Course Descriptions

Foundations of Graphic Design (3 credits)
An introduction to visual principles as the basis of graphic design communication and elements and issues of visual language. Covers the manipulation of graphic form to convey meaning, strategies for idea generation and development of unique concepts, and the designer's role as visual storyteller. Prerequisites: Drawing Skills or Elements of Design or other basic design course.

Typography (3 credits)
A study of the design and use of basic letter forms, typographic contrast, hierarchy of information, major type families and characteristics, history of design and typographic grids.  Students build skills for the art of typesetting and typographic layout, and for expressive typography and conceptual thinking. Prerequisites: Foundations of Graphic Design and working knowledge of InDesign (or Quark XPress), Photoshop, and Illustrator.

Graphic Design 1 (3 credits)
An exploration of the formal elements of design including composition, color, texture, and shape in the form of applied visual problem-solving exercises in which typography and meaningful concept are added in order to shape the work into effective graphic design communications. Prerequisites: Foundations of Graphic Design, Typography and working knowledge of InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator.

Intermediate Typography (3 credits)
An application of typographic principles to applied communication design projects of moderate complexity. Students strengthen skills in building typographic relationships and detail, creating sophisticated typographic layouts, including dynamic use of the grid, and employing type use and choice for creating expressive, conceptually-based typographic design. Prerequisites: Foundations of GD, Typography, GD I, and a working knowledge of InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.

Graphic Design 2 (3 credits)
An application of design and typographic principles, and type/image integration to communication design projects of moderate and increasing complexity. Emphasis is on development of strong concepts which communicate persuasively and effectively integrate type and image. Prerequisites: Foundations of Graphic Design, Typography, GD I, and a working knowlege of InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator.

Interaction Design (3 credits)
An introduction to current concepts, methods, and technologies employed in the design of interactive media. Subjects of study include defining user and site requirements, managing information complexity, and designing visual interfaces that are usable and testable. Assignments address design problem solving within screen-based projects developed for various content, needs, and audiences. Prerequisites: GD I, Typography, GD II, and a working knowledge of InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator.

Intermediate Portfolio (4 credits)
Students build an entry-level production portfolio based on studio assignments and visits by working professionals demonstrating a synthesis of program learning thus far: application of design and typographic principles, and type/image integration. Emphasis on portfolio presentation and verbal presentation skills. Final panel presentation determines whether the student progresses to the next level of the certificate program. Open only to certificate students who have completed all 6 courses listed above.

Print Production (1.5 credits)
An introduction to the basics involved in print production for graphic designers, including terminology and methods, acquiring print cost estimates, what it means to "preflight" work, font management, and color use in print production. Prerequisites: GD II and design software knowledge or permission of the instructor.

Interactive Development (1.5 credits)
A reinforcement of the student's technical knowledge of developing graphical user interfaces using industry-standard web development applications. Current and future directions of web interactivity are addressed, with a focus on cross-platform development, browser compatibility, bandwidth limitations and the integration of dynamic content. Prerequisites: GD II, Interaction Design, basic familiarity with Adobe Flash, and working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Advanced Design Elective (3 credtis)
Students choose from a limited selection of electives that provide application of design and typographic principles and type/image integration to communication design projects of advanced complexity, or advanced typographic communication design projects. Each elective is an in-depth exploration of the specific focus of the course. See Continuing Education course offerings each semester. Prerequisites: Intermediate Portfolio.

Graphic Design 3 (3 credits)
Concept and design skills are applied to the development of various visual systems. Emphasis on critical thinking, concept development as a process, and research and marketing methodologies. Focus on the development of a unique personal voice in the design process and refinement of typographic detail to achieve a higher level of typographic sophistication. Prerequisites: GD I and II, Typography and Intermediate Typography, Intermediate Portfolio.

Advanced Interactive Project (3 credits)
Surveys the conceptual, visual, and technical aspects of planning, designing, and prototyping dynamic screen-based interactive experiences. Students investigate complex systems of information with emphasis on organization, navigation and usability. Design solutions, in the form of portfolio quality prototypes, are evaluated in the context of each student's previously defined audience and needs. Prerequisites: HTML/Dreamweaver and Flash. A working knowedge of HTML/Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and Intermediate Portfolio.

Final Graphic Design Portfolio (4 credits)
Students prepare a portfolio for a job search that demonstrates professional competence in design, concept, technical skills, and craft and meets high standards of excellence. New projects are combined with project revisions to create a comprehensive, market-ready portfolio presentation reflecting each student's best and unique capabilities. Open only to certificate students who have completed or will concurrently complete all other certificate requirements.

For more information

Contact Continuing Education
617 879 7200


Fall semester: April 1
Spring semester: November 1
Application Fee: $35

Download an application (PDF)