Course Overview

Introduction to Digital Graphic Design is intended for students interested in learning how to create and edit well designed graphics for professional use. Topics include fundamental 2D layout principles, developing vector and pixel based images for print and web, color theory, typography, graphic file formats and resolution. Weekly assignments keep you on track; 24/7 access gives you the flexibility to work at your own pace between deadlines. Please do the lessons in order however as they build on the skills learned. The course fee includes course access for the duration of the session.

Week 1. Course orientation

Estimated Time: 2 hours

Value: 50 points (+ 8.33 participation points)

This lesson is intended to assist you in getting started in the right direction. The goal is to familiarize you with course content, resources and procedures.

Topics

	1.1 Review course syllabus
	1.2 Subscribe to the course calendar
	1.3 Taking quizzes and exams
	1.4 Semester overview
	1.5 Introducing the online community
	1.6 Review and checklist

 

Begin Lesson 1

2. Intro to vector graphics and the design principles

Estimated Time: 3 Hours

Value: 50 points (+ 8.33 participation points)

Description: This lesson teaches the design principles and how they affect good layout. Recognize when the design principles are not used; name the areas of composition which could be improved. Understand the difference between vector-based graphics created in Illustrator vs bitmap-based graphics created in Photoshop. Review the Illustrator user interface.

Topics:

	2.1 Introduction to the four design principles
	2.2 Recognizing the use of the design principles
	2.3 Differences between vector-based graphics and pixel-based graphics 
	2.4 Dot-to-dot approach
	2.5 Intro to the Illustrator interface
	2.6 Panels, tools and menus
	2.7 Basic selections

 

Begin Lesson 2

3. Design principles in depth; editing shapes

Estimated Time: 4 hours

Value: 50 points (+ 8.33 participation points)

Description: Incorporating the design principles into your own work. Continued study of the tools, panels and menus. Learning the pen tool and incorporating the dot-to-dot approach to creating vector graphics. Continued study of the selection tools, altering and editing shapes in Illustrator. Incorporating the design principles into your own work.

Topics:

	3.1 Using Contrast
	3.2 Using Repetition
	3.3 Using Alignment
	3.4 Using Proximity
	3.5 Learning the tools, panels and menus 
	3.6 Submit assignment
	3.7 Take quiz

 

Begin Lesson 3

4. Typography and Illustrator text tools

Estimated Time: 5 hours

Value: 50 points (+ 8.33 participation points)

Description: This lesson will focus on the text and typographic functions within Illustrator.

Topics:

	4.1. Intro to typographic terms 
	4.2. Text tools in Illustrator
	4.3. Stroking text	
	4.4. Outlining text
	4.5. Submit assignment
	4.6  Take quiz

 

Begin Lesson 4

5. Type categories, layers & artboards, brushes & patterns, converting bitmaps

Estimated Time: 5 hours

Value: 50 points (+ 8.33 participation points)

Description: We continue to incorporate the design principles designing editing our work. Learn categories of type styles and how to use them to best get your message across. Discussion of color swatches and gradients and how to use them in Illustrator.

Topics:

	5.1 Learning type categories
	5.2 Using layers
	5.3 Using artboards
	5.4 Using 3rd party brushes and patterns
	5.5 Submit assignment 
	5.6 Take quiz
	                

 

Begin Lesson 5

6. Branding and corporate identity

Estimated Time: 8 hours

Value: 50 points (+ 8.33 participation points)

Description: This lesson will teach you how to brand the image of a company, or concept. Discussion on creating vector-based logos within Illustrator. You will also learn to use 3rd party brushes and patterns in Illustrator. This will conclude the study of illustrator.

Topics:

	6.1 Branding a concept or company
	6.2 Why you should create your logos in Illustrator
	6.3 Importing 3rd party brushes for use in Illustrator 
	6.4 Importing 3rd party patterns for use in Illustrator
	6.5 Submit assignment
	6.6 Take quiz
	6.7 Take exam 

 

Begin Lesson 6

7. Intro to bitmap graphics

Estimated Time: 4 hours

Value: 50 points (+ 8.33 participation points)

Description: This lesson discusses the concept of bitmap or pixel-based graphics. We will learn the user interface of Photoshop and see how it resembles what you used in Illustrator. Discussion include color modes and their specific functions aas well as file resolution and file formats. We will also learn the basic selection tools in Photoshop, their function and purpose.

Topics:

	7.1 Introduction to creating bitmap-based graphics in Photoshop
	7.2 Seeing the similarities and differences between the user interfaces in Photoshop and Illustrator
	7.3 Learn the various color modes of bitmap files and their uses
	7.4 Understanding bitmap file resolution and how it is important
	7.5 Learn the differences in bitmap file formats and which one would be appropriate for your use
	7.6 How the various selection tools work in Photoshop
	7.7 Submit assignment
	7.8 Take quiz            

 

Begin Lesson 7

8. Cropping and resizing images, composing, using channels and layers

Estimated Time: 5 hours

Value: 50 points (+ 8.33 participation points)

Description: Learn how to crop images to specific sizes. Discuss using channels to save selections for re-use in your work. Using layers to compose multiple images together. Learning to use layer masks to make non-destructive changes to your bitmap images.

Topics:

	8.1 The crop tool and resizing images
	8.2 Saving existing selections into channels
	8.3 Using selections to create layer masks to edit your images in a non-destructive manner
	8.4 Make use of layers in Phtoshop to compose multiple images into a collage
	8.5 Submit assignment
	8.6 Take quiz

 

Begin Lesson 8

9. Advanced editing of selections, preparing images for various uses

Estimated Time: 5 hours

Value: 50 points (+ 8.33 participation points)

Description: Learning advanced techniques to alter and edit selctions in Photoshop. Learning the differences between saving images for use in web development and print.

Topics:

	9.1 Editing selections 
	9.2 Preparing images resolution and file formats for web delivery
	9.3 Preparing images resolution and file formats for print delivery
	9.4 Submit assignment
	9.5 Take quiz

 

Begin Lesson 9

10. Retouching and repairing images

Estimated Time: 5 hours

Value: 50 points (+ 8.33 participation points)

Description: Using the toools in Photoshop to retouch and repair damaged images.

Topics:

	10.1 Learning the retouching tools in Photoshop     
	10.2 Submit assignment
	10.3 Take quiz 

 

Begin Lesson 10

11. Using blending modes, non-destructive adjustment layers

Estimated Time: 5 hours

Value: 50 points (+ 8.33 participation points)

Description: Learn how blending modes affect various layers in your bitmap documents. Understand the uses on adjustment layers in your documents to create non-destructive alterations which can be turned off or changed again later.

Topics:

	11.1 Learning the blending modes and categories of effects 
	11.3 Using adjustment layers in your documents
	11.4 Using layer styles and how to copy them between layers
	11.5 Submit assignment
	11.6 Take quiz

 

Begin Lesson 11

12. Combining bitmap and vector elements

Estimated Time: 5 hours

Value: 50 points (+ 8.33 participation points)

Description: This lesson culminates your study of Illustrator and Photoshop. Learn methods of combining elements from both programs to create new artwork.

Topics:

	12.1 Understanding the differences between vector and bitmap-based images
	12.2 Using Illustrator files in your Photoshop projects
	12.3 Using smart objects 
	12.4 Submit assignment
	12.5 Take quiz

 

Begin Lesson 12

13. Final exam

Estimated Time: 2 hours

Value: 180 points

Description: Take the final exam which focuses on the Photoshop lessons from weeks 7-12.

Topics

	13.1 Take exam