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Graphic Design - NTA.1U

CDI College's Graphic Design - NTA.1U program is designed to train professionals for positions such as illustrator, scientific or medical illustrator, advertising designer, layout editor, or graphic artist.

The Graphic Design program is comprised of two important components: an artistic component – which allows students to develop their creativity and their artistic sense, and an important technical component – through which they acquire skills in drawing, editing, typography, graphic communications and multimedia software. The projects undertaken are directly linked to the true nature and demands of the market and they reproduce realistic working conditions in order to foster the development of the expected skills and attitudes.


  • Secondary V diploma or its recognized equivalent
  • Successful admission test



  • 1.5 years (18 months) OR 2 years (24 months)
Conditions for admission to an Attestation of College Studies (ACS)
A person who has received instruction considered sufficient by the college and meets any of the following conditions may be admitted to a program of studies leading to an Attestation of College Studies:


  • the person has interrupted his or her full-time studies or pursued full-time postsecondary studies for at least 2 consecutive terms or 1 school year;
  • the person is covered by an agreement entered into between the college and an employer or by a government program of studies;
  • the person has interrupted his or her full-time studies for one term and pursued full-time postsecondary studies for one term; or
  • the person holds a Secondary School Vocational Diploma.
To graduate, students must obtain the required pass mark in each course.
This program leads to an ACS (Attestation of College Studies) recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education (Permit 749747).
This program is offered in English or French.

Program Courses

570-PDG-ID - Graphic Designer Profession

History. Working functions of the graphic designer. The profession according to the different work environments. Role of the graphic designer and those of related professions. Requirements of the environment in terms of skills. Graphic design (Trends, Usefulness, Risks, issues and challenges). Graphic design in traditional and online marketing initiatives. Professional work ethics. Main hardware and software components of a computer.  File  management.  Personalization  of  a  workstation.  Documents  creation  using  common communication and management tools. Use of the Internet for communication and research.

570-NFC-ID - Fundamental Principles of Colour and Design

Fundamental principles and terminology of design. Design process. Pictorial composition and iconic reading (gestalt). Formal elements and notion of space. Formats, diagonals, lines and points of force, and focal points. Principles of subordination and hierarchy, unity, repetition, scale, similarity, and balance. Theory of color perception. Color composition. Additive and subtractive syntheses. Chromatic scale. Harmony of colors and visual impact. Impact of the media on color.

570-T11-ID - Image Processing

Introduction to an image processing software (vector images). Configuration and environment of the software. Drawing tools and text tools. The selections. Scanning and image capture technologies. Transferring images to a computer. Graph creation. Techniques for adjusting brightness and color. Retouching and repairing photos of conventional or raw files. Image manipulation techniques. Techniques for creating composite images. Preparation of images for printing, for Internet or multimedia. Color modes, pixel depths and resolution. General methodology. Professional quality project and presentation.

570-1IN-ID - Computer Illustration

Introduction to the an illustration software. The vector image. Configuration and workspace. Creation and backup of documents. Creation and drawing of basic shapes and Beziers curves. Contours and fills. Color palette and transformation palette. Custom brushes. Sample and custom sample library. Gradients. Custom perspective grid and isometric perspective. Transformation of objects, i.e. through rotation, inclination,volume, light, and shadow. Selection and addition of text, character types, text formatting, column creation and text rate adjustment. Adjusting text around a graph. Mix of objects, shapes and colors. Clipping mask and opacity creation. Masks of images with shapes. Styles of graphics, filters and special effects. Creations in 3D. Web graphics. Layout and preparation for printing. Export for different media.

570-DES-ID - Drawing

Drawing styles and techniques. Development of your own style of drawing. Drawing lines and basic shapes. Perspective notions in a drawing. Observation and drawing of living beings. Shading techniques. Variations of light and effects on shadow patterns. Balanced composition in drawing. Drawing of textures, such as metals, glass and its reflective properties, and wood and its textures. Freehand drawing of different objects. Fundamentals of anatomical drawing. Base forms used in the composition of the human body. Terminology used in anatomy. Anatomy of the human hand and drawing from various angles. Anatomy of the upper limbs and elbow, and drawing in various poses. Drawing of shoulders seen from front and back. Skeleton and muscles of the arms and shoulders. Using shadows to enhance the details and shapes of the drawing. Anatomy of the human foot and drawing from various angles. Anatomy of the lower limbs and drawing in various poses. Anatomy of the knee and ankle, drawing while standing and using shadows to improve the details and shapes of the drawing. Anatomy of the trunk and geometric shapes used for drawing. Anatomy of the abdomen and pelvis, geometric shapes and the use of shadow in drawing. Anatomy of the face, muscles, neck and head, geometric forms and use of shadow in the design. Principles of perspectives and scales of proportion. Lateral views. Integration of anatomy into a global design. Drawing of muscles and muscular system. Drawing of various poses from a human model. Correction with respect to proportions.

