Graphic Design
Overview
  • Two-year diploma
  • September entry date
  • Annual application deadline: February 28
  • Exchange District Campus (formerly Princess Street Campus), Winnipeg
  • Laptop delivery (buy your own laptop)
  • Special selection program
  • International applicants please visit Academic Program, Dates and Fees for a listing of programs for international students, current availability and online application instructions

Description
Graphic Design provides up-to-date artistic training in the technology, techniques, and philosophy of graphic design, which plays a vital role in the process of presenting ideas, information, products, and services in an expanding global economy.

This is a balanced program of art instruction and academic courses designed to develop the technical skills and knowledge essential to professional competence, and to encourage creativity, imagination, and a sense of aesthetic discrimination. Practical work experience is provided through field placement in the graphic communications industry.

Assignments in design, illustration, and computer graphics may require a considerable amount of time outside of regular class hours.

For details, visit the Graphic Design department website at http://blogs.rrc.ca/creativearts/graphic-design/

Admission Requirements

This is a special selection program. Your portfolio will be evaluated and assigned a score that reflects your potential for success in the program. If your portfolio score is within acceptable range you will be invited to attend a mandatory information session. If your portfolio score does not fall within the acceptable range, your application will be cancelled.

Offers of admittance will be made to qualified applicants based on portfolio scores in descending order until all available seats are filled. This means not all applicants whose portfolios scores fall within acceptable range and who attended the mandatory information session will be offered a seat.

Applicants not offered a seat may reapply for a future intake by submitting a new application, application fee, and new portfolio based on the portfolio specifications for that application year.

Annual application deadline: February 28

Regular Admission Requirements

  1. Grade 12
    • Submit proof of successful completion of or enrolment in Grade 12, including one credit in each of the following:
      • Grade 12 English
      • Grade 12 Math
    • Due within 30 days of applying.
    • If you provide proof of enrolment, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter
    • If you are required to complete an English language assessment, do not submit your transcripts until requested to do so.  See Regular Admission Requirement 2 for more information.
      and
  2. English Language Requirements (ELRs)
    • Have you successfully completed the equivalent of three years of full-time secondary (high school) education in Canada, the United States, or an ELR exempt country where English was the language of instruction? To view a list of ELR exempt countries click here.
      • If yes, you meet English language requirements. Submit your transcripts within 30 days of applying for verification purposes.
        or
      • If no, you are required to submit proof of meeting an English language requirements option within 30 days of applying.  For information click here.
        or
      • If you completed all of your education in Canada, the United States, or an ELR exempt country in English but did not complete three years of high school, submit your transcripts within 30 days of applying for review.
    • If you apply within six weeks of the start date of the program, this item is due within 5 days of applying.
    • Approved English language assessments and required levels for this program are:
      • Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Certificate - exit Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) levels from an English as a second language (ESL) program:
        Listening 8, Speaking 8, Reading 8, Writing 8
        or
      • International English Language Testing System (IELTS - Academic):
        Listening 6.5, Speaking 6.5, Reading 6.5, Writing 6.5
        or
      • Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees (CanTEST):
        Listening 4.5,  Speaking 4.5,  Reading 4.5,  Writing 4.0
      • If completing an assessment, we strongly advise you complete it before submitting your application to ensure you meet language requirements and can submit your results within 30 days of applying.
      • Assessment results must be dated within two years of your application date.
      • After confirming you’ve met English language requirements through your assessment results, the College will send you an e-mail requesting submission of your transcripts.
        and
  3. Portfolio
  4. Mandatory Information Session
    • Applicants successfully meeting Regular Admission Requirements 1 through 3 will be invited to attend a mandatory information session, usually held in June.
    • This item will be requested by the College at a later date

Mature Student Admission Requirements
If you are 19 years of age or older and have been out of high school for a minimum of one year at time of application, and you do not meet the regular admission requirements, you may apply under the Mature Student admission requirements.

