AD217 102/104/15A

Advertising & Digital Design: Principles, Processes, and Practices

Professors: C. J. Yeh
My Agency: Cynda Media Lab
My Artworks: CJNY
My Instagram: _cjny
My Online Store: DSGN BY D
Office at FIT: D317
Office hours: Schedule a meeting with CJ via Calendly
Program Channel: CT&D at YouTube
FIT Help Desk: TechHelp

Course Description

This course introduces students to the disciplines, work environment, and creative workflow of advertising and digital design. Students are presented with brand communication challenges and learn to work in the new creative team of art directors, copywriters, and experienced designers to apply narrative thinking and systematic thinking to deliver creative solutions for brand messaging as well as digital products such as mobile apps.

Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
1. Identify the audience, problem, insight, and message and develop a creative strategy that solves a brand or a social problem.
2. Execute original and impactful visual, verbal, and interactive ideas.
3. Formulate cultural insight and/or user insight to develop a campaign and/or a digital product that brings value to the audience. 
4. Evaluate the idea, media choice, and execution that will persuade an audience to react, respond, and or participate.
6. Compare and choose the most appropriate communication strategy and execution for each unique media type.

Weekly Outline
* Weekly outline is subject to change according to the pedagogical needs.

Week 1: Mon 08/28 | Tue 08/29 | Thur 08/31

  • Introduction of the course and syllabus
  • Lecture/Discussion: What is Advertising & Digital Design?
  • Lecture/Discussion: What is a Creative Brief?
  • Project #1: Brand Storytelling
  • Working as part of a creative team, you will develop an innovative brand campaign that communicates the brand’s purpose and its value propositions in a way that is both engaging and memorable.
  • Deliverables:
  • Static Media (billboard, transit, or outdoor poster campaign)
  • Long-form time-based media (TV or web video)
  • Branded Content (digital platforms and social media)
  • In-Class Workshop:
    – Team forming, decide a team name, and select a team captain
    – There are 6 brief options for the teams to pick from. No more than 2 teams can work on the same brief. Click here to see your creative brief options
    – Collaborative learning framework: Create your team Slack team channel, Miro board, G drive team folder, and subfolders for each team member
    – Start desk research and analyze the competitive landscape
  • Lecture/Discussion: Desk Research Fundamentals
  • In-Class Workshop/Homework:
    – Complete desk research
    – Complete competitive landscape analysis
    – Prepare a 5-minute mini-presentation: Cover, Team Intro (one thing that all team members have in common), Brand Fundamentals, Recent Brand Campaigns, and Competitor Analysis (point of difference and recent campaign comparisons). This is not your entire research, this is a summary of your key research findings. No more than 10 slides in total.
    – The best presentation will win the first team badge of the semester 🙂

Week 2: Mon 09/11 (skip Sep 4th, Labor Day) | Tue 09/05 | Thur 09/07

  • 5-Minute Mini Presentation: Summary of key research Findings
  • In-class Workshop:
    – Develop a creative brief for the chosen brand.
  • Lecture/Discussion: The Principles of Branding
  • Lecture/Discussion: Brand Archetypes
  • Lecture/Discussion: Persona and POV
  • In-class Workshop / Homework Assignment:
    – Brand archetype
    – Personas
    – POV statements
    – Create one Google slide deck and send your brand archetype, personas, and POV statements to CJ at least 24 hours before the class

Week 3: Mon 09/18 | Tue 09/12 | Thur 09/14

  • In-class Workshop / Homework Assignment:
    How Might We Questions + 100 MPH Creative Challenge
    3-Minute Mini Presentation: The Big Ideas Are 🥁🥁🥁
  • Lecture/Discussion: Writing the Idea
  • In-class Workshop / Homework Assignment:
    – Proposed taglines
    – Discuss with the professor and select one to move forward as a team
    – Print campaign thumbnail sketches (minimum 3 per team member)

