Vitae Word 6th year

Michael J. Henderson

Assistant Professor

Department of Art, Design Option



Professional Vitae



California State University Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California

1993 – 1994 Part-time

1994 – Present Full-time, tenure-track

Art 308: Graphic Design I

Basic course in graphic communications

The introductory course on graphic design is conceived as a survey of visual communication skills and methodology. The basic elements of visual design are analyzed for their communication values. Students do exercises and projects designed to reveal problems and solutions in the professional design process.

I have analyzed the levels of our student body in the design option and included many discussions and lectures on professional practices.

This course has been rewritten and retitled Graphic Communication Design. New course content reflects additional content consistent with the departmentÂ’s new guidelines.

Art 388/488: Illustration/Advanced Illustration

These concurrent courses are focused on the art of visual communications with rendered images. With the retirement of Vance Studley, I took the course for the fall 96 quarter. Much of the course was devoted to project oriented exploration of illustration genre and technique. I gave extensive demonstrations on the use of waterbased media and colored pencil. Some of the more advanced students were allowed to incorporate computer technology to incorporate digital effects into their final projects.

The advanced students were required to work on a series of related pieces that would lead to a group of related work. Beginning students were started out on children's book illustration, and then on to other genre such as cookbook and editorial illustration.

This course has been rewritten with new course content reflecting additional content consistent with the departmentÂ’s new guidelines.

Art 408: Graphic Design II

Advanced work in graphic design. 

Students are given advanced problems in 3-D communication design, typography, packaging design and production. Fall of 95 I have modified the project list to alleviate some of the confusion the second project caused in the past.

Project two is an exercise in comparative typography requiring student to explore contemporary typography with traditional typography. Previously students were required to do two contrasting layouts utilizing the same text. The two different layouts were mounted side by side and had to complement each other. Confusion arose around the side-by-side requirement. I still feel that the concept is crucial; however, I have decided to modify the project, eliminating the two panels in favor on one large single one. In the single panel they are required to work the two concepts together within a single design.

Intensive work centering on the creative process, neatness and technique. Students are required to file contracts on each project, stating details and deadlines. I have encouraged advanced students to act as mentors for Graphic Design I students.

Emphasis is placed on presentation skills, production skills, conceptual abilities, timeliness and attitude.

This course has been rewritten and retitled Graphic Communication Design II. New course content reflects additional content consistent with the departmentÂ’s new guidelines.

Art 454/554: Macintosh Graphics

Computer Typography

Learning advanced concepts of typography on the Macintosh computer. Learning the language of typography while studying the art of typographic expression. Making use of the power of the computer to assist in the production of multiple projects focusing on typographic skills.

Art 463: Portfolio Presentation

Self-Promotion and organizational skills for creative careers.

Normally a course in the preparation of a portfolio, I have expanded curricula to include slides, photographic documentation, resumes and the interview process. Students must complete a portfolio by the end of the term along with a resume. Career goals and concerns are a regular part of discussion.

Art 468: Advanced Problems in Design

An advanced course runs in three different modes. One is seminar in which students practice dialog and critique in design. The second is lecture demonstration, which is content driven by the seminar sessions. Third is lab session where students work on their personal projects with one-on-one supervision by the instructor.

Each student is responsible for contracting a tract of exploration for the entire quarter. These tracts are subject to peer review by the class and the instructor.

This course has been rewritten with new course content reflecting additional content consistent with the departmentÂ’s new guidelines.

Art 493: Advanced Graphic Design

Over the years the focus of this course has shifted to digital illustration. It is currently taught every quarter. The students work with a variety of software programs creating visual montages of photographic images and original illustrations. Critical reviews and discourse are an integral part of the curriculum. Since this is a relatively new field of study, there is little historical reference. I rely on recent and current publications to create a platform of discussion and research.

Projects are designed to introduce students to the use and integration of images into media, the creation of original images and critical concerns in the combining of images.

This course has been rewritten with new course content reflecting additional content consistent with the departmentÂ’s new guidelines. It has been renamed Digital Illustration for fall of 99.

Art 503: Graduate Problems in Design

A graduate level course in design that is currently being run concurrently with Art 508M. I have recently made arrangement to run this class concurrently with Art 468, Advanced Problems in Design, thus enabling graduate design students more flexibility in program fulfillment.

