W2021_DMA 154: WORD + IMAGE

DESMA 154 // 2:00—4:50pm PST// January 5 — March 11// ZOOM Class Link
Visiting Faculty: Beth Elliott // // 323.646.3040
TA: Allison Yang // // 714.851.7711



Studio, six hours; outside study, nine hours. Preparation: completion of preparation for major courses. Requisites: courses 21, 22, 25, and 101 or 104. Focus on the relationship of type to content, image, and materials. Acquisition of knowledge of and sensitivity to typography in context of complex communication problems in print and digital media. Research, concept and content development, and articulation of methodology for visualization. P/NP or letter grading.   Units: 5


Class time will be used primarily to review work either as class discussion, small group critiques or individual meetings. Every week you will have a new phase of the project due the following class meeting or week. Work is to be presented according to that session’s instructions (to come) prior to  2:00 pm PST for each class.

The class will be using three Apps for online l earning: Zoom, Miro, and Pinterest. More information about each is provided in the Online Learning section of this syllabus.


Students are to demonstrate their grasp of the material taught through design assignments, research, writing and participation in classroom critiques and discussion.


WORD + IMAGE is a 5 unit studio class. You are expected to work 6 hours a week in class and 9 hours a week outside of class. Every week we expect to see progress that reflects the 15 hours of weekly work for the class.


You must attend each class. This class will cover a lot of material in a short period of time. There is little, if any, way to make up for a lost class. You are responsible for work due on the day you are absent and for projects given on the day you missed. An emergency or illness is the only acceptable excuse. If you will be late, unable to attend, or late with an assignment you must alert the T.A. and/or me, by text or email before class begins (contact info above) that either you will a) miss the class and the reason; or b) why you will be late to class. If you are having technical difficulties with the Zoom App, text the T.A. for assistance.

Class begins promptly at 2:00 pm. There is a 15-minute grace period. If you arrive between 2:15 and 2:30pm, you will be marked tardy. Three unexcused tardies are equal to one unexcused absence. If you are later than 20 minutes you’ll be marked absent. Each unexcused absence will result in 1/3 grade point down on your final grade (A+ to A). Four unexcused absences will result in a failed grade in the class (F).

Because of the unusual circumstances of online learning this quarter, situations may occur in which technological issues or other force majeure unexpectedly interrupt the class or make it necessary to cancel a class session. We will do our best to notify you as soon as possible by email or text if a class is cancelled. Should a cancellation occur, assignment due dates will be adjusted as necessary.


Be respectful of others during critiques and take part in discussions. If working on a collaborative project, each member of the collaboration is expected to fully participate on assignment(s) with their partner(s).  Please silence your phone while in class. No text messaging, iChatting, Skyping, etc or emailing during class. Phones may be used, however, to document work in class.

Please observe appropriate Zoom etiquette by dressing as if you are in a classroom setting and remember you may be viewable, or heard, by the entire class, so consider your background and conduct yourself accordingly. Help conserve bandwidth and degradation in computer performance by muting your microphone when you aren’t contributing or presenting work and don’t watch other videos, listen to music on your computer or use applications not required for the class during class. Ask questions in the Zoom chat feature.

IMPORTANT: If you have a concern about the course or encounter a problem, please communicate that to us ( Professor, T.A.) so we can address it in a timely manner, that is to say, in a way that is of benefit for the process, experience and outcome of the course. I f you are having technical difficulties with Zoom, Miro, Pinterest, Adobe software or another class-related App, contact the T.A.


Projects are due in-class on the date listed unless otherwise specified. Be sure to review the Assignment Brief and it’s delivery instructions before you do the work. Don’t wait until the last minute to read the Assignment Brief. If you have a question about an assignment, ask me or the T.A., not your classmates.  Do not email urgent questions.  If you have a time-sensitive question (e.g. the night before it’s due), contact the T.A., or call or text me.  Be mindful of the file sizes of your work-in-progress assignments and the time it will take to upload them for presentation. Try to keep the PDF file size as low as possible without compromising the integrity of your image or type.

In addition to being presented in class for critique, all completed projects must be thoroughly documented and posted to the class website before they will be given a grade. Documentation must include a digital copy, photos and/or video as is appropriate (or where necessary), the assignment title, student name, title of piece (if appropriate), and description of the work. If the work was created in collaboration with another student, the collaborator’s name must be listed as a collaborative designer. Project documentation is due one week after the completed project is presented. Documentation submitted more than one week late will be marked down a a half grade.

