Dr. Kaitlin Hanger
Office: Rm 154, 1535 Levante Ave.
Photo Imaging Bldg. at Studio Arts
Phone: 305-646-8046

Think of this website as your ART109 "Bible." Review it before and after every class for announcements, assignment details, instructions, quiz study guides, resources, and advice for all things ART109.


There are 3 Learning Modules in this course:
  • Module 1, Raster Imaging with Photoshop
  • Module 2, Vector Imaging with Illustrator
  • Module 3, Desktop Publishing with InDesign. 
The website is organized accordingly. You will thus find schedules for each of our 3 learning modules for this semester (with all the deadlines and assignment details) provided at each of the appropriately named gray page tabs under the blog banner above.

You will also note that there is a TRAINING tab. This page lists all the video tutorials you'll be required to complete for each module this semester.

The tab called TOOLS provides quick-ref guides to the Adobe Creative Suite software used in this course.

THE FAQ TAB...answers frequently asked questions about the lab, software, and the course itself. If you are working alone in the lab and experiencing a problem, you may discover the answer here.

The remaining tabs are galleries of artwork accomplished in previous semesters, provided for inspiration in upcoming assignments.

Announcements and updates (in addition to campus opportunities) are posted daily on the HOME page.

THE LEGALESE (Your Official Syllabus): 


Click to download entire syllabus and current schedule

COURSE DESCRIPTION: ART 109 (3 credits) covers principles in and the practice of computer proficiency and related cognitive skills development for desktop publishing, digital imaging, and visual design.

COURSE OBJECTIVESART 109 is fundamental for any student who plans to enter one of the professional fields related to digital imaging or desktop publishing. The course provides opportunities to explore creativity and learn powerful software applicable to professional use while exploring intelligent cognitive approaches. The class will help you:

·       Learn basic aesthetic assumptions behind the structural elements of digital design, including layout, typography, digital composition, resolution, electronic formats, effective visual messaging, and clarity
·       Gain a comfortable working knowledge of the Macintosh platform and Adobe’s Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign)
·       Build your visual communication skills through lab work, computer practice, visual assignments, class discussion, and critiques
·       Learn to distinguish effective communication from ineffective when using digital tools
·       Understand the current “artisan” and creative issues surrounding new media and apply design and rhetorical (persuasion) theories holistically to your work
·       Become familiar with expectations for professional presentation of digital media
·       Refine your creative problem-solving skills pertaining to digital imaging and design

REQUIRED TEXTDESIGN FUNDAMENTALS FOR NEW MEDIA by James Bennett (Delmar Cengage Learning, 2012) 2nd edition. ISBN-10: 1133131131 $64 new. (Homework and reading assignments are assigned from this text. Order online or obtain from the UM Bookstore ASAP.) STAYING CURRENT WITH THE ASSIGNED READINGS WILL ENSURE YOU A BETTER GRASP OF THE PROJECT EXERCISES AND ENSURE A BETTER GRADE!


As with most new skills you learn in the communication professions, the mastery of the hardware and software needed used in this course is primarily in your own hands. The more time you spend working with the programs, the more competent you will become. I recommend software books published by Adobe  (such as the “Classroom in a Book” packages) and Visual Quickstart Guides as aids. You can ALSO find many such resources online or at your local bookstore. The online resources at and are highly useful:



Bring a sketchbook (any size) to each class to use for note taking, thumb-nailing, and brainstorming. You will also need to bring a set of working ear buds or ear phones for listening to tutorials every day and a memory stick to back up your projects.  (Other supplies are available at Pearl Art. I recommend buying them as needed.)
·    Sketchbook (5 1/2 x 8 1/2 or larger)
·    2GB+ Memory (external drive, approved Plug-n-Play Drive, or online space)
·    a set of working ear buds or head phones for tutorials
·    Matt board, X-acto knives and extra blades, and spray adhesive for mounting printed projects when assigned


There are 3 Learning Modules in this course:
  • Module 1, Raster Imaging with Photoshop
  • Module 2, Vector Imaging with Illustrator
  • Module 3, Desktop Publishing with InDesign. 
Announcements and updates (in addition to campus opportunities) are posted daily on the HOME page.

Throughout the semester, each student will be responsible for completing a number of visual presentations in the three different learning modules (Photo/Illustrating/Design). In addition you will complete four quizzes, seven introductory exercises completed in class, and a final project/ portfolio that includes a written self-evaluation of the work you’ve accomplished for the term.  Assignment details will be covered in class and handouts available at the Blackboard site and on the student server for downloading. All assignments must be completed to receive a passing grade.

Outline of Assignments                             Grade Percentage 
4 Quizzes 
7 Introductory & Practice Exercises
3 Photo(shop) Assignments        
1. Photo Enhancement (5 pt.)2. Color  (5 pt.)3. Composite Image (10 pt.)
3 Vector (Illustrator) Assmts
4. Logo (5 pt.)5. Word Art (10 pt.)6. Illustration (10 pt.)
3-Desktop Publishing (Id) Assmt
7. Poster (10 pt.) 8.Magazine (10 pt.)9.Self-Promo(10pt.)
Class Participation*
*Class participation includes attendance, promptness, preparedness, participation in class discussions, attentiveness to lectures, teamwork, and performance on in-class work, tutorials, assigned practice exercises, and critiques. For more detailed explanation see “Class Participation” above.

GRADES: Scores are determined on varying point scales using evaluation rubrics that you can access online. Your grade for each project indicates the number of total points you have earned for the assignment (total possible for each is listed above). All assignments together add up to 98 with another possible 0 to 2 points added for class participation.* If you have concerns regarding grades you receive on assignments, you must first present your complaint to me in writing. I will review your concern and arrange to meet with you to discuss it in a timely fashion. Unresolved problems will be resolved following college guidelines for grade appeals policy.

ASSIGNMENT REQUIREMENTS: Presentation is everything in visual communication. Before submitting work, ask yourself: "would I submit this to a potential employer?" Learn professional work habits by thinking of yourself as a pro now. If your work is refused for slipshod work or failure to follow directions and resubmitted after the project deadline, you will be penalized.

Written assignments will be graded on clarity, demonstration of critical thinking skills, competence in theoretical writing, and your illustrated knowledge of the techniques presented in class. Any written assignments must be typed. Email is accepted.

Visual components of assignments will be graded on the demonstrated application of concepts learned in class, a display of creativity, and a clear focus on self-improvement in your work. I expect to see you making concerted attempts to apply what you are learning about effective design, from the readings from this class, Internet research, and from self-paced tutorials to your own visual work. Some assignments will be submitted in electronic format, others in printed hard copy. (Refer to the assignment details for each project in the Learning Module handouts for more information.

Keep a backup copy of all work turned in and SAVE OFTEN!! If you turn in your only copy and it is “misplaced,” you will receive a failing grade for the assignment unless I have seen you working on it in class.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Throughout the semester I may also assign discussion questions to you. In this case, you will typically be asked to post on the blog or bring a written question for the class to discuss based on your own design problems, the lecture topics, or other assigned topic.

CLASS CRITIQUES:  Class critiques will be held on the day projects are due. All students are expected to participate in these or will sacrifice points.
EXAMS: The four quizzes cover readings, lectures, and visual presentations and consist of multiple choice and short answer questions. Questions will be designed to test the student's understanding of the material covered in the textbook and in class. It is expected that each student will respect the Honor Code and work individually on any exam. THERE IS NO FINAL EXAM FOR THIS COURSE.


ATTENDANCE: Missed class periods and/or chronic lateness will absolutely affect your final grade. You are allowed two (2) excused absences only for the semester without suffering a grade penalty and only if you provide appropriate documentation. (Excused absences must be discussed with instructor a week or more in advance or, if due to illness, accompanied by a doctor's notice. Family emergencies (involving immediate family members only to be excused) also require documented proof. One or two absences without documentation results in a point deduction each from your final grade. Your third absence, whether excused or unexcused, will drop the final grade by 3 points automatically with each subsequent absence thereafter resulting in another (accumulative) point deduction. Do not schedule flights, doctor appointments, appointments to get your car fixed, vacations or other plans that conflict with this class. These are not excusable. If you do have a conflict let me know ahead of time. If you cannot attend the class period for a scheduled presentation or exam, you must contact me at least one week PRIOR to your absence by communicating with me via email in order to arrange a make-up. Failure to do so will result in a zero on the missed assignment. Failure to arrive on time may also be recorded as an absence. 