Art 508M: Graduate Seminars

A combined class of graduate students from a variety of design disciplines.

As a focus for the fall quarter seminar, we are using design research. Each student is going to initiate a form of research relating to their graduate design proposals. During the course of the quarter we will be evaluating relevance, depth and methodology of various forms of study in relation to the creative process.

At the end of the quarter each student will present a documentation of his or her research accompanied by a written statement. This documentation will be prepared for public display and placed in the first floor display cases.

Art 504M/508M: Graduate Seminars

A combined seminar of graduate studio option students from throughout the Art Department. Focus of discussion is creative process and professional procedures. Sessions on grant writing are included.


Otis College of Art and Design
Los Angeles, California

1988 - 1996

Basic Macintosh

Introductory course on the Macintosh computer. Topics covered include the basic components of hardware systems, software systems, Macintosh human interface, file creation and file management. Students get introductions on text creation and formatting,  graphic environments, and page description software.

This is a foundation course that should prepare a student to go on to detailed study in various Macintosh computer design venues.


A complete course in page description utilizing PageMaker software. Includes text and graphic formatting, utilizing advanced features in creating small and large documents. The course is primarily for designers and assumes a prior familiarity with the Macintosh.

Publication Design

A design course for large and small publications utilizing the studentÂ’s choice of software (either PageMaker or Quark Xpress.) Students work extensively with computer typography as they create documents and fine tune them in preparation for final output to high-resolution linotronic printers.

This is a design course and assumes a prior knowledge of the Macintosh and page layout software.

Adobe Photoshop

The Photoshop course is designed not only as an introduction to the Adobe software but also image processing as a discipline. Students learn concepts and techniques of scanning, retouching, restoration, color correction, color manipulation, colorization, composite creation, special effects, and the creation of original art.

This is a design course and assumes a prior knowledge of the Macintosh. Addition knowledge of either Freehand or Illustrator is preferred.

Figurative Studies in Watercolor

Working from the human figure in watercolor and other water-based media. Honesty of expression and personal growth are stressed. Students are tracked on personal style rather than specific stylistic approaches. Most studies are done in less than half an hour and require students to achieve a very high degree of concentration and attention. This is an excellent course for developing student self-confidence, as growth is almost always rapid and obvious.


West Coast University
Los Angeles, California

1988 - Present

Introduction to the Macintosh

A survey course introducing the graphic design functions and capabilities of the Macintosh computer. During the course the students learn to edit text, create graphics and compose layouts. The final projects include a personal identity package (a logo, resume, business card, stationary, and envelope.)

Computer Illustration:

Creating graphics for print on the Macintosh computer. Advanced study of both bit-mapped and object-oriented graphic platforms.

Individual projects are aimed at the studentÂ’s career goals.

Desktop Publishing: Electronic Page Layout

Creating documents on the Macintosh computer. Fundamentals of typography, grids and page composition. Applications and features are studied in the combination of text and graphics to create page layouts of various formats.


Learning Tree University
Chatsworth, California

1991 - 1994

Basic Macintosh

Introductory course on the Macintosh computer. Topics covered include the basic components of hardware systems, software systems, Macintosh human interface, file creation and file management. Students get introductions on text creation and formatting, graphic environments, and page description software.

This is a foundation course that should prepare a student to go on to detailed study in various Macintosh computer design venues.

Electronic Design I

A design course to train students to utilize various graphics applications to create elaborate documents in black and white, spot color and process color. This class is where students learn to transfer elements from their native formats to page description environments where the final documents are created.

Electronic Design II

This is an advanced program sequel to ED-I. Students will work exclusively in process color and learn to create documents and to proof them.

Image Processing I

An intermediate certificate class used as an introduction to Adobe Photoshop and image processing concepts. Students work toward the completion of one full color project over the term. Scanning, resolution and file management are also covered in this session.

Image Processing II

This advanced course requires students to produce multiple color documents that are output on dye sublimation for portfolio use. Advanced topics and advance software features are covered.

Electronic Pre-press

Preparing computer artwork for the press. This course covers the entire creative process and describes how pre-press planning is essential to the beginning stages of design and production. Students learn how to target their designs to match the final product in specification and limitation.  Color management and Pre-press proofing are major topics covered.

