ADV2360_2260 : Vector Art
2 Credits, 3 hours (1 lecture, 2 lab)

Wednesday 6pm – 8:30pm | N1103

Jenna Spevack

Course Description

Using techniques for creating vector art, design, illustration, and animation, this course will introduce the student to the vector art applications, Adobe Illustrator and Flash and will cover beginning and intermediate lessons including basic shapes, stroke, fill, gradients, pen tool, brushes, transforms, type, and layers. To this end the student will become proficient in the use of these industry leading applications and will be able to create original art. Equal emphasis will be placed on the development of professional work practices, creative problem solving techniques and critical thinking skills. Competency will reflect a mastery and control of the technologies and an ability to apply learned skills to creative projects.


  • AD 260
  • proficiency with Macintosh computers
  • working knowledge of Photoshop

Course Goals

  • Students will complete two major projects, practical exams, homework assignments and in-class experiments.
  • Students will present their in-progress and final work to the class for discussion and will use appropriate vocabulary to articulate ideas and concepts in a critique setting.
  • Students will participate in class discussions, brainstorming sessions and critiques.
  • Students will develop a personal creative process that leads to life-long learning and a successful, inspired practice.

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course the student will be able to:

  • Create inspired vector-based illustration, design and animation with confidence.
  • Demonstrate a practical knowledge of vector art tools and techniques.
  • Demonstrate professional work practices, creative problem solving techniques and critical thinking skills.

Teaching/Learning Methods

  • Lecture and presentation of new material.
  • Use of visual and tactile examples and hands-on assignments
  • In-class critique sessions where students collaborate in teams and critically discuss the work of their peers.
  • Individual assessment/documentation activities
  • Field trips / Museum visits
  • Sketch book


  • You are expected to spend at least 2 additional hours a week (outside of class) on homework, class projects and study.
  • You are expected to turn in your work on the date due.
  • You are expected to arrive on time and attend all classes.
  • You are expected to participate in class discussions, critiques and exercises.
  • You are expected to be respectful of your fellow students and offer help when needed.
  • You are expected to back up your work on CD or an alternate device every week. Flash drives are not an acceptable form of permanent backup.  Files left on the lab computers will be deleted.

Course Materials:

  • This CLASS SITE will be utilized for the posting of class materials. Please check it every week for new announcements and updates. The syllabus, handouts, assignments and exams will be posted here for your reference.

(highlighted items required immediately, additional supplies required per project)

  • sketch book
  • graphite pencils
  • pencil sharpener
  • eraser
  • inking pens (Pigma Micron .02, .05, and Pigma brush – or similar)
  • hard drive, flash drive, or CD’s to backup
  • digital camera or phone with camera and cable

You will be working on projects, tests and assignments for at least two hours outside of class. If you don’t have a computer with applications at home you will need to utilize the ADGA Labs during the week or on the weekends. Check the ADGA Department Posters to find out exact hours and days. You may also use the 6th Floor Student Lab or the Learning Center lab.

Grading Policy and Procedure
Grades will be awarded using the standard grading scale, but will be judged based upon a rubric that takes into consideration effort applied, technical understanding & creative use of resources for the completion of various assignments.

Grades will be based upon:

  • 20% Participation & Dedication
  • 80% Assignments & Experiments

Participation & Dedication is worth 20% of total grade.
Respect for your fellow students and the professor is demonstrated by:

  • Class preparedness (completing assignments on time, bringing materials to class)
  • Volunteering answers, asking questions, and helping other students
  • Paying attention during class demonstrations
  • Following project instructions and taking notes
  • Participating in critiques, presentations, and discussions
  • Arriving on time and staying for the full time period

If during class you are observed taking a phone call, checking email, IM, texting, on facebook, myspace, or the like, or working on other projects, the full 20% will be deducted from your grade and you will be asked to leave. No warnings or second chances will be given.

Each student will present his/her work for critique using appropriate design vocabulary.  The critique is a neutral dialog. Students will present their work and discuss the strengths and weaknesses, expressing what works and what doesn’t work in relation to the assignment guidelines. Peer responses will be given. No personal likes or dislikes are discussed without specific reference to design terminology.

