Design in Context (online) | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Design in Context (online)

Because the outlines of the profession continually change, the graphic designer must know how to integrate an understanding of visual literacy with broad-based cultural knowledge.

This seminar examines the theoretical basis of graphic design, defining basic concepts and vocabulary used within the profession, such as information architecture, pattern-recognition, grids, proportion, rhythm, sequence, and gestalt. In addition, the course explores the contemporary history of graphic design from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, with an emphasis on cross-disciplinary inspiration, varied cultural influences, technological innovation, and expanded applications. Great emphasis is placed on thorough research as an integral part of the ideation process. Throughout the course, weekly exercises and small projects that build on one another provide the student with a comprehensive understanding of the discipline of graphic design. Students will have access to Adobe Creative Cloud software throughout the course. / This is a graduate level class and is part of MCAD's Master of Arts in Graphic and Web Design.

Open to students ages 18 and above. Review complete policies, including class cancellation policies before completing your registration.

Class meeting details

This online course will have a weekly synchronous meeting using Google Meet. The course is project-based, with 2 to 3 deadlines per week. Course activities may include readings; video demonstrations and tutorials; online discussions; projects; and critiques. The workload of this course is roughly 8-10 hours per week, whether the course is being taken for credit or noncredit.


An undergraduate (B.A., B.F.A, B.S.) degree.

Required materials

Adobe Creative Cloud (provided by MCAD).

A computer capable of running Adobe Creative Cloud software, with internet access, a camera, and microphone.

Class resources
This class uses Adobe Creative Cloud and Canvas, MCAD's learning management system. Please see links for more information.

See for a list of required textbooks.

Class savings

Register on or before May 13 and save $25.
Register for more than one class at a time and receive $25 off each additional class (same-day registrations only).
This class does not qualify for the $25 tuition waiver or the alumni discounts.
Additional savings. Are you eligible?


Contact MCAD Continuing Education at or call 612.874.3765.


Non-credit Tuition
Student Birthdate
  • Date:
  • Time:
    7:00–8:30 p.m. CST
  • Day(s) of the week:
  • Ages:
    Open to students ages 18 and above.
  • Term:
    Fall 2024
  • Instructor: Gracia Echeverria
  • Location:
  • SKU:
    GWD 6405 20 FA24


An undergraduate (B.A., B.F.A, B.S.) degree.