If you do miss a class, it is your responsibility to check the course website for assignments and data missed, borrow class notes on lecture material from a fellow student, and make up any missed work. DO NOT EMAIL OR TEXT ME AND ASK WHAT YOU'VE MISSED. This is irresponsible and unprofessional behavior. 

NOTE FROM THE COLLEGE ON ABSENCES FOR HOLY DAYS--The College of Arts & Sciences policy on Holy Day absences states: "It is the student's obligation to provide faculty members with notice of the dates they will be absent due to observance of religious holy days, preferably before the beginning of classes but no later than the end of the first two weeks of class. For religious holy days that fall within the first two weeks of class, students must provide faculty members with notice no later than two class days before the absence. Missing a class due to travel plans associated with a particular religious holy day does not constitute an excused absence. Absences due to observance of religious holy days that are not pre-arranged with the relevant faculty member within the first two weeks of class may be considered unexcused, and the faculty member may therefore prevent the student from making up examinations or assignments missed during the period of absence. Absence in observance of a religious holy day does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence. Students who are absent on days of examinations or class assignments shall be offered a reasonable opportunity to make up the work without penalty, if the student previously arranged to be absent.

PARTICIPATION: To earn the total points possible for class participation you must have consistently arrived on time, met all assignment deadlines on time, completed all lab and in-class exercises, participated verbally in class critiques, been willing to assist others, and joined enthusiastically in class discussions. Points are deducted when you fail to meet these requirements and you can continue to accumulate into the negative numbers when a zero for participation is reached. You have a mutual responsibility for shaping the classroom learning environment. Please take that role seriously. Be an active learner and an engaged listener, participate enthusiastically in discussions and in-class critiques, be prepared, offer constructive feedback on other students’ project progress, and apply what you're learning to your final work for this course. Most importantly SHOW UP & KEEP UP WITH THE READING! Share your experiences with me and your cohorts and set concrete goals for your own improvement. 

ALSO, announcements are uploaded to the course website after each class. You are required to refer to the website regularly between classes for updates and changes in instructions or deadlines. Successful completion of this course requires your full attention and commitment as well as a great deal of self-directed, effective time management. I expect you to be well prepared for classes; to follow through on commitments made to me, yourself, and your fellow classmates; to read and know the details of all reading assignments and handouts; to complete your tutorials and self-training with software on time; and to be proactively self-directed. 

When you miss a quiz without making preparations to take it in advance and you don't show up to make it up by the end of the next class period, you will receive a zero.

PREPAREDNESS: Announcements are uploaded to the course website after each class. You should refer to the website regularly between classes for updates and changes in instructions or deadlines. Successful completion of this course requires your full attention and commitment as well as a great deal of self-directed, effective time management. I expect you to be well prepared for classes; to follow through on commitments made to me, yourself, and your fellow classmates; to read and know the details of all reading assignments and handouts; to complete your tutorials and self-training with software on time; and to be proactively self-directed. Additionally, I expect projects to be well thought out in advance of the due dates and professionally executed when turned in. (‘C’ assignments are often ‘A’ assignments turned in too early and not given time for creative “incubation.” Learn to revisit and revise your work several times before sending it in. That means getting an early start on each step of the project!) Since deadlines for assignments are clearly marked in the course schedule you should plan appropriately NOW for finishing them on time. The time to be concerned about your performance in this class is at the beginning of the term—not the end. Failure to present assignments on time will markedly lower your grade.

