Graphic Design

  /  Graphic Design
Graphic Design

These diploma programs focuses on preparing the student to work in a variety of graphic design positions. This program will give students theoretical knowledge and the hands-on skills necessary to be successful. Students will acquire industry standard software and technical skills and the knowledge to apply current industry policies, practices, procedures and tools. Students will create a portfolio that showcases their professional graphic design talents. Graphic Design Diploma has an optional co-op component that can be taken after competition of the academic year.


Upon completion of the program, students will have acquired industry standard software and technical skills and the knowledge to apply current industry policies, practices, procedures and tools.


Grade 12 graduate or mature student status (British Columbia 19 years or older)
Meet minimum English language proficiency requirements.

Program Hours
Total instructional hours 960
Total Co-op hours 840 (if applicable)
Total program hours 960 (No Co-op) – 1800 (With Co-op)
Total program length (weeks) 48 (No Co-op) – 90 (With Co-op)
  • Successful completion of all program courses
  • Successful completion of program Co-op (If applicable)

Upon successful completion graduates will be able to secure entry-level graphic design employment, for example as a digital illustrator, layout specialist, graphic artist and design software specialist.

Course No. Hours
IND100 Art & Design Foundation 40
GRD100 Drawing* 40
GRD110 Digital Imaging I 40
GRD120 Digital Illustration I 40
GRD130 Typography 40
GRD200 Drafting* 40
DFP200 Digital Photography 40
GRD210 Digital Illustration II 40
GRD220 Package Design I 40
GRD310 Advertising Design I 40
GRD340 Web Design 40
GRD400 Digital Imaging II 40
GRD300 Corporate Design 40
GRD320 Advertising Design Studio 40
GRD330 Mobile Media Design 40
GRD410 Publication Design I 40
GRD520 Senior Design Project 40
GRD600 Package Design Studio 40
GRD420 Motion Graphics 40
GRD610 Publication Design II 40
GRD620 Green Advertising Studio 40
GRD510 Portfolio 80
CAP100 Career Preparation 40
Co-op 840

☒ In-class instruction
☒ Distance education
☒ Combined delivery (both in-class and distance)

IND100 Art & Design Foundation
This course introduces students to the fundamentals and application of color theory and design. The course includes a short history of design, the physics of color and the fundamentals of the principles of design. Through a wide variety of art and design exercises students will learn to apply theory to artistic practice, learning how to apply basic design principles and color, creatively in finding solutions to design problems.

GRD100 Drawing
This course will teach students how to see the world, allowing you to sketch and accurately draw what is around you. Students will learn the fundamental concepts of drawing, how to use basic shapes, forms, lines and patterns, perspective (2/3D), scaling, proportions and lighting in the creation of realistic drawings.

GRD110 Photoshop I
This course introduces students to the industry standard digital imaging software – Photoshop. Students will learn the fundamentals of digital image manipulation and production, editing tools and techniques used in print and web production and will apply color and design principles in the creation of original compositions. Topics will include; color correction, layers, selection tools, brushes, masks, blending, filters, and file formats and output.

GRD120 Illustrator I
This course introduces students to the industry standard vector-based software used in manipulating photographic and bitmapped imagery and in the production of original illustrations used in magazines, advertising publications, technical documentation, game and video industries. Students will apply the basics of color and design in the creative production of a selection of industry specific illustrations. Topics will include; tools and functions, color palette applications, drawing and painting objects, using and creating masks and transparencies, type, effects, file formats and output.

GRD130 Typography
This course is an introduction to the importance and effective application of typography in all forms of communication. This course will cover type classifications (serif vs. sans serif, display type vs. text type), how type is measured, sized, and organized, and how spacing and alignment affect design, how to use kerning, tracking, leading, and line length, and covers the history and current trends in typography.

GRD200 Drafting
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of traditional conventional drafting, using paper and pencil to produce detailed technical drawings.

DFP200 Digital Photography
This course introduces students to the fundamental terminology, concepts, and techniques of digital photography. The content focuses on the principles of using color, composition, lighting, and other imaging techniques to capture a subject.

GRD210 Illustrator II
Adobe Illustrator is the choice of artists and designers to create drawings and illustrations (charts, graphs, logos, diagrams, cartoons) when precision and high resolution matters most. This course builds upon Illustrator I, introducing advanced illustrator techniques and lays out the production process, showing how to get work production ready.

