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Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences

Course Descriptions

PBDS Course Descriptions

See also the Integrated Design (DESN) course descriptions.

View the schedule of classes to determine course offerings by semester.

  • PBDS 501 Introduction to Computer Graphics (3)
    Introduction to design using a variety of software, including graphics manipulation, layout, presentation and digitizing, as well as printing hardware. Students learn to create and manipulate images and integrate graphics with text. Grading: pass/fail; credits do not count toward a UB graduate degree. Lab fee required.
  • PBDS 502 Introduction to Graphic Design Principles (3)
    Hands-on course for students with a limited background in graphic design. Emphasis on basic strategies for visual problem-solving and techniques for preparing comprehensive layouts.Pass/fail grading. Lab fee required.
  • PBDS 503 Workshop in Written Communication (3)
    Practicum in the skills of writing and research. Instruction focuses on projects in the student’s subject field. Emphasis on revising, proofreading, editing, adapting and translating for different media and audiences. Recommended for students in all graduate programs who wish additional work in writing, with permission of the graduate program director. Grading: credit/no credit or letter grade.
  • PBDS 600 Media Design (3)
    Examination of light, space, motion and sound—their manipulation and use in designing intentional communications and their interrelationships with words and graphics. Also examines the production process, from needs assessment and proposal writing to storyboards and finished program. Lab fee may be required.
  • PBDS 601 Words & Images: Creative Integration (6)
    Building on a foundation of rhetorical theory, students explore imaginative ways of communicating with audiences, both visually and verbally. Experimenting with brainstorming strategies prepares them to draw on their own creative resources as they develop original solutions to challenging communication problems. Publications Design students must earn a B (3.0) or better in this course. Lab fee required. prerequisite: PBDS 615
  • PBDS 602 Introduction to Digital Video (3)
    Introductory course in video and audio production. Students learn to shoot, light, edit and record sound in a digital environment. They also gain experience in producing for videotape, CD-ROM, DVD and the Web. Lab fee required.
  • PBDS 603 Editorial Style (3)
    Editorial style as a total concept, including the historical context of the written word, styles and methods of editing and special skills such as proofreading, line-by-line editing, reorganizing, rewriting, working with writers and artists and editing as management. Each student becomes the editor of his/her own special project. Lab fee may be required.
  • PBDS 604 Writing for the Marketplace (3)
    Writing for various freelance markets, including features and reviews, poetry, fiction, public relations and advertising. Analysis of the audiences to which various publications appeal and development of a proposed publication aimed at a specific audience. Each student conducts a thorough investigation of a self-selected market and prepares what is intended to be a publishable manuscript for that readership.
  • PBDS 605 Public & Private Languages (3)
    Examination of the “private” or specialized languages of various professions (e.g., science, medicine, education, government and politics) and the means by which these languages may be translated for the public. Each student investigates, through intensive reading, study and imitation, at least one specialized language and attempts to become proficient in adapting and/or decoding that language for public consumption.
  • PBDS 610 Visual & Verbal Rhetoric (3)
    Analysis and evaluation of visual and verbal texts composed in a variety of media—both traditional and electronic—in light of classical and contemporary theories of communication. Completion of a major project based on substantial primary and secondary research and tailored for a specific audience.
  • PBDS 611 The Craft of Popularization (3)
    Writing for a popular audience on topics that are especially sensitive and/or complex, particularly race, religion and politics. Emphasis is on translating the complicated or obscure into precise, graceful prose that is informative and enjoyable to read.
  • PBDS 615 Typography I (3)
    Exploration of the fundamentals of typographic form and function, progressing through the history, physical characteristics and implementation of type. Projects include the application of basic principles to an increasingly complex set of typographic problems. Knowledge of either Adobe InDesign or Adobe Illustrator is required for this class, which must be taken within the first 9 credits of study. Lab fee required.
  • PBDS 638 Digital Photography (3)
    Explores the endless possibilities of digital imaging. Beginning with acquisition, students learn about composition, lighting, depth of field and the substantive differences between digital and more traditional methods of photography. Students follow their images through the digital darkroom stage, exploring a variety of digital manipulation techniques to produce material for print and Web distribution. Emphasis on the development of portfolio-quality pieces. Lab fee required.
