The comprehensive Graphic Design and Web Development program was designed to prepare our students for the real world of web development and design, starting them from basic computer skills and multimedia design fundamentals and working up to advanced graphics and web programming techniques. We combine hands-on education using up-to-date technology found in the real world with F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s signature teaching methods applied to give students all they need to succeed in Design industry jobs.

  • Program Name: Graphic Design & Web Development
  • Total Clock Hours: 744
  • Hours – Instruction: 536
  • Hours – Lab: 168
  • Hours – Internship: 40
  • Notes: Courses are designed to be taken in order as numbered, i.e. course 101 is taken prior to course 102.

In the start of the program, students will learn about very basic level understanding of computers, their parts, and terminology. After students have learned the fundamentals of computing and have a good understanding of the different types of digital media formats, F.I.R.S.T. introduces them to art history, design basics, and color theory. Classes then get introduced to a common graphical user interface via Adobe Illustrator. That interface will be consistent throughout most of the programs encountered in the graphic design and digital art courses. Students will take the skills learned in Illustrator to complete several projects that include a branding strategy for small and large businesses.

Projects Completed in GDWD 101:

  • Sketch Project
  • Simple Logo Project
  • Branding Strategy Project

Students are introduced to digital photography and camera basics. They will set up cameras and learn to use them in a real photo shoot. Their assets obtained from that shoot will be used in their introduction to Photoshop. Once students have a full understanding of the basics of Photoshop, these assets and skills are used to develop a print campaign and website mockup/design for their course project. Next, students take some time to learn basic layout techniques in InDesign. Using InDesign, students will create several projects such as a catalog and brochure.

Projects Completed in GDWD 102:

  • Product Photo Shoot
  • Headshot Photo Shoot
  • Photoshop Photography Project
  • Catalog Design Project
  • Brochure Design Project

The internet has become a necessity for individuals as well as businesses. GDWD 103 covers the history and origins of the internet and how it has integrated into everyday life. Knowing the different types and uses needed for web site creation is paramount to be practical and efficient. Students experience first hand how the internet looked and felt during the birth of the world wide web. They will visit the very first web page and learn all the different types of pages the world has today. Students will design a basic wireframe mockup based on what they have learned so far.

Projects Completed in GDWD 103:

  • Building a Wireframe

Students are first introduced to the concept of career development, what it means, and its monumental purpose in helping them find a job in their field of study. They will focus on the design of their own personal portfolio which will include a cover letter, resume, business card, and self marketing social media outlets like SoundCloud, Youtube, Behance, and Vimeo. This week is wrapped up by covering interviewing skills with an instructor-led mock interview session.

The three basic building blocks of the modern web are HTML, CSS, and Javascript. As students progress through course GDWD 104 they will learn each of these coding languages and how they are used to create stunning and responsive web sites. In addition to learning the basic syntax and structure of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, students will discover how to integrate existing web frameworks. Web frameworks can be used for speed and efficiency to make building websites from scratch easier for the designer.

Projects Completed in GDWD 104:

  • Portfolio Website

Content management systems such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are integral to a large percentage of existing sites on the web. Students will learn the ins and outs of each system and how each one is unique from one another. Time is spent on how to tweak and modify existing templates to editing and using the advanced features included in them as well. Code such as HTML and CSS learned from the previous course is used to access those advanced features.

Projects Completed in GDWD 105:

  • WordPress Project
  • Drupal Project
  • Joomla Project

The second week of Career Development will center in on a student’s internship and academic experience. Students will learn how to update the portfolios created in the first week of Career Development. This week will also go over proper networking skills and business etiquette. Students finish off the week by making sure all of their requirements are met for graduation.

In the Web and Graphics Portfolio course, students cumulatively take all of their previous projects to a finished and finalized form. This includes work from GDWD 101 all the way to GDWD 105. Students leave the program with a diverse portfolio showing their abilities in graphic design and front end web development.

Projects Completed in GDWD 106:

  • Web and Graphics Portfolio

Under the supervision of a professional, student internships are conducted in the many fields of graphic design and web development. Student skills will be assessed and the internship will provide students with the opportunity to further develop business skills and gain exposure to the work environment.

Internships will allow students to take initiative and become accountable for their experience. F.I.R.S.T. encourages students to make lasting relationships and also to practice the skills learned during Career Development, class lectures and hands-on training. Practical training for each student will vary considerably, but all opportunities should teach students about their industry and set expectations for entry-level employment upon graduation.