Length of the course 15 months
Start October 2019
Academic training + internship
Graphic design has established itself as a vast professional field integrating different strands which are reflected in the variety of specialized career paths in the market.
From identity to editorial design, from information graphics to digital communication: the designer is called on to take care of all the graphic and visual aspects in the communication process. The programme of the Master’s course caters for the complexity of this scenario and allows profound experiences in the various areas of graphic design. The programme develops in an ongoing relation among these disciplines in order to promote a higher level of professionalism and enhance the technical proficiency of the designers. The studio classes draw up the students’ design thinking and their graphic abilities by reproducing the challenging dynamics which are peculiar to the professional practice. Format, layout and composition, typography and visual elements are closely investigated as key elements of the language of the graphic representation. The plan of studies includes advanced training into all the professional tools and up-to-date technologies.
Upon selection the Master admits graduates in Visual Communication, Graphic Design, Advertising or their equivalents and students from Fine Arts Academies with graphic orientation; candidates who have gained significant professional experience in the field. The program has a limited number of places available. Applicants will be admitted upon selection based on the student’s CV, portfolio and on an interview. Applications must be sent to the SPD Academic Office. More information on the admission process here.
The Master lasts 15 months (from October to December of the following year, with a summer break in August). Attendance is compulsory and full time. The total workload of the course corresponds to 1500 hours/student encompassing lessons, class exercises, internship and individual study.
At the end of lessons, students start a three-month internship at companies or professional firms in the field.
The Master’s course is held in English.
After passing the final exam, eligible students will obtain a Master’s Degree from IULM and SPD. The Master corresponds to 60 ECTS credits.
Programmes and teaching staff to be updated
Graphic Design Laboratories
Project-based courses encourage the students to face challenging themes, closely related to the diverse dimensions of the design practice: from identity design and branding to editorial and information design, approached as problem solver that allows to analyse and present complex information in an accessible form. Each laboratory is intended to stimulate strategic and creative thinking, while rounding off sound graphic skills. Studio classes cover all the phases in the design process, from the concept idea to the presentation of the project. Students work in an international and multi-cultural environment and meet with the tutors and the colleagues to discuss, revise and constantly develop their work. The final outcome is a project, where students use visual design as an active element, with a precise sense and a distinctive meaning. The learning experience values the student’s cultural background and emphasizes the role of dialogue and mutual exchange in the creative process.
This area conveys theoretical and practical knowledge for the correct use of typefaces in graphic design. The course investigates and elaborates a definition of typography, its purpose, the fields in which it is applied and all its different possible interpretations. Specific attention is devoted to the shape of the various gliphs and to the usage of typefaces by means of free hand sketches and drawings. The different levels of typography are taken into account: letters (form, function, typeface classification), text (spacing, legibility, composition), page layout (grids, text organisation with space consideration) and sequence (dynamic page flow).
During the design process the students will face all challenges of designing type – from the conceptual phase to the last finalization – through a relevant exercise connecting branding and typography.
The goal of the course is to give students an insight on visual communication through its development over time and its different fields of application. Along with the historical overview, critical views will be proposed and discussed, to invite students to develop a personal approach to visual design. The subject will be examined both from a chronological point of view and through a thematic narration. The development of media and production systems and the evolution of the role of the designer will be analysed in depth. Another subject handled is the evolution of the figure of the designer (artist, designer, art director) and their role in the communication process. A series of talks and encounters with the leading figures at international level is also part of the learning experience in this content area.
The teaching methodology combines functional and creative knowledge with technical abilities, with the purpose to develop increasingly complex projects. Each task integrates the key elements of the graphic representation: typeface, photographs, drawings and illustrations, diagrams etc. Format, layout, grid and composition are deeply investigated, to effectively communicate concepts. During the second semester, lessons focus also on the development of a portfolio and other supports of personal promotion.
Web design tools
The program enables students to create simple websites and multimedia with great communicative impact. An effective knowledge base of HTML language and of its most popular editors and applications such as Dreamweaver and Fireworks is transferred to the students to boost their technical abilities. The program also presents one of the most popular cms platform, its installation procedure, the creation of a Mysql database. Having completed the technical training, the students can produce their own website or digital application as a part of the personal branding assignment.
Colour and printing process
A complete colour managed workflow and effective operations for both print and digital production are essential for achieving quality and consistency across different media.
The course considers the technical aspects as design elements and investigates the impact of production requirements on the creative process. Design professionals acquire the basics of pre-press management and print production and understand how pre-press and press printing technologies, format and page layout, materials, surface effects and binding solutions play an important role in the transition between an idea and its execution. Coursework incorporates field-trips and classroom lectures.