BA Graphic Design

Major study: Graphic Design Credits: 180 | Start date: October 2014 | Language: English
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The course of Graphic Design aims to form a designer of visual communication. This professional role foresees the ability to create communication tools, and to create the language and images which are capable of effectively transmitting the message and the value they are striving for.

Professional Profile: Graphic Artist, Visual Communications Manager, Multimedia Designer

  • The areas in which the Graphic Designer operates, range from the design of the visual identity of a company or product, to the realization of the packaging, to the creation of the graphics used in all company communication channels on line and off.

    The first year of the course of Graphic Design is dedicated to the introductory aspects of the field, and specifically to acquiring the basics, with regard to the culture, the tools and the rules which distinguish and characterize a project based behavior. In particular: font types used as tools of the graphic artist, the genesis and perception of forms and colors, software specific to graphics, the elaboration of images, including the cultural knowledge which allows one to interpret and decode the language of visual communication and cinema.

    The second year concentrates on the methodology and project design internships. The future Graphic Designer gains knowledge and competence in several specific professional fields, through practical experience in three areas of visual communications: the area of expressiveness, where symbols are transformed into trademarks, logos, posters; the area of rationality, where story building takes place through text, images and pages, and where each element has a precise role, and finds its place through the graphical and typographical choices made; lastly the interactive area, and the organization of information which is available to the end user.

    During the third year of the course of Graphic Design, the student concentrates on advanced project design through professional real world assistant training, experiencing real life situations as required of a Graphic Designer: from the corporate image, to product communication projects, editorial graphics to interactive design and television graphics, all through an extensive cross-media experience. The final thesis project is both complex and detailed, carried out in collaboration with organizations and companies who work together with the European Design Institute and who are looking for original and innovative solutions.

    The course is recognized by MIUR as an Academic Diploma Level I


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  • 1st Year
      • This course studies our visual and aesthetic culture by experimenting with contemporary artistic research and how it relates to technical and technological innovation and to the various different forms of expression and communication: from the advent of industrial civilisation in the mid-nineteenth century to the way that everyday life is reshaped in the daily flow of images conveyed by the media, by advertising and by the cinema; from the independent expressive codes generated by the avant-gardes of the early twentieth century to the links of sign and culture in mid-century and on to the very latest expressions of fragmented reality today.
        In particular, the course focuses on analysing the birth of aesthetics and the independence of art, how the concept of art changed pursuant to the introduction of industrial machinery, the birth of photography and how it has related to traditional techniques of representation, and the historical and critical developments of the leading artistic movements of the twentieth century, for the purpose of imparting knowledge about contemporary art as a tool for making stylistic interpretations of images.

      • In this course, students learn to identify the visual and tactile qualities of objects - both 3D pieces and graphic artefacts - and to understand how they fit into an historical, technological and methodological narrative, as well as one of form. They learn about the culture of design - be it of products or of communications - by analysing and dismantling a selection of “symbolic” objects.

      • Designing means progressing along a road that starts with a problem and passes through a series of phases until it reaches its solution. Those phases include research, analysis, the definition of a conceptual synthesis and its visualisation, exploring possible solutions and defining, checking and finalising the most effective solution. The course studies the origins of industrial design, the leading European schools and the elaboration of design theory, from the Bauhaus to the Ulm School, taking in the roots of graphic design in Italy, from Albe Steiner and Bruno Munari to Bob Noorda, and completing the picture with the contemporary international panorama: working in graphic design in the global digital world.

      • Students are provided with an extensive, profound familiarity with Photoshop, both in technical terms and from the standpoint of the working method adopted by the graphic designer who has to be capable of preparing images for printing and for the web. Adobe Illustrator is used to create graphic, illustrative and typographic elements in a vector environment. By the end of this course, students have consolidated their technique and are capable of making a thoroughly professional use of both software programs.

      • This course introduces students to the creative, technical and technological procedures that accompany the typographic preparation of a text to the layout of the page and eventually to the finished publication, by learning to use the professional software packages common to publishing. The complexity of this process of construction starts with a correct approach to the work flow and includes studying the organisation of the 2D space, the characters and the texts, their visibility and legibility and the system of communication stimulated by the contrasts and matches of colours, styles and visuals. InDesign is the professional software used to manage text and image layouts. Students start by defining the layout’s format, margins and grid and progress to defining style sheets and typographic hierarchies and constructing the complete mock-up, optimising the workflow throughout.

