Graphic Design Course

ADVANCED DIPLOMA IN GRAPHIC DESIGN

  • Awarded by Raffles College of Higher Education,Singapore

Intakes: January, April, July, October
Duration: 2 years, Full Time

Course Overview
The study of Graphic Design involves an in-depth understanding of a Graphic Designer’s role in history, society and research. Through major practical projects, students will hone their multi disciplinary skills to offer creative and practical solutions, preparing themselves for challenging careers combining creativity, concepts and computer software skills in the highly competitive advertising and publishing industries.

Why Study Graphic Design with Raffles and How Do I get Started?
Your course will have a mix of theory and practical-based module to horn your creative and technical skills as a designer. Theory based module will teach you the background and history of visual communication while practical assignments will give you hands on experience to improve your technical skills. Lecturers are internationally certified and will teach you industrial practices that are relevant world-wide to following career opportunities

Year 1

Graphic Design & Culture Degree
Graphic Design & Culture is a foundation module that will discuss and analyse the roles and purpose of graphic design in society and influences of history. This module provides an overview of what graphic design is by looking at graphic design practice, the various graphic design disciplines, developing ability to analyse, read and interpret design as well as the work and relevance of outstanding graphic designers.Topics considered will include ethical practice, media stereotypes, sensual and perceptual theories of visual communication (semiotics of design, gestalt principles, constructivism, cognitive), analysing media and contemporary design culture using the six perspectives. The emphasis will be on the role of graphic design in visual communication, its vocabulary, ethical considerations in design practice, communication techniques and challenges faced by designers in an ever-evolving industry.

Design Principles
This module gives the student an insight to the principles & elements of design, their use and applications in the goal of solving various design problems.Students gain a familiarization with the conceptual, visual, relational and practical elements of design The students will study different graphic elements – lines, form, texture, etc. They learn to see, feel and interpret, thus developing necessary skills in the field of Visual Communication. Students will become familiar with the visual language that underlines design, as they explore them through visual exercises. Through a series of such projects, each student will produce work demonstrating a progression of thought and understanding of different design principles.

Drawing for Designers
This module will introduce students to a range of rendering/drawing techniques, and help them to develop these skills as a means of communicating ideas and thoughts effectively. A series of hands-on exercises enable students to gain experience and confidence in visual communication. Students are encouraged to explore and experiment with various rendering skills and art media.

Creativity & Problem Solving
This module will show the student different creativity techniques and their use and applications in solving various design problems. Students will gain a familiarization with “concept”, “creative process”, “time management”, “observation & analysis”, group & individual “research” and the importance of a problem “statement”. The students will experience various creative techniques in use – Classic Brainstorming, Mind Mapping, etc. They will become familiar with the creative process as they explore practical design problems, thus developing necessary basic creativity for visual communication. Through a series of projects, each student will produce work demonstrating a progression of thought and creative direction in line with authentic briefs.

Typography 1
This course will provide designers with the theoretical knowledge, history and practical experience through a process of discovery and experimentation in the fundamental aspects of typography. This course will provide participants with knowledge and skills through practical exercises, lectures demonstrations and examples to enable them explain and use the fundamental concepts and principles in the use of typefaces and typographic design. Students will have to successfully complete practical exercises and commence and complete an integrated project.

Colour for Designers
This module provides an understanding and importance use of color for design. It covers topics on color theory, research and effective combinations that are essential to apply color for effective visual communication. Students will explore the principles, attributes, dimensions, harmonies and phenomena of color. Emphasis is placed on the development of the students personal color sense and expanding their knowledge of the expression, perception, and interaction of color. By understanding the language and meaning of color from a social, cultural and psychological context, students can thus manipulate colors in their design to suit the product and target audience.Digital colors will be introduced at a later part of the module which allow students to explore the basic principles and techniques for generating colors on the computer. Students will learn effective methods of attaining color harmony on the computer. They will also be given a general overview of the basic aspects of image capture, screen color display, digital color spaces and print reproduction using the computer.

