John E. Dyer


Learning Beyond the Classroom: Photography as a major design element in Graphic Design Layouts for print and web, is a thesis which explores alternative methods for learning and the teaching of the design process through the use of shared experiences and expert testimony.

The final thesis will provide a resource for designers and students to be able to discuss the effective and ineffective application of design principles and provide some basic lessons in the use of photography in graphic design.

Elements of design that are to be discussed include, but are not limited to: typography, hierarchy, color, scale and placement. While discussions may go into additional topics the main categories will be effective design examples, ineffective design examples and lessons.

The “Examples” sections will discuss what is effective and ineffective with re-designed advertisements and/or web pages. In addition to discussing what is ineffective, alternative designs for the advertisement will be provided.

The “Lessons” section will contain written and/or video demonstrations on how to create a successful advertisement using photography as a primary element of the design. They will also provide some basic tools for choosing and manipulating photographs for your design needs.

In addition to on-line resources, this thesis will include a course outline and syllabus for a potential undergraduate course named “The Use of Photography in Design.” A course focused on dealing with all aspects of photography for designers, including designing with photography, working with photographers, the use of stock photography and manipulating photos for use in designs.

Overall this thesis is designed to help designers and instructors continue to learn and discuss the basic design principles in an open environment, outside of the traditional classroom.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Graphic arts--Study and teaching; Layout (Printing)--Study and teaching; Photography--Study and teaching

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Visual Communication Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CIAS)


Chris Jackson

Advisor/Committee Member

Joyce Hertzson

Advisor/Committee Member

Mitch Goldstein


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TR161 .D94 2015


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes