Graphic Design Certificate Program
The Bellevue College Graphic Design Certificate Program was developed by an advisory committee of design professionals representing a variety of design disciplines. The courses combine fine art and technical skills, and emphasize practical work-ready skills rather than theory.
The curriculum is designed to build upon itself; once students complete the foundation coursework they begin to create pieces for their professional portfolios. The portfolio development culminates in a final Portfolio Review, where each portfolio is evaluated to ensure that the work represents the skills today's job market demands. Satisfactory completion of a portfolio is required to receive the Graphic Design Certificate.
The program allows students to build skills that fit their career objectives in graphic design and visual communications. The curriculum places emphasis on design principles, page layout, digital image creation and enhancement, pre-press skills, the business of graphic design and development of a professional portfolio.
Designed to be completed in six quarters on a part-time basis, the full certificate includes 99 hours of required courses and a minimum 105 hours of elective courses. Class sizes are small, and held in the evenings and on weekends to accommodate the schedules of working adults. There are no program prerequisites other than an aptitude for art and design, and basic level computer skills. Students can take up to 13 quarters from the date of their first class to complete the program.
Overview of Topics Covered
- The many roles a graphic artist can fill
- Basic design, color, composition, and typography principles
- The process to translate a conceptual idea into a visual by hand
- Design layout, photo manipulation, and graphical illustration using current design tools
- The print production process
- Methods for idea pitching, problem solving, partnering, and consulting to launch or maintain a career in design
- Creation of a professional portfolio
Graphic artists and designers with a range of technical, drawing and design skills are valuable members of work teams in a variety of industries. Many artists have also discovered the joys of freelance design and graphic development work.
- Overall employment for graphics designers is projected to grow by 10% between 2006 and 2016.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
- Graphic designers with website design and animation experience will especially be needed as demand increases for design projects for interactive media websites, video games, cellular telephones, personal digital assistants, and other technology.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
- The salary for graphic designers varies depending on education, experience and geographic area. Online resources can provide current salary information, as well as details about the local job outlook.
Why Bellevue College?
- Practical curriculum developed by experienced graphic designers and industry professionals to target the skills employers are looking for today
- Complete the program with a professional portfolio
- Develop the graphic design vocabulary to communicate your ideas and solve future clients' problems
- Small hands-on courses taught by successful industry professionals
- Flexible program designed to work around your schedule: start any time and complete at your own pace, taking as few as one or two classes a week
- Only Graphic Design certificate program on the Eastside