Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design - learn more

Online Marketing Course

Marketing Design

Marketing designers have a daunting task: communicate with visuals and text in a way that entices consumers. Large corporations, small businesses, and non-profits alike require effective marketing design to promote their products and services. In this online marketing course, you'll make design decisions through research, writing, and planning techniques that set marketing designers (and their clients) apart from the competition. Each course lecture features real-life case studies as well as industry best practices for concept development, branding extensions, image-building, presentation, and even non-traditional marketing.

Online marketing design course image 

Create designs that communicate to consumers

Instructor-Led Course

Feedback from design professionals

Creative Projects

Stretch your skills, grow your portfolio

Learn at Your Own Pace

Self-paced and scheduled programs available

Course Outline

1 - Thinking Like a Creative Director

If you want to build your marketing design chops, you'll need to get into the mind set of the creative director and think about the entire job from concept to production. To kick off this course, you'll get a quick refresher on marketing terms, then jump into the conceptual mind of the creative director. You'll learn a five-phase approach that you can apply to all marketing design projects, including your first exercise. The lecture wraps up with a case study of a real-life marketing job for a government agency.

Project - Poster series

2 - Branding Extension

Marketing design always involves attention to the brand and its perceived value. This lecture will focus on the role of the brand and how you can extend it into various marketing design projects and media. You'll gain some tips and techniques for building imagery and hierarchy from the starting brand and you'll explore a case study of a branding job for a magazine.

Project - Identity suite

3 - Marketing-Driven Research and Collateral

Lecture Three explores the key questions you'll need to truly understand your marketing clients so you can best represent their goals. You'll learn how to apply research to your designs and how to use research to choose the best types of collateral for any client and budget. Common types of marketing collateral are investigated along with a look at persuasion and calls to action in advertising media.

Project - Market-driven design

4 - Image Building

The best marketing designs share similar elements: the successful marriage of design thinking, conceptual development, and image capture that we refer to as "image building." In Lecture Four, you'll learn techniques for building rich image depth, and you'll learn when to keep imagery minimal. You'll explore ways of using and combining images from a range of sources, like stock photography, client images, and home-grown images. A case study examines a truly grassroots image building approach.

Project - Brochure/Web site mockup

5 - Non-Traditional Marketing and Non-Profit Marketing

Marketing isn't always direct. Sometimes clients are marketed in unexpected ways, and sometimes clients that serve the community need the boost that marketing design can bring. This lecture explores unique ways of getting the marketing message across, including guerrilla marketing and viral marketing, and ways to tastefully market non-profit organizations. A case study explores the process of developing a brand and marketing materials for a non-profit serving military veterans.

Project - Non-profit design

6 - Writing and Presentation

The final word in marketing design is often the word itself. So in Lecture Six, you'll explore the importance of quality writing and how you can use typography, design, and writing to communicate a strong marketing message. You'll also look at writing as a means of exploring your own concept development. And finally, you'll learn some techniques for putting your best face forward when presenting your campaign concepts to clients.

Project - Present your own project

Course Outcomes

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Conduct research and concept development for marketing campaigns.
  • Implement a five-phase approach to marketing design projects including research, concept, exploration, design and presentation, and production.
  • Extend existing brands into marketing efforts with attention to perceived value.
  • Make informed design decisions based on client research, competitor research, and demographics.
  • Select and design marketing collateral appropriate to client goals and budget.
  • Use persuasive design and calls to action in advertising.
  • Apply different levels of image depth to marketing design projects.
  • Create visual hierarchy and a strong marketing message using imagery and typography.
  • Select and apply images from different sources including stock photography, client images, and custom photos and graphics.
  • Recognize and implement non-traditional marketing approaches including guerrilla marketing and viral marketing.
  • Identify marketing needs for non-profit clients and design accordingly.
  • Recognize effective advertising and branding copy.
  • Use writing to enhance marketing jobs, concept development, and presentations.
  • Conduct presentations of marketing design concepts to clients.

Course Registration

Interested in this course? Scheduled and self-paced enrollment options are available. Ask Admissions about taking this course as part of a degree or certificate program.

Course LevelClasses startRegistration FeeTuition
Degree course
3 credits, 15 weeks
Jan, Apr, Aug$200$510/credit
Vocational course
60 clock hours, 3 months access
Enroll today, start tomorrow$50$949
* Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment. All tuition includes a digital materials fee for updates to course or program content.

Software and Supplies

To take this course you'll need:

  • Computer with Internet connection.
  • Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator required. Adobe InDesign recommended.
  • Basic experience in graphic design and the above software.

Who’s Teaching

Course developed by Paul Halupka

Getting Started

Enrolling online is easy and convenient.

Chat with our knowledgeable admissions staff to select course and program options.

Complete your registration entirely online.

Related Programs

Did you know? You can take this course as part of an award-winning certificate or degree program.