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Art Direction

Code: MDA501     Acronym: DA

Classification Keyword
CNAEF Design

Instance: 2021/2022 - 2S

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Design
Course/CS Responsible: Master in Graphic Design and Editorial Projects

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MDGPE 36 Plano de Estudos do MDGPE_Publicação em DR de 27 de agosto de 2020 1 - 6 45 162

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
António Modesto da Conceição Nunes

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical classes: 3,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical classes Totals 2 6,00
Jorge Manuel Esteves da Silva 6,00

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students


We aim to provide learners with experience of the practice of art direction as a discipline by which to manage material and human resources in the practice of communication design, with the emphasis being placed on the dematerialization of media and on the role played by art direction in new digital media.

Learning outcomes and competences

Students will be encouraged to carry out online research into subjects associated with the studio’s cases, presenting and discussing examples in a broader national and international context.

Working method

À distância

Pre-requirements (prior knowledge) and co-requirements (common knowledge)



The classes will be linked to the programme of Silvadesigners studio in relation to key areas of art direction such as conceptual strategy, editorial design, and associated disciplines such as illustration, infographics, photography and typography. As a common thread running through the classes, the various skills and disciplines that make up art direction will be presented.

Mandatory literature

Steven Heller; Art Direction Explained, at Last!

Comments from the literature

The working bibliography can be divided into two categories. The first includes books on art direction which are rare and generally employ case studies. Monographs on art directors could also be included in this category. One useful reference is Art Direction Explained, At Last! by Steven Heller and Veronique Vienne.

The second category could include various works that focus on the disciplines that make up art direction, such as photography or illustration. Here, the student’s generational and aesthetic bearings are decisive factors.

Teaching methods and learning activities

The routines followed by Silvadesigners studio will be presented, with a screening and commentary showing the various working sequences involved. Students will therefore gain valuable experience of the studio’s work and the realities of the market, particularly in the areas of cultural branding and periodical publications.

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Participação presencial 30,00
Trabalho escrito 70,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Elaboração de projeto 45,00
Frequência das aulas 45,00
Trabalho de campo 20,00
Trabalho de investigação 52,00
Total: 162,00

Eligibility for exams

This is a theoretical piece of work involving research and reflection on the practice of art direction in a real-world context involving a range of media and contexts to be chosen by the learner, such as newspapers, magazines, book publishers, design studios, websites and blogs, among other things. Students are encouraged to make real contact with professionals in the field through a face-to-face or email interview. The final, duly edited report can be presented either on paper or on video.

Calculation formula of final grade

Classroom participation: 30%
Final report: 70%

Examinations or Special Assignments


Internship work/project


Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)


Classification improvement



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