  1. Academic Requirement
    • Submit proof of successful completion of or enrolment in:
    • Successful completion of one credit of Grade 12 Math is recommended
    • Due within 30 days of applying.
    • If you provide proof of enrolment, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter
    • If you are required to complete an English language assessment, do not submit your transcripts until requested to do so.  See Regular Admission Requirement 2 for more information.
      and
  2. Meet Regular Admission Requirements 2 through 4
Who Should Enrol?
You should have a demonstrated artistic talent with good manual dexterity and good eyesight. A good knowledge of computers will be a definite asset. Persistence is a virtue for graphic designers. The ability to clearly express thoughts and ideas orally and in written form is essential. You must also be able to work as part of a team, and handle the pressures of the competitive world of advertising, marketing, and graphic design.

Next Estimated Term 1 Start Date
(subject to change)

LOCATION START DATE  

Costs (estimates only; subject to change)
Program/Student Fees
Year 1 $4,940.00
Year 2 $4,940.00
Books and Supplies
Year 1 $4,700.00 1
Year 2 $900.00
Program/Student Fees (International)
Year 1 $15,850.00
Year 2 $15,850.00
1 Includes an estimated cost of $3500 for the purchase of a laptop.
 
Students may apply for financial assistance through the Manitoba Student Aid program. For general information on applying please call 204-945-6321 or 1-800-204-1685, or visit their website at www.manitobastudentaid.ca, which also includes an online application. For detailed information, please visit one of the RRC Student Service Centres or call 204-632-2327. Applicants requiring financial assistance should complete their student loan applications well in advance of the class start date.

Program Outline

Year 1
In your first year you will study design fundamentals, drawing, and computer graphics, and be introduced to art and design history and advertising procedures. You will learn to illustrate with various mediums used in the industry and to solve graphic communication design problems.

Year 2
Year 2 will provide advanced courses in drawing, communication design, illustration, multimedia, and electronic pre-press technology. Assignments will become more comprehensive and demanding as you prepare for a career in the industry.


Program Content
YEAR 1
TERM 1 COURSE NAME CREDIT HOURS
  GRAD-1002 Digital Production 1 4
  GRAD-1004 User Experience Design 1 2
  GRAD-1027 Design 1 9
  GRAD-1078 Design History 1 3
  GRAD-1096 Typography 1 3
  GRAD-1107 Professional Communications 1 1
  GRAD-1124 Principles of Drawing 1 9
  SAFE-1028 WHMIS 0
TERM 2 COURSE NAME CREDIT HOURS
  GRAD-1005 User Experience Design 2 2
  GRAD-1070 Design 2 9
  GRAD-1098 Principles of Drawing 2 9
  GRAD-1592 Industry Research 1
  GRAD-2003 Digital Production 2 4
  GRAD-2079 Design History 2 3
  GRAD-3009 Professional Communications 2 1
  GRAD-3013 Typography 2 3
YEAR 2
TERM 3 COURSE NAME CREDIT HOURS
  GRAD-1001 Design Management 3
  GRAD-2033 Campaign 1 6
  GRAD-2039 Interaction Design 1 4
  GRAD-2072 Design 3 7
  GRAD-2123 Production Techniques 1 2
  GRAD-2127 Editorial Design 1 6
  GRAD-2138 Illustration 1 7
  SEMR-9093 Work Experience 1 2
TERM 4 COURSE NAME CREDIT HOURS
  GRAD-2043 Design Management 2 3
  GRAD-2896 Portfolio Presentation 3
  GRAD-3001 Campaign 2 6
  GRAD-3002 Interaction Design 2 4
  GRAD-3003 Production Techniques 2 2
  GRAD-3007 Design 4 7
  GRAD-3011 Editorial Design 2 6
  GRAD-3012 Illustration 2 7
  SEMR-9363 Work Experience 2 3
 
Course Descriptions
GRAD-1001 Design Management

The Design Management course is designed to meet the demands of owning, organizing, and maintaining a successful graphic design business. Methods and procedures are explored and worked into practical situations. Students will discover the design management process, project management, and resource management. Although many designers fear the regimentation associated with management practices they soon discover that, in the 'real world', design management in fact unburdens their mind so that they can more freely concentrate on what they do best – visual design.

