Of your course.
Diploma in Graphic Design
What is Graphic Design?
Kickstart your course with getting an overview of the graphic design space. Get familiar with the idea of concepts, ideas and thoughts, an understanding of visual relationships that can help you communicate a direct and coherent message. Work your way through the holy trinity of graphic design applications - Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign.
The Foundation of Good DesignIn your second graphic design class, you will get the opportunity to get acquainted with developing a ‘designer’s eye’. The key is to understand the building blocks of visual communication. You will know more about the elements and principles of design including value, colour, focal point, rhythm and the theory of gestalt. This class embraces the practicality of applying these elements and principles and thinking like a creative specialist.
An Introduction to Adobe IllustratorAdobe Illustrator, world leading digital illustration application is your starting point. Lesson 3 will investigate one of the first tasks a designer is faced with; logo creation. The process of concept to presentation is known as the design cycle and a thorough breakdown will be given as to how to approach a customer through the design cycle. The lesson will end off with an introduction to working in Adobe Illustrator.
Flyer in Adobe IllustratorIn lesson 4, we will differentiate between the different type of images graphic designers deal with daily. You thought you knew all there is about images, but this course will blow your mind with some newfound knowledge. A bulletproof design technique that barely fails will be taught and applied in a practical exercise of Adobe Illustrator. This lesson is sure to get you hooked!
Photo-manipulation in Adobe PhotoshopThere is a difference between a digital and printed image? This lesson will investigate the crucial component of working with pixels. Photoshop demos will make this lesson even more practical and the fundamentals of Photoshop including layers and blending modes will be focused on.
Movie poster design in Adobe PhotoshopThe golden ratio, rule of thirds and principles of good design will be discussed in lesson 6. The amazing ability of Photoshop will be put to the test when you will be introduced to layer masks. These skills will be put to practice by designing a movie poster. Once you’ve finished lesson 6, you will eat, sleep and speak Photoshop.
An introduction to Adobe InDesignPrint is not dead. Getting your files print-ready is a critical part of any designer’s task. Bleeds, cropmarks, colour space and format are the principles that will be explained, and the student will be introduced to the amazing Adobe InDesign; the most powerful layout application.
Summary of Print & Pre-Press Basics and InDesignAbout 70% of all designs consist of typography – the art of using type in your design. In our last lesson of module 1, you will realize that type is not only a mere communication instrument but will see the potential of using type as a design element. Your audience wants to read your message but with so many other messages screaming for attention, how to do you make your message stand out?
Intermediate in Graphic Design
Advanced Colour Theory and print terminologyWe start off module 2 exploring advanced colour theory including colour psychology. We will evaluate each of the primary and secondary colours in detail looking at effective examples by referring to famous logos and other designs. How do these colours affect its audience psychologically? Spot colours like the Pantone matching system will be discussed and we will look at the difference between spot and process colours. Colour modes including CMYK, RGB, HSV as well as Lab colours will be examined and explained and the lesson will end off with some of the more popular printing techniques used in the industry today.
Mood board creationLesson two entails working in all three software applications you have learnt so far. Mood boards can be used for any creative project and is a great way to help communicate your intended message to your client. Combining what you have learnt about colour so far, we will explore Adobe color, an amazing online tool that assists designers in coming up with creative colour schemes. These colour schemes can then be applied to your mood boards. This lesson is crucial in that it not only teaches you the importance of mood boards and colour but also the key differences in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, since you are creating the same design in all three applications.
Advanced anatomy of typographyContinuing our quest to better understand typography, we dig into the anatomy of type and also evaluate the different parts of a font. There are a lot more to typography than you might have thought! Typography is not only about communication, but aesthetics plays just as important role. We will explore the different font categories and learn how to design by making use of only type. The lesson challenge on designing only with type is not as easy as it seems. This challenge is sure to assist you in thinking creatively by having a list of limitations that you need to overcome.
The basics of the pen toolThis lesson focuses on one of the tools you will make use of the most in Illustrator. The pen tool is a drawing tool. Instead of creating already designed shapes, you have the freedom of creating custom shapes and lines with the pen tool. It might seem very basic, but the pen tool is quite something to get used to. The good news is that as soon as you get the hang of the pen tool in Illustrator, it becomes natural in the other software as well. This lesson will end with an exciting challenge creating your own polygonal art - drawing using only triangles you created by making use of the pen tool.
Mastering the pen toolContinuing with our task on learning how to make use of the pen tool. Creating curves with the pen tool is the most intimidating part but once you have mastered it, you will be able to create so many designs. The pen tool allows you to create extremely accurate designs. The advantage of using the pen tool is that your paths and curves are editable and you can simply go back and re-edit your paths or curves if need be. It is a non-destructive way of designing and editing. For this lesson's challenge, you will start to create curves by using the pen tool to conceptualise a greetings card. The pen tool will be used in both Photoshop and Illustrator in this lesson.
Magazine cover in PhotoshopMaking use of the knowledge you have gained so far, we will add some basic photography terms that will assist you when working with photographers for the purpose of graphic design projects. In other words, a graphic designer needs to know photography because you will be working with photographers and will be incorporating photos in your artwork. Also, a lot of designers and even photographers are multi-skilled in both fields. The lesson will end with a Photoshop challenge using photo manipulation to create a magazine cover. This cover will be used in lesson 8 when you create your magazine in InDesign.
Advertisement in PhotoshopThere is a difference between photo enhancing and photo manipulation. The difference will be explored in this lesson and we will take your photo editing skills one step further with Photoshop. In short, enhancing a photograph is only a matter of improving the quality of a photograph. Manipulation on the other hand involves altering a photograph using a variety of methods to create an illusion or deception. In some cases it can be used to create amazing digital art. Two exciting demos await you in this lesson in order for you to gain knowledge in photo manipulation. The challenge that you will take home for this lesson entails creating your very own photo manipulated advertisement in Photoshop.
Magazine creation in InDesignLesson 8 entails designing a magazine layout from the content created specifically in lesson 6 and 7 so far. When it comes to layout design, we make use of a grid to organise our elements. The whole idea of a grid is to make the design process easier and quicker. The demo entails learning amazing features in InDesign crucial to anyone interested in becoming a graphic designer. You will learn how to make use of the master page function and adding page numbers to even creating character styles. The lesson demo will also serve as inspiration for your challenge.
Advanced in Graphic Design
Creativity is a means of problem-solving. Since graphic designers are visual problems solvers, it would make sense for them to be creative as well. But how do you know if you are creative? Is everyone creative? Can creativity be learnt or is it something only a few individuals are born with? All these questions and even more will be answered in this eye-opening lesson. We will look at techniques to inspire you and teach you ways to not think outside of the box but to rather understand that there is no box.
Corporate Identity & Mock ups
A corporate identity is a visual that encapsulates a company's values in a glimpse. Therefore, your identity should portray not only what your business does but also the values of your business. We will explore the concepts of creating a corporate identity including a logo, business card and HTML email signature. The principles of effective logo design will be examined and all that you have learnt will be put to the test in a fun and interactive demo. We will take our elements created in this demo and put them on realistic-looking mockups that will aid your client in visualising the final product, making your work look even more professional.
Interactive pdf & e-publication
A lot of reading nowadays happens in digital format. From invoices to books. We don't print these items as we used to in the past. Therefore, as a graphic designer, it is crucial that you know and understand the best format to save these files in. You should be able to make the viewing process as convenient for your viewer and make sure that the source is easily accessible. We explore the world of digital documents, from the good old faithful pdf document to e-publications. What is the difference between these two and when do you use them? We end off with a demo using InDesign to create both interactive pdf documents as well as e-publications.
Advanced Photo Manipulation
By now, you know that there is a difference between photo enhancing and photo manipulation. The possibilities are endless when it comes to photo manipulation. That is why we will be exploring even more photo manipulation techniques in this lesson. We will kick off with the ageing process and how to achieve this within a young person (with Photoshop of course) and then also add some amazing techniques when we create a photo comp in our second demo.
3D Rotation & Design in Illustrator
3D design is a totally different field to graphic design, However, it is good to know and understand the basics of 3D design as a graphic designer. Did you know that Illustrator has the ability to create 3D designs? We will explore the 3D revolve and rotation functions as well as the perspective tool in Illustrator ending with our very own wine bottle and label creation.