GRD220 Package Design I
This course explores the basics of designing packages, with emphasis given to methods that are practical for manufacturing and shipping, while making the packaging visually appealing. The focus will be on folding cartons, which can be created with the tools available to most designers, Adobe InDesign and Illustrator. Skills to create die-lines, artwork and text will be learned and practical experience in printing and cutting packaging prototypes and preparing the job for professional printing will be given.

GRD310 Advertising Design I
Students will be introduced to traditional and mobile and social media marketing and advertising theory and trends. Using this framework students will begin to examine the purpose of graphic design in the context of advertising and will explore design principles applied in the promotion of an idea or product.

GRD340 Web Design
In this course students will be introduced to current web design theory and practice. This course explores a variety of techniques, tools, and technologies associated with web development. Students, will define, design, and develop an HTML based website using standard authoring tools. Through this ‘hands-on’ course, the student will learn the fundamentals of web design, as well as HTML, and CSS.

GRD400 Photoshop II
This course builds upon tools and techniques introduced in Photoshop I. Students will learn how to use and apply layers, slices, roll-overs, image maps, blends, and painting and compositing tools in the manipulation of existing images and in the creation of original work, being delivered using a variety of technologies.

GRD300 Corporate Design
We are well aware of the influence that corporate branding has on the public’s perception of people, politicians, companies and their products. Branding is used to inform, promote, deliver a message and/or create a recognizable identity. This course will introduce students to the processes that are involved in the creation of an institution’s identify, with a focus on original logo creation.

GRD320 Advertising Design Studio
Building upon Advertising Design I students will create marketing collateral taking into consideration a variety of real world marketing and budgetary variables. Students will choose from one of three advertising scenarios each presenting a different constraint (target audience, fiscal limitation, product re-introduction). They will propose and defend three possible advertising design solutions. The ‘client’ will make the final choice and each student will take the project to completion by applying design best practices.

GRD330 Mobile Media Design
This course focuses on applying design and usability best practices in the creation of a superior mobile user experience. Students will be introduced to basic mobile and touch screen design principles. Students will apply these principles in the creation of a cross platform mobile user experience.

GRD410 Publication Design I
The rise and evolution of electronic information was supposed to herald the end of print media. To-date this has not occurred, with many publications still delivering both in hard and electronic copy. This course introduces students to the techniques and processes involved in creating print-based publications.

GRD500 Senior Design Project
The objective of this course is provide the student with the opportunity of decide on, design and complete a design project of their own choosing. Students will be evaluated on the originality of their project, design brief and ability to execute their project plan.

GRD600 Package Design Studio
Building upon Packaging Design I students will work in groups and choose from one of four packaging design challenges, each presenting a different constraint (size, material, environmental, cultural). Each group will propose and defend two possible design solutions. The ‘client’ will make the final choice and each group will take the project to completion by applying packaging design best practices.

GRD420 Motion Graphics
This course will introduce students to the principles of digital animated graphics. Students will bring their knowledge of design and illustration to the creation of animated assets. Students will learn how to create motion graphics for a variety of applications. Projects will focus on the design and optimization of animations for mobile assets.

GRD610 Publication Design II
Building upon Publication Design I students will learn how to design and create publications being delivered in digital format using a variety of electronic delivery technologies to a variety of digital media devices.

GRD620 Green Advertising Studio
In this course students will identify a current sustainability issue that is being negatively presented in the media and will develop a ‘green’ advertising campaign designed to change public opinion. Working competitively in groups each will propose and defend a design brief. Brief evaluation will use an intra-group and inter-group assessment model. Based on ‘client’ feedback students will take the project to completion.

GRD510 Portfolio
Building on the choices made with respect to their portfolio design brief students will focus on improving their portfolio pieces so that they clearly reflect a personalized area of interest and expertise, and demonstrate competency mastery. Students will present their final portfolio to a panel of their peers and industry representatives.

GRD600 Professional Practices
This course prepares students for their co-op experience and their transition to the professional world of work. Topics will include the impact of professional work place conduct and practice on their careers, interviewing skills, resume writing, cover letters, personal social media marketing and management and work place practices.

Co-op will provide students with the opportunity to apply acquired theory and skills in a practical business setting. Students will gain real world experience working on projects as a member of a team with project deliverables and deadlines.

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