Case Study 2:
Data Visualization I

Course Handbook

How can I express the contents of a university course handbook cover that resonates with current and future students?

This was a print design project for the cover of York/Sheridan Design Program’s 2016-2017 Course Handbook. This handbook is given out to current and upcoming students during their portfolio interviews. I wanted this cover design to reflect the contents in the book, which describes the nature of the program, course requirements, and details about each course.

The challenge was to visually express the courses that the YSDN program offers. Each course is distinguished from each other by its course category, number, year level, requirement, campus location, and duration.


Data set for courses in History, Theory & Criticism category

By organizing the courses into a data set, I was able to create generative design using Processing software. After sketching various ways of expressing the different qualities of each course, I generated a code that would produce the results.

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Sketches on how to express each course as a node.

I decided to represent each course as a target to reflect how each course targets students into various design challenges and mediums such as interactive, motion, typography, editorial, and so much more.

Click to enlarge:

Processing iterations.


The final design was combined with a dark background to give the illusion of space. While the front cover shows a visualization of the courses, the back cover is used as a legend to describe how the small the lines, colour, and forms all represent data from each course. 1200 copies were printed and distributed in York University and Sheridan College.

Front cover

Back cover and legend