module specification

DN5012 - Publishing (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Publishing
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 300
180 hours Guided independent study
120 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module exposes students to specialist practices in design for publishing, both printed and digital. Exploring different aspects of publishing as part of practice in design by exploring the designer’s role in relation to audiences and mediums for publishing.

Looking specifically at designer as author / designer as publisher / designer as editor.
The module examines the collaborative nature of the role of designer as publisher – a partner in, author of and conduit for subject matter and content generated across the spectrum of creative fields.

Students will be mastering the materials and processes associated with print media, whilst exploring the field of cross-disciplinary digital publishing, especially focusing on the rapidly evolving possibilities for print-digital relationships.

Using editorial thinking as part of the design process, this module encourages autonomous research, ideas-generation and the exploration of writing and editing in the design process. It will interrogate concepts of design stories / design fictions and ptactices of designing into editorial formats.

Students will be expected to build upon their skills in the following areas or combination of areas:
Design – Adobe Creative Suite / Typography / Layout / Art Direction / Illustration/ Photography
Editorial – Writing / editing / commissioning / curation
Publishing – publishing models / platforms / distribution / audience / funding
Production – paper & print / digital platforms / pagination / formats / book binding
Research / Culture – research methods / criticism / reflecting on contemporary practice / social and aesthetic context
Presenting – editorial / portfolio / promotion

The module asks you to conceptualise, plan and produce design outcomes, to embed research and practice in contemporary publishing world, to reflect on historical / traditional and non-traditional publishing methods, and to research, document and publish innovation in the field of publishing.

Prior learning requirements

Pass and completion of prior level

Module aims

This module seeks to enable you to:

  • Understand the commercial environment, context and potential purposes and applications of publishing
  • In your work, engage with issues such as the use and reception of language, methods of structuring information, both text/type and image, appropriate tone of voice, hierarchy, sequence and materials and processes, across publishing platforms, recognising and debating the theoretical and ethical context
  • Conceptualise, plan and produce design outcomes that use publishing communications for a defined purpose, exploring and extending your practice creatively and technically
  • Explore, appreciate and apply a range of skills demonstrating commercial awareness and professional techniques for presentation to an identified audience


Through the studio exercises and projects, students will normally develop experience and increasing understanding of the:

  • contexts for contemporary and historical practice in publishing

  • studio and industry technique and technology for print based and digital publishing
  • formal properties of the medium, styles and models and how to use these to enhance
  • meaning and affect
  • development of project proposals for specific clients/audiences/ collaborations

  • industry conventions for presentation of publishing proposals and work
  • commercial and institutional contexts of professional practice

Learning and teaching

Research, development and production of projects will normally encompass a range of
learning opportunities, such as: critical case studies, studio and workshop
demonstrations and inductions, set-exercises in publishing related techniques and
styles, presentation and group review, individual projects, exhibition of outcomes via
blended learning platforms or other forms of publication, realisation of self-generated
concepts through appropriate media.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, you will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding
Analyse the cultures, independent and commercial environments of publishing, understand how different contexts propose differing responses, media and techniques, in order to achieve goals set. Understand the future potential for developing projects within and working within areas of design publishing.

Cognitive Intellectual Skills
Create meaning and impact with creative practice. Define and reach specific audiences with appropriate tone of voice, use of materials, media and processes.

Transferable Skills
Develop a critically informed personal approach to publishing design, exploring conventions and furthering creative, technical knowledge within the discipline.

Subject Specific Practical Skills
Present your work professionally according to industry conventions and standards.

Assessment strategy

At regular reviews, students will present summary of work in progress via digital and print based platforms, including reflection upon intellectual and practical development. Each component of work in development will be assessed formatively and feedback given. Satisfactory completion of relevant technical/ workshop activities and continuing independent practice will also be monitored.

