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Graphic Design


The courses that you take in our Graphic Design program will give you the knowledge and skills to launch your creative career. 

Graphic Design
60 weeks
Study Online
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41 weeks
Study Online Campus

In order to succeed in graphic design, you'll need to back up your raw talent and drive to succeed with a highly-focused and hands-on design education. VCAD's graphic design program gives you the knowledge, skills and professional connections you'll need to launch your career in graphic design.

From color theory, drawing and typography, to standard software used in the industry, this program will teach you the theoretical and practical skills you need to turn your creative ideas into reality. Students will build a portfolio of designs for packaging, advertising, publications, websites and branding.

Graduates of this program will be prepared to apply for graphic design jobs with web development firms, newspapers, magazines, publishers, printers and more.

Job Opportunities

  • Illustrator
  • Artist
  • Medical or Scientific Illustrator
  • Layout Designer
  • Page Designer
  • Graphic Artist
  • Advertising Designer

Upon successful completion of this program, you will be able to:

  • Propose creative solutions to design problems.
  • Evaluate the appropriate materials, tools, techniques and concepts required to produce an effective design solution.
  • Communicate ideas using color.
  • Create digital graphics and illustrations.
  • Determine the appropriate media based on project requirements.
  • Manage project and time constraints.
  • Optimize the readability of typography.
  • Assess visually photographic images on quality and effectiveness.
  • Produce graphic documents of high resolution.
  • Ensure the technical and design quality of a graphic design solution.
  • Process digital images using appropriate software.
  • Produce single and multi-page layouts using the appropriate software.
  • Create a fully functional website.

Admissions Requirements

  • High school graduation or equivalent  (From an English language teaching institution)
  • OR Mature student status (19 years of age upon starting classes, and Pass college’s admissions test.)

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Drawing I

This course will focus on development of perceptual and descriptive skills through an introduction to a variety of drawing media, techniques and subject matter. Through this course you will acquire a thorough understanding of the elements of art and the principles of organization as related to drawing, be able to demonstrate an understanding of contour line, positive & negative space, perspective, sighting of angles and measurements of relationships in drawing, master basic skills and to encourage experimentation with techniques and materials, both traditional and non-traditional, and explore creative expression beyond preconceived boundaries.

Photoshop I

Understanding the application and importance of image editing and construction as a universal skill in all design genres. This course introduces the students to raster image-editing software such as Adobe Photoshop. Through this 'hands-on' course, the student will learn the fundamentals of design, as well as advanced features, and tips, to prepare images for digital output as well as for print. Emphasis will be placed on technical skills, however conceptual development, and creative thinking and approaches will also be considered in all work. By the end of this course, the student will be able to create, modify, and enhance sophisticated images using raster editing tools, and features; craft special effects; work in 3D space; and prepare files for export to various applications in web, mobile, print, and manufacturing.

Colour & Design

Understanding colour and design principles through exploration and application across media, visual, and applied design genres. This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles of colour theory through design, such as layout, composition, balance, colour science as well as a diverse range of colour theories, and how to employ them creatively. These concepts will be reinforced through specific practical exercises, and activities that will serve to demonstrate how each of the concepts is integrated into functional, purposeful design.

Illustrator I

Understanding the application, and importance of vector editing, and construction as a universal skill in a multitude of design genres, and applications. This course introduces the students to vector image-editing software such as Adobe Illustrator. Through this 'hands-on' course, the student will learn the fundamentals of vector design, as well as advanced features, and tips, to prepare files for the digital output as well as for print. Emphasis will be placed on technical skills however conceptual development, and creative thinking, and approaches will also be considered in all work. By the end of this course, the student will be able to create, modify, and enhance sophisticated vector artworks, and design using vector editing tools, and features; craft special effects; work in 3D space;, and prepare files for export to variations applications in web, mobile, print, and manufacturing.

Applied Graphic Design History

Gaining insight and knowledge to build a visual IQ and the capacity to analyse and develop new work from historical perspectives. The curriculum is designed to explore the various periods of art and design history with an aim at looking closely at design initiatives and themes of each period. The course focuses on the modern period (1789–present) but begins with original symbol-based design thousands of years ago, and takes the students on a thorough journey through to the contemporary period. This course breaks the history of design and communication solutions into five pillars: symbols, lettering, type, composition, and style via the production of living history in the form of drawing assignments focused on historical and historicist visual outcomes. The course breaks design thinking down to the Three Cs of Concept, Creative and Context, and tasks the students to begin writing and speaking about their work with these in mind.

