Online Graphic Design Class Outline

Graphic Design Lessons

Learn graphic design online with NYIAD's online graphic design classes. Our experts will walk you through the steps necessary to become a graphic designer, with online graphic design lessons and design projects evaluated by your teachers.

  • Unit 1
  • Unit 2
  • Unit 3
  • Unit 4

Unit 1 Fundamentals of Design

  • Lesson 1.1 Elements and Principles of Design

    In Lesson 1.1: you will be introduced to the elements and principles of design. You will be able to identify all of the six basic design elements and describe the distinct attributes your work. Furthermore, you will understand how these elements interact with each other to create the principles of design.

  • Lesson 1.2 Adobe Illustrator Basics

    In Lesson 1.2: you will begin to learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator, one of the essential tools used by graphic designers. After gaining understanding when and when not to use Illustrator, you will learn important functions to create designs and save your work.

  • Lesson 1.3 Color Theory

    In Lesson 1.3: the complexity of color theory will be laid bare and you will understand why it can be considered the most influential of design elements. You’ll learn how to categorize and group complementary colors into visually and psychologically appealing color schemes.

  • Lesson 1.4 Adobe Illustrator Tools

    In Lesson 1.4: you will deepen your understanding of Adobe Illustrator’s tools and the objects that can be created and transformed with them.

Unit 2 Visual Communication

  • Lesson 2.1 The Principle of Unity

    In Lesson 2.1: you’ll learn the three keys to creating successful designs and how to employ them to achieve unity. You will also fully explore unity as a concept, understanding the types, elements and principles.

  • Lesson 2.2 Adobe Illustrator Color Tools

    In Lesson 2.2: you will learn a wide array of Adobe Illustrator’s color tools and will employ your knowledge of color theory to create swatches and color groups.

  • Lesson 2.3 Introduction to Typography

    In Lesson 2.3: you will learn how to enhance legibility, readability and visual appeal with typography. You’ll be introduced to the terminology, letterforms, and how to modify text and use Illustrator’s type tools.

  • Lesson 2.4 Advanced Adobe Illustrator Functions

    In Lesson 2.4: you will expand your growing knowledge of Adobe Illustrator by learning a variety of advanced functions. These advanced functions will help to increase productivity and improve workflow.

Unit 3 Image and Design

  • Lesson 3.1 Creating Emphasis

    In Lesson 3.1: you will learn how to adjust the visual weight of objects to improve the organizational structure and draw greater attention. You’ll master the elements of emphasis and understand how they are used together to create the principles of emphasis.

  • Lesson 3.2 Adobe Photoshop Basics

    In Lesson 3.2: you will learn the basics of Adobe Photoshop and receive a crash-course on the basic terminology of photography.  You will then learn how to use basic Photoshop’s tools to improve your photographic design imagery.

  • Lesson 3.3 Photography and Design

    In Lesson 3.3: your understanding of Adobe Photoshop will be taken to the next level. You’ll learn when to use Photoshop instead of another tool such as Illustrator, how to use Photoshop’s functions to improve workflow and more advanced techniques to improve photography design imagery.

  • Lesson 3.4 Global Adjustments in Adobe Photoshop

    In Lesson 3.4: your knowledge of Adobe Photoshop will once again be upgraded as you learn about global adjustments. You’ll learn how to create layers, how to make a wide variety of global adjustments and finally how to flatten layers into an a completed photographic design.

Unit 4 Practical Design Application

  • Lesson 4.1 Layout Composition

    In Lesson 4.1: all of the design theory that you’ve learned will begin to come together. You will unify and organize your designs according to a number of different systems of composition using compositional guidelines.

  • Lesson 4.2 Selective Adjustments in Adobe Photoshop

    In Lesson 4.2: you will be introduced to a new set of tools used to make selective adjustments to photographic design imagery. You’ll also learn how to use spot retouching tools and how to create and modify a variety of masks.

  • Lesson 4.3 Advanced Adobe Photoshop Techniques

    In Lesson 4.3: you will conclude your Photoshop training by learning advanced techniques. This final lesson will ensure that you have the requisite knowledge to confidently test to become certified in Adobe Photoshop.

  • Lesson 4.4 Design Process

    In Lesson 4.4: you’ll gain familiarity with the design process. You will learn how to break the process down into four major parts and how to efficiently create designs in a logical sequence.

  • Lesson 4.5 Online Portfolio

    In Lesson 4.5: you will prepare to find work as a graphic designer by preparing a beautiful online portfolio. Your portfolio will help you make lasting impressions with design professionals and potential clients or employers.