2D Design will provide a foundation in the fundamentals of art and design. In a sequence of hands-on exercises and projects, students will be introduced to the concept of the picture format and plane, figure/ground, scale and proportion, patterning, composition, value, color, spatial illusion, among other elements and principles. Using a wide variety of materials and methods, students are encouraged to develop their own design aesthetic, style, and techniques. In addition to introducing formal design, class presentations and critiques are structured informally to encourage dialog and to provide the student with an opportunity to translate visual evidence into words. Beyond the concepts and skills essential to good design practice, it is hoped that the course will open a window towards self-expression and awareness.


COURSE GOALS: This course will prepare the student to:

  • Develop a familiarity with the fundamental elements of design
  • Develop a familiarity with the fundamental principles of design
  • Critically look at art/design through the lens of 2D design
  • Develop skills with formal elements and principles of design to create compositions.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: As a result of taking this course the student will:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of how elements and principles of design art critical to composition
  • Produce strong compositions that show evidence of understanding the elements and principles of design
  • Demonstrate proficiency in using the methodologies of the elements and principles of design.


TEXTBOOK: Design Basics, David A. Lauder & Stephen Pentak, 6th, 8th, or 9th edition (page numbering may change per edition)
Suggested online stores for purchasing; Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BAM, eBay (hint: buy used whenever possible)

DIGITAL STORAGE: Recommended: 1 USB drive with a minimum of 16GB of space

JOURNAL/SKETCH BOOK: During the semester you will be required to have a sketchbook and to keep a journal of project process work, research, thumbnail sketching, ideation, writing reflections of observations of real world art and design, art, design concepts and/or topics covered in class. The journal is important. It’s intent is to teach thought, both written and visual, as well as discipline and to be critically aware within your field. You must be prepared to discuss your entries.


  • Bristol Board 14” x 17”
  • Sketchbook 9” x 12”
  • Black Paper 8” x 10” (or larger)
  • Tracing Paper 8” x 10”
  • Graphite Pencil Set
  • Eraser
  • BlackMarking Pen Set (PITT)
  • Cloth Rag
  • Metal Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Artist Tape
  • Glue Stick
  • Rubber Cement
  • Utility Knife, Xacto Knife
  • Cutting Mat
  • White Acrylic Paint
  • Black Acrylic Paint
  • Gouache Paint Set
  • Paint Brushes
  • Mixing Palette
  • Container for Water
  • Compass
  • Protractor

Formal Content Discussed

  • line
  • shape/space
  • color
  • value
  • texture
  • contrast
  • balance
  • emphasis
  • hierarchy
  • proportion
  • movement
  • rhythm
  • repetition
  • variety
  • pattern
  • unity*
  • figure-ground
  • similarity
  • proximity
  • common fate/region
  • continuity
  • closure
  • symmetry/order
  • focal point

*This site and the pages found herein are Peter Bella's personal teaching materials and content. This is not a website and is a resource used as an augmented teaching environment. All content is solely the property and creation of Peter Bella.