Prerequisites:
Complete all courses in Year 1
 
GRAD-1002 Digital Production 1
This course will give Graphic Design students a practical, working knowledge of computer basics and of digital production, and will set the foundation for the development of skills necessary to allow them to create well-designed documents using new and emerging technologies. Class lectures, projects and exercises will focus on developing basic skills for working with Adobe Creative Suite.
 
 
GRAD-1004 User Experience Design 1
(No description available at this time)
 
GRAD-1005 User Experience Design 2
(No description available at this time)
 
GRAD-1027 Design 1
Students study design fundamentals including elements, principles and visual response. Classes will consist of theory presented in the form of lectures and applied practice. Course content will be related to the units of instruction including design fundamentals, creative problem solving, and craftsmanship. Students will develop solutions to their assignments through the process of conceptual sketches and thoughtful execution as it applies to 2 dimensional design.
 
GRAD-1070 Design 2
Students will study and use the theory of value, colour, harmony and contrast, as its applies to the unifying principles of design. Emphasis will be placed on the unity of content and form, creative problem solving, and technical execution. Students will develop solutions to their assignments through the process of conceptual sketches and thoughtful execution as it applies to 2 Dimensional Graphic Design.
Prerequisites:
GRAD-1027
 
GRAD-1078 Design History 1

Students will explore the history of art and design through a combination of lectures, assignments, field trips and guest speakers.  Through these means students will gain an understanding of the significance of history and how it informs current artistic practices.  Studies of the origins of typography through to the Modernist art/design will reveal how by engaging with the past we can more easily locate ourselves within contemporary culture.  For this class students will be required to conduct independent research, complete in class and homework assignments, participate in classroom discussions and write a midterm and final exam. 

 
GRAD-1096 Typography 1
This course will give Graphic Design students a practical, working knowledge of the history of typography and typographic terms used by the graphic design industry. Students will also study and become familiar with specific typeface classifications and their various characteristics.
 
GRAD-1098 Principles of Drawing 2

Principles of Drawing 2 is a continuation of basic drawing for first year students of Graphic Design. This term consists of two parts:

Life Drawing - Students will study human anatomy and be introduced to drawing the figure from direct observation of models in the drawing studio. Sketching for Illustration - An introduction to illustration. Students will work with colour and mixed medium, applying their drawing skills to rendering and illustration problems presented by the instructor. Students will be encouraged to develop more personalized and interpretive drawing.

 
GRAD-1107 Professional Communications 1
This course has been designed to assist new students in the preparation and adjustments necessary to progress through the rigours of the Graphic Design program and prepare for the realities of the industry after graduation, with a specific focus on written communication skills. Students will also practice oral communication skills, and examine and practice other “soft skills” necessary for success in the workplace. Semester 1 Professional Communications will concentrate on developing writing skills necessary to function and communicate effectively in today’s workplace. Professional conduct and ethics specific to the graphic design industry will be emphasized. Additional work outside of class may be necessary in order to maintain satisfactory progress. Classes will involve lecture, demonstration, group discussion, and student practice. Unless otherwise indicated by the instructor, assignments will be submitted for evaluation at the beginning of class on the specified due date.

 
GRAD-1124 Principles of Drawing 1
Principles of Drawing 1 is an introductory course in life drawing skills. Students will concentrate on visualizing (learning to examine the world around them) and developing basic rendering skills. Students will become acquainted with drawing media and support surfaces. The student will develop an awareness of structure in natural and man-made forms. They will study and apply the four main components of drawing: line (the description of edges), spaces (positive forms and negative space in relation to composition), perspective (sighting and linear), and light logic (value shading for volume/form).

 
GRAD-1592 Industry Research
The concept of the course is to broaden the students’ awareness of design in the world around us, to bring in creative professionals from different backgrounds such as architecture, film, music, fine art and graphic design itself. The content of the course will consist of lectures by creative professionals, supplemented by documentaries related to design.  Lecturers will share their thoughts, processes and execution of their work with students. The students will be required to analyze and review each lecture and documentary.
 
