Course Description

This course is specifically designed to serve as a broad foundation for students to give form to content. This is a hands-on studio course that will begin with projects that investigate typography, book and pamphlet design, digital printing, content on the web, and ideation. Contemporary issues that cross design and publishing are discussed through a series of readings and analysis of contemporary books, magazines, and periodicals across both printed and digital platforms. Students work individually and in multidisciplinary teams towards creating conceptual publishing projects that straddle disciplines of design and publishing, with a particular focus on the relationship between form and content.

The seminar portion will be the underpinning of a hands-on studio course, where students will get a working introduction to typography, image, layout, sequence, and order, with the aim to design and publish in interdisciplinary teams, both printed and digital, by the end of the course. This class is a good moment to think about how design can respond to an external system (in this case, publishing) in its totality, and go beyond the visual in concept. We will ground our discussions in how publishing accomplishes its functions of Filtering, Framing, and Amplifying . We will discuss the transition of the role of a designer from giving form to content, to giving/considering context in relation to both form and content.

Learning Outcomes

By the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Articulate the historical and contemporary role of design in publishing content in print and online. 
    2. Demonstrate comprehensive awareness of design systems, critical thinking, and cultural awareness. 
    3. Develop platform-independent design concepts. 
    4. Demonstrate basic abilities to form content through typography, image, layout, sequence and order. 
    5. Assess and incorporate feedback as part of an iterative design and publishing process. 
    6. Offer constructive feedback for others’ work. 
    7. Demonstrate an understanding of how design can respond to an external system—in this case, publishing—in its totality, going beyond the visual in concept.

Assessable Tasks


Project 1: Publication Design: Post-Internet Print Artifact

This project challenges students to find a born-digital, web-native publication and bring it into a physical printed format as a means of preserving it for after the (imaginary) media apocalypse.

In the process, they formulate an idea or perspective about how the translation of their selected content into a new form and format addresses an aspect of publishing discussed in class: form, content, context, audience, distribution, filtering, framing, amplifying, etc.

Project 2: Public Domain Digital Re-Mediation

Students will be reviving a literary work, from or their own research, whose copyright is now recently in the public domain, from (relative) obscurity by taking the content as an as-found publication from a previous era, and injecting new life into it by:
(1) adding contemporary content to frame the original within today's context,
(2) re-designing the form of the content for a screen-native experience, and
(3) providing a new context for the publication to surface it's ideas and delivery mechanism (i.e. content and form) within today's media ecosystem by either generating derivative samples or framing the form in another media ecosystem or platform.
Using this chosen public domain work (see channel resources) students will translate and augment the inherited content by designing a new publication edition in a digital format.

Collective Project: Potlatch Publication

At the beginning of every week, we will begin right away with a ritual gift exchange, where each person will bring a gift for someone else. This gift will not be physical, it will be virtual: it will take the form of an idea: an image of an artwork, a video, an article, another channel, etc...

On even weeks (2,4,6,8) each person will give however many gifts to whomever they please. On odd weeks (3,5,7,9) the receivers of gifts from the previous week will reciprocate by giving a gift to the person they received a gift from the previous week, and additionally give new gifts to whomever they please.

At the end of the class, week 10, we will have a collective class publication, created with a print on demand workflow using


    1. Defining Publishing: Generate a “dictionary definition” of publishing; what it means to publish today.
    2. Defining Audience: Use a Case Study to identify and research how a publication creates and/or speaks to an audience.
    3. Making a Graphic Treatment: Investigation of visual form and further design systems skills oriented towards a publication.
    4. Critique: Discussing how to give and receive productive and caring critiques.
    5. Forms of Publishing ⇆ Publishing of Forms: Research and notate the Tetrad of Media Effects for a chosen medium/format in groups


  • Ludovico, Alessandro. Post-Digital Print: The Mutation of Publishing since 1894. Eindhoven: Onomatopee, 2012.
  • Bhaskar, Michael. The Content Machine: Towards a Theory of Publishing from the Printing Press to the Digital Network. London: Anthem Press, 2016.
  • Bringhurst, Robert, The Elements of Typographic Style. Vancouver: Hartley & Marks, 1992.
  • Hochuli, Jost, Detail in Typography. London: Hyphen Press, 2008
  • Stuart Bailey, Angie Keefer & David Reinfurt, Bulletins of the Serving Library
  • Mcluhan, Marshall, “The Medium is the Message” in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, 1964
  • Mod, Craig - Subcompact publishing
  • Mod, Craig - Post—Artifact Books and Publishing
  • Mimi Cabell and Jason Huff, American Psycho, 2011
  • Ulises Carrión, “The New Art of Making Books” [1980]
  • Rasch, Miriam - The Phase of the Post-digital in Publishing
  • Rock, Michael - Designer as Author
  • Odell, Jenny - There’s no such thing as a free watch, Musuem of Capitalism
  • Farewell, Etaoin Shrdlu
  • Michaelson, Dan & Maletic, Tamara, Change over Time
  • Evans, Claire, Hyperland, Intermedia, and the Web That Never Was
  • Chimero, Frank - The Web's Grain
  • Yago, Dena - On Ketamine and Added Value, e-flux journal #82, May 2017
  • Shorin, Toby - After Authenticity, Subpixel Space, April 6, 2018
  • Institute for Network Cultures - Hybrid Publishing Toolkit

All readings will be provided.


