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 7,685

  • Computer and user icon

    Learning Format Online

  • Analog clock icon

    Duration 1.5-2 years

  • Gear or cog icon

    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.
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 Print Production 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.
Drawing and Composition Want to draw, but the blank page scares you? Then start here. Through demonstration, class exercises, and critiques, students in this beginning course learn the elements of drawing and composition. Elements include the contour line, perspective drawing, and positive versus negative space.
Final Portfolio 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.
Introduction to Digital Design: 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.
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.
Logos, Symbols, and Letterforms Coca-Cola’s script font. Nike’s swoosh. Chanel’s double Cs. Find out what makes a logo iconic. Students in this course explore a wide variety of considerations in developing effective logo designs and symbols, from the simplicity of iconic corporate logos to more complex logotypes. Elements of a successful logo, including selecting identity colors, are also covered. Through project-based learning and instructor guidance, students will develop deeper design skills using industry standard digital tools.
Quick Sketch Techniques Learn the tips, techniques, and maybe a trick or two to sketch like an animator or artist. This beginning/intermediate course focuses on quick-sketch methods used for conceptual design, capturing motion, visual documentation, and creative expression. Students try line drawing, scribble lines, gesture drawing, and more to effectively sketch both animate and inanimate objects. Instruction also includes exercises aimed at improving eye-hand coordination such as ambidextrous drawing and blind drawing.
Storyboarding for Film and Animation Storyboards help the designer, art director, producer, director, and client visualize a finished work. This course concentrates on translating a concept, idea, image or story into a sequenced visual format. Students develop knowledge and skills to create storyboards for advertising, feature films, television, animation, and game design. Under the guidance of instructor expertise, they develop all aspects of a concept, including characters, backgrounds, storytelling, and a final storyboard.
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.