Online Print Design Certificate

Undergraduate Certificate in Print Design

The Undergraduate Certificate in Print Design will provide experienced students with advanced training in the software and techniques essential to employment in the graphic design for-print industry. Students entering the program are expected to have a working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, as they will be building upon the basics and expanding into advanced tools and skill sets.



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Program Outline

The Undergraduate Certificate is a 24-credit program completed in two semesters. Part-time schedules are available.

First Semester

DES 222 Photoshop II
ILL 142 Illustrator II
DES 102 Typography II
DES 207 Layout Design
DES 204 The Study of Graphic Design

Second Semester

ADV 207 Creative Concept Development
DES 212 Graphic Design Ii
DES 208 Packaging Design
DES 205 Print Production

Program Courses

The program builds skills for entry-level graphic design work or further study. All credits can be later transferred into the Associate in Graphic Design degree program.

DES 222 Photoshop II - 3 credits


Transcend the basic current Photoshop skillset to learn vector illustration techniques, photo-realistic painting tools, high-impact typography approaches, and professional photo editing methods, all with attention to preserving the editability of your original images. Students will build proficiency with the Pen tool, select perfect color harmonies with Adobe Color, use Smart Objects and Smart Filters to non-destructively edit images, and even create paintings with custom brushes and the Mixer Brush.

ILL 142 Illustrator II - 3 credits


In this challenging hands-on course, you’ll create photo-realistic illustrations, complex patterns, rich designs, and learn how to speed your efforts with helpful workflow features. You’ll build on your existing Illustrator skills to tackle high-end projects with depth, dimension, and wow-power.

DES 102 Typography II - 3 credits


This course builds upon a basic understanding of type anatomy and composition to explore the greater role of typography in design. Students analyze the details of typefaces and methods of using hierarchy for visual communication. Typography techniques are applied to projects including visual identity, poster design, and packaging.

DES 207 Layout Design - 1.5 credits


This class provides creative tools and strategies for print layout design. Students utilize various approaches for developing layout designs, including grid systems, mathematical proportions, and such fundamentals as balance, positive/negative space, and focal points. Advanced projects challenge students to develop serious pieces for their print portfolios.

DES 204 The Study of Graphic Design - 1.5 credits


A century of innovation has created the language of graphic design we know today. This course provides students with a historical context for creativity. Students learn to use research into and analysis of 20th century art and design movements and designers as a springboard for design projects. Class discussions provide a forum for talking about the evolution of design and incorporating such exploration into the creative process.

ADV 207 Creative Concept Development - 3 credits

Develop your visual creativity. In advertising, illustration, or design, you need to be able generate many ideas for your clients and projects. This class provides you a training in identifying the needs of each projects, brainstorming solutions, challenging your assumptions, and testing/evaluating your ideas until you have a winner.

DES 212 Graphic Design II - 3 credits


This course provides second-year students the chance to apply their design skills to higher-level projects. Class assignments such as postage design, corporate report, poster and book design, art poster, and direct mail provide an ideal environment for skill and portfolio building. Instructor feedback will guide students toward developing high-quality portfolio pieces and understanding their strengths.

DES 208 Packaging Design - 3 credits


Packaging designers play an essential role in the branding and commercial success of any product. This course gives graphic designers an introduction to the challenges of 3D package design, examining everything from the mechanics of assembling carton panels to the phenomenon of counter animation. Projects in a range of different client scenarios provide a unique and rewarding portfolio building opportunity. Throughout the semester, students will supplement their practical work with discussions of such essential concepts as mass vs. prestige, target audience, rebranding, and more.

DES 205 Print Production - 3 credits


A thorough grasp of print production materials and techniques is important for any graphic designer. In this course, students learn to work with print shops, manage print budgets, and use materials and software to prepare documents for accurate printing. The complete workflow of a print project is examined including printer specifications, ink and paper selection, special effect production, budget adjustment, preflighting, prepress, and delivery. Students learn production and preflighting techniques using Adobe InDesign.

Program Objectives
  • Prepare images for professional publication with Photoshop using illustration, photo-realism, and high-impact typography.
  • Create Illustrator art that demonstrates a command of realistic and stylized techniques and the ability to communicate clear concepts.
  • Design and lay out typography for readability, impact, or expression.
  • Create engaging and readable layout designs that attract the eye using fundamental design and composition techniques.
  • Develop the ability to ground your projects in a knowledgable research of art and design history.
  • Develop a process for generating strong visual ideas for your creative projects.
  • Exhibit proficiency in various print design genres including poster design, identity design, invitation design, brochure layout, stamp design, and packaging.
  • Develop confidence in preparing your graphic design work for printing, working intelligently with common project constraints.

Financial Aid

Did You Know? Eligible students entering Undergraduate Certificate programs may be entitled to Federal financial aid. Grants and loans can help you cover the cost of your education.

Student Feedback

"Every class I took during my time here has been a collaborative effort for everyone to learn the techniques and get better..." Kyle Gilbreath, Associate Degree in Graphic Design

Student Work

Learn to design from a faculty of professional artists and designers.

Career Information

Graphic design program graduates are prepared for entry-level graphic design positions in advertising, print production, publishing, and computer graphics. Potential employers for graduates include specialized design firms, advertising firms, printers, publishers, and computer systems design firms. Job titles include Graphic Designer, Layout Designer, Packaging Designer, and more.

Visit our Career Center for more information, or browse the Federal Occupational Handbook or O*NET database. For Gainful Employment information on this program, visit this page.

Take advantage of our award-winning programs. They’re accredited, affordable, and delivered 100% online.

Getting Started

Enrolling online is easy and convenient.

Apply

Complete our free, no-obligation application form online.

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Ask us about program options and financial aid.

Register

Select your start date and preferred study schedule.

Program At a Glance

Students entering the program are expected to have earned a high school diploma, GED, or state-approved home school equivalent. Any students under 18 years of age will need to provide the signed permission of a parent or guardian.

Classes start in January, May, and August, with early start options in February, June, and October. Our online application is simple and convenient, and there is no application fee.

NOTE: Students entering the program are expected to have experience in graphic design and a working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

To take this program, you’ll need the following:

  • Mac or Windows computer with an Internet connection.
  • Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign CC.
  • Your computer must meet software manufacturer requirements.
  • Webcam, headphones or speaker, VPN connection, and microphone connected to the computer for live proctored exams.

Student discount on Adobe Creative Cloud software is available to enrolled students.

The tuition for Undergraduate Certificate students is as follows:

Undergraduate Certificate Tuition
$425 per credit
$5,100 per semester
$10,200 total program tuition

Tuition for part-time students is $475/credit and paid by semester.

A $200 registration fee is required to process your enrollment in the program. Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from the scheduled beginning of program orientation. (Active service members are exempt from registration fees.) See Undergraduate Certificate Tuition and Payment options.

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