Page Layout
This module will help student develops basic principles that guide the form and function of the printed page; symmetry and asymmetry, order and disorder, tension and balance, contrast of value and scale, method of dividing space from the Golden Mean of Greece to the contemporary Swiss grid system. Students will also be shown how various elements combine to make a successful layout, using words and images to communicate ideas effectively.

Digital & Applied Illustration
This module will introduce the techniques for creating digital illustrations through the application of two dimensional vector images. Using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop as design tools, students will improve their illustration technique and produce complex digital images, exploring technical and aesthetical aspects of the vector-based illustration processes most commonly used in the visual communication industry and applied it on projects such as book covers, magazines covers, film posters, album covers, packaging, advertising, editorials and digital painting etc.

Image Processing
This module will introduce the techniques of image editing and photo-retouching. Using Adobe Photoshop as a design tool, students will improve their photographic technique and produce complex digital images, exploring technical and aesthetic aspects of the image manipulation processes most commonly used in the visual communication industry.

Digital Photography
Photography is an important visual element in communication to create an appropriate relationship between written content and information hierarchy. The module is designed for both Graphic Designers and Multimedia Designers. The module is dedicated to understanding photography as a medium of expression and communication. Students will be challenged to find their own interpretation and approach to visualize themes with images.

Advanced Layout & Production
This module will enable students to further their skill in layout, conceptualization and production techniques – from prepress planning to final finishing of publication. Opportunities will be given to create more innovative and sophisticated portfolio pieces. Students will have to successfully complete practical exercises and an integrated project in order to complete the module.

Graphic Production
In this module students will develop the skills and vocabulary necessary to prepare a project for print production. The focus for this module is production based (with minimum creativity weightage). This is an advanced technical class. The module will be presented in the form of lectures with notes that will be complemented with appropriate computer exercises. As a knowledge-focus module, it is imperative that students take notes during lectures and participate in class discussions and practice. Students are expected to keep a journal of examples of different print samples and paper stock.

Identity System
Introduce students to the understanding of identity systems from its origins, to its development as a modern marketing communications tool. Students learn to investigate different business scenarios that may affect a brand from a graphic designer’s point of view. Overall, this module focuses on introducing students to strategic brand development by means of research, study and analysis, which will culminate specifically in the form of a brand manual.

Year 2

Packaging Design
Packaging designers need to develop marketable ideas and translate design concepts into three-dimensional packages of all shapes and sizes. Packaging Design will introduce students to materials and processes related to forms for packaging. Through understanding the characteristics of various packing materials and researching and analyzing the qualities of the product and the consumer needs and other factors, students will produce various solutions that can attract and sell. An important part of the class will revolve around individual student critiques and detailed comments and recommendations for developing the required project materials. Students will develop extensive projects and elaborate several different design solutions for them, including detailed thumbnail drawings, marker renderings, structures, graphic design and final packaging.

Advertising Design
This module serves to introduce students to Advertising Design from its origins to its development as a modern marketing communication tool. The emphasis will primarily be on introducing students to strategic design by means of research and development, which will culminate specifically in the form of a final project. The final project will consist of but not limited to the re-design of an existing company’s advertising campaign, and its application/use across three strategic application/formats. Students will utilize the creative process as used by actual professional Graphic Designers/Art Directors in a replicated professional working environment.

Academic Research and Communication Skills
This unit covers key aspects of research and communication studies in academic contexts relevant to students of design and marketing. Students engage in collaborative learning activities throughout the term in order to develop their teamwork skills. Students learn to locate, understand and critically evaluate information from books, journals, the Internet and primary sources in order to do effective research. Using these sources of information, students then produce an extended piece of analytical writing and give oral presentations to their peers.Skills in doing primary research (i.e. conducting focus groups and surveys), accessing and evaluating information, paraphrasing, using established referencing systems, applying the principles of effective communication and the professional presentation of documents are all covered during the module.

