Graphic Design is all around us! Words and pictures—the building blocks of graphic design — are the elements that carry the majority of the content in both the digital world and the printed world. As graphic design becomes more visible and prevalent in our lives, graphic design as a practice becomes more important in our culture.
Through visual examples, this course will teach you the fundamental principles of graphic design: imagemaking, typography, composition, working with color and shape… foundational skills that are common in all areas of graphic design practice. This course will offer you lots of opportunities to get your hands dirty with exercises and with more practical projects.
At the end of this course you will have learned how to explore and investigate visual representation through a range of image-making techniques; understand basic principles of working with shape, color and pattern; been exposed to the language and skills of typography; and understand and have applied the principles of composition and visual contrast. If you complete the course, along with its optional (but highly recommended) briefs, you will have a core set of graphic design skills that you can apply to your own projects, or to more deeply investigate a specialized area of graphic design.
To succeed in this course you will need access to a computer. You can complete this course without one but it will be tougher. Access to, and a beginner’s level knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite programs, such as Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign will help you, especially if you want to complete the optional briefs.
- Fundamentals of Imagemaking
This week you are going to look at how images function in terms of conveying denotative and connotative messages. In the first peer review assignment you’ll create your own series of images, experimenting with formal techniques.
- Introduction to Typography
You are going to look at typographic terminology and the basic rules for creating typography. You’ll be shown a range of tips and techniques for working with type, in both a functional and expressive manner, and you’ll find out about the process involved in making and controlling typography.
- Fundamentals of Shape and Color
You are going to look at how designers work with shape and color as their fundamental building blocks. You’ll learn about visual contrast, color, rhythm and pattern in design.
- Fundamentals of Composition
You are going to look at how designers work with visual contrasts, cropping, hierarchy and direction in single images and complex compositions. You’ll find out how to control and use scale, weight, direction, texture, and space in a composition, and how to compose work that ranges from the complex to the minimal.
- Continuing your graphic design studies
In this section you’ll be provided with some useful resources for students wishing to further their studies in graphic design.
What will you learn
- Implement the fundamentals of color: visual, rhythm, and pattern in design.
- Use scale, weight, direction, texture, and space in a composition.
- Typeset text and experiment with letter forms.
- Create your own series of images using different image making techniques.