Typography

This course combines practical, and theoretical concerns related to letterforms, fonts, type, and typography, and applies them to creative outcomes. Students will learn how typography evolved from basic symbols to the present day of sophisticated fonts, and letterforms. Students will discover the fundamentals of working with type including, the building blocks of type, the typographic measurement units, and typefaces for both classical, and modern fonts. Outcomes will demonstrate the creative potential of innovative typographic practice, as well as a solid foundation of functional typography, its place, and its importance in visual communications, and graphic design.

Digital Photography

This course combines technical lessons pertaining to digital cameras, and related technology with the direction needed to craft bespoke outcomes, and beautiful imagery. This course will explore photography as record, narrative, and illustration, with a focus on artistic, and commercial strategies, and techniques. Students will develop compositional, and photo- illustrative skills, and explore street, and exterior subjects to capture public narratives, and editorial records. As students develop technical skills, creative approaches applications for photography will be pursued, and utilized in final advanced design solutions such as advertising, product photography, and fashion editorial.

Life Drawing I

This course will lay the foundation for a robust understanding of anatomy for applied illustration purposes. Topics emphasize a variety of figure drawing techniques applicable to both human, and animal morphology, helping to tie the subject matter into later 3D, and illustration expectations. The focuses on process, and development over final outcomes, and narrative constructs over mere representations, in order to connect the study of human anatomy via drawing to a range of applied design applications.

Concept Development

Exploring problem–solutions through synthetic, and analytic methods. This course will apply human-centred design as a means to frame learning, and develop solutions to specific design problems experienced by locally accessible, real-world audiences. The emphasis is placed on the various techniques, and tools that are used in design thinking, conceptualizing, ideating, and in design processes. Students will learn to integrate research, problem-solving, project development, and critical thinking techniques as well as to call upon their creativity to develop original solutions to design challenges while focusing on the overall audience, and user experience as the paramount goal of the project. Students will work through a number of projects exploring UI/UX and creative fluidity in the face of shifting client expectations. Students will demonstrate the ability to illustrate a unique concept via creative mash-ups and prepare for a case-study work by keeping a professional level project book.

Electronic Design I

This course explores the importance workflow, technique, and technical construction methods in digital layout design. This course will focus on technique over development, however the critical process of research, and development for a studio project will also be explored, and supported. Topical coverage will pertain to specific applied applications of layout, grids, typography, and information design. Additionally, students will learn automation workflows, as well as the design criteria for the print, interactive, online, and mobile design applications, and their integration. This course balances a robust understanding of professional work flows, project, and file management, with a variety of applied uses touching on information visualization, style guides, rule books, and other requirements for the development of professional quality, and technique focused projects.

Photoshop II

This course explores the advanced workflow, production, and integration opportunities in raster-design software. Students will be exposed to advanced photo editing techniques, raster- based art, mobile design, and extra functions within the program such as video editing, and three-dimensional editing. This course addresses new technical skills while focusing on understanding and seeing the problems that hold digital artists back from creating beautiful and believable works. This course will also continue the coverage of the notions of perspective, scale, and proportions along with contrast, colour, light and shadow, and their role in the production of realistic looking photographs. Students will develop short daily exercises, and a series of in-depth assignments directly related to real-world projects. This will extend the outcomes of the course beyond mere software knowledge to the inclusion of full development processes including but not limited to design processes, and development; design thinking, and design briefs; presentations, and project reports.

Publication Design

This course will lay the foundation for a robust understanding of art direction, and content generation as aspects in strong design-lead publication design. This course will introduce students to the basics of layout, and planning for print, and online editorial media, plus the full planning, and implementation of publications. The course focuses on the design of publications that combine grids, type, graphics, and colours through art direction processes while addressing some of the common printing, and publication challenges. Topical coverage includes design conceptualisation, and ideation for various outputs, topics, and audiences. This will include technical aspects such as wireframing, planning, style guidelines, single, and multi-page documents, master layout pages, colour palette, and libraries, style sheets, tables, and charts.

Electronic Design II

This course explores the importance workflow, technique, and technical construction methods in digital layout design. This course will focus on technique over development, however the critical process of research, and development for a studio project will also be explored, and supported. Topical coverage will pertain to specific applied applications of layout, grids, typography, and information design. Additionally, students will learn automation workflows, as well as the design criteria for the print, interactive, online, and mobile design applications, and their integration. This course balances a robust understanding of professional work flows, project, and file management, with a variety of applied uses touching on information visualization, style guides, rule books, and other requirements for the development of professional quality, and technique focused projects.

