CDA Boston | Learn Graphic & Web Design
Learn graphic and web design at the Center for Digital Arts. Certificates and courses in web scripting, motion graphics, and concept design
Become a powerful problem solver and communicator through type, space and image. Utilizing the latest software and techniques, learn to design for print, web, digital, product and environmental. From pitching clients to starting your own business, established professionals will help you master the business side of this artistic field.Apply now
Launch your design career with the Graphic & Web Design Certificate. Using the software of today’s professionals, learn color and design fundamentals, image manipulation, layout and concept design, file preparation, web scripting and motion graphics. Create engaging collateral for advertising agencies, corporate clients, media companies and television studios. The Graphic & Web Design program curriculum includes:
This module teaches the fundamentals of visual design, color theory and introduces students to graphic design as a dynamic means of communication and a major part of our visual culture. This course builds a foundation in the understanding of visual structures and has students gain valuable perceptual skills. Assignments and exercises include bringing diverse elements such as signs, symbols, words, and pictures together and assembling them into a total message.
Students explore the role of typography as a visualization of language and continue to explore graphic design’s use of hybrid imagery. Students are encouraged to participate and respond to a critical analysis of text and informational data, further refining their design skills and sensibilities. Typographic solutions are evaluated in an effort to bring resonance to communication problems and offer an approach to design that heightens the expressive power of the page as well as the screen.
This module introduces students to design disciplines reflective of building and developing a vocabulary of visual forms while using Adobe Illustrator. Students will learn how vector graphics fit into the graphic design workflow and will continue to hone their skills in Adobe Illustrator.
This module is oriented toward an overall introduction to the tools and features of Adobe Photoshop, with an emphasis on general understanding of its use as a graphic design tool when working with and evaluating digital imagery. Students receive an introduction and overview of digital imagery, followed by general explanations of the tools and functions of Photoshop. Development of imagery as a sole Photoshop document or in conjunction with Adobe Illustrator elements, and as a single image solution to a communication problem will be emphasized.
This module focuses on typographic compositions using Adobe InDesign. The basic tools of InDesign will be featured. Students explore working with a grid and designing across multiple pages. Students expand their knowledge of typography, layout, and color, and also integrate Photoshop and Illustrator files. Exporting to Acrobat pdf files is also covered.
This module focuses on typographic systems using Adobe InDesign. Students will further develop the skills learned during the previous modules while adding an understanding of many of InDesign’s automated and time-saving features like lists, find and replace, data merge, tables, and books. Students will apply the skills learned during the first two modules of InDesign to develop a significant portfolio piece.
This module focuses on understanding pre-press and color management workflows and the printing issues that can affect design. Students learn the importance of working closely with printer and paper reps, professional best practices for working with transparency and spot colors, finishing and bindery possibilities, and the calibration of equipment and software.
Students apply what they have learned thus far in the program to a project of their choosing. They will develop a project plan and a production schedule. This is a good opportunity to work with a client (an existing client, family member, or a student from a different program at the school). It can also be a continuation or further development of an earlier project so long as there are new deliverables. Students are graded not only on the project, but also on how well they keep to the schedule they set.
This module is an introduction to the core concepts of web design. Focusing on information architecture, this module covers important concepts of the web design process including workflow, sitemaps, wireframes and a brief introduction to coding principles and best practices. Review of websites currently on the Internet will be used to aid students in learning the differences between how print communicates and interacts with its audience and how the web does.
Building upon the foundations established, this module will focus on some of the tools that are needed by a web designer. Students will become familiar with the professional web toolsets using Adobe Creative Suite and concentrate on preparing a design for presentation and development. Topics also include web graphic optimization and color principles.
In this module, students will further explore and begin a deeper understanding of the HTML and CSS code that makes websites work. Students will begin to create well-formed markup that complies with XHTML and CSS standards. Topics also include non-linear navigation and usability issues.
Students continue their learning of XHTML and CSS and continue to practice these skills while separating content from presentation. Topics include CSS/web typography; using HTML and CSS for page layout; fixed, liquid and elastic page layouts; floats and asides; CSS browser compatibility issues; and an introduction to accessibility. Students will expand upon their knowledge of Information Architecture and learn how to organize content in a user-centric way.
Students will put their developing skills to the test by creating a website based on an existing mockup. Students will be given lectures or demonstrations covering: user interfaces (UI); navigational frameworks; cross-browser compatibility; interfaces that optimize usability; accessibility; the enhancement of browser interoperability; establishing client communication goals; and additional web design workflows. This course also discusses and validates what has been learned in the previous modules in context of the relationship between information architecture and usability, as well as in the context of real-world projects, while also introducing the concepts of search engine optimization.
Students are introduced to the web’s most popular content management system, WordPress. WordPress makes creating a standard site or blog simple and repeatable, and it allows the end-user to manage the site without the developer’s help.
Developing custom WordPress themes is an important and sought after skill that requires planning, organization and an understanding of the WordPress framework itself. In this module, we’ll begin the whys and the hows of taking a student’s design and making it work as a WordPress theme.
This course provides the opportunity for students to refine and review foundation-level topics in preparation for the advanced applied courses that follow. Students will also work with their instructor to propose and commit to a long-term extracurricular project, focusing on a subject of personal interest. Personal projects will be presented during the Portfolio course at the end of the program.
This final pair of courses begin the process of focusing and defining each student’s creative identity by writing a biographical artist’s statement, then selecting, reviewing and refining a portfolio that best defines his or her current creative ability and professional ambition. Working together as a class along with meetings with portfolio advisors and through focused individual effort, students will learn how to define and present their distinctive vision to their chosen field of study.
Let our crew of industry leaders, influencers and experts challenge and inspire you.
With more than 20 years experience as a graphic and web designer and developer, Liz Rosen is an accomplished professional with a serious dedication to her students. She has designed print and online materials for educational institutions like Emerson College and Boston College and for businesses like Brodeur Partners and Hatch Marketing. She has served as Senior Designer at Brandeis University, Art Director at Hebrew College, and most recently as Creative Director at The Cambridge Institute of International Education.
Heather Goss has been in marketing and creative services for more than 25 years, and has worked in virtually every facet of marketing and design. She started her advertising career in an agency in Paris, France and upon returning to the states joined FGI, Inc. in North Carolina. After receiving her MBA in Marketing from the Stern School of Business, New York University, she joined Clairol Haircare in New York City, working on the Hydrience, Ultress and Infusium lines where she oversaw all promotional and advertising strategies. She then went on to found her own creative firm here in Boston and works with clients such as Boston Private Bank and Olin College as well as law firms, investment companies and non-profit groups. Heather enjoys teaching the next crop of designers and staying current on new design techniques and technologies.
*At The Center for Digital Arts, we don’t believe you should have to choose between professional success and creative fulfillment. We prepare our students for thriving careers as digital creators and builders. Our graduates are Working: