• Today's graphic designers must know current technologies and be aware of the rapidly changing image market. Graphic and Digital Design classes emphasize design and creativity while providing intensive technical training. Instruction is flexible and inclusive, enabling both the beginning and advanced student to make great strides during the semester. This certificate can be completed online or through a combination of online and on-campus courses.

    Graphic and Digital Design Certificate Requirements

    • Basic Core or Color Theory, Graphic Design I, and Digital Graphics with Illustrator I
    • Digital Imaging with Photoshop I
    • Graphic Design History
    • Three (3) digital and/or graphic design elective* courses or Typography I, InDesign, and one (1) digital or graphic design elective course

    *Electives are Parsons courses that meet for (9) nine or more sessions on campus or online. Courses meeting for fewer than (9) nine sessions count as half of an elective and would need to be combined to fulfill one elective requirement. 

    Note: Core classes are offered only in the fall and spring. Color Theory is listed in the Fine Arts and Foundation section of the catalog.

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    Graphic/Digital Design Basic Core

    In this introduction to visual communication concepts and tools, you learn the fundamentals of typography, graphic design, and layout, as well as digital skills. Taught by two instructors, the class includes basic design and type exercises using Photoshop and Illustrator. Develop the essential design skills you need to produce graphics for print, advertising, corporate identity, and other media. 

    Color Theory

    Discover color and its implications for designers and artists. Study ideas of space and the use of color to solve spatial problems. Look at color harmony and the way colors interact, as well as color qualities and combinations. Online students must have access to a scanner. There are no prerequisites. 

    Graphic Design I

    Learn design fundamentals and concept development as they relate to typography, composition, and color. Discover what makes the difference between ordinary images and powerful, effective graphics. Strengthen your design communication skills and develop your style and vision as you transform your concepts into finished designs. Online students will need access to a scanner.

    Digital Graphics with Illustrator I 

    This course is for the design student who needs a comprehensive and intensive introduction to Illustrator. Learn to draw, delineate, and design electronically with this standard vector-based illustration and graphic design program. Create curves, lines, and shapes to make objects that can be colored, manipulated, moved, duplicated, scaled, and rotated, generating smooth-lined, clean, scalable graphics or artwork for both print and the Web. Use this course to make Illustrator an integral part of your digital graphics tool kit. Prerequisite: Mac Basics or PC Basics. Some exposure to Illustrator or Adobe products is desirable. 

    Digital Imaging with Photoshop I

    Acquire a working knowledge of this industry-standard software used for print, webpages, animation, presentation, video production, and enhancement of traditional and digital photography. Explore scanning and color correction, tools and layers for image compositing, elemental retouching, and type treatments. Prerequisite: Mac Basics, Photoshop Basics, or the equivalent. Online students must have Photoshop CS or higher (Mac or Windows platform)

    Graphic Design History

    This course covers the history of graphic design from the mid-19th century through the digital revolution. Influential movements are examined, including arts and crafts, art nouveau, Dada, Constructivism, De Stijl, Bauhaus, Neue Grafik, DIY Punk, and today’s digital landscape. Students explore the evolution of the discipline from typesetting to lithography to digital design and investigate the relationship of the graphic design discipline to propaganda, advertising, branding, personal expression, and social change. 

    Want to go further?  Explore the AAS degree program in Graphic Design at Parsons.