Assignments are listed on the day they are assigned; i.e. they are due the following week. 

Week Date Topic
Part 1:
Print Publishing
1 2/13/21 Introduction and Course Overview
Publishing History 1450-1968
Defining Publishing
Project 1 Introduction & Examples
2 2/20 Publishing History 1968-2020
Defining Audience
Project 1 Proposals
3 2/27
Graphic Treatment, Typographic Systems
Print on Demand, Book Design
Giving & Receiving Critique
Project 1: Draft 1 Group Critique
4 3/6 Project 1: Draft 2 1-on-1 & peer-2-peer crits
5 3/15 Project 1 Final Review
Part 2:
Digital Publishing
6 2/24 Publishing Futures: Post-Internet & Rhetorical Software
Project 2 Introduction & Examples
7 3/3 How to Make the Internet / What is a Brand?
Project 2: Proposals & Technical Workshop
8 3/10 Project 2: Draft 1 Group Review
9 3/17 Project 2: Draft 2 1-on-1 and peer-2-peer critiques
10 3/24 Project 2 Final Review

Course Schedule  

Course Structure

Class will consist of a combination of visually-driven lectures, in-class exercises, discussions, software demos, and studio critiques.

Critiques (a.k.a. crits, pin-ups, reviews) are the best way to articulate your ideas to others and get immediate feedback. We will conduct an exercise reading and discussing methods of giving and receiving critiques and feedback. During the crit, the instructor and your classmates analyze and suggest ways to increase the visual and conceptual impact of each existing idea. Take notes when your work is being critiqued and do not edit the responses, whether you agree with them or not. Review your crit notes and reflect upon what was said. Ask yourself how you could combine, transform, or expand the ideas that show the most promise. However, resist the temptation to incorporate all suggestions and comments. Only utilize the ones that work for you and your project.

Rules of the Critique:
  • Be Present and Engaged
  • Give Feedback to your classmates
  • Do NOT take feedback personally

Action without reflection is meaningless; real learning only occurs as part of a reflective process. Reflection is studying your own practice as seriously as you study anything else. It involves thinking about why, what, and how you create something.


Student Responsibilities

    • Schedule your time (keep a calendar of some sort)
    • Come to class on time and participate (be present and engaged)
    • Study outside of class (ideally with classmates in the private Discord)
    • Devote roughly 3 to 6 hours per week outside of class, fulfilling assignments, reading, and studying concepts covered in class.
    • Complete and submit assignments by due dates
    • Read all assigned readings before they are due
    • Action – do your absolute best
    • Strive for continuous improvement
    • Email contact about logistics (when, where, how many?) only
    • Talk to me directly about issues and problems. If your email turns into a paragraph or two, talk to me in person rather than emailing.
    • Have desire amounting to enthusiasm (to learn, to explore)
    • Have patience, persistence, and discipline
    • Be creative
    • Pay attention to detail & craft
    • Have self-confidence and pride in your work
    • Take risks & be fearless in your projects
    • Have fun!

Class Policies

Use of Slack will be an important communication resource for this class. Students should check it regularly for collaboration and discussion with classmates, and for announcements before class each week. Tickets to Leave at the end of every class should be submitted as Slack Direct Messages.

Use of Zoom for synchronous class meetings will be an important part of this class. Zoom meetings will be recorded and available for watching by students afterwards.

Use of Miro will be an important resource for this class for pin-ups and asynchronous critiques.
Use of will be an important resource for this class for collaborative visual research and the Potlatch Collective project.

Honesty and Integrity
Creative honesty and integrity is the duty of every member of a learning community to claim authorship for their own work and only for that work, and to recognize the contributions of others accurately and completely. This obligation is fundamental to the integrity of intellectual debate, and creative and academic pursuits. Creative honesty and integrity includes accurate use of quotations, as well as appropriate and explicit citation of sources in instances of paraphrasing and describing ideas, or reporting on research findings or any aspect of the work of others.

Guidelines for Design Projects
Work from other visual sources may be imitated or incorporated into your design work if the fact of imitation or incorporation and the identity of the original source are properly acknowledged. There should be no intent to deceive; the work must make clear that it emulates or comments on the source as a source. Referencing a style or concept in otherwise original work does not constitute plagiarism. The originality of studio work that presents itself as “in the manner of” or as playing with “variations on” a particular source should be evaluated by the individual faculty member in the context of a critique.

Incorporating ready-made materials into  design work as in a collage, synthesized photograph or paste-up is not plagiarism in a learning context. In the commercial world, however, such appropriation is prohibited by copyright laws and may result in legal consequences.

Community Discussion Guidelines & Agreement
Community Guidelines can be found in this editable Google doc. We will add to and annotate this document over the course of the Semester.

Hello! ︎
Today is
The ︎ is currently
︎︎︎ Scroll at
Resolution =
︎︎︎ x ︎︎︎