570-TY1-ID - Typography

History of typography and calligraphy. Evolution of typography. Terminology. Straight lines and different shapes. Units of measurement. Classification of types. Character palette and paragraphs. Kerning. Family of classic and modern characters. Anatomy of typographic characters. Readability and style. Presentation, composition and layout. Effectiveness of the drawing. System grids. Type of design. InDesign definition of a model. Digital environment. Development of a typographic project.

570-PNU-ID - Digital Photography

Basic principles of photography. The photographic genres. The pictorial composition. The frame. Angles and axes of shooting. Using an SLR (reflex) digital camera in automatic and manual modes in RAW format. Focusing, depth of field, light temperature and white balance, light reading, aperture, overexposure and underexposure, shutter speed, focal length, ISO factor. Creative modes and presets. Shooting in natural and artificial lighting. Photo of day and night. Photo studio and the use of the flash. Work organization, methodology, image processing in RAW format and creation of a final image. Creation of a photographic presentation.

570-CCP-ID - Conceptualization

Importance of conceptualization in the creative process of graphic design. Definitions and terminology. Difference between concept and idea. Process, principles, and steps of systemic design. Ideation process. Training in creativity. Articulation of ideas and the elaboration of abstract concepts. Creation and collective creativity. Formal elements and visual components in the design of a project. Case studies.

570-T12-ID - 570-T12-ID Advanced Image Processing

Using a Raster image manipulation software. Fine selection and import of images from another graphics application. Masks and extractions. Filter and distortion and effect correction with filters. Special effects and special filters. Composite images. Using filters and layers. Palette of specific colors and fit. Use of shapes and styles. Use of textures and color attributes. Opacity mapping techniques. Adjusting hues and saturation. Design of a composite image. Advanced photographic retouching and varied exports.

570-DDP-ID - Publishing Design

Computer-assisted publications. Publication software. Particularity of the publications supposing a certain period. Layout according to the types of publication, single -page or multi-page. Use of style sheets and formatting. Integration of elements in a publication. Table creation and graphics. Use of typography. Implications and considerations for the use of color. Inks and special situations. Print production and transition from electronic media to print media. Production of a final impression. Different output formats. Assembly of the final material of a production.

570-TY2-ID - Advanced Typography

Distinction between composition and typing. InDesign fonts. Setting fonts, styles, sheets and tabs. Kerning, widow/ orphan word break for a professional disposition. White space, contrast, alignment and indentation. Layout techniques. Special formats of typographic projects. Grids and special characters in typography. Logo, capital letters, and ligatures. Tables and layout options. High-resolution display.

570-DE1-ID - Electronic Design

Introduction to InDesign software, configuration, optimization and use. Basic concepts of the layout and processing of typographic content. Formal elements and drawing tools. Image and text box. Manipulation and transformation of objects. Import, edit and format content. Use of templates. Paragraph and character styles. Special characters. Table of contents and cross references. Creation and management of books. Professional and business documents. Multi -document project. Prepress and printing techniques. Electronic publishing techniques. Advanced features of layout software. Presentation of a project.

570-TE1-ID - Printing Techniques

Role of a graphic designer in the production of documents for printing. History of printing. The types of print frames. The resolution and lineament. Various printing techniques (digital, offset, typographic, flexographic, screen printing, etc.). Prepress. Image resolution, dot gain, and total ink ratio. Black backed. The support white. Four-color process management. Spot colors (PMS). Types, quality, structure, and paper sizes. Binding and finishing. Traditional and technological printing.

570-DPE-ID - Design of Packaging Products

The history of packaging. Nature and utility of packaging product design. Labels, basic and various forms of packaging. Folding cardboard, tubes, trays and other forms of packaging. Rigid boxes, corrugated containers. Display stands at the points of sale. The cutting dye. Technique and methodology for preparing files for printing according to the chosen technique. Design and color considerations in the packaging. Environmental issues and trends in packaging. Cultural and legal considerations. Packaging legislation.

570-DEC-ID - Corporate Branding

Origins of brand identity. Perception in corporate identity. Definition of a corporate identity. Image and brand identity. Vision, meaning, differentiation and values. Methodology and process of defining a corporate image. Definition of mandate. Understanding of a company, market and competition studies, target market segments, and desired image. The logotype, the signature and the symbol. Typography, color and shapes. Letterhead, envelopes, business card, brochure, p ackaging, website, advertising, vehicles, uniforms and new media. Graphic charter and specifications of use.

