"The best part about learning from Practitioner Instructors is that they have worked in the job that you’re going into so they know the “ins and outs” and the little tricks of the trade, so to speak. They know what they’re talking about and have firsthand experience.” Jesse T., CDI College Graduate

The Graphic Design program is designed for students who want to work as digital software specialists and pursue careers within the graphics and digital media industries. Expertise across a broad range of digital manipulation software tools are in demand. The Graphic Design program focuses on preparing students to develop skills using industry standard digital design software applications.



This program is 47 weeks in length.

Job Opportunities
  • Visual Information/Multimedia Specialist
  • Graphic Designer
  • Web and Graphic Designer
  • Design Software Specialist

Program Courses

The program outline below is for British Columbia.Click here to see the outlines for Manitoba, Quebec, Alberta and Ontario.

Term1

Code Course Name Hours
  • SSSE Student Success Strategies 25

    • This course will introduce students to skills and concepts that will help them achieve personal, academic, and career success.
  • IC3E Fundamentals of Computers 50

    • This course presents an introductory look at Windows 7 and its interface, tools and features. You will learn about the fundamentals of navigating and personalizing the interface, organizing files and folders, using media devices, and searching for information. This course relies heavily on practical hands-on activities that allow you to learn the concepts by practicing them on a regular basis.

Term2

Code Course Name Hours
  • G01E Digital Photography 50

    • This course introduces students to the fundamentals of digital photography. Students will learn how to set up the camera and learn common program modes. Students will learn how to manage parameters such as composition, lighting and exposure. The course will discuss the download and transfer of photos and organizing photos. Students will learn how to fine-tune and edit photos with Photoshop Elements.
  • T04E Photoshop Level 1: Basics 50

    • This course covers the key techniques for working with Photoshop. Students will learn the key elements of the Photoshop interface, and how the tools and features of this popular software can be used to edit images. Students will learn to use precise selection control to correct a wide range of lens-based errors, interactively transform their images with a variety of tools, effects and filters. With a focus on the key features and tools of Photoshop, students will work with layers, masks, channels, brushes and vector drawing techniques to prepare images for both web and print production.
  • T02E Illustrator Level 1: Basics 50

    • This course presents Illustrator as an industry standard tool for the production of professional quality illustrations such as technical illustrations, mapping, illustrating from photographic reference, and colourizing bitmapped images. When completed, students will be able to produce professional quality illustrations.
  • T07E Page Layout Software 75

    • QuarkXpress and Adobe InDesign are the industry standard page-layout programs used by most print houses, the majority of the advertising agencies and design houses around the world. Quark has had the market cornered for a number of years, however with the inclusion of InDesign in Creative Suite, and its integrated workflow with Photoshop and Illustrator, Adobe has been chipping away at Quark's hold on the page layout world.
  • T08E Pre-Press and Adobe Acrobat 50

    • This module teaches students how to prepare their files for digital and electronic publishing. It includes trapping for spot and process colour printing and talking with your print professional. The course also teaches students how to electronically publish their documents using Adobe Acrobat in PDF format. Documents in PDF format preserve the exact look and content of the originals and can be distributed via e-mail, stored on the Internet and intranet, a file system, or a on CD. Other users can view your work on Windows, Mac and Unix platforms. Manuals, catalogues and annual reports are increasingly being published in PDF format and distributed on the Internet and intranets.

Term3

Code Course Name Hours
  • G07E Adobe Fireworks 50

    • This course will teach students the key techniques for working with Fireworks. They’ll learn how to design screen-based graphics, interfaces, and applications for any device. They’ll also learn to collaborate with other Adobe Creative Suite applications to design and mock up basic Web pages or interfaces for rich Internet applications; create demo designs and export the design as an interactive PDF. The course focuses on the fundamental workflow tools and how they are used in working with bitmapped and vector graphics. Students will learn about the Fireworks work area, the tools and features of Fireworks and how to create bitmapped and vector graphics for use in variety of applications. The course will also explore the fundamentals of prototyping.
  • G08E Photoshop Level 2: Advanced 50

    • This course continues with a more detailed advanced features of Photoshop including raster based painting for illustrations, 3-D, video and animation techniques, colour controls, etc. Students will also learn to use the techniques for designing with advanced layering and image compositing techniques, working with actions scripts, batch processes and other time saving options.

  • G09E Illustrator Level 2: Advanced 50

    • This module continues to explore the more advanced features of the industry-standard illustration program with series of advanced assignments. Students will gain an advanced understanding of the tool set. Painting and effects will be explored in detail. Projects will require a more sophisticated use of Illustrator techniques with a greater focus on finished quality and pre-press.

