Nichole Fish pattern with seahorses

More than Filters & ClipArt

Dec 7, 2021
Brenau Staff

Digital Graphic Design at Brenau University is open to any major as part of the liberal education curriculum. This course (GR 207) and the corresponding lab (GR207L) are an option for students looking to fulfill their Communications portal requirements. The reason for inclusion in the Communications track rather than Fine Arts is because of the visual communication skills students gain in the course, in addition to digital literacy of software programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Students do not need to have any experience in graphic design or the aforementioned software programs, as specific introductory information is covered as part of the instruction. We walk students through how to create images while using tools provided within Adobe Creative Cloud. 

This course is also a foundational requirement built into visual programs such as fashion design, fashion merchandising, studio art, interior design and mass media. All of these programs require a foundation in digital literacy and design composition, which more advanced courses build upon. Some of the projects created over the course of this class have been outlined in the paragraphs below. 

One of the first projects we teach is logo design. Logo design is essential in graphic design because it allows students to gain more practice in utilizing Illustrator vector design tools. Vector art is much more flexible and generates scalable files that can be easily resized for print and digital use without a loss in quality. Websites that utilize vectors will adapt to varying screen sizes, leading to content that is processed efficiently and with positive results. Most logo designs found on T-shirts are likely designed as a vector because of the scalability and precision of the design work. The project we built for this purpose has students create a logo for an imagined company and/or a personal logo design. 

The next assignment we often teach is a poster design, in which we continue to learn about Illustrator and working with vectors, and build upon those skills. On a college campus, posters are everywhere. The communication aspect of assignments such as these is vital because it requires students to provide information to the public in a clear yet eye-catching manner. Organization of information is important, so students learn through lecture and reading materials involving elements of design and composition to strengthen those skills.