NOTE: If a project requires a printed poster or printed & bound book or magazine to be produced and printed via the department’s Print Lab, additional time will be allowed for shipping & receipt of printed material.


Projects grading takes into account the conceptual, technical, and formal development as well as rigor and creativity. Outstanding or exceptional work will receive As, good work will receive Bs, sufficient work that does nothing more than meet requirements will receive Cs.

Each class you will be evaluated as follows:

  • 75%: Success of projects
  • 25%: a) Presentation of projects; b) Quality of effort; c) Class participation, engagement and attitude; d) Understanding of the assignment, reading material (if any), and your writing (if any); e) your contribution to a collaborative effort (if applicable)
  • Attendance will also affect your grade as stated in the Attendance section above. 


  • You are required to attend all classes.
  • 4 ABSENCES = FAIL (F) 


Assignments are due on time. Late assignments will be graded down a whole grade. If you have a question regarding an assignment, ask me, not your classmates. Should a question arise outside of class before an assignment is due, contact your T.A., or call or text me. Do not email time-sensitive or urgent questions because I may not see it.  Following are the types of assignments to expect.


Shorter exercises assigned and completed during one or two classes, with the intent to quickly explore and share diverse design concepts and/or solutions. Some will be collaborative, others are done individually.


Assignments to be done on your own.  Feedback from classmates during the process is acceptable and may prove useful.  Due dates will vary project type. Works-in-progress will be discussed in class either individual or group critiques. Assignment deliverables may include in-class presentations, printed and pinned-up physical copies, and/or digital presentation.



We understand the classroom as a space for practicing freedom; where one may challenge psychic, social, and cultural borders and create meaningful artistic expressions. To do so we must acknowledge and embrace the different identities and backgrounds we inhabit. This means that we will use preferred pronouns, respect self-identifications, and be mindful of special needs. Disagreement is encouraged and supported, however our differences affect our conceptualization and experience of reality, and it is extremely important to remember that certain gender, race, sex, and class identities are more privileged while others are undermined and marginalized. Consequently, this makes some people feel more protected or vulnerable during debates and discussions. A collaborative effort between the students, TA, and instructor is needed to create a supportive learning environment. While everyone should feel free to experiment creatively and conceptually, if a class member points out that something you have said or shared with the group is offensive, avoid being defensive; instead approach the discussion as a valuable opportunity for us to grow and learn from one another. Alternatively if you feel that something said in discussion or included in a piece of work is harmful, you are encouraged to speak with the instructor or TA. *Statement adopted from voidLab at:


Students with a disability or health-related issue who need a class accommodation should make an appointment to speak with Beth as soon as possible. It is University policy that students with documented disabilities receive reasonable accommodations through access to classroom information. If you have a physical, psychological/psychiatric or medical condition, or a learning disability that will make it difficult for you to carry out the work outlined in the syllabus, or that will require additional time for taking exams and completing assignments, please notify Beth and visit the UCLA Center for Accessible Education (CAE) in the first two weeks of the quarter so that we may make appropriate arrangements.  All information and documentation is confidential.


Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Accessible Education (CAE) at (310) 825-1501 or in person at Murphy Hall A255. When possible, students should contact the CAE within the first two weeks of the term as reasonable notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. For more information visit


As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, depression, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student’s ability to participate in daily activities. UCLA offers services to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, consider utilizing the confidential mental health services available on campus. I encourage you to reach out to the Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) for support. For more information visit:  or call 310-825-0768.   Walk-in hours are Monday-Thursday 8am-4:30pm and Friday 9am-4:30pm in John Wooden Center West. Crisis counseling is also available 24 hours/day at (310) 825-0768.


UCLA prohibits gender discrimination, including sexual harassment, domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. If you have experienced sexual harassment or sexual violence, there are a variety of resources to assist you.

CONFIDENTIAL RESOURCES:  You can receive confidential support and advocacy at the CARE Advocacy Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, 1st Floor Wooden Center West, (310) 206-2465, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) also provides confidential counseling to all students and can be reached 24/7 at (310) 825-0768.

NON-CONFIDENTIAL RESOURCES:  You can also report sexual violence or sexual harassment directly to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, 2241 Murphy Hall,, (310) 206-3417.  Reports to law enforcement can be made to UCPD at (310) 825-1491. These offices may be required to pursue an official investigation.NOTE:Faculty and TAs are required under the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment to inform the Title IX Coordinator—A NON-CONFIDENTIAL RESOURCE—should they become aware that you or any other student has experienced sexual violence or sexual harassment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *