Higher Education Instructor Experience

Graphic Design Program Director

Nossi Collge of Art

Nossi College of Art has been an iconic institution that has championed art and design education in Nashville for nearly half a century. Committed to honing skills for direct employment across diverse industries, Nossi offers a robust portfolio of five Bachelor degrees and two adult-oriented Associate degrees, all designed to bring the best of the creative arts to our students.

As the Graphic Design Program Director, I had the privilege of steering the course of three key degree programs – Bachelor of Graphic Design Media, Bachelor of Web & Interactive Design, and Associate of Interactive Graphic Design. This role didn’t just require industry knowledge; it demanded teaching courses, spearheading the recruitment and management of adjunct faculty, networking with prospective employers for graduating students, and acting as the Creative Director for the internal marketing team.

My primary objective was to transform the department into a more vibrant learning space, staffed with top-tier faculty and driven by a cutting-edge curriculum. We focused on equipping our students with the best opportunities for career advancement and growth, while also striving to retain our current talent and expand the program.

Beyond administrative duties, my role involved actively shaping the curriculum and course syllabi. I had the rewarding experience of teaching creative, design, social media, and marketing courses across all levels, sharing my passion and knowledge with the next generation of creative thinkers.

Courses Taught

TY 110 Typography

Students study the history of lettering from ancient symbols to today’s digital technology. Students also study various type families, become familiar with the terminology and practice the art of hand lettering. Students learn the art of designing with type and become familiar with different ‘moods’ or the feel type can have for different occasions. Students also learn different styles of type used throughout history. Emphasis on rules for proper letter spacing, word spacing and the arrangement of type for maximum readability are stressed.

GD 115 Graphic Design Fundamentals

Students explore the theory of aesthetics and design concepts as it applies to graphics. It also encompasses a detailed investigation into the principles and concepts of effective visual communications through the use of two- and three-dimensional design with a goal of creative problem solving. There is also an emphasis in information gathering and commercial application of designing corporate graphics such as logos and symbol designs.

GD 120 Graphic Design Processes

This course is a continuation of Graphic Design Fundamentals concerning the creative process. Emphasis is on conceptual execution with diverse projects including simple packaging, ads, posters, print design and brand identity. The course focuses on how people see and arrange visual information into a meaningful whole. Students also get a deep-dive into specialized printing materials and techniques, design terminology, digital design and the ‘business of design.’

ID 160 Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is used to create both print and interactive layouts for single and multi-page ads, magazines, brochures and books, as well as other print projects that need exact typographic and layout specifications. InDesign’s interactive PDFs and Apps for tablet devices and e-pubs give designers a range of abilities within this one program. In this course, students focus on how to employ InDesign to create interactive page layout applications. From the feature tools used within InDesign to the understanding of basic User Interface design (UI) and User Experience design (UX), the student will gain the necessary knowledge to implement this skill-set within their career.

PA 205 Production Art

Students learn a series of steps for creating a printed product. From the conception and execution of a design through editing and production of the finished product, students learn about various printing processes focusing mainly on offset lithography. Upon completion of the course, students have a clear understanding of the four-color printing process and their role as graphic designer in the process.

TY 216 Advanced Typography

Students delve deeper into the usage of fonts as a major design element. Real life projects will allow students to “practice” choosing appropriate fonts for the subject/client as well as choosing the correct size and color. Students learn to properly use space, the typographic grid and hierarchy in their designs. Students begin to use type as a graphic art.

GD 230 Graphic Design in Advertising

The course explores the history of advertising and examines its role and importance in society. Students learn the basics of marketing and product positioning with a focus on Conceptualization, Reflection and Refinement. How an advertising campaign develops, from the concept to final executions including newspapers, magazines, direct mail, and billboards are explored, including the use of new medias, i.e. online advertising and social media.

PL 250 Interactive Page Layout

Students learn a series of steps for creating digital publications from conception and execution of a design through production and and online distribution. Students gain a firm grasp of fundamental digital layout techniques for tablet and mobile devices using software tools designed to develop interactive interfaces.

