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Learn Graphic Design

Learn graphic design from your computer. You’ll bring this art to life by learning how to use color, select type, manage the design process, collaborate with clients and utilize the most popular graphic software: Adobe® Photoshop®, Illustrator® and InDesign®, as well as Dreamweaver®, Flash® and Fireworks®. Get trained, get connected and get ahead.

View Curriculum  

Lesson 1: Learning at Ashworth  

The goals and values of Ashworth College; time management; creating a realistic weekly and monthly study schedule; the nature and purpose of assessments; how to study effectively to prepare for and take an online examination; developing the skill sets necessary for success in the twenty-first century.

Lesson 2: Concepts in Business and Self-Employment  

Evaluating your business idea; setting yourself apart from the competition; market testing; investment funding and donation funding; qualities of an entrepreneur; crowdfunding and angel investors.

Lesson 3: Defining the Language of Design 

Design as a visual language; how the primary design principles of unity, variety, hierarchy, dominance, proportion, and balance can affect the whole design; the ways in which the supporting principles of scale, emphasis, rhythm, movement, repetition, and proximity can affect a design composition; the relationship between primary and supporting principles; using shape, space, line, size, color, texture, and typography.

Lesson 4: Typography in Design 

Typographic terms; the historical evolution of typography and its relation to technology; how to select appropriate typefaces for use in different situations; the ways in which type can communicate beyond its literal meaning; how typography can be used to improve legibility; sources of type.

Lesson 5: Imagery in Design 

Why different types of imagery are appropriate for some communication situations and not for others; the differences among logos, symbols, representational imagery, and informational imagery; how a company or organization develops logos and graphic systems; the thought processes that drive the creation of wayfinding systems; different ways in which information graphics can be used to visually display data and statistical information; where to source images; how to customize, edit, and optimize images; important concepts related to copyright and fair use.

Lesson 6: Designing with Color 

Key color systems and their relevance in graphic arts; color terminology; different theories about color; the psychological effects and cultural influence of color; the process for developing a color palette for a design project; the impact of color in a composition.

Lesson 7: Managing Effective Design 

How to implement a design process for any given design project; how to organize the elements of a graphic in a grid system; the importance of themes and how to implement them in design; how to control visual relationships by manipulation contrast, focal points, anomalies, and figure-ground interaction; ways to find design inspiration and references in the natural world in order to develop your own design aesthetic.

Lesson 8: Research and Visual Communication 

Processes and methods of research for visual communication; the components of visual communication, including message and audience; the role of psychology in visual communication; how to prepare a research project; how to utilize visual problem solving to generate creative design solutions; the value of teamwork in problem solving.

Lesson 9: Media and Technology for Communication Artists 

Different types of media; the importance of advancements and innovation in technology; the design process for new media versus traditional media; the qualities of interactive media, the Web, multimedia, and motion graphics.

Lesson 10: From Student to Professional 

Career options available within the visual communications field; the objectives of a portfolio; different online portfolio options; preparing and presenting a portfolio of design samples; appropriate conduct in a design interview.

Lesson 11: Using the Creative Cloud 

The basic functions of the Creative Cloud; Creative Cloud tools that are beneficial to the designer; the fundamental differences between Photoshop and Illustrator; the difference in workflows for InDesign and Muse; different options to manage files and workflow; where to find resources to supplement your learning; how to become Adobe Certified; the benefits of certification; font formats and TypeKit; color management fundamentals for print and the Web.

Lesson 12: Creating Design Projects for Print 

Organizing work in Bridge; the difference between a vector and a bitmap graphic; the image resolution and media application; image color modes and media application; how to selectively edit and correct photos in Photoshop; how to draw efficiently in Illustrator; different techniques for drawing in Illustrator; how Photoshop and Illustrator work with InDesign; how to lay out a print document; the purpose of software programs; how to optimize a print graphic for use on social media.

Lesson 13: Designing for the Web 

How to plan the design and structure of a website; important concepts related to usability and UX design; how to design a responsive website; adding navigation, slide shows, and other interactive content to a website; how to preview, test, and publish a website; the benefits of a content management system (CMS); the impact of search engine optimization (SEO); how graphic designers benefit from knowledge of HTML5 and CSS3 coding.

Lesson 14: Creating Video with Photoshop 

Using the timeline panel to create motion and video; how to edit video; how to edit and add audio; the steps to animate layers; how to export video to match the intended media; the purpose of keyframes; how to create a 30-second video with sound, transition, and text; the purpose of a storyboard.

Lesson 15: Animation Basics 

How to create stop-motion animation in Photoshop; how to create an animated GIF in Photoshop; how to navigate the Animate workspace, stage, and panels; how Animate components work with each other; basic animation principles involving keyframes, motion paths, and tweening; how to create animations in Animate and how to publish them for distribution; the uses of animation in advertising; motion graphics.

Lesson 16: Interactive Design 

How to convert printed work for use on mobile devices; the purpose of alternate layouts; the steps involved in testing an app; how to publish online using InDesign; the types of interactivity that can be added to a project using InDesign; the EPUB format for e-books; the workflow for e-books; how to create an interactive PDF form; the different types of form objects.

 Close Curriculum Details

Program Description

Students will discover the fundamentals of graphic design by learning the key elements and principles of design and applying them to print and Internet design projects. They will learn to use the most popular graphics software from the Adobe Creative Cloud®—Photoshop®, Illustrator®, InDesign®, Muse®, and Edge Animate®—as well as WordPress, a popular Internet blogging tool. Students will learn how to manage the design process and their clients, and they will create a design portfolio that showcases samples of their graphic design work.

Program Objectives

After completing the Graphic Design program, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the fundamentals of graphic design and describe the characteristics of successful graphic designers.
  2. Identify and describe the key elements and key principles of design and implement both accurately and thoughtfully in graphic design projects.
  3. Utilize industry-standard software applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Muse, Edge Animate, and WordPress to create and optimize documents, publications, and webpages.
  4. Select images and composite media presentations that are appropriate for the audience and technology, based on the target market and delivery medium.
  5. Develop a portfolio of personal graphic design samples and explain how to confidently incorporate this portfolio as a key element of the interview process with potential employers.

Learn graphic design at PCDI Canada and get started in a rewarding, new career. Call 1-800-535-1613 or enroll today.