DECORUM: Behavior and conduct must be consistent with university guidelines and honor codes. In addition:
  • Come to class on time. Announcements, crucial messages, assignment details, and lectures are made promptly at the BEGINNING of class. Because you will be learning at your own pace, leaving early if you must be somewhere else is much more preferred to arriving late!
  • Reading your email, newspapers, magazines, or other textbooks in class while I am lecturing or while the class is having a discussion or critique is inconsiderate and will affect your class participation grade. If you insist on being rude in this way then you will receive several really mean looks from me, and your name will be entered in “Dr.Hanger’s All-Time List of Students Who Have Irritated Me” –a list I plan to publish one day when I’m famous. The good news is that this may be one of your few classes where cell phones, mp3 players, and talking are not met with scowls during non-lecture lab work sessions. During such studio time--after lecture and announcements are made and quizzes completed--you are often working on your own and friendly conversation is actually welcomed. 
LAB AVAILABILITY: You will inevitably need to spend some time outside of class in the classroom working on your assignments. Sunday, evening, and additional work hours in the lab will be posted on the bulletin boards outside the classroom door. (The lab is closed to undergraduate students on Saturday.) Students who wish to use the lab outside of class time are expected to act responsibly, back up your projects, refrain from changing or moving files that are not your own, and follow the lab rules just as you would in class. These computers are not to be used for work other than that you must accomplish for classes in the art department (no games, downloading music). Students using the lab are fully and independently responsible for its safety and for the safe and undamaged transport or storage of any files you create. 

FOOD AND DRINK ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT ALLOWED IN THE LAB AT ANY TIME. If you are acting irresponsibly in the lab or are in the lab at the wrong time, the monitors on duty will ask you to leave and can have Public Safety escort you out if you do not cooperate.
READING:  It is imperative that you maintain a working understanding of the reading material, as this knowledge will guide you through class discussions, papers, and a critical synthesis of the concepts learned in class. Without reading the assigned texts you cannot expect to do well on the project assignments. I expect you to read all assignments (specified in the course schedule). The best way to tackle concepts and theories covered in the course is through spirited discussion, argument, and collective laughter, none of which are possible without a thorough emersion in the reading material prior to class.  Some reading material is in addition to the textbook and is linked from the blog.
ACADEMIC HONESTY: Do your own work and correctly cite sources that you have used in your research where appropriate. Plagiarism of assignments will be reported to the honor code council and can result in dismissal from class or the college. Plagiarism is the deliberate use of another’s work as your own. This can result in a failing grade or more severe consequences. All work for this course is expected to be completed specifically for this course in the current term. Consult your Student Handbook, the library’s page on plagiarism, academic dishonesty, and documentation regarding the Honor Code for the college’s official policies.

EQUITY STATEMENT: All persons, regardless of gender, age, class, race, religion, physical disability, sexual orientation, etc., shall have equal opportunity without harassment in this course. Mutual respect for your fellow students and the professor and a tolerance of diversity is demanded of all students as well as the professor. Any problems with, or questions about harassment can be discussed confidentially with me.

    Using a Gradient Mesh

    Using Live Paint & Fixing Gaps

    Illustrator Type Tools

    Manipulating Individual Letters in Illustrator

    Use the Width Tool to Shape Letters

    Warping Text in Illustrator

    Unique Type Treatment

    The Illustrator Curvature Tool

    Terry White's Top Ai Tips

    Smoothing with the Pen Tool as You Draw

    Using Live Corners

    Using the Curvature Tool

    Layer Masking Explained

    Advanced Masking

    Photo Composite Basics

    Using Alpha Channels

    Using a Clipping Mask

    Blending Modes Explained

    Creating Realistic Shadows

    Adding a Light Source

    Changing Light Sources

    Masking Hair in Photoshop

    Secrets of HDR

    Using Color Replacement to Select & Change Colors

    A variety of demos of the color replacement tool

    Fun with Color Themes

    Playing with Complementary Colors

    Spot Color

    Painting with Color for a Warhol Effect

    Match and Replace Colors

    Achieving Cinematic Colors in Photoshop with Alpha Channels

    Photo Sharpening Tips

    Jonathon Klein: World Changing Photos

    Or community based creativity?

    Photo Artist Eugenio Recuenco

    This is photography, not animation!