An introduction to graphic design. Graphic Design is all around us! Text and images — the building blocks of graphic design — are the elements that carry the content in both the digital world and the printed world. This course will teach you the fundamental principles and skills that are common in all areas of graphic design: image-making, basics of typography, composition, working with color and shape. To be a graphic designer you need to be a maker and a communicator.

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; understand and applied the principles of composition. Two- and three-dimensional assignments are given to provide an overview of the graphic design field. Access to, and a beginner's level knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite programs, such as Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign will be helpful.


COURSE GOALS: This course will prepare the student to:

  • Develop a familiarity with the fundamentals of Graphic Design
  • Critically look at media through the lens of Graphic Design
  • Develop skills with formal elements and principles of Design to create compositions

COURSE OBJECTIVES: As a result of taking this course the student will:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of how Graphic Design is used in the Media
  • Produce strong compositions that show evidence of Gestalt Principles
  • Demonstrate proficiency in using the methodologies of Graphic Design


Recommended; Graphic Design Solutions, by Robin Landa,
- suggested online stores for purchasing; AmazonBarnes & NobleBAMeBay
Recommended; Graphic Design Basics, by Amy Arntson,
- suggested online stores for purchasing; AmazonBarnes & NobleeBay
Recommended; Adobe Illustrator CC Classroom in a Book, by Brian Wood
- suggested online stores for purchasing; Amazon, Adobe, Barnes & Noble, eBay
Recommended; Adobe Photoshop CC Classroom in a Book, by Andrew Faulkner
- suggested online stores for purchasing; Amazon, Adobe, Barnes & Noble, eBay
(hint: buy used whenever possible)

DIGITAL STORAGE: Recommended: 1 USB drive with a minimum of 16GB of space

JOURNAL/SKETCH BOOK: During the semester you will be required to have a sketchbook and to keep a journal of project process work, research, thumbnail sketching, ideation, writing reflections of observations of real world art and design, art, design concepts and/or topics covered in class. The journal is important. It’s intent is to teach thought, both written and visual, as well as discipline and to be critically aware within your field. You must be prepared to discuss your entries.


  • Journal/Sketch Book (weekly review)
  • Project 1: Form Study: Animal, Food, Object
  • Project 2: Design Process: Show Us Yours
  • Project 3: Elements & Principles of Design: Logo Mark
  • Project 4: Composition & Layout: Poster
  • Project 5: Packaging System; includes: Promo Collateral and Packaging

Each project builds on the previous, additional time may be given to complete a project dependent on the evaluation of student competency in the area. Due dates are given during class and adjusted based on above criteria. Projects are given based on Student Need.

*This site and the pages found herein are Peter Bella's personal teaching materials and content. This is not a website and is a resource used as an augmented teaching environment. All content is solely the property and creation of Peter Bella.