Peer Presentations:
Students in groups of three may present an assigned and researched principle or element. In preparation, students will use library resources, books, magazines, online references such as ArtStor and write and present a formal lecture on the topic to the class.

Assignments & Experiments are worth 80% of the total grade.
There will be 2 major Assignments and several weekly in-class and take-home Experiments totaling 80% of your grade. Only assignments that strictly adhere to documented instructions and are presented in a clean, professional manner will be accepted for credit. Assignments will be collected or critiqued at the beginning of each class (when attendance is taken).

Every assignment’s creative process will be documented in your sketch book and should demonstrate:

  1. Research or Inspiration
  2. Experimentation or Iteration
  3. Development of Skill and Craft
  4. Expression of Form, Emotions or Concepts
  5. Thoughtful Assessment (verbal and written)
  6. Significant work hours committed


Attendance is required for all classes and greatly affects your final grade and your ability to keep up with the course content. If a student misses a class session, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the professor or a peer and make up any work missed PRIOR to the next class meeting. Excuses are unnecessary and irrelevant. If you want an A, begin by coming to class on time every week.

  • Two lates equal one absence. A student is considered late if s/he arrives after attendance has been taken. If s/he arrives after attendance has been taken and is marked absent, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the teacher.
  • After two absences your final grade will drop one full grade for every absence. If you miss more than two classes there is a strong possibility that you will receive a failing grade for the semester. This policy is in accordance with the school attendance policy. Check your student handbook (page 14) for details.

If a student finds they will not be able to present or hand in a project on the scheduled day, it is their responsibility to notify the instructor PRIOR to the due date and request alternate arrangements. Points will be deducted for late assignments and missed critiques.

Academic Integrity and Expectations
You are responsible for reading, understanding and abiding by the NYC College of Technology Student Handbook, “Student Rights & Responsibilities,” section “Academic Integrity Standards.” Academic dishonesty of any type, including cheating and plagiarism is unacceptable. “Cheating” is misrepresenting another student’s efforts/work as your own. “Plagiarism” is the representation of another person’s work, words or concepts as your own.

Recommended Books and Articles



General Design

  • Graphic Design: The New Basics, Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips, Princeton Architectural Press, 2008, ISBN-10: 1568987706
  • Design Basics, Lauer, David and Stephen Pentak. Thomson Wadsworth, 2008.
  • Art Fundamentals: Theory and Practice, Ocvirk, Stinson, Wigg, Bone, and Clayton. McGraw Hill, 2002
  • Universal Principles of Design, Lidwell, Holden & Butler, Rockport Publishers, 2003, 1-59253-007-9
  • Designer & the Grid by Julia Thrift and Lucienne Roberts, RotoVision (February 1, 2005), ISBN-10: 2880468140
  • Design Elements: A Graphic Style Manual, Timothy Samara, Rockport Publishers (April 1, 2007), ISBN-10: 1592532616
  • Type, Image, Message: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop, Nancy Skolos, Tom Wedell, Rockport Publishers, 2006
  • Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students, Ellen Lupton, Princeton Architectural Press, (September 9, 2004), ISBN-10: 1568984480Sensation and Perception, Jeremy M. Wolfe, Sinauer Associates Incorporated, 2005
  • Digital Imaging: Essential Skills, Third Edition, Mark Galer, Les Horvat, Focal Press; 3 edition, 2005
  • Design Thinking (Harvard Business Review) by Tim Brown. June 2008, Reprint: R0806E
  • Visual Images: Culture and Meaning of Images, Terence Wright, Berg Publishers (October 16, 2007), ISBN-10: 1859734731, ISBN-13: 978-1859734735
  • Principles of Design, Joshua David McClurg-Genevese, Digital Web, 2005,
  • Elements of Design, Joshua David McClurg-Genevese, Digital Web, 2006,
  • Principles and Elements of Design, Joshua David McClurg-Genevese, Digital Web, 2006,
  • Color: An Investigation, Joshua David McClurg-Genevese, Digital Web, 2006,