Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 3 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (72 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in GID 50 or GRDS 53.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student identifies elements of visual language (negative shape, balance, color, focal point, typography) in graphic design work that may include advertising, logo design, poster design, business cards and brochures. (Created By Department - Graphic & Interactive Design (GID))
  • A successful student will demonstrate technical and expressive fluency in industry-standard software applications. (Created By Department - Graphic & Interactive Design (GID)


Introduction to graphic design and visual communication. Projects include composition, typography, image editing and logo design. Design principles are explored through creative projects. Students practice fundamental software skills using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to complete the graphic design activities in this course.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. demonstrate an understanding of basic design principles.
B. assess form, content and technique when solving visual problems.
C. demonstrate a working knowledge of graphic design software applications.
D. create digital comprehensives for class presentation and critique.
E. exhibit an understanding of the disciplines of graphic design.
F. develop and demonstrate self-directed learning strategies.
G. give presentations on topics related to graphic design.
H. transform visual communications into graphic presentations for a culturally-diverse marketplace.

Course Content

A. Thinking and communicating visually
1. Visual literacy
2. Visual communication
3. Creative problem solving
B. Design principles
1. Form and content
2. Composition and space
3. Line, shape and texture
4. Color and value
5. Typography
6. Layout
C. Comprehensive layouts and production tools
1. Vector drawing software
a. Toolbox
b. Menu items
c. Palettes
d. Drawing techniques
2. Image editing software
a. Input techniques
b. Toolbox
c. Menu items
d. Palettes
e. Image manipulation techniques
3. Graphic design hardware
a. Scanners and digital input devices
b. Electronic drawing tablets
c. Print devices
E. Visual Culture
1. Visual communication in a global marketplace
2. Artistic contributions by individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds

Lab Content

Comprehensive exploration of digital production tools.
A. Vector drawing software
1. Toolbox
2. Menu items
3. Palettes
4. Drawing techniques
B. Image editing software
1. Input techniques
2. Toolbox
3. Menu items
4. Palettes
5. Image manipulation techniques
C. Graphic design hardware
1. Scanners and digital input devices
2. Electronic drawing tablets
3. Print devices

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. A lecture room equipped with an instructional computer, high-resolution color monitor, projection system, scanner, print output device, software, and network connectivity. Lighting and wall space suitable for displaying and critiquing hard copy output and projected images.
B. An integrated or separate facility with student workstation configurations to include hard drives; color monitors; mice or electronic drawing tablets; keyboards; scanners; print output device, software, and network connectivity.
C. When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with java-script enabled Internet browsing software, media plug-ins, and relevant computer graphics applications.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Completed student projects
B. Full class critiques
C. Presented research findings
D. Final portfolio review

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lectures on technical and conceptual concepts of graphic design.
B. Discussion and critique of projects and representative media.
C. Group discussions that address the creative problem solving process and technical concepts.
D. Demonstration of graphic design techniques.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Landa, Robin. Graphic Design Solutions. Cengage Learning, 2014.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Example of required reading assignment: Lesson 2 - read pages 1-15 and 52-53 in textbook.

B. Example of required writing assignment: Lesson 2 - write 200-300 words explaining how asymmetry can make a design more dynamic.

C. Example of outside of class assignment: Lesson 2 - student will create a design demonstrating asymmetry.



Graphic Arts