During their third year at Miami University, graphic design students are presented with ideas that help them understand how to develop typographic compositions of varying complexity. The Design Systems course is designed to help them understand ideas of organization, sequencing, pacing, and typographic hierarchy as they develop a range of deliverables, from posters to multipage publications. Beyond this, the course introduces students to a standard design process, which helps them work through divergent design ideas, finding the strongest solution after significant exploration.

group posters

In this assignment, students broke into teams of three to develop a poster series system to be used in advertising hypothetical guest lecturers to the university. Once an overriding system was in place, each student selected a single lecturer and designed a poster and postcard advertising their event. Each poster developed in the group had to be strong enough to stand alone, yet still be recognizable as part of a series.

design by Liz Chmela

design by Annette Davisson

design by Corkum Steffel

child's play

This project allowed students to play upon their design skills in developing a children’s book of their choosing. They were responsible for developing all imagery, as well as the overall tone of the book. 

illustration from The Twelve Brothers, designed by Liz Chmela

spreads and detail from The Three Billygoats Gruff, designed by Jeff Raulie


The final project in this course had students designing a magazine/catalog for a store of their own design. They were to develop a basic brand mark and determine the overall design system to be used. 

Agape Children's Store, by Liz Chmela