570-DPU-ID - Advertising Design

Advantages and disadvantages of different media. Current trends. Introduction to advertising and advertising design. Marketing mix. Creativity in advertising. Knowledge and understanding of the market and the target audience. False perceptions in advertising. What's important in an ad, what works and what does not work. Source of ideas and where to look for ideas. Appearance and effectiveness of an ad, i.e. visual elements, formats, styles, typography, and graphics. Text in an ad. Choice of  media and advertising campaign. Moral and cultural considerations.

570-CM1-ID - Multimedia Concepts

Introduction to the use of an interactive multimedia creation software. Basic principles of animation. Animation in ActionScript3 and HTML5. Drawing tools. Animations by simple and complex key frames. Two-dimensional animations. Matrix and vector images. Interpolation of shapes, alpha channel, colors, and movements. Use of symbols, sound, buttons, and navigation components. Produce an animation using sequences. Control the playback of a simple animation or one composed of sequences. Import and control library contents and external content (sound, image, video). Optimization of the loading process and performance. Publication of documents.

570-DE2-ID - Advanced Electronic Design

Print production and electronic prepress. Image manipulation software. Color management. Layout. Dynamic publishing. Proof copy in electronic form. Digital and variable data printing. Creation of proofs and single-page and multi-page prepress documents. Resolution. Acquisition of digital images. Importing scanned images. Professional software for creating documents in PDF format. Types and formats of files. File management, preparation for printing and web deployment. Post print and finish.

570-DW1-ID - Web Design

History and introduction to the "World Wide Web". Networks, domains, servers, and languages. Basic concepts of HTML and XHTML. Browsers and servers. Tags and attributes. Structure of an HTML file. Insert text and images onto a page. Basic styling of a page and text us ing CSS. Hierarchy of contents and headlines. The concept of container. How to set up, position and display containers on the screen. Basic composition grid. HTML5 and semantic tags. Tables and forms. Navigation and hyperlinks. Using images and wallpapers. Planning and designing a site. Cutting and assembly of an interface. Notions of accessibility and referencing. On-line activation.

570-PF1-ID - Portfolio I

Characteristics of a professional portfolio. Format and expected level. Labeling elements of a portfolio. Repairing a portfolio. Assessment of its strengths and weaknesses and the overall quality of the portfolio. Maintenance of a portfolio. Copyright laws and ethics. Legal implications of the use of unauthorized documents. What to protect and how to protect your work. Transportation considerations or electronic shipping. Personal promotion resources. Identification of clients and potential employers. Identification of employment counselors, professional publications, professio nal organizations, trade shows, and seminars. Interview simulation and portfolio presentation.

570-CM2-ID - Advanced Multimedia Concepts

Fundamental notions of audio. Introduction to sound editing software. Create mono and stereo audio files. Perform sound editing. Adjust the amplitude and the balance. Copy & paste sound samples. Creating multitrack audio montages. Audio capture. Improvement of an audio file. Filters and effects. Backup, compression and exporting. Basics of video e diting. Introduction to video editing software. Tools and techniques of assembly. Improved sources. Color correction. Transitions, filters and audio & video effects. Export and import audio tracks. Backup, compression and export. Introduction to animation software and special effects video. Animation, color adjustments, deformations and transformations, extraction, use of the green screen, compositing, use of cameras and lighting in a 3D environment. Related uses of the three software. Exporting multimedia elements for use in interactive production.

570-DW2-ID - Advanced Web Design

Environment of a "wysiwyg" type web editor, interface, tools, and functionalities. A website tree. Creation of pages. General structure and alpha version. The page templates. Insertion and management such as text and images, hyperlinks, clickable maps, tables, video and multimedia elements and interactive elements. Management of styles in CSS. Forms creation. Creation and use of SSI (Server - side includes). Creation of fluid sites. Use and management of SPRY elements.

570-PF2-ID - Portfolio 2

Professional portfolio - quality level and professional standards. Marketing perspectives of a portfolio. Adaptating the portfolio according to the recipient. Selection of the elements that will be part of the final portfolio. Identification of possible shortcomings in selected parts and creation of new ones, if necessary. Assembly. Development of a web portfolio and a portable portfolio. Resume writ ing and cover letter. Presentation techniques. Preliminary presentation of the portfolio and collection of comments. Official presentation of the portfolio to the public.

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