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
  • Money in hand icon

    Est. Tuition $7,440

  • 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 Apply graphic design techniques to various assets commonly used in the graphic design industry. Students problem-solve, identify, and present solutions typical of professional client-based projects. They create a creative deck with compelling copy to accompany a creative presentation for a variety of visual content and social shares. Topics include consideration to technical requirements, critical feedback, and revisions as they design for various formats including package design, infographics, UX/UI, motion, and social media.
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 historical and current advertisements and commercials.
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. Through lecture, demonstration, critique, and practical experience, students investigate color theory; fundamental elements, principles, and terminology; color systems, color modes; and more. Students develop an investigative process for problem-solving, revising, and inventing through the application of color as it exists in physical and digital worlds.
Design for Branding and Marketing 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, art directing, system development and application standards. Using industry standard digital tools, 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. Topics include marketing basics, branding and generational differences, brands as social influencers, and the future of branding.
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 Adobe Photoshop isn’t just for photographers. Its multitude of applications makes it a go-to tool for creatives. This course teaches a comprehensive understanding of Photoshop and how digital imaging and is used in various professional applications. Students learn the basics of interface elements, keyboard shortcuts, and file management before diving into more advanced topics such as masks, selections, color correction, and layering techniques to create various effects. Through hands-on projects, they develop essential skills to paint digitally, retouch images, and manipulate photos. This course is recommended for anyone who wishes to develop technical foundations for a range of digital art and design careers.
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 This advanced typography course explores the use of typography as a means of communication through various applications among still, motion, environmental, and interactive platforms. Students refine their use of typography as it exists with other visual elements to arrive at individualized aesthetic and conceptual approaches. They develop strategies to enhance readability, create emphasis, structure, and organization. Through industry standard digital tools, they produce projects including a typeface design and a motion design project.
Digital Design Tools: Graphics Whether your interest is in producing motion graphics or digital images and illustrations, you need to start with the basics and become familiar with the digital tools of the trade. This hands-on course introduces students to static and motion graphics digital applications that are the industry standard for design professionals in areas of graphic design, motion graphics, digital illustration, and digital art— Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe XD. This course is recommended for Graphic Design and Motion Graphics certificate students.
Digital Design Tools: Print Whether your interest is in producing a billboard, brochure, or poster, you need to start with the basics and become familiar with the digital tools of the trade. This hands-on course introduces students to print-specific digital applications that are the industry standard for design professionals —Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, and Adobe InDesign. This course is recommended for Graphic Design and Surface Design certificate students.