Thank you for your interest in this offering through Otis College Extension. We are excited to partner with Otis College Extension to expand our offerings to you. Students will enroll, register, and pay all fees for these offerings through the Otis College Extension website. Upon completion of the certificate program, Otis College will provide a certificate of completion. Transcripts are available through the Otis College website.

Program Overview

Develop your creativity and visual communication skills to shape ideas, captivate audiences, or affect social change. Graphic design is utilized in many industries to create everything from packaging and logos to branding and marketing collateral, among other applications. After completing the Graphic Design Certificate Program, you will be prepared for entry-level positions in the graphic design industry. Learn from experienced professionals and artists, connect with a network of creatives, and receive career support, including career counseling, career assessment, internship advising, and employer networking opportunities. Ultimately, you will create a professional-quality portfolio demonstrating conceptual, design, and technical proficiency for entry-level positions in the graphic design industry.
Certificate Application
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    Est. Tuition $7,070

  • Computer and user icon

    Learning Format Online

  • Analog clock icon

    Duration 1 - 2 years

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    Total Courses 16 Courses

Program Courses

Course Formats
Course Schedules are Subject to Change
2D Design What is good design? Line, space, balance, value, texture, perspective—these are just a few of the elements and principles that designers engage with to create strong design solutions. This course provides a thorough introduction to visual elements, language, and applications fundamental to 2-dimensional design. Through weekly assignments, students apply design principles using digital or traditional media. This course builds confidence in the design process for beginners and professionals by focusing on perception and thinking, historic and current references, and craftsmanship. Instruction includes design projects, online lectures, online discussion, process, and critique.
Advanced Graphic Design Students will build on the tools and skills acquired in Introduction to Graphic Design and Intermediate Graphic Design in this advanced course.
Advertising Concept and Design In this course, students design unique and creative ads for their portfolios. Focus is on producing professional work that demonstrates strong concepts, engaging visuals, as well as interesting headlines and body text. Students are provided with a variety of briefings that closely resemble what an art director receives at an agency from its marketing department. Assignments consist of single ads, as well as ad campaigns. Students also analyze a wide variety of advertisements and commercials. Lectures include history of advertising; how to approach different generations; the designer’s responsibility in advertising; the role of social media in advertising; how advertising can lead social change; and prominent national and international advertising agencies and their work.
Branding and Marketing Design The most recognized brands effectively use the visual devices of branding to influence how consumers perceive their companies, products, and services. Students create their own brand identity from ideation to execution, including problem-solving, research, system development and application standards. Students produce portfolio pieces (including logo, business card, packaging or promotional items, ad, and website landing page) that showcase their ability to design in the context of branding and identity. This class is a combination of workshop and lectures and includes one-on-one time with the instructor to discuss individual projects. Lectures cover topics such as “Marketing Basics, ” “Branding and Generational Differences,” “Brands as Social Influencers,” and “The Future of Branding." The instructor will share design resources, as well as tips and tricks for Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
Color Theory and Design Color is emotional. A color resonates based on memory, cultural bias, and personal preference. Artists and designers alike communicate effectively through choice of hue, saturation, and value. In this course, knowledge and understanding of color are developed through weekly exercises and homework projects using gouache. Through lecture, demonstration, critique, and practical experience, students investigate color theory; color in the environment, and more.
Digital Design Tools: Print Whether your interest is in producing animated interactive media for the web or you’re all about print production, you need to start with the basics and become familiar with the digital tools of the trade. This hands-on course introduces students to various digital graphics software applications that are the industry standard design professionals in areas of print and graphic design—Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, and Adobe InDesign.
Digital Drawing I: Illustrator The ability to produce vector graphics is a “must-have” skill for any modern artist or designer. Adobe Illustrator is the world’s leading vector graphics application used for producing professional quality logos, package design, signage and so much more. Students will be introduced to the basics of working with Illustrator to create compelling designs. This hands-on course introduces students to the basics of working with Illustrator to create compelling designs.
Digital Imaging I: Photoshop Photoshop isn’t just for photographers. Its multitude of applications makes it a go-to tool for most creative fields, small businesses, and savvy amateurs alike. In this hands-on course, students learn the Adobe Photoshop techniques used by professionals to create masterful images. Instruction covers all basic functions, including using palettes, various file formats, and more.
Digital Print Production: InDesign Demystify the print production process. Learn how to handle any printing job like a professional. In this course, students explore Adobe InDesign, design a three-piece self-promotion series, and prepare full-color business cards, stationery series, calendars, and press kits for print.
Final Portfolio: Graphic Design Curate your body of work and get your talent noticed in the marketplace. In this required course, advanced students enrolled in the Graphic Design certificate program create a portfolio from work produced throughout their course of study. The instructor provides individualized critique and guidance in technical and conceptual development. Students work independently and meet with the instructor on an agreed-upon basis, for a minimum of six half-hour sessions throughout the term.
Intermediate Graphic Design Graphic designers use typography and images to design compelling compositions, messages, and art. This continuation of Introduction to Graphic Design explores the interaction of text and image through conceptualizing graphic imagery, creating aesthetics, and utilizing visual grouping and hierarchy. Students will expand their proficiency in all aspects of the design process, including creative brainstorming, conceptualizing, critical thinking, collaboration, and presentation. Understanding of form, balance, structure, typography, image, space, and color will be further developed through lectures, readings, assignments, and class discussions.
Introduction to Graphic Design How do designers express ideas? Layout, typography, symbols, photography, and illustration are strategically combined to convey a message, tell a story, or distinguish a brand. Through weekly hands-on assignments and in-depth interactive discussions, students are introduced to a wide variety of topics in graphic design. Students explore the fundamentals of visual communication through the exploration of composition, imagery, and typography. Also covered are the creative process, curation, problem-solving, historic context, and career options. Students complete assignments digitally, by hand with traditional materials, or by combining both. This is an excellent course to begin working toward a professional graphic design portfolio.
Typography I Why is Helvetica so widely used? Sans Serif or Serif? If these questions sound familiar, this course is just your type. While learning typography, students consider type classifications and production, with an emphasis on the mechanics of type, including measurements, type spacing, and composition. The anatomy of basic letterforms and letter indication are also explored. Students in this course produce a small booklet or a poster.
Typography II Typefaces can communicate as much as words; a serif font says something different than a sans serif one. This intermediate design course further explores the use of typography as a means of communication. Through exercises, online lectures, and projects, students learn to create typographic solutions to various design problems, applying such principles as a hierarchy, contrast, scale, rhythm, and spatial relationships.