Term4

Code Course Name Hours
  • G11E Introduction to XHTML and CSS 50

    • This course is the foundation of all studies for web based products and applications, introducing students to principal concepts used in web development. Emphasis is placed on mastering XHTML and CSS. Students will learn to produce well-formed, hand-coded web pages, using the features of XHTML and CSS.
  • G12E Adobe Dreamweaver 50

    • The course introduces students to the rapid prototype and web site authoring tool Dreamweaver, allowing them to quickly produce interactive web pages and sites. The emphasis of this course is to use the features and tools of the authoring software to build professional grade site architecture, structure, and content.
  • G13E Adobe Flash 50

    • This course introduces students to the production of interactive digital media projects. Students will learn to use the features of Flash Professional to create digital animation and interactive Web sites. Students will learn to combine animation, audio, video, and the ability for the user to respond to the program using a variety of input methods to create engaging applications. This course will focus on the use of the various tools and features of Flash to import images and other vector-based artwork, create animated buttons and graphics, control and manage movie clips, and import audio files.
  • G14E ActionScript 50

    • In this course students will build upon the skills learned in the Flash course and create engaging interactive content with Actionscript . Students will learn the fundamentals of adding interactivity to Flash files using Actionscript via the Actions panel, as well as in external Actionscript files. The course covers the creation of simple navigation and timeline control and progresses through controlling animation with ActionScript code; using Event Listeners and writing event-handling functions; and controlling loading of and interaction with data, text, video, sound, and images.
  • G16E Adobe Flash Catalyst 50

    • Flash Catalyst is a development tool that allows users to create rich interactive content without resorting to the writing of code. In this course students will learn to use the features and tools of Adobe Flash Catalyst to create a variety of content including interactive ads, product guides and data-centric Rich Internet Applications (RIA’s) and interactive application prototypes using a collection of built-in wireframe components. The prototypes built with Catalyst can then be imported into Flash Builder and Adobe Flex to add additional functionality and integration with data services.

Term5

Code Course Name Hours
  • G18E Adobe Premiere Pro 50

    • In this course students will learn the key features, tools and techniques for working in Premiere Pro CS5. In the first part of the course, students will learn the basics of using audio, creating transitions, producing titles, and adding effects. The course will then explore the more advanced features such as sweetening and mixing sound, compositing the footage, adjusting color and, authoring DVDs. The students will also learn to take projects from the script all the way to the screen using a variety of Adobe tools such as Ultra, Adobe Story, OnLocation and Speech Search.
  • G19E Adobe After Effects 50

    • This course will explore the key techniques for working in Adobe After Effects and how to work efficiently and deliver in the widest possible range of media types. In addition to learning the key elements of the After Effects interface, students will also learn a variety of other embedded tools and features such as Mocha, Color Finesse 3, and Digieffects FreeForm plug-ins; Roto Brush; AVC-Intra and expanded RED camera support; and more. Students will finish the course by exploring rendering and output of content.
  • G20E Visual Effects and Compositing 50

    • This course continues to explore Adobe After Effects at a more advanced level to create seamless movie-quality visual effects. Students will learn core techniques for effects compositing including color matching, keying, rotoscoping, motion tracking, emulating the camera, and concluding with using expressions in After Effects. The final section of the course will allow students to explore several advanced composting effects projects that demonstrate professional techniques that the student will be able to practice.
  • G21E Motion Graphics 50

    • This course provides an in-depth view of the various components in the Adobe Creative Suite utilized in professional motion graphics projects. This course is highly practical in nature and will explore intermediate to advanced techniques for creating professional quality animations and motion footage. In the first half of the course, students learn about design essentials as related to motion graphics, including typography, logo animation, repairing and retiming footage, stylizing footage, background design, 3D objects and cameras, audio design, and vector design. The second half of the course focuses on real-world design projects that include broadcast package design, title sequences, DVD menu design, motion control 3D, character animation techniques, and panoramic images.
  • G21E Graphic Arts & Layout 50

    • Graphic Design is not about “pretty pictures” but rather about effective communication.  All Graphic Design is marketing driven, that is, companies produce print and web-based materials to maintain and  enhance their positioning and profitability.  Effective design successfully combines creativity, marketing principles and strategies, design principles, audience awareness, typography, illustration, photography, colour theory, words and presentation for the purpose of informing, persuading and/or instructing and audience
  • T1070 Advanced Design Techniques I 75

    • This is the synthesis of the CGD program, where students merge their creative, marketing, technical and design abilities to produce pieces they will showcase in their portfolio. These projects include: a stationery system; a CD package; a book cover; spine and back cover; a magazine cover; table of contents spread and sample inside spread; and a high end menu. Design is a process and the students work closely with their instructor to improve on the overall effectiveness of their design.
  • T1080 Advanced Design Techniques II 75

    • An extension of T1070, students synthesize what they have learned in the previous three weeks, allowing them to work at an even higher level. Once again, students merge their creative, marketing, and technical and design abilities to design and produce pieces they will showcase in their portfolio. These final projects include: a travel brochure; a concert series booklet; a condo brochure booklet; an annual report; and a poster series. Design is a process and the students work closely with their instructor to improve on the overall effectiveness of their designs.

Term6

Code Course Name Hours
  • CESE Career and Employment Strategies 25

    • This course looks at the planning, preparation, execution, and follow-up stages of an interview.