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Welcome to Graphic Design, the second course in the Effective Communications Specialization. Over 70 different companies have provided this specialization to their employees as a resource for internal professional development. Why? Because employers know that effective visual communication is the key to attracting an audience, building a relationship, and closing the sale.
This practical course gives you the tools to create professional looking Powerpoints, reports, resumes, and presentations.. Using a set of best practices refined through years of experience, you’ll
• make your work look fresh and inspired.
• apply simple design “tricks” to begin any project with confidence and professionalism.
• receive and respond to criticism and revise your project from good to great.
The key to designing well lies in process, not in luck.
All of the course assignments can be completed with basic presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Apple Keynote. You’ll also have opportunities to explore and apply more sophisticated tools, such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
Module 1: Getting Started
This module introduces you to the importance of recognizing good design as the starting place for creating professional, attractive work of your own.
We will look to the ubiquitous world of graphic design to establish a vocabulary of successful design and to find inspiration for our own projects.
We will also discuss course prerequisites and review a basic digital design glossary that will help you navigate your chosen application.
Module 2: The Blank Canvas
This module will look at the blank canvas – the untouched rectangle that will become our design project. We’ll discuss the importance of working with a grid, understanding negative space, and using appropriate margins. This module will also explore the palette of elements which, when chosen and used wisely, ensure that the finished design project is successful. We’ll cover type, color, images, and graphic elements such as borders, bars, and backgrounds.
Module 3: Tricks of the Trade
It's time to start designing! In this module, we'll discuss the process of composition. We'll use the palette items covered in Module 2, and deploy common visual design “tricks” such as contrast, repetition, sublimation, tension, and more. To help see both the effect and the universality of these design approaches, we'll look at design examples from art history, film, and current media. We’ll also cover the strategy of composition. We'll see that providing an obvious target, maintaining a natural visual flow, and prioritizing information are all critical to clear visual communication.
Module 4: Revision and Distance
As we've said before, designers don't work in a vacuum. Our work will be judged by others, and, as good designers, we will learn to take that judgement constructively and in stride. In this module we’ll talk about what it means to be confident, yet open to criticism. We’ll explore the importance of revision as an ongoing component of design, as well as the need to enlist feedback and maintain distance in assessing our own work.