      • The course studies the basic aspects of composing in a “field”: how to structure a layout grid, positioning the various elements and determining their spatial relationships, dimensions, deformations and perceptive characteristics. As it has emotional, cultural and symbolic values, colour plays a decisive role in strengthening or weakening a visual message. During the course, students learn to observe its presence and distribution in a given subject, to distinguish between iconic and syntactic colours and to understand the chromatic scheme of spaces, objects and images. The typeface is introduced as the “ABC” of graphic design, the basic tool for every visual communication project. The course looks into the topics of drawing and composing all letters of the typographic alphabet, so as to impart a knowledge of both the history and the forms of typographic characters and thus convey an understanding of their differences of form and corresponding nuances of expression, so that students learn how to use them correctly and coherently in all fields of visual communication.

      • This course investigates the world of sensory perception and cognitive processes, illustrating the scientific theories that explain how our senses function and correlating this with research into the psychology of form. It tackles principles of colour theory, then uses applied sciences as a means for providing the technique for analysing the relationship between object, space and person, knowledge of crucial importance for designing a work in relation to sensory responses. The psychology of form establishes relations between the mechanism of perception and issues concerned with the use of that form and the consequent elaboration of creative languages.

      • This course teaches students to read the relations between contents, texts and image and the narrative processes used by the various different forms of visual communications and by the media. The learning method adopted consists of examining the bonds between form and content, aesthetic effects and systems of usage. The aim of the course is to analyse the process of communications, setting out to examine and dismantle its mechanisms, using the methods developed by the various schools of semiotics. A closer look is taken at audiovisual communications, with a special focus on the cinema and advertising communications.

    2nd Year
      • The methods and instrumental knowledge acquired during the first year are now developed on, using techniques and software for managing moving images and graphics in audiovisual and in digital videos: Premiere is a video editing software, After Effects a motion graphics software.

      • This course develops on the theoretical principles and the instrumental and design techniques used in the field of hardcopy and web publishing, experimenting with selected methods that imitate the latest forms of creativity. Magazines, catalogues and websites are ultimately stories made up of texts and images. The typographic hierarchy of the page or the screen, the relationship between text, hypertext and the various kinds of images (photographs, videos, illustrations and animations), the sequencing of the various issues under discussion, the definition of the structure used to surf the site and the interface and how it interacts with users: all these graphic elements enable readers to find their way around these stories. The course also discusses the use of software for making websites.

      • This course studies the languages and techniques of photography, both past and present, so as to understand the different uses that have been made of it, from making a documentary record of work to expressing the photographer’s own artistic language. The course provides students with the elements they need to interpret and produce an image for use in visual communications. The part spent in the workshop enables students to experiment with the medium of photography, using both traditional and digital techniques and tools, so as to identify the best approaches and methods for each kind of photo shoot. The course teaches students to analyse the context and develop their own spirit of observation, as well as to relate to the photographer, so with the point of view and the entire complexity of what happens before the image is actually produced.

      • This course builds on the development of phenomenology as a science or a method that expounds on the relationship between reality and artistic expression, so as to impart tools for interpreting contemporary artistic phenomena and how they relate to historical and cultural contexts and to social dynamics. The teaching method used helps students understand how contemporary forms of creativity come about and are represented and perceived. The course sets out to provide an interpretation of the contemporary visual arts by analysing certain practices, procedures and strategies used to construct an image. It also highlights these practices’ cultural implications in a broad context that takes in many different expressive styles and techniques of contemporary culture, so as to encourage students to develop an analytical and critical capacity.

      • A product’s visual communications generally have a two-way flow: from the firm to the product and viceversa. A product’s packaging and its graphic design are the result of the 3D transformation of the firm’s image in such a way as to tell the story of the contents: they tell us how to use and behave with the product itself, but also its collective imagery. Considered both individually and in terms of how they relate to one another, materials, forms and graphic design provide us with information and characteristics that tell us about the overall personality of the producer and, as a reflection, of the consumer. The aim of this course is to provide students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills for developing a brand or product communication project, with a packaging design that starts from the creative phase and culminates in making the mock-up.

      • Examining the relations between words and images, the course discusses several techniques of writing, so as to encourage students to develop their powers of observation and pay special attention to what happens around them and escapes observation. Every design has a form: the form of a graphic design develops from the combination between image and word. Imagining, thinking and writing are all phases of the intellectual adventure at the basis of every design. Special attention is focused on contemporary cross-fertilisations between the languages used by various different media. The course also discusses the techniques and languages of writing an advertising text. Copywriters know they have to interact with rules, but also that they have to aim at overcoming them using intuition, inventiveness, creativity, a spirit of observation and the ability to provoke and stimulate curiosity and interest, accepting the challenge of writing to be convincing. In particular, the course studies the relationship between words and images and the techniques of creativity, evocative words and verbal synthesis, titles, headlines, pay-offs, naming and the five “W”s: Who, What, When

      • By studying the processes of the media and analysing up-and-coming forms of communication, this course sets out to provide students with a basic grounding in the theoretical, methodological and technical tools used to analyse the processes of communications and media, focusing on contents, languages, forms of organisation and the analysis of the target audience.