Packaging, like 3D design, is a field way different from graphic design. Since graphic designers design labels that fit around packaging, it is important to understand packaging design as well. Within this lesson we will look at the most common type of packaging material and what they are used for. We will create our very own paperboard packaging blueprint and apply our label to this blueprint.
Designing for web & social media
There is a difference between web design and web development. As graphic designers, we will work hand-in-hand with web designers and developers, and in some instances, you will need to be the web designer as well. Therefore, understanding the basics of web design is crucial. If you are a web designer and developer, this lesson will put things into more perspective for you from a graphic designer's perspective. We will also understand social media, user experience and user interface as well as looking at the dimensions that are most effective when designing for social media.
An infographic, as the name implies is information displayed visually in an interesting manner. It is sometimes necessary for designers to convey information visually as it aids us in getting a message across a lot quicker. We will explore the need for infographics and also look at the type of infographics and when to use them. This module will end off with an exciting demo on creating your very own infographic from scratch making use of Adobe Illustrator.
Proficient in Graphic Design
Design on the go
Even though technology has changed vastly, mobile applications are not yet where computers are, especially when it comes to creating custom designs. There are a variety of mobile apps that make it possible to create amazing looking designs however. These applications work on the principle of having pre-set templates that can be adjusted accordingly. Even though these apps do not really count as claiming yourself to be a professional graphic designer, it is crucial to know about them and their features because even graphic designers need to design on the go, when they don’t have their computers with them.
Create your own font
Font designers are individuals that are responsible for the design, creation and development of typefaces. It is not as easy as it seems and we will need to recap on typography terminology. However, we will explore a fun and interesting field in this lesson - creating our very own typeface! We will explore the new type of font, called a colour font that has only been created quite recently. In fact, it is so fresh, that it still needs to get introduced into Microsoft Office! Nonetheless, we will explore this new technology that will definitely become a trend quickly and even create our own otf and OpenType-SVG fonts!
Advanced digital illustration
Having learned the skills to create a decent looking illustration, I have something exciting lined up in today’s lesson. The ability to draw complicated illustrations is closer to your reach than you might think. Digital illustration or computer illustration is the use of digital tools to create images through the imagination of the artist, usually through a device such as a drawing tablet or a mouse.
Essentials for design businesses
The one question that I am probably faced with daily by students is how to price your work. The problem with this question is that there is no definite answer. There is no standard guide indicating how much a designer should charge. However, I can provide you with some useful insight on how to determine your worth. We have briefly looked at this in our very first module when we discussed the design cycle but I will break it down some more this time. Along with this, I will provide you with some useful resources that I personally make use of. These resources are useful because you don’t have a lot of time to spend on the process of setting up a quotation for a client or even delegating tasks to your team, so we make use of these handy resources to speed up our workflow.
A résumé is a document created to showcase your background, skill and achievements. Even though we can use résumés for various reasons, it is mostly used to secure employment. As a graphic designer, you can't have a dull-looking résumé and will need to make sure that your résumé stands out. Easier said than done because you will compete with other highly skilled graphic designers. In this lesson, you will learn from the best in the industry. Get the grips on what to add to your résumé to make you stand out and also how to research for ideas. This lesson will end off with an exciting demo on creating your own infographic résumé.
Power tools in Photoshop
This lesson will teach you some amazing tools that Photoshop has to offer. From creating your own actions to speed up your Photoshop workflow, creating your own brushes and even learning the automate function that includes stitching a panoramic together, creating an HDR image as well as other bulk editing features. We will end off by exploring the timeline feature and creating our own animated GIFs in this lesson.
Getting your foot in the door
Continuing on what you've learnt in lesson 4, we will investigate some useful features to get your foot in the door. One aspect to consider is to determine and know your personality type, your strengths and weaknesses as well as how you work with other personality types in the workplace. On top of this, having a social media account for your business or even for self-promotion is key to strut your stuff. We will also show you some useful online communities where you can have the option to serve clients throughout the world.
This course will end off with the most important thing you will have as a designer. A portfolio is a combination of all your best work. You will learn the ins and outs of creating an effective design portfolio, the considerations as well as some great websites that will allow you to create designs based on briefs generated by these websites. These websites come in quite handy if you feel that you need some work added to your portfolio. By the end of this course, you will leave with an impressive looking portfolio that will assist you in applying for various design positions.