Introduction to Adobe Photoshop

A short 16-hour introduction to Photoshop software recommended for people with an extensive prior experience with the Macintosh.

Photoshop for Photographers

A 16-hour course designed to show professional and amateur photographers how to enhance and retouch their work digitally on the Macintosh computer.


Private instruction
Kansas City, Missouri

1980 - 1986

During a six-year period I opened my private studio to workshops in figurative watercolor and drawing media. My students included both professionals and students from the Kansas City Art Institute.


Allan Hancock College
Santa Maria, California (Lompoc/Vandenberg campus)

1973 - 1976

Beginning Design

Design fundamentals. Basic two-dimensional design theory. Exercises and discussions covering shape, form, value and an introduction to basic color theory.

Intermediate Design

Advance exercises in color theory and composition. Introduction to basic artistic mediums.

Beginning Drawing

Emphasis on “seeing” exercises and discussions on the visual language. Introduction to the various drawing media including charcoal, ink, pencils and washes.

Advanced Drawing

Introduction to perspective, both one and two point, as well as advanced drawing techniques such as rendering.

Life Drawing

A class for beginning and intermediate students that utilizes the human figure as a focus of the study. Students are encouraged to use various media to explore the human form and emotions.


Beginning and intermediate watercolor techniques. Classroom and field trip sessions combined with lessons on tools and transparent media


A basic painting class utilizing acrylics as the medium of choice. Lessons in color usage and color perspective. Also experimentation with various water-based media.


Pasadena School of Fine Art and Media
Pasadena, California

1970 - 1971

Water-based Media (anything that doesnÂ’t float on water)

A painting class focusing on combining compatible media to create experimental effects. Painting, collage and sculpture in water-based media.


Professional Activity


Graphic interface designs

The Voyager Company
Santa Monica, California

The Voyager VideoStack

Video-laserdisc tool kit for linking the Macintosh computer with a laserdisc player for interactive video.

The Bio-Sci LaserStack

Interactive interface for the ODC Bio-Sci laserdisc.

De Italia

Macintosh interface for the De Italia laserdisc, an encyclopedia of Italian culture and civilization, commissioned by the Angelli Foundation of Turin, Italy. The interface was premiered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, June 1988.

Van Gogh LaserGuide

Interface for the Van Gogh Revisited Laserdisc. Winner of two SuperStack awards by MacWorld Magazine

CD AudioStack

Audio tool kit to interface the Macintosh computer with a CD-ROM drive to create interactive audio programs using CD audio discs.

The Dream Machine LaserGuide

Interface for The Dream Machine Videodiscs, Vol. One and Two.

Salamandre LaserGuide

Interface for the Salamandre: Châteaux of the Loire Valley laserdisc.

BeethovenÂ’s Symphony No. 9

CD Companion Series

Interface for UCLA Professor Robert Winter’s interactive study of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Nominated for “Musical Program of the Year” by MacUser Magazine
1990 SuperStack award winning program for graphic interface design, MacWorld Magazine


Interactive Video Newsletter / Editor/Art Director

Bi-monthly Voyager Company publication highlighting laserdisc and computer software technology and products.

Design/graphic design

Silver Lake Recreation Center Design Committee

Submission of conceptual designs for the renovation of the current facility and the surrounding environs. Plans included building expansion and handicap access. Design was requested by the Council Member Jackie Goldberg and will be submitted before the entire committee to which I belong and also to the Parks and Recreation Department.

Pyrczak Publications

Book cover designs for textbook publishing company. Three titles currently in print including digital illustrations for each. I have built a reserve of images to use in these and future books. I have been upgrading the graphic identity of the company by raising the standards of cover design. The books are now visually more appealing.

•    A Cross Section of Educational Research by Lawrence S. Lyne

•    Practical Problems in Research Methods by Estabrook D. Verdugo

•    Comprehending Test Manuals by Ann Corwin Silverlake

Arrangements, Kansas City, Missouri

Art Director and consultant.


Misc. Professional

California GovernorÂ’s Conference on Art and Technology

Panelist 1996, 1998

Mozan Expedition 1997, Mozan Expedition 1998

Digital documentation of archeological artifacts. Tell Mozan, Qamishle, Syria

Siggraph  Conference

1997, Member National Outreach Committee, Los Angeles, California

1999, The Studio, server administrator, technical expert and artist, Los Angeles, California