      • The cinema is investigated as a complex system, in which forms of expression and styles of representation are the result of a new order of cultural organisation and a new way of experiencing the world. This course illustrates the salient milestones in the history of the cinema to the present day, describing it in terms of the relationship between technology and aesthetics. The course starts from films, and not from existing critical historiography, then proceeds to focus in particular on certain milestone films that have pointed the way to subsequent developments and  ontemporary trends. The evolutions in the cinema’s styles, expressions and narratives are put into the context of the technological advances achieved by the means of production and the consequential evolution of movie language.

      • This course studies the supports, tools and techniques used for the serial reproduction of a printed product, from the paper and its properties to the various kinds of bindings, how images, texts and graphic elements are treated and the right way to prepare files for pre-printing procedures, so as to achieve optimal reproduction in the various different printing processes: digital, typographic, offset, rotogravure and screen printing. Every constituent element of the product of publishing is observed and considerable attention is focused on learning the terminology used in the trade.

      • Interaction is the most eloquent and exciting opportunity and terrain for investigation to have been generated by the digital revolution. This course covers all the stages of designing interactive environments, considering relations with single and multiple users and the interconnections between scenarios, sound and actions. Cinema 4D is a software package that enables real or virtual objects and environments to be represented in 3D. As such, it is a useful tool both for visualising a design (such as a packaging or an installation) and for creating contents earmarked for the web or other digital contexts.

    3rd Year
      • The contents of this course cover the historical construction and the structural and linguistic analysis of the methods of production and distribution of mass communications, the essential characteristics and categories of leading media markets (television, cinema, publishing and multimedia) and the strategic behaviours of the business concerns that operate in the various fields in question. The procedures studied encompass traditional and new media, the press, radio, analogical television, terrestrial digital and satellite television, the various forms of web and mobile TV and potential future scenarios.

      • The fundamental characteristic of the graphic design disciplines taught in the final year is that they approach the design of a system that is structured in the various fields of communication. Various areas are tackled in this course: the design of interactive systems for both the web and mobile devices or otherwise, publishing design and editing, aimed both to paper books and magazines or digital publishing products. The approach adopted sets out to give students a realistic simulated taste of professional practice: from the brief to the “end product”, they apply a process whose every phase is methodologically correct, considering both the conceptual approach and the technical and linguistic issues specific to the tools and the contexts in which the design project is developed.

      • Two major themes are discussed during this course: on the one hand, students’ familiarity with software for motion graphics, while on the other hand, these same skills are applied to designing graphic interfaces and graphics for audiovisuals and for television. Students then develop a “television interface” project, featuring all those kinds of input that are used increasingly in television language to state a channel’s identity, distinguish its programmes and convey information additional to the filmed images.

      • This course provides students with the skills for planning, promoting and managing cultural and design activities, with a special focus on the market of the applied arts and of communication. The strategic principles of marketing, which aim at identifying, developing and launching every product, are adapted here to the specific field of the creative industries, for the purpose of understanding and anticipating the expectations and needs of consumers and users. The course develops on both the tools of strategic marketing related to the work (the phases and methods of execution, time frames, costs and benefits) and the mechanisms that drive the markets and consumption, the social context and the targets who are the ultimate recipients of the designers’ work. The course develops the skills that students will need to manage the phases of the creative process and design teams, co-ordinating different skills and directing the work to cater for market expectations: from managing cultural heritage to creating extended services, design management sketches alternative rationales of competition and perspectives of change in the local economy, adopting an interdisciplinary approach.

      • For the maximum benefit to accrue from works of art and the places devoted to creativity calls increasingly for the design of an extensive communications system focused on spaces and architectural containers, whether permanent or impermanent, of the needs of the community and of the independence of the artist and the designer. The aim of this course is to provide an overview of contemporary design work in this field, so as to define, develop and experiment with the skills and capacities used by designers to break out of the 2D confines of the sheet of paper and get to grips with the 3D reality of urban spaces, territories and buildings, with projects of architectural graphics, installations, events and temporary architecture. Or to study how the didactic apparatus of information captions in an exhibition or a museum display is structured.