GRAD-2003 Digital Production 2

This course is a continuation of Digital Production 1 and has been designed to give Graphic Design students an advanced understanding of electronic publishing and computer skills, including hardware, operating systems and software application programs. Building on foundational knowledge established in Digital Production 1, students will further develop skills in creating professional electronic artwork using industry standard software and execution of design ideas from concept to production.


Prerequisites:
GRAD-1002
 
GRAD-2033 Campaign 1

Students will study branding and campaigns as a process of graphic design and communication, and will develop skills in project analysis, research, implementation and evaluation. Projects will provide students with the opportunity to effectively integrate design, illustration, photography, conceptual continuity, basic copy writing, typographic and computer skills in craft and practice.

Prerequisites:
Complete all courses in Year 1
 
GRAD-2039 Interaction Design 1
Graphic Design students will develop a practical, working knowledge of interaction design software and techniques, and will focus on the development of skills necessary to allow them to create well-designed interactive documents using current and emerging technologies. With reference to traditional design skills, the course will emphasize beginner to intermediate level manipulation of Photoshop, Sketch, Illustrator, FTP, Brackets, prototyping software, and introductory web page development using HTML and CSS. Students will also develop a positive, professional attitude and learn to work within tight deadlines..

Prerequisites:
Complete all courses in Year 1
 
GRAD-2043 Design Management 2
This course is designed to meet the demands of owning, organizing, and maintaining a successful graphic design business. Methods and procedures are explored and worked into practical situations. Students will discover the design management process, project management, and resource management. As mentioned previously, many designers fear the regimentation associated with management practices they soon discover that, in the 'real world', design management in fact unburdens their mind so that they can more freely concentrate on what they do best.

Prerequisites:
GRAD-1001
 
GRAD-2072 Design 3
The Design 3 course is designed to prepare students to meet the high demands of the design industry. Special attention will be given to the effective problem solving through: research, analysis, defining the problem, setting the objective and finally reviewing the outcome. Effective design is the balance between "Form" and "Function". Designs solutions will be directed to be visually impacting, yet also meet specific marketing objectives. Assignments are developed to emulate industry work and processes, which may eventually be published.

Prerequisites:
Complete all courses in Year 1
 
GRAD-2079 Design History 2
Students will explore the history of art and design through a combination of lectures, assignments, field trips and guest speakers. Through these means students will gain an understanding of the significance of history and how it informs current artistic practices.  Studies of the origins of typography through to the Modernist art/design will reveal how by engaging with the past we can more easily locate ourselves within contemporary culture.  For this class students will be required to conduct independent research, complete in class and homework assignments, participate in classroom discussions and write a midterm and final exam.
Prerequisites:
GRAD-1078
 
GRAD-2123 Production Techniques 1
Students will explore the history of art and design through a combination of lectures, assignments, field trips and guest speakers. Through these means students will gain an understanding of the significance of history and how it informs current artistic practices.  Studies of the origins of typography through to the Modernist art/design will reveal how by engaging with the past we can more easily locate ourselves within contemporary culture.  For this class students will be required to conduct iThis lecture course will explore the terminology, technology and workflow required for developing print and digital projects. Students will develop an understanding of how production choices can inform and enhance design. Design work can appear in many formats and environments and the designer must be able to create files with this in mind. Defining and managing projects, making decisions based on best practices and executing files that meet industry standards are a main focus of this course.
dependent research, complete in class and homework assignments, participate in classroom discussions and write a midterm and final exam.
Prerequisites:
Complete all courses in Year 1
 
GRAD-2127 Editorial Design 1
Publication Design involves lectures, workshops and practical problem solving focused on design principles, anatomy of publications (print and digital), and planning & management procedures. There is a special emphasis on the exploration and application of typography in print and digital mediums. Theory is applied to projects via the design process – from research to preliminary visual explorations to comprehensive final presentation. 
Prerequisites:
Complete all courses in Year 1
 
