Course Description

In this course, we will explore the issues involved with planning, designing, and disseminating information in both print and digital environments. Our main focus will be on emerging trends in Intellectual Property — specifically copyright — and the opportunities and constraints encountered in the production of texts, images, and other artifacts.

We will engage a range of technologies and interfaces in this course: a Multilith offset press, multimedia software, the internet, pencils, paper. Our objectives will not focus exclusively on the skills needed to operate the technology, but also to understand the choices and decisions that printers, designers, and communicators must address on a regular basis, so that we can make informed and ethical choices in our own work.

Our readings and discussion will also include project management, human-centered and participatory design, and collaborating in and among groups.


After reading and discussing background materials in information design and copyright law, groups will establish their proposed projects. You’ll be encouraged to pursue projects in fields and contexts that interest you. Possibilities include:

  • designing & developing educational materials on copyright for instructors and students who work in CCLI
  • designing & developing guidelines for STC/STA majors and faculty
  • designing & developing resources on reverse engineering
  • designing & developing a project that considers the concerns of indigenous peoples or local community agency project


Most of the reading for this course will be made available online, both on publicly available web sites, and on a password-protected course page. The only required text for purchase is Fair Use : The Story of the Letter U & the Numeral 2 (with CD), which will be available in the bookstore before the fifth week of classes, when we are scheduled to read it.