      • The design disciplines discussed in the third year address topics that are covered in part autonomously by individual lecturers, each following his specific remit, but that at the same time also converge on a workshop where those specifics are harnessed to build a complex, yet homogeneous and unitary, system of communications. The input to this workshop is methodological, cultural, technical and specialised.

  • Annbjer Daniel

    Daniel Annbjer is a Swedish Graphic Design & Art Director, graduating in 2008 from the IED Graphic Design 3 year course in Milan he now collaborates and works for various design and advertising agencies developing Branding, Corporate Identity, Illustration, Campaign and Strategic thinking in both ATL and BTL projects with National & International Clients.
    2010 set his first solo exhibition in the Tortona 20 gallery displaying illustrations and graphic works, he then founded the creative platform and indie brand FVSD as well as the art collective Pastel Castles in 2013 collaborating with various artists and brands connected to popular culture and urban art and from 2014 he collaborates with IED Milan teaching Branding and Product Communication.

  • Acquario Civico Milano
    Associazione Interessi Metropolitani
    comune di milano
    Cotto D
    Museo MAGA
    Medici Senza Frontiere
    Osservatorio Utenze Deboli
    Parco Media Valle del Lambro
    Radio Popolare
    Smoking Paper
    SVS DAD Onlus
    Università degli Studi di Milano
  • Libraries

    IED Roma has two libraries for study and research purposes, with books, newspapers, journals and audiovisual documents, which can be consulted on site or borrowed.

Courses of Visual Communication in Milan

Continuing study programs
Digital Graphics Duration: 180 hours, twice a week - (Monday and Wednesday) from 7 to 9.30 pm Language: ITA Start date: 20-10-2014 Credits: ITAENG
Photography Duration: 320 hours, 4 times a week - (Monday to Thursday) from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm Language: ITA Start date: 27-10-2014 Credits: ITAENG
Web Designer Duration: 165 hours, twice a week - Tuesday and Thursday form 7 to 9.30 Language: ITA Start date: 28-10-2014 Credits: ITAENG
Design and drawing techniques 2 Duration: 180 hours, twice a week Language: ITA Start date: October 2010 Credits: ITAENG
Graphic Illustration Duration: 45 hours - 2 evenings/week (Monday and Wednesday) from 7 pm to 9.30 pm. Language: ITA Start date: 27-04-2015 Credits: ITAENG
Fashion Photography Duration: 60 hours, once a week Language: ITA Start date: 26-01-2015 Credits: ITAENG
PVM After Effects CS4 Mac Duration: 30 hours Language: ITA Start date: April 2010 Credits: ITAENG
Shooting technologies Duration: 45 hours, twice a week Language: ITA Start date: October 2010 Credits: ITAENG
Drawing and Illustration Techniques Duration: 270 hours, 3 times a week -3 evening a week, (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday), from 6.30 to 9.30 Language: ITA Start date: 28-10-2014 Credits: ITAENG
Literacy and Photoshop:Image digitalisation and processing Duration: 60 hours - 2 evenings/week (Monday and Wednesday) from 7 pm to 9.30 pm Language: ITA Start date: 20-10-2014 Credits: ITAENG
DG Illustrator Duration: 45 hours - twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) form 9 to 21.30 pm Language: ITA Start date: 26-01-2015 Credits: ITAENG
DG InDesign Duration: 45 hours - twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) from 9 to 21.30 pm Language: Start date: 25-03-2015 Credits: ENG
10 Filmmakers for Lancia Ypsilon Duration: 18 days Language: ENG Start date: 01-04-2015 Credits: ITAENG

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© 2010 Istituto Europeo di Design
All rights reserved

Project of Presidenza IED, Marketing office

Project leader
Guido Racinelli

Project designers
Guido Racinelli, Marko Simic, Giovanni Molteni

Interaction design
Marko Simic

Graphic design
fleka d.o.o.

Content Manager and editor
Fabrizo Li Perni

Content Editor
Fernanda Massarotto

Software development
fleka d.o.o.

IT Integration, InIED data base management
Giovanni Molteni, IED

Video, media support and integration
Sergio Valsecchi, Lsw Multimedia s.r.l.
fleka d.o.o.

System administration, IT Office
Giacomo Baruffi, Domenico Bruno

Thanks to
IED Madrid, Xavier Maseda, Fernando Garcia
IED Roma, Enrico Moretti
IED Milano, Mauro Maruccia, Sara Podestà, Elisa Bergamaschino



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