A final mark is given at the end of the module, as a measure of the qualities of the completed portfolio in relation to achieving the module’s learning outcomes. Written summative assessment will be provided corresponding to published assessment criteria. Work must be carefully organized and presented to indicate the development of work and the content clearly labeled. Coursework requirements will be stipulated in project briefs and detailed in the module guide. Students are required to attend timetabled studio and workshop sessions.

At regular critiques or tutorials students are expected to produce a coherent account of their project progress in print and digital formats, together with critical evaluation of successes and failures to date. Formative feedback will be given in response to the project plan. The final mark is given at the end of the module, following assessment of a comprehensive portfolio of all relevant developmental and presentation work and the final outcome itself.

All students are required to undertake formal interim presentations with evidence of continuous reflective evidence on blogs and in sketchbooks responding to studio critique and tutorial guidance. Work presented will be subject to formal studio feedback from a panel of disciplinary specialists. This will inform final assessment marks and must be considered and acted upon by the student.
Work must be carefully organized and presented to indicate the development of work and the content clearly labeled. Students are required to attend timetabled studio and workshop sessions.


100 Classic Graphic Design Journals, Jason Godfrey and Steven Heller, Laurence King Publishing, 2014

Editorial Design: Digital to Print, Cath Caldwell, Laurence King, 2014

Designing News: Changing the World of Editorial Design and Information Graphics, Francesco Franchi, Die Gestalten Verlag, 2013

The Form of The Book Book, de Bondt, Muggeridge, Occasional Papers, 2015

Book Design, Andrew Haslam, Laurence King Publishing

Notes on Book Design, Derek Birdsall, Yale University Press, 2004

So You Want to Publish a Magazine?, Angharad Lewis, Laurence King Publishing, 2016

The Modern Magazine: Visual Journalism in the Digital Era, Jeremy Leslie, Laurence King Publishing, 2013

Print Is Dead Long Live print, Ruth Jamieson, Prestel, 2015

Type: New Perspectives in Typography, Henrik Kubel and Scott Williams, Laurence King Publishing, 2015

Type and Typography (2nd edition), Phil Baines and Andrew Haslam, Laurence King Publishing, 2010

The Art Directors' Handbook of Professional Magazine Design, Horst Moser, Thames & Hudson, 2011

Fanzines, Teal Triggs, Thames & Hudson, 2010

Behind The Zines: Self-Publishing Culture, Robert Klanten, Die Gestalten Verlag, 2011

100 Years of Swiss Graphic Design, Brandle, Gimmi, Junod, Lars Mueller, 2014

Grid Systems in Graphic Design, Joseph Mueller Brockmann, Verlag Niggli 1999

Production for Print, Mark Gatter, Laurence King Publishing, 2010

The New Typography, Jan Tschichold, University of California Press, 2006

An Essay on Typography, Eric Gill, Penguin, 2013

Below Critical Radar, Teal Triggs, Slab o Concrete Publications, 2001

The Art of looking Sideways, Alan Fletcher, Phaidon, 2001

Design Writing Research, Lupton, Miller, Phaidon,

The Medium is the Massage, Marshall Mcluhan, Pengiun, 2008

Alan Kitching: A Life In Letterpress, John L. Walters, Laurence King Publishing, 2016

Alexey Brodovitch, Kerry William Purcell, Phaidon, 2011

Graphic Design: History in the Writing (1983 - 2011), Sarah de Bondt, Occasional Papers, 2012

Visual Research: An Introduction to Research Methodologies in Graphic Design, Noble, Bestley, AVA, 2005

A Type Primer, John Kane, Laurence King Publishing, 2011

Ways of Seeing, John Berger, Penguin, 2008

About Graphic Design, Richard Hollis, Occasional Papers, 2012

Space for Visual Research, Weisbeck, Schmitt, Ott, Spector Books

The Imperfection Booklets: Risograph, O.OO, 2016

Gymclass Magazine

Eye Magazine

Printed Pages Magazine


Design Observer