on pushing all your design skills (conceptual thinking, digital skills, production skills, etc…) beyond your current limits. Your projects will potentially be highlights of your portfolio.

What will I take away from this course?
You’ll understand real world processes that will help you be a well-rounded designer, not only in the packaging realm, but in several other design disciplines as well.

Do you have a sample exercise/assignment?
Yes, my Morpha project highlights portions of the process book.

Internship: Clever Creative, Inc.

DCA alumna Francesca Fuges has let us know the design firm she works for is looking for a summer intern. Here are the details:

The Company
Clever Creative, Inc., is a full service creative design agency located in the heart of Venice, California. Our strategic and savvy design team understands the importance of listening to a brand and finding its visual “voice”. Through Brand Identity, Packaging Design, Print Advertising and Promotional/Direct Mail solutions, Clever Creative focuses on how to leverage a brands connection to its audience and provide critical momentum in the fast-paced visual world we experience brands within.

Clever Creative believes….
…in work that is smart, fresh and focused.
…in design solutions that embrace all 5 senses to build human connection.
…in listening to our clients and leaving our egos at the door.
Clever is, as Clever does.

Our clients include Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, The Hub, T-fal, Mattel, Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, Bio Ionic

Gas and Stipend for lunch plus class credit if applicable; Prefer minimum of 2 days a week 9:30-5pm.

Ability in Illustrator, Photoshop, preferably InDesign and Power Point.

To Apply
Contact Francesca Fuges at francesca@clevercreative.net.

Who Are We – Design Communication Arts

Our 1010 Westwood Blvd. facility where DCA courses are held. Our courses are also offered worldwide online.

Design Communication Arts at UCLA Extension comprises three certificate programs: a 16-course core program to prepare you for a transition to a meaningful career in graphic design, and two advanced programs for those who already have design portfolios and want to continue developing their skills: Advanced Print and Graphic Communication and Advanced Web and Interactive Design.

With us, you will not only learn the tools of design, but also how to think strategically and position yourself in a competitive market. While knowing and understanding production is an integral part of design, your unique perspective and critical thinking skills offer even greater value to the process. That’s why we emphasize conceptualizing the idea, not just decorating the product.

If you pay attention and challenge yourself, you will leave the program with confidence in your creative and practical skills, and with a portfolio that reflects your unique lens on the world.

To get a sense of what our students have accomplished, please peruse the “Some Graduates” links at right, as well as the selected sample work below.

Click here to see what we’re offering this quarter. There are courses appropriate for all experience levels, and we provide a classroom environment that is supportive yet challenging. All three certificate programs may also be completed online.

Questions about the program? Call (310) 206-1422 to speak with an advisor.

DCA graduate Molly Suber Thorpe and softfirm studios 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winning designs, AIGA ReDesign Awards:




Sample work of DCA graduate Eric Gardner in his new position as Design Associate with the Hammer Museum:


Award-winning pieces by DCA graduate Stacy Kimmel:

Marc Mertens, SESO & TED-Ed

Yesterday, we were excited to learn of the launch of TED’s new educational platform, TED-Ed.  Better still, Seso, the experience design firm founded by UCLA Extension instructor Marc Mertens, was instrumental in bringing this dynamic project to fruition. Marc will share his expertise in our upcoming summer course; User Experience Design.

The TED-Ed platform provides educators access to TED’s growing library of carefully curated educational videos, and the ability to build unique lessons around ideas.  These lessons can then be tracked through unique URLs, allowing educators to individually measure the efficacy of their teaching.  The TED-Ed site is an engaging new component in the educator’s tool box, and represents a forward thinking development in the continually evolving world of education.

TED-Ed has already garnered glowing praise from The Washington Post, The Atlantic, GOOD, and The Chronicle of Higher Education among others.  The Atlantic calls the new platform “Big” and maybe even “revolutionary.”  While The Washington Post remarks that TED-Ed uses “sophisticated animation, professional editing and high-quality production values to produce online lessons that are hard to forget.”

Check out this feedback from Marc’s former UX Design students:

“This was the best class I have ever taken, period. The subject material was really interesting and something that I can use in my career. I felt challenged, yet fully supported by Marc and the class. Out class also felt really cohesive and aligned. Awesome networking!”

“I wish Marc taught more classes! He is a great teacher, 110% knowledgeable, and really engaging. He makes a class in user experience a totally awesome user experience. I can’t thank him enough for all the advice, support and direction.”

“While he was an authority on everything we discussed, I liked that he also embraced other’s knowledge and expertise in the field.”

Apart from his upcoming User Experience Design course, you can also catch Marc at Big City Forum’s Mapping LA: Design Based Thinking, taking place May 2nd at the Armory Center for the Arts.


A Look into Martin Venezky’s Creative Process

Venezky's Studio

“The term “experimental” is often used as a code for unusable, weird, “crazy” or “going wild”. But I think that is a big misunderstanding, and something I try hard to correct in the classroom. When I teach an experimental class, I am quick to explain that experimentation is a methodology.” 

-Martin Venezky

Mr. Venezky put his own methodology to work for our Summer 2012 catalog cover, which you may have noticed popping up lately around the UCLA Extension building and campus.  Just released last week, we were excited to finally see the colorful and intricate design Venezky had created for us.

Martin Venezky is the mastermind behind Appetite Engineers, a small, internationally recognized design firm.  His interest in intricacy, complexity, ornament, and handwork has caused many wary employees to nervously inch their way toward the exit. But before taking flight, they have helped him create some wonderfully entertaining work for the Sundance Film Festival, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Chronicle Books, Princeton Architectural Press, and Blue Note Records, among others. 

Typographic Construction

His work has been featured in Eye, How, émigré, and Graphis.  Martin also was art director of the late, great Speak, a magazine of popular culture, literature, music, and art.  In 1997 he was listed among ID magazine’s “ID40” list of influential designers and, in 2001, an exhibit of his collected design work, Martin Venezky: Selections from the Permanent Collection of Architecture and Design, was held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  A monograph of his work, It Is Beautiful . . . Then Gone, has been published by Princeton Architectural Press.  Mr. Venezky has taught at CCA, California Institute of the Arts, and Art Center College of Design.


Final Catalog Cover design

Venezky shared some snapshots of his studio and the process involved in the creation of our cover image.  From the precise typographic cutouts to the carefully assembled ribbons and orbs, the handiwork involved in constructing the final image is quite impressive.

“I think that decoration, for its pure visual stimulation and wonder, is a fantastic thing. Our response to it is part of being human. Pattern, variation, texture, color, qualities of light and shadow, figure and ground – all of these things produce sensations in us that are based more on biology than rationality. The elevating of engineering to an aesthetic ideal is based on the purity of rational and mathematical thought.”

-Martin Venezky

windows-10-key windows-10-iso windows-10-product-key windows-10-activation-key windows-10-pro-key windows-10-education-key windows-10-enterprise-key windows-10-home-key windows-7-key-sale windows-10-key windows-7-key office-2016-key office-2013-key office-2010-key