About our Courses

We offer a variety of challenging project-based courses designed to develop our students’ design and software skills. Our beginning courses cover basic Graphic Design principles and layout concepts in addition to introducing students to essential software programs including Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. In the more advanced courses, students work on real-world projects to practice and improve their design and software skills in readiness for entry-level jobs in the Graphic Design (or related) fields.

Graphic Design is a program in the Computer Studies Department. While courses in Graphics & Multimedia and Web Development offer instruction in the use of design tools, the emphasis in the Graphic Design Program is on design principles. Students can earn one- and two-year certificates and a major.

 

Course Descriptions

 

Poster by Henri Toulouse Lautrec
GD 15 History of Graphic Design
3 Units/3 hours lecture. Grade Only.
Recommended: Eligibility for ENGL 100 or ESL 100

Exploration of the development of graphic design. A broad survey of notable stages and accomplishments in the evolution of graphic design from prehistory to the present. Examines how, through the centuries, particular cultures, movements, works and individuals affect graphic design today. (CSU;UC.)

Read more about this course and look at some student projects

GD20 Font Card by Stevie
GD 20 Introduction to Typography and Letterforms
3 Units/3 hours lecture. Grade Only.
Recommended: Course Completion of CS 72.11A (or CIS.73.41A)

Development of practical and visual skills for using type in effective graphic communication. Includes terminology, survey of typefaces, design basics, advanced typography skills and computer production techniques. CSU; UC)

Read more about Introduction to Typography and look at some student projects

GD 51 Introduction to Graphic Design: Visual Basics
3 Units/3 hours lecture. Grade Only.

This course is an introduction to the field of graphic design. Students will explore various careers available in the industry, as well as the principles, concepts and protocols used for creating effective visual communication. Projects explore the creative development of graphic design ideas from start to finish. (CSU.)

GD 52 Rapid Viz: Drawing Techniques for the Designer
1.5 Units/1.5 hours lecture, 0.5 hour laboratory. Grade Only.

This course teaches graphic design students how to sketch graphic design concepts quickly using effective and dynamic visual shorthand (Rapid Viz) for communication with clients and other graphic designers. The student will learn how to handle the basics of form, composition, perspective, light, shadows and shading using rapid indication of elements in a design with hands-on tools. The emphasis is on creating basic thumbnails and rough sketches using professional development protocols and industry recognized materials. (CSU.)

GD 53 Design Techniques in Illustrator
3 Units/3 hours lecture. Grade Only.
Prerequisite: Course Completion of CS 72.11A; OR CS 71.11.

An intensive course designed to teach students how to create effective logos, type treatments, illustrations and informational graphics for professional visual communications projects using Adobe Illustrator. (CSU.)

GD 54 Beginning Page Layout and Advertising Design
3 Units/3 hours lecture. Grade Only.
Prerequisite: Course Completion or Current Enrollment in CS 72.11A and GD 51.

This course focuses on effective design techniques for page layout and advertising. Students will use industry-standard page layout and photo manipulation software to develop creative solutions to a variety of design situations including: business systems, advertisements, brochures, and multi-page newsletters. (CSU.)

Read more about Beginning Page Layout and Advertising Design and look at some student projects

GD 55 Handmade Design for Digital Designers
3 Units/3 hours lecture. Grade Only.

The application of basic hand-done design and mock-up techniques for the graphic/digital designer. Students will learn how to use a variety of graphic tools, materials, and techniques to create professional quality design projects. Students have an opportunity to learn the basic methods of graphic collaging, texture creation, illustration techniques, and mock-up (comprehensive) techniques. Projects will be taken full cycle from the integration of hand-done illustration to output on digital printers. (CSU.)

GD 57 Getting It Printed: Digital Prepress and Print Production
3 Units/3 hours lecture. Grade Only.
Prerequisite: Course Completion of GD 54.

A course designed to prepare the graphic design student for dealing with the prepress and print production process. The student will learn the skills needed to create accurate files for printing using a variety of processes, learn skills necessary to communicate and work with prepress vendors and printing firms, and choose wherever appropriate printing solutions that support sustainability and environmental concerns. (CSU.)

GD 58 Advanced Page Layout and Advertising Design
3 Units/3 hours lecture. Grade Only.
Prerequisite: Course Completion of CS 72.11A and GD 54; OR Course Completion of CS 72.11B.

This in-depth course will explore creative layout solutions for print and digital media using Adobe InDesign. Students will develop single- and multi-page designs for print and digital applications. Topics include: brand and advertisement design for global and bilingual markets, magazine and book layout, design strategies for multiple page sizes and orientations, basic interactive media design, grid systems, professional typography, and using effective imagery. (CSU.)

GD 60 Creating the Professional Portfolio
1.5 Units/1.5 hours lecture. Grade Only.
Recommended: Eligibility for ENGL 100 or ESL 100.

A course for the design student to prepare professional portfolios. The student will learn skills needed to create a physical, digital, and self-promotions portfolio. The student will also learn portfolio presentation techniques and industry protocols. A body of at least 15 high quality pieces as determined by the instructor for portfolio development are strongly recommended for success in this course. (Formerly APGR 70) (CSU.)

GD 63 Online Resources for Graphic Designers
1.5 Units/1.5 hours lecture. Grade or P/NP.

A course to survey the resources available for graphic designers on the Internet. Topics will include: how to use a variety of methods to find and assess online graphic design information, techniques for locating and downloading fonts/clipart and software, tips for using e-mail and web browsers, and subscribing to discussion groups that specialize in graphic design. Students must have an e-mail account and access to the Internet. (Formerly taught as APGR 69) (CSU.)

GD 65 Business of Graphic Design
1.5 Units/1.5 hours lecture. Grade Only.
Prerequisite: Course Completion of GD 51. Recommended: Eligibility for ENGL 100 or ESL 100.

A course designed to prepare the graphic design student for interacting with business. Provides the information necessary to develop accurate bids, schedule projects, keep accurate records, establish a freelance business, legally understand taxes, and work with clients, vendors, and colleagues in a professional manner. (Formerly APGR 65) (CSU.)

GD 72 Principles of Screen Design
3 Units/3 hours lecture. Grade or P/NP.
Prerequisite: Course Completion of CS 70.11A.

The course teaches students how to design effective screen layouts for multiple display sizes by applying established graphic design principles and techniques. Students will explore website planning, development and design from a graphic design perspective. Topics include: design principles, color theory and application, screen and motion typography, flexible grid layouts and responsive design, techniques for incorporating imagery, navigation and interface design, and accessibility considerations. (CSU.)