Course Spotlight: Publication Design

This fall, advanced DCA students have the exciting opportunity to study Publication Design with veteran DCA instructor, John Beach. John let us know what students can expect and also shared some outstanding student work in the gallery below:

Why is this course important for my design education?
In Publication Design we take an in-depth look at page layout and the importance of using image, color and typography to control how the consumer “reads” a magazine, newspaper, and ultimately, a tablet. It’s like user experience for print. We will closely examine the importance of grid structure and pagination and how it visually holds together a huge amount of information in a way that makes it accessible and entertaining. Everything we learn in this course is truly a foundation for any form of “print,” whether its a magazine, an annual report, a printed book or an e-pub.

What will I take away from this course?
As a learning tool, each student will be required to create their own concept (about almost anything) for a new magazine which they will develop throughout the semester. You will start by doing a naming exercise to name the publication, then develop a branded logo based on target audience. You will then develop a table of contents, multiple department pages, feature spreads, a catalog layout, and of course, a cover. Ultimately, this creates a large portfolio piece that shows a cohesive understanding of how to manage a large amount of information, in a singular style, again using typography, image and color to hold the publication together and facilitate ease of use by the consumer.

It seems like everything is going digital these days.  Will this course also explore e-pubs and whatnot?
This course gives you a strong understanding of how to manage publication typography and image, whether it’s for print or e-pubs. We will examine closely how the trend in print can be applied to tablets (and vis versa) and how user experience plays a large part in controlling the interaction between the page, it’s content and the viewer/reader.

Check out this gallery of student work:


Course Spotlight: Mixed Media & Collage for Designers & Artists

Ever wondered what students produce in the DCA elective Mixed Media and Collage for Designers and Artists?  Look no further than the gallery below!

In this course, you will discover creative approaches to problem solving while developing your own visual language using photocopies, drawing, found art, photography, matte and gel mediums, and gesso. Transfer techniques and digital output also are covered. You complete 3 portfolio pieces that are critiqued on clarity of communication and aesthetics.

As a former student put it, this course helps with conceptualization skills because it’s not focused on learning one particular technique, rather on taking an idea and tranlating it. And it’s fun.

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!

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.

It’s Your Show 2012: Awards of Distinction

Last Friday’s opening reception for “It’s Your Show!” was a resounding success.  Exhibiting students brought family and friends to make for a great evening of art viewing and mingling.  You can check out a selection of photos from that evening on our Facebook page.  Also, you may have noticed on the wall placards and in our show program, that 5 students’ works were chosen to receive Awards of Distinction.  A big “Congratulations” goes out to the following students and their work!


Final Typography Project Shines

When a student forwards me artwork from another student because she is so taken with it, I know I’m in for a treat.

Such was my luck last week when I learned of Shyh-Shiun Jerry Wang’s “dot matrix” assignment from his Typography course with instructor Andrew Byrom.

Students were asked to create a dot matrix alphabet from something they saw around them, and Shyh-Shiun chose to use the UNEX Fall 2011 catalog cover designed by DCA instructor Masaki Koike. The quarterly catalog certainly is a ubiquitous fixture here at Extension, so it was so rewarding to see Shyh-Shiun’s clever reinterpretations:

Typography will be offered onsite as well as online this winter quarter.

Typography field trip explores the “the uncommon beauty of common things”

Instructor Andrew Byrom shared two exhibits with his students, the first called California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way” at LACMA, part of the Pacific Standard Time project celebrating the birth of the L.A. art scene.

The class then hustled across Wilshire Blvd. before it was shut down for President Obama’s motorcade to the Architecture and Design Museum, where Andrew discussed “the uncommon beauty of common things” at the exhibit on Charles and Ray Eames he co-created with Deborah Sussman.

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