Typography 2
This module will provide designers with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience of typography through exercise that build on what was learnt in TYPE 1, and further the development of the students aesthetic and structural understanding of letter forms and typefaces, while encouraging more creative, illustrative and sensitive forms of lettering. The module’s goal is to further study of modern typographic developments and hybrids and the relationship between type and language to create professional and strong typographical solutions.

Web Design Principles
The Students will be provided with the necessary knowledge and skills through practical exercises, lectures, demonstrations and examples to enable them to create unique web solutions by analyzing different project requirements and needs. Students will also gain practical skills to enable them to create web pages by designing and programming with hypertext markup languages and graphical web building tools. Students will have to successfully complete practical exercises and commence a final integrated practical project.

Interactive Media Design
To provide participants with the knowledge and skills through practical exercises, lectures, demonstrations and examples to enable them to create both, web based, and CD-Rom-based multimedia programs. Participants will gain an understanding of, and practical experience of working with Interactive Authoring Software. Participants will also study the principles of Interactive Design and software related programming techniques. Participants will have to successfully complete practical exercises and final projects in order to complete the module.

Publication Design
This module investigates design communication for professional publications and magazine design, with an emphasis placed on developing innovative modern concepts for defined target audiences. Students will also learn how to assemble and work as a full-functioning publication team. Students will learn to define style guides, create mastheads, generate content and maintain consistency throughout a major publication project within a group setting. Students will continue to build upon the principles they learned in page layout, advanced layout & production and graphic production by using dynamic grid systems, professional binding techniques, choosing appropriate paper stocks and working with special printing effects and finishes. Students will also be responsible for generating a working timeline and meeting all of the goals within that timeline just as they are defined as well as staying within a budget.

Independent Research
This module is designed to train the students to do research and to develop an individual project (linked to the research project) from conception to finished artwork with professional presentation. Students will be responsible for initiating their ideas, in-depth research, analysis, project planning, concept development, implementation and presentation. Students are expected to prepare detailed research, participate in any group discussion and problem-solving sessions. They will be required to initiate and maintain an extensive project file that should include research, bibliography, notes sketches, mock-ups and a project schedule.

Portfolio 1
This module aims to assist the student in developing a professional portfolio and learning how to present the work that can best exhibit the strength of the students’ creation. Evaluation of current work and assessment of strengths and weaknesses of such will determine the specific actions, revisions or generation of new work which need to be undertaken as part of this module. High standards of presentation will be expected as well as objective selection of work for meeting the students’ specific career expectations. This will include preparation of resumes, cover letters, self-promotional direct mails, emails, methods in targeting and researching for students’ internship.

Internship
This module exposes students to the professional environment through industry opportunities in graphic design studios, advertising agencies, and other approved organizations. Students will be working under the guidance of art directors, creative directors, senior graphic designers or marketing communication managers and performing creative work that is educational and meaningful for their short-term academic goals as well as their long-range career preparation. Students will have to successfully complete a minimum of 40 work days and create an internship report in order to complete the module.

Portfolio 2
This module has been designed and structured to prepare students for employment in the Graphic Design industry. Students will review and analyze results from Portfolio Workshop 1, categorizing works into disciplines and positioning it for the job market and to match their career target. Students will also learn how to look for jobs in different media. This will include preparation of resumes, cover letters, self-promotional design, portfolio book and methods in targeting and researching the job market, discussing portfolio preparation and reviews. We will also briefly discuss how to go about running your own graphic design business. A large portion of their time will be spent on the design and production of the graduation book. On completion of this unit, students would have a better insight to what is expected from them in the industry. They will be better in presentation skills and develop self-confidence. There will be an emphasis on speaking and presentation skills, as well as becoming familiar with and being able to talk about contemporary designers and design issues, all of which are important aspects of presentation and interviews.

Career Opportunities

  • Creative Director
  • Advertising Art Director
  • Communication Designer
  • Editorial Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Corporate Identity Designer
  • Packaging Designer