Week 4: Mon 10/02 (skip Sep 24, Yom Kippur) | Tue 09/19 | Thur 09/21

  • Team Review: Tagline and Print Campaign Sketches
  • Discussion: What is Art Direction?
    Lecture: Typography: The Voice of the Brand
  • Lecture: Color: The Feeling of the Brand
  • In-class Workshop
    – Moodboard development
    – Print campaign design starts
  • Homework Assignment:
    – Print campaign design digital first drafts

Week 5: Mon 10/09 | Tue 09/26 | Thur 09/28

  • A&DD BFA Curriculum Information
  • Team Review: Poster Designs (print out on 11×17 paper and post on pinup boards at the beginning of the session)
  • Lecture/Discussion: Communicating Your Brand Story (TV & Online Video Concept Boards)
  • In-class Workshop / Homework Assignment:
    – Time-based storytelling
    – Storyboard for time-based media (sketches, one per student)

Week 6: Mon 10/16 | Tue 10/03 | Thur 10/05

  • Team Review: Time-based Storytelling
  • Guest Speaker (Art Director and Experience Designer)
  • In-class Workshop / Homework Assignment:
    – Storyboard for time-based media (digital, one per student)

Week 7: Mon 10/23 | Tue 10/10 | Thur 10/12

  • Team Review: Final Designs and Presentation Preparations
  • In-class Workshop / Homework Assignment:
    – Refine poster designs
    – Refine storyboards for time-based media
    – Complete mid-term presentation

    Week 8: Mon 10/30 | Tue 10/17 | Thur 10/19
  • Mid-term Presentation: Brand Storytelling
  • Lecture/Discussion: The Rise of Purpose-Driven Brands / Big IdeaL
  • Project #2: Branded Interaction
  • Each student team will develop one digital product concept to solve a consumer problem. Key screens and task flow will be developed to communicate the interaction and demonstrate its possible impact.
  • Deliverables:
  • – Product Description
  • – MVP Features
  • – Key Screens (minimum 6)
  • Homework:
    – Team forming and pick one purpose-driven brand for the team
    – Desk research for Project #2

Week 9: Mon 11/06 | Tue 10/24 | Thur 10/26

  • Lecture/Discussion: What Is Experience Design?
  • Lecture/Discussion: Empathy Interview Techniques
  • Design Thinking Exercise: The Wallet Project
  • Homework:
    – Empathy Interviews (minimum six per team)

Week 10: Mon 11/13 | Tue 10/31 | Thur 11/02

  • Lecture/Discussion: Affinity Mapping
  • In-class Workshops: Affinity Map
  • Lecture/Discussion: JTBD
  • In-class Workshops: JTBD Statements
  • In-class Workshops: Ideation Workshop
  • Lecture/Discussion: Minimum Viable Product (MVP) & Competitor Analysis
  • Homework:
    – Competitor analysis
    – Interview 2 to 3 people and get feedback on your feature ideas
    – Draft your MVP worksheet
    – Create a progress deck to include: brand purpose, JTBD statements, competitor analysis, and MVP worksheet

Week 11: Mon 11/20 | Tue 11/07 | Thur 11/09

  • Lecture/Discussion: Wireframe and Sketches
  • Lecture/Discussion: Task flow
  • Team review: MVP Worksheet
  • In-class Workshop
    – Task flow and sketches
  • Lecture/Discussion: User Testing / Paper Prototyping
  • In-class Workshop / Homework:
    – Complete wireframe sketches
    – User feedback (minimum three per feature)
    – Revise wireframe sketches based on feedback

Week 12: Mon 11/27 | Tue 11/14 | Thur 11/16

  • Lecture/Discussion: UI Design Fundamentals
  • Lecture/Discussion: Digital Wireframe
  • In-class Workshop:
    – Digital Wire First Drafts
    – User feedback (minimum three per feature)
    – Revise digital wireframe based on feedback

Week 13: Mon 12/04| Tue 11/21 | Thur 11/30 (skip Sep 23, Thanksgiving)