  • PBDS 639 Video Aesthetics & Technique (3)
    In-depth analysis of the aesthetic variables affecting video programs. Advanced video and audio projects culminating in a thesis-quality production. Lab fee required. prerequisite: PBDS 602
  • PBDS 640 Design Principles & Strategies (3)
    Exploration through hands-on design projects of the roles of typography, photography and illustration in graphic communication. Analysis of audience, context, goals, market, competition and technical constraints. Brainstorming and problem-solving in groups and individually. Projects are suitable for inclusion in the student’s portfolio. Lab fee required. prerequisites: PBDS 615 and PBDS 601
  • PBDS 641 Magazine Design (3)
    Intensive focus on the creative writer’s forum—the literary magazine—or on consumer and trade publications. Purpose, philosophy, cover and content design, typography, production and other aspects of small press and consumer publications are covered. A final project, chosen by the individual student, is completed during the semester. Lab fee required. prerequisites: PBDS 615 and PBDS 601
  • PBDS 642 Book Design (3)
    Exploration of books and book jackets as objects to be planned and produced, with emphasis on appropriate design choices and creative solutions. Lab fee required. prerequisites: PBDS 615 and PBDS 601
  • PBDS 645 Typography II (3)
    PBDS 645 Typography II (3) An advanced exploration of typographic form and function, beginning with the physical characters of letterforms and progressing to the application of typographic principles to more complex problems such as information hierarchies, narrative sequencing, message and creative expression. This course expands the class scope of PBDS 615: Typography I. Projects in this course will be suitable for portfolio use. Lab fee required. prerequisites: PBDS 615 and PBDS 601
  • PBDS 647 Information Design (3)
    The first priority of designers and writers is presenting information clearly. Students explore how typography, color, symbols, language and imagery can be strategically used to communicate complex information, underscore a message or tell a story more effectively. Students plan, write and design projects suitable for inclusion in their portfolios, all with the aim of elaborating their ability to organize information and solve problems. Lab fee required. prerequisites: PBDS 615 and PBDS 601
  • PBDS 649 Designer’s Survival Guide (3)
    Students develop design strategies that consider their clients’ needs and constraints, utilize professional design software to execute comprehensive layouts capable of being printed on a conventional printing press, communicate with print vendors using standard printing terminology and troubleshoot basic prepress issues. Lab fee required. prerequisite: PBDS 502, PBDS 615 and 601
  • PBDS 650 Advanced Graphic Design (3)
    Through a series of progressively more sophisticated assignments, students develop design solutions that resolve a range of problems normally faced by clients. Projects include institutional and corporate brochures, identity programs, posters and a variety of other communications materials. Lab fee required. prerequisites: PBDS 615 and PBDS 601
  • PBDS 660 Introduction to Web Development (3)
    Introduction to technologies and concepts that underlie document and information design for the Web. Students become familiar with client/server computing and acquire proficiency in HTML by developing code directly, without the use of simplified editing tools. Historical and critical readings explore the social context of the Web and other hypermedia systems. Projects introduce students to current development and production practices. Lab fee required.
  • PBDS 661 Advanced Web Design (3)
    Continues and builds upon the fundamental concepts and skills developed in PBDS 660: Introduction to Web Development. Students learn the skills needed to apply complex specifications for digital media. Emphasis is on advanced Web design using CSS, current scripts and plug-ins, content management systems and Web analytics to create more complex sites for diverse digital environments. Lab fee required. prerequisites: PBDS 601, PBDS 615 and PBDS 660, or permission of the instructor
  • PBDS 662 Design for Digital Environments (3)
    A digital interface design course focusing on design principles, elements and typography applied to interactive sites and other dynamic media. Students explore visually striking identity development and content styles, design mock-ups using creative software and implement designs across digital environments. Emphasis is on creatively conceptualizing, branding across media, designing with Web standards, implementing information architecture and user experiences successfully, and creating effective visual communications. Lab fee required. prerequisites: PBDS 601, PBDS 615 and PBDS 660, or permission of the instructor
  • PBDS 670 Motion Graphics for Interactive Media (3)
    Students explore the relationship between graphic design and time-based interactive media while examining the history and fundamentals of animation. Students use current industry software to produce a range of motion graphics projects for the Web and other interfaces. Special attention given to the creative processes and developing an appropriate conceptual, technical and aesthetic critical sense within the language of motion design for dynamic media. Lab fee required. prerequisites: PBDS 615, PBDS 601 Adobe CS4 competence and one of the following: PBDS 645, DESN 616 or permission of the program director
  • PBDS 671 Motion Graphics for Film & Video (3)
    After examining ways that motion graphics—logos, titles, etc.—differ from static graphics, and after learning various tools and animation techniques, students conceptualize, storyboard and produce motion graphics for video and other screen-based delivery systems. Lab fee required. prerequisites: PBDS 601, PBDS 602, PBDS 615 and PBDS 645
  • PBDS 680 Advanced PR Strategies (3)
    Overview of how to create and implement appropriate communications and marketing plans for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Emphasis is on research techniques, concept development and copywriting for all environments: online, print, video and animation. Other areas covered include writing proposals, making oral presentations and working with designers, artists and clients. Lab fee may be required.
  • PBDS 691 Art of the Interview (3)
    A face-to-face interview is essential for journalists, authors of books and articles dealing with current affairs and real-life issues, for documentary filmmakers and even for public relations writers. In all these fields, writers often need to gather information directly from people—orally. This course addresses how to research an interview, the ethics of an interview and how to distill information from an interview and write it up in a coherent, compelling fashion.
  • PBDS 692 Writing for Digital Environments (3)
    Writing for all contemporary digital forms, including websites, landing pages, e-mail, social media, blogs and more. Students also explore how content and technology interact. Students complete a series of professional-level assignments using the forms individually and in combination. Understanding the roles of research, search engine optimization, information design and strategic thinking in writing for the Web is also emphasized.
  • PBDS 693 Magazine Writing (3)
    Understanding, conceiving, writing and selling various types of magazine articles, including some of the following: trend stories, service stories, profiles, Talk of the Town, short features, personal essays. Readings include essays about the craft of journalism and books of narrative nonfiction.
  • PBDS 704 Copyright & Publishing (3)
    Introduction to media law, particularly as it relates to the field of publications. Provides a broad historical and theoretical overview and requires students to apply legal theory through the use of case studies and examples drawn from the business of media. Explores the impact of technology on the evolution of media law and considers ethical issues currently faced by professionals in publications and communications.
  • PBDS 705 Design-Business Link (3)
    Relying largely on case histories and class discussions, this course examines the role of design as a competitive business strategy, with an emphasis on the many ways that designers and business people can work together to provide the synergies that successful design can bring to any organization.
  • PBDS 712 History of Graphic Design (3)
    History of graphic design in Europe and in America, centering on the modern period but also dealing with design influences from earlier periods and from other cultures. Provides a background of visual solutions on which students may draw to solve their own publications design problems.
  • PBDS 719 Design Thinking (3)
    Introduces design concepts to those with minimal or no background in design and builds an awareness of the importance and breadth of design throughout our culture. Focuses on developing creative-thinking skills and visual literacy. Areas of design covered include graphic, information, digital, environmental and industrial design. Also examines and discusses design ethics, design sustainability and the evolving role of design thinking in business. Lab fee required.
  • PBDS 720 The Digital Economy (3)
    Impact of the digital revolution in a number of areas—how we make a living, how we govern ourselves and how we create values for ourselves. Provides students with an understanding of the way the digital economy creates a unique business culture and establishes (and reflects) a network of new economic values. Prepares students to effectively invest their time, talent and imagination in the new culture and economy of digital technology.
  • PBDS 735 Portfolio (3)
    Capstone experience during which each student prepares a professional portfolio that demonstrates mastery of the skills in writing and design emphasized throughout the program. In addition to refining work produced in earlier courses, each student produces a personal identity package and an electronic version of the portfolio. Lab fee required. prerequisites: PBDS 615 and PBDS 601
  • PBDS 740 Seminar in Publications Design (3)
    Culminating course in the master’s program in publications design tests and stretches all knowledge and skills students have been learning up to this point. Students conceive a solution to a particular communications problem, work in teams to analyze its audience(s), develop a plan for making it public via print and/or other media, and design and write a prototype. Lab fee required. prerequisites: PBDS 615 and PBDS 601 ; course should be taken in a student’s final semester
  • PBDS 750 Writing: Special Topics (3)
    Intensive exploration of topics in writing of mutual interest to students and faculty. Content varies according to the concurrent interests of faculty and students. Topic appears under that name in the schedule of classes booklet. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes. Lab fee may be required.