CW 310 Principles of Copywriting and Editing

This course focuses on providing students with the essential skills for professional copywriting and editing. Students learn the importance of brand archetypes, identifying a target audience, writing creative strategies, the impact of persuasive headlines, how to recognize the purpose behind any piece of copy. Students apply these skills and technical specifications to writing long and short copy across multiple media; i.e. advertising, blog posts, social media, and white papers.

GD 340 Graphic Design Media

This course examines advanced concepts of developing brand campaign elements with an emphasis on Execution and Presentation. Students concept and produce various collateral materials including identity, packaging and web vehicles to promote and sell a brand through intelligent graphic design.

BM 375 Business Marketing for Creatives

Students learn the skills and procedures necessary to start a successful freelance business. Students learn the advantages and disadvantages of freelancing and the necessary steps to protect their creative property and ensure they are paid according to their skills and demand. Ethical standards as well as moral standards are explored so students understand fair competition in the freelance world.

SM 380 Social Media Design

Designing for online isn’t just limited to a brand’s website anymore. Social communities like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat have allowed brands to communicate with their audiences in a new way. Students learn the challenges and limitations of designing for these commonly used social channels as well as the history and theory of online social interaction. This unique course helps students gain valuable knowledge of evolving digital media development, user interface design, and managing digital campaigns in a simulated environment to understand how to design for currently popular online services and how to adapt to the constantly changing social media landscape.

PG 410 Packaging Design

This introduction to packaging design allows students to see the importance of packaging in the marketplace. A gained knowledge of packaging’s role in cultural society as well as brand importance are addressed. Final packaging design pieces are executed and either photographed or digitally rendered so that each piece is portfolio ready.

GD 420 Graphic Design Capstone

This intensive course is designed for the advanced student. It provides the opportunity to further develop the technical, conceptual, and aesthetic skills required to develop a professional-quality portfolio. It demands a self-directed approach, a willing spirit of investigation, and creative drive on the part of the student.

In addition to creating self-promotional materials and networking strategies for job search preparation, the portfolio pieces you create by the end of this course should represent; your skills in your preferred media that reflects your personal style and creative strengths, creative problem-solving abilities, and ability to reflect on and write about your creative process. The first week involves an assessment of student’s portfolios to determine the direction for future work in this class.

GD 450 Business to Business Advertising

Understanding the world of trade advertising is the focus of this course. Students move through the entire process of brand identity creation and executing both trade and consumer advertising campaigns. Executions include direct marketing, social marketing and utilizing media such as print, trade show booth graphics, online and unique out-of-home and ambient advertising possibilities.

GD 460 Advertising Art Direction

After completing this course, students will have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of art direction. Students gain in-depth knowledge of the varieties and usage of fonts, page layout, storytelling, and the responsibilities an art director faces within an advertising agency and design studio. Each student focuses on extensive concept development, typographic design and layout techniques in order to communicate advertising concepts clearly and powerfully.

GD 490 Environmental Graphic Design

The course focuses on students solving professional art direction challenges as it pertains to branding and advertising elements within special environments, i.e. graphic displays, product point-of purchase elements (including kiosks) outdoor building signage, way finding, and more. Special attention is given to research, idea generation, audience consideration, execution and production as it relates to marketing strategies for today’s brands and their products or services. Students may be required to collaborate with photographers and or illustrators as needed from the college’s associated degree programs.

BU 450 Portfolio and Promotion

This course provides students who are about to graduate an opportunity to explore the presentation and interviewing techniques used to find employment. Positive self-image and goal setting concepts are reintroduced. Students are expected to create communication materials for self-promotion and develop strategies for networking and community involvement, including internship opportunities. Students must participate in a formal portfolio presentation of their work to the community and to their fellow students. They are given instructions in portfolio presentation and preparation for career opportunities.