  • Team review
  • In-class Workshop/Homework:
    – Moodboard
    – UI Design

Week 14: Mon 12/11 | Tue 11/28 | Thur 12/07

  • Team review
  • In-class Workshop/Homework:
    – UI Design

Week 15: Mon 12/18 | Tue 12/05 | Thur 12/14

  • Final Presentation: Branded Interaction
  • All project files are uploaded to Google Drive for final grading

Attendance Policy

Attendance is not optional. If you are going to miss a class, you must contact me via email ASAP. Due to the quantity of material covered in the course, I will not be able to spend class time explaining missed assignments or redo lectures. If a class is missed, it is your responsibility to get information regarding missed assignments and lectures from one of your classmates.

  1. Students are required to attend all classes, be on time, and remain for the entire class.
  2. Students who miss three classes will receive a grade of “F.”
  3. The student who arrives 10 minutes after the start of the class will be considered late
  4. Two late occurrences = one absence
  5. A student who arrives over 30 minutes late or does not return from the break will be considered absent from the class
  6. Working on projects for another class or using digital devices for socializing (texting, social media… etc..) or gaming during class time will be recorded as an absence
  7. An excused absence is still recorded as an absence. The difference is an excused absence won’t impact your grade for professionalism and class participation.
  8. In-class workshop time is for you to work IN CLASS so you can get feedback and help from your teammates, classmates, and professor. The more you do in class, the less homework you have. Sneaking out of an in-class workshop will be counted as lateness or absence, depending on the duration of the workshop.


  • Professionalism, Teamwork, and Class Participation: 40%
  • Project 1 / Poster Campaign: 15%
  • Project 1 / Video Campaign: 15%
  • Project 2 / UX and Product Concept: 15%
  • Project 2 / UI Design and Presentation 15%
  • (A: 91% or above, B: 90% – 71%, C: 70% – 61%, D: 60% – 51%, F: 50% or below)
    * You will work in teams in this class, but you will be graded as an individual

Uploading Files & Final Grades

Department Policy on Plagiarism

Plagiarism and other forms of academic deception are unacceptable. Each instance of plagiarism is distinct. A plagiarism violation is an automatic justification for an “F” on that assignment and/or an “F” for the course. A student found in violation of FIT’s Code of Conduct and deemed to receive an “F” for a course may not withdraw from the course prior to final grade assignments.

Use of AI tools
It is permissible to utilize AI tools in your creative process. However, you must identify which AI tool is being used at each stage of the process. You are required to fact-check AI output and avoid stereotyping and bias in your work. Finally, you are responsible for ensuring that the final creation is unique, ownable, and without any copyright issues.

Fact-checking AI output
AI tools are not infallible. They often generate incorrect or misleading information. It is your responsibility to fact-check any AI output before using it in your work. This includes checking the source of the information, evaluating the quality of the information, and considering the context in which the information was generated.

Avoiding stereotyping and bias
AI tools can be trained on data that contains stereotypes and biases. This can lead to AI output that is also biased. It is your responsibility to avoid the potential for bias in AI output. You should also be mindful of your own biases when using AI tools and take steps to mitigate them.

Ensuring the uniqueness and ownership of your work
You are responsible for ensuring that the final creation of your work is unique and ownable. This means that you must not plagiarize the work of others, including submitting works done solely by AI tools without meaningful improvement and input from you.

Penalty for violation
Violation of this policy may result in a grade reduction or suspension from the class.

FIT Student Code of Conduct
Student Disability Services
Academic Honesty and Integrity Policy
FIT’s Course Withdrawal Policy 
Children on campus policy
Academic Advisement Center 
FIT Writing & Speaking Studio
FIT Counseling Services
Academic Skills Tutoring Center
Dean of Students Office
Technical Support for Blackboard with Open SUNY Help Desk

Additional Course Information:
Credits/Hours: 2/3
Grade appeal process: for more information.
Library Resources: FIT Library Databases
Academic Advisement Center:
Technical Requirements: High-speed internet and Adobe CC
Textbooks and Required Materials: Lecture slides will be provided every week after class,