The Graphic Design & Web Development program is designed to prepare students for the real world of digital-based graphic design and web development. The web changes rapidly and we strive to keep our curriculum updated to reflect trends in an ever-growing and fast-paced industry. We take advantage of the vast amount of open-source frameworks, tools, and software available for the web based content creation.
Our program explores multiple areas of design and development, focusing on core areas that are practical for the modern designer. This program begins with the establishment of basic computer skills, digital media design fundamentals, illustration, and basic photography. Students will then progress into advanced concepts of front end web programming. Having a broad scope of knowledge makes for a more competent and skilled professional, opening up greater opportunities for our graduates.
Every course will assess students on weekly objectives with regular exercises and projects. The end result of program completion is a well-rounded graduate with the diverse skill set necessary to get an entry-level career in the field of graphic design and web development.
Prerequisite: Basic computer and internet competencies. High school level English or higher.
Delivery Methodology: Interactive Distance Learning (online)
Average Class Size: 16 Students
Upon successful completion of the program, graduates obtain a Diploma.
Thirty-Nine (39) Weeks – 1014 Clock Hours / 91.26 Academic Quarter Credit Hours
811 Hours / 81.11 Academic Quarter Credit Hours – Instruction 203 / 10.15 Academic Quarter Credit Hours – Lab
Students in our Graphic Design & Web Development program receive a Creative P.A.K. to use during the course of their program and beyond. The digital media industry and its relevant technology are ever-changing, so specific items in your Creative P.A.K. may be updated from time to time.
*Specific items are not guaranteed. Contact the school for more information.
Students are required to be prepared for class. This includes having these items at all times: pen, writing paper/notebook, ID badge, and all required materials for their program. The following required items are not included in the tuition. It is the student’s responsibility to purchase the items for use on their first day of class.
Students learn a basic level understanding of computers, their parts, and terminology for the first week
of Graphic Design Principles. After learning the fundamentals of computing and developing a good understanding of the diverse types of digital media formats, students get a sneak peek at the Adobe Creative Suite of Products, a set of tools that are widely used in the Graphics and Digital Design industry. F.I.R.S.T. then introduces them to art history and the evolution of visual arts, in relation to the development of modern design principles and standards as a foundation to contemporary visual design and color theory.
Classes will then be introduced to Typography and Design Processes. Important skill sets are then developed through studies on Creative Thinking, Research and Concept Development, Business Communications, Cli- ent Briefing and Analysis, Digital Printing, and the importance of the print production processes. Students learn Branding fundamentals and then examine marketing in relation to corporate and personal branding and social media.
• Value & Shape Project
• Calligraphic Font Creation Project
• Custom Logo Project
• Style Guide Project
Students first learn about the concept of illustration through the study of simple, sequential,
editorial, and marketing illustrations. Classes then introduce Adobe Illustrator, an industry standard used primarily in creating vector graphics and line art.
The Adobe Illustrator user interface, workspace, and tools are learned through demonstration and exercise. As skills are gained, students go from creating simple vector shapes to more advanced vector illustrations and graphics, including typography. Students will take the skills learned in Illustrator to complete several projects that include logo design and other creative illustrations.
• Creative Portrait Project
• Character Design Project
• Styled Architectural Illustration Project
In this course of study, students are introduced to digital photography and camera basics. They will learn how to set up cameras with lighting considerations and use them in real photo shoots. Photographs from Digital Photography are some of the images used to learn critical skills in photo selection and editing.
Adobe Photoshop is an industry-standard for creation, editing, and photo manipulation. From the technical processing of multiple images to the making of unique artwork and digital paintings, Photoshop is used by animators, graphic designers, web designers, photographers, architects, and more. Throughout this course, students are introduced to the many tools and features of this powerful raster graphic editing software. Building on the skills learned, more advanced features, effects and techniques are taught using demonstration and hands-on exercises. Students will then utilize their new knowledge of the tools combined with personal artistry to create several portfolio-worthy graphics projects.
• Product Photography Project
• Headshot Project
• Photo Collage Project
• Digital Ad / Web Banner Project
Students are introduced to a brief history of UI/UX, including the language and vocabulary associated with it. Professional concepts in User Experience and User Interface Design, such as wireframing and prototyping, are learned during this course. Students gain knowledge of important design considerations for websites and applications to make them practical for all users.
Students gain an understanding of how to facilitate an easy end-user experience through meaningful and purposeful interface design. Skills are gained through practical exercises in the layout and positioning of web application content and elements. This is done through design research, wireframes, mock-ups, and prototyping. Several projects are completed that apply the UI/UX app design skills learned.
GDWD 104 – UI/UX Design
• Web Style Guide Project
• GUI (Graphical User Interface) Project
• Agile Design Project
Daily internet interaction is an integrated way of life for both individuals and businesses. Students are introduced to HTML as a markup language, the foundation for building structure on websites. Just as language is often broken down to basic words or elements, so too are coding-related languages. Students will learn about HTML elements as the fundamentals of the language and the dynamic results that are produced through its use.
The course will then take a look at the importance and necessity of inclusion for all to have equal participation in the use of the web through accessibility. Students will also be introduced to CSS, the language that transforms the basic structure of HTML and applies the visual display and presentation of web pages through responsive design.
After practicing how to develop a website from scratch, students are introduced to some basic FrameWorks & Grid-based layouts through templates. At this point, students are learning introductory concepts in how webpages are made to be interactive and engaging to the end user. Content Management Systems such
as WordPress is integral to a significant percentage of existing sites on the web.
These systems make creating and managing digital content easier for both consumers and designers alike. Time in WordPress is spent on how to modify existing templates and using the advanced features included in them.
• Wiki Project
• Lightbox Gallery Project
• Bootstrap Scalability Project
• Custom Portfolio Template Project
After developing strong skills in Layout and Design, Typography, Illustration, and Photo Editing, along with understanding the web, students are now taught the techniques needed to put design assets and graphics into motion.
Motion theory is introduced at the beginning of the course to give students a sound foundation in the concepts needed to execute projects successfully. Students will learn technical skills that follow the principles of animation through key framing, image positioning, masking, and other visual effects.
Projects are developed to help students grow in their creative problem-solving skills, which will then be utilized in the execution of various motion graphics principles.
• Animated Logo Project
• 3D Scene Project
• Lower Thirds Project
Understanding how various design elements are combined in the creation of successful visual communication is the basis of this course. Students begin with an introduction to the art of digital layout using the elements and principles of design.
Exercises in how to create good compositions are done through design challenges. Next, students take some time to apply and further grow their layout and design techniques while learning Adobe InDesign, an industry standard. Using InDesign, students will create several projects such as catalogs and brochures and then go on to develop a print campaign for their course project.
• Editorial Magazine Layout Project
• Banner Project
• Xbox Controller Wrap
In the Web and Graphics Portfolio course, students cumulatively refine and perfect all of their previous projects to a finished and finalized form. This is accomplished in part through professional review and critique. The body of work from earlier courses GDWD 101 through GDWD 107 is what is included during this last stage of the course.
Students leave the program with a diverse, strong, and most importantly, professional-level portfolio that showcases their abilities in graphic design, motion, and front-end web design & development.
• Illustration Portfolio Review Project
• Photo Layout Portfolio Review Project
• Motion Graphics Portfolio Review Project
• Final Custom WordPress Portfolio Project