Computer and Statistics Center


Practical Graphic Design Basics (beginner)

The course gives introduction to design principles for more conscious and effective visual communication.
During classes fundamentals of composition, typography and color will be covered. As our method, we will focus on particular aspects of visual form, isolate and limit some elements in order to better study others. This will help to recognize the forces at play behind strong graphic solutions.
To deepen understanding, each area will be observed and practiced via examples and exercises.
With using Photoshop, the course also provides overview on this leading digital image editing software.


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Course details

Level: Beginner
Duration: 5 days
Requirements for pass: assignment & minimum attendance: 4 days
When the course is offered: see the list of courses for the current semester and/or the InfoSys

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Course outline

Day 1:

  • Function of design.
  • Building blocks of graphic design:
    • point, line, plane
    • static and dynamic balance: symmetry and assymmetry
    • pattern, rhythm
    • contrast: content/positive space and emptiness/negative/white space
    • composition
  • Photoshop essentials: workspace overview.
  • Examples and exercises: composing different layout grids in Photoshop.

Day 2:

  • Photoshop essentials: use of layers, layer styles.
  • Typography, typesetting
  • Examples and exercises: integrating type into layouts in Photoshop.

Day 3:

  • Color: different color theories and models e.g.: optical mixing, CMYK, RGB
  • Examples and exercises: creating color aspect representations with the use of
    • shapes,
    • transformations,
    • gradients.

Day 4:

  • Image editing in Photoshop.
  • Examples and exercises: use of layer masks, selections, filters, blending modes.

Day 5:

  • Creating a poster or leaflet on a given subject, based on the principles and skills discussed and practiced during the week.

Useful online resources:

Comprehensive guide on graphic design -
Practicing typesetting -
Site of American Institute of Graphic Arts -
Poster design examples: -

NOTE: all links open in new windows.

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