Packaging Design

This course introduces the fundamental features of package design including the typical package materials, the processes, and decisions that go into the design, and production of a package, including current trends, and concerns surrounding packaging. Through case studies students will learn to combine the creative design concepts, and the choice of materials to develop creative packaging solutions that focus on user experience, and the role of packaging as a solitary design outcome as well as a small part of consistent, holistic project.

Corporate Design

This is a studio driven course where students will explore the components for developing branding or corporate identity systems from the perspective of small local identities to large international brands. Students will learn the processes, and considerations that impact the design of corporate logos, colour selection, type, symbols, branding elements, stationary, and other collateral elements. Students will explore several case studies of prominent companies and brands, and how graphic design influenced their corporate identity systems.

Advertising Design I

This course will focus on branded storytelling, and narratives for the purpose of understanding the strategic role of advertising, its creative potential, and its ability to integrate with any other form of design. Students will explore the role of graphic design in the context of advertising through learning about current trends in promotion and marketing, target markets, consumerism, visual stimuli, advertising theories, and strategies, product placement, and how they impact the design process. The course will explore some of the issues, and challenges that must be considered when designing advertising collateral today. Students will learn the importance of meeting deadlines, professional presentation, and attention to detail.

Experimental Media I

This course explores the production of interactive multimedia projects through designing animated prototypes. Students will learn how a combination of animation, audio, video, gesture control, and navigation patterns give the user the ability to respond, and receive feedback, using a variety of input / output methods. Students will learn how to prototype elements, components, and UI patterns that fall within a graphical user interface. Interface types will range from websites to native apps all used in the game industry, education, simulators, computer-based training, and a variety of other applications.

Illustrator II

This course will lay the foundation for strong visual design, and illustration fluency in vector design, and integrated vector visualisations. The course focuses on the development of professional level vector illustrations covering a range of styles as determined by each student’s professional aspirations.Technical competencies will be taught alongside art direction, market research, and creative approaches to vector design software. Additionally, students will apply knowledge of integrated software design to work fluidly between vector, raster, layout, and moving media software.

Web Development I

This course introduces the fundamentals of web site development. The students will learn about the structure, and components of code-based languages, and website programming. Students will learn to work with text, tables, tags, images, forms, and hyperlinks to design, and create a fully functional website.

Portfolio Development I

This course will focus on proving your capacity as a designer by demonstrating planning and research as foundational to a strong portfolio. This course will assist students with preparing a portfolio that demonstrates skills relative to a career in graphic design and is aimed at preparing the students' transition to the professional world. The focus of this course is to prepare students to compile and defend the first draft of their portfolio through selecting distinguishing portfolio pieces that showcase their skills. This will then provide them with a focus for polishing their techniques and developing a unique style. Feedback will be provided through industry, instructor, and peer critique.

Advertising Design II

This course will explore the strategic role of graphic design in advertising. Through this course students will learn the function of graphic design in the context of advertising through the current trends in promotion, and marketing, establishing a target market, consumerism, visual stimuli, advertising theories, and strategies, product placement, and how they impact the design process. Students will learn the importance of meeting deadlines, professional presentation, and attention to detail when design advertising collateral.

Experimental Media II

In this course, students will build the skills to create engaging interactive content in a variety of outcomes, from animation to video production, projection mapping, application design, as well as augmented, and virtual reality design. Students will continue to apply and learn the fundamentals of user interface design with applications, and websites while understanding the functionality, standards, and patterns interface design requires within the context of experiential design.

Web Development II

This course will combine knowledge gained from earlier print, publication, web and dynamic media courses to develop, manage, and produce a variety of electronic outputs with a focus on a strong technical capacity and production management skills.

Portfolio Development II

This course is aimed at preparing the students' transition to the professional world through a better understanding of industry expectations. Through this course students will place their final polishing touches on their portfolio work. Students will be required to explain and defend the presentation structure of their portfolio, and individual pieces to a panel of their peers, faculty, and industry via presentations, written defenses, portfolios, and portfolio events. All portfolio components should demonstrate the student's mastery of the programs core competencies while highlighting the uniqueness of their work. Selected pieces should reflect a standard of quality demonstrating the full breadth, and depth of those chosen projects in how they relate to human-centred design practices in terms of research, conceptualisation, ideation, design and implementation.

Portfolio

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Ekaterina C.

Graphic Design

Talia J.

Graphic Design

Lili M.

Graphic Design

Rome M.

Graphic Design

Jasmine H.

Graphic Design

Ryley L.

Graphic Design