  • PBDS 751 Graphic Design: Special Topics (3)
    Intensive exploration of topics in graphic design of mutual interest to students and faculty. Content varies according to the concurrent interests of faculty and students. Topic appears under that name in the schedule of classes booklet. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes. Lab fee may be required. prerequisites: PBDS 615 and PBDS 601
  • PBDS 753 Media: Special Topics (3)
    Intensive exploration of topics in communication and media of mutual interest to student and faculty. Content varies according to specific interests and trends in communication. Topic appears under that name in the course schedule booklet. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes. Lab fee may be required.
  • PBDS 754 Business Practices: Special Topics (3)
    Intensive exploration of topics in the business of a publications enterprise that are of special interest to current faculty and students. Possible topics include managing a publications department, design studio or magazine, market research, and marketing and legal issues in publications. Topic appears under that name in the course schedule booklet. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes. Lab fee may be required.
  • PBDS 755 Backgrounds & Ideas: Special Topics (3)
    Intensive exploration of cultural trends, historical developments, ideas or systems of communication that have influenced or informed creative work in a variety of visual and verbal media. Content varies according to the concurrent interests of faculty and students. Topic appears under that name in the schedule of classes. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes. Lab fee may be required.
  • PBDS 756 Hypermedia: Special Topics (3)
    Intensive exploration of topics in hypermedia of mutual interest to students and faculty. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes. Lab fee may be required. prerequisites: PBDS 615 and PBDS 601
  • PBDS 775 Internship (3-6)
    Direct experience working with a publications staff. Internship opportunities include working with private advertising and public relations firms, nonprofit agencies at the federal and state levels or private business and professional agencies that maintain publications staffs. Eligible for continuing studies grade. Lab fee may be required. prerequisite: permission of program director
  • PBDS 779 Independent Study (1-3)
    Research or problem-solving project in some aspect of publications design. Topics and number of credits vary with individual student interests. Lab fee may be required. prerequisite: permission of program director
  • PBDS 789 Creative Thesis (3)
    Independent project, closely supervised by a faculty adviser. The thesis consists of a substantial body of creative writing (a volume of poems, a collection of stories or other prose, a novel), as well as the design for the cover, title page and one inside spread. Finished work is reviewed by a faculty committee. Eligible for continuing studies (CS) grade; otherwise grading is pass/fail. Lab fee may be required. prerequisite: permission of program director
  • PBDS 798 Continuous Enrollment (1)
    Provides continuing faculty direction, academic support services and enrollment services for students who have completed all course requirements for the degree but have not completed a thesis or final project. Students continue the independent work leading to finishing the thesis or final project that is significantly under way. Course may be repeated for credit as needed. Eligible for continuing studies (CS) grade; otherwise grading is pass/fail. Lab fee required. prerequisite: completion of all course requirements for the degree program
  • PBDS 850 Advanced Workshop: Writing (3)
    Organized around writing projects initiated by students in the doctoral program. Work is independently developed but critiqued by the class, the instructor and outside professionals. Course may be repeated for credit only with the approval of the instructor and the director of the doctoral program.
  • PBDS 851 Advanced Workshop: Design (3)
    Organized around design projects initiated by students in the doctoral program. Work is independently developed but critiqued by the class, the instructor and outside professionals. Course may be repeated for credit only with the approval of the instructor and the director of the doctoral program. Lab fee required.
  • PBDS 853 Advanced Workshop: Videography (3)
    Organized around videography projects initiated by students in the doctoral program. Work is independently developed but critiqued by the class, the instructor and outside professionals. Course may be repeated for credit only with the approval of the instructor and the director of the doctoral program. Lab fee required.
  • PBDS 854 Advanced Workshop: Publishing (3)
    Organized around publishing projects initiated by students in the doctoral program. Work is independently developed but critiqued by the class, the instructor and outside professionals. Course may be repeated for credit only with the approval of the instructor and the director of the doctoral program. Lab fee required.
  • PBDS 856 Advanced Workshop: Hypermedia (3)
    Organized around hypermedia projects initiated by students in the doctoral program. Work is independently developed but critiqued by the class, the instructor and outside professionals. Course may be repeated for credit only with the approval of the instructor and the director of the doctoral program. Lab fee required.
  • PBDS 899 DCD Project (1-6)
    Research and work connected to the doctoral project under the direction of a faculty adviser. A minimum of six semester hours is required for the D.C.D. degree.