GRAD-2138 Illustration 1
Illustration 1 is a forum for the development of communication art. This course deals with the function of illustration and the exploration of artists' materials and techniques. It focuses on the development of artistic and individual direction. The course involves concept development and has practical applications within other courses conducted in the Graphic Design program. The primary goal is the generation of original and marketable communication art.
Prerequisites:
Complete all courses in Year 1
 
GRAD-2896 Portfolio Presentation
For this course, students will present a résumé and professional portfolio made up of work that they completed while in the program as well as personal work created outside of school if appropriate. Students present their portfolio and current résumé to an examining panel made up of instructors and others knowledgeable in visual communications. Students will be evaluated on the quality and variety of work presented, craftsmanship, accuracy and technical knowledge, communication and presentation skills, and general professionalism. The panel will provide feedback to the student at the end of their presentation to help them refine their portfolio and presentation skills. The purpose of this course is to prepare students to present their work in job interviews, client meetings, or other professional situations after graduation. GRAD-2896 Portfolio Presentation is a required course to qualify to graduate from the Graphic Design program.
Prerequisites:
Enrolled in/Completed Term 4 courses
 
GRAD-3001 Campaign 2
Students will study event and social awareness campaigns as a process of graphic design and communication, and will develop skills in project analysis, research, implementation and evaluation. Projects will provide students with the opportunity to effectively integrate design, illustration, photography, conceptual continuity, basic copy writing, typographic and computer skills in craft and practice.
Prerequisites:
GRAD-2033
 
GRAD-3002 Interaction Design 2
With constant reference back to traditional design skills, emphasis in this course will be placed on intermediate-level manipulation of App concepts, planning and design, prototyping, web page design & development (HTML, CSS, jQuery) and interactive design & development on a Mac platform. Through a series of hands-on assignments that encourage serious exploration of new media design and tools, students will be able to apply User Experience and User Interface design theory and produce work at an intermediate level, using a variety of software. Focus will also be placed on non-profit, sustainability and a personal, professional, responsive portfolio website for project subject matter.

Prerequisites:
GRAD-2039 and GRAD-2072
 
GRAD-3003 Production Techniques 2
Design work is executed in many applications and formats. Planning for and implementing effectively is critical. Theory acquired in GRAD-2123 Production Techniques 1 will be applied to a large publication where timelines will be set, workflow established and technical requirements met. Emphasis will be on materials research, industry standards and project creation in both print and digital format.

Prerequisites:
GRAD-2123 and GRAD-2127
 
GRAD-3007 Design 4
The Design 4 course is designed to prepare students to meet the high demands of the design industry. Special attention will be given to the effective problem solving through: research, analysis, defining the problem, setting the objective and finally reviewing the outcome. Effective design is the balance between "Form" and "Function". Designs solutions will be directed to be visually impacting, yet also meet specific marketing objectives.

Prerequisites:
GRAD-2072 GRAD-2123 and GRAD-2127
 
GRAD-3009 Professional Communications 2
This course has been designed to assist first-year students in developing the communication skills necessary to function effectively in the graphic design industry. Students will learn and practice specific written and oral communication skills, and other “soft skills” necessary for success in the workplace. In preparation to enter the workforce, students will develop job search skills, interviewing skills, and prepare cover letters. A significant focus of this class will be on effective oral presentations: students will prepare a learning presentation as well as conduct simulated job interviews. Students are presented with notes and information in a lecture format.

 
GRAD-3011 Editorial Design 2
In this course students will continue to build on their study and exploration of theories and techniques from Semester 3 Editorial Design 1, while engaging in a publication project that explores multiple mediums and evolves in phases throughout the semester. Emphasis will be placed on ideation, planning and articulation of ideas, alongside the creation of design solutions for their original content, in two mediums. Thoughtful attention to user experience, art direction, typography and image making (as they relate to long form editorial content) all play key roles in this process.

Prerequisites:
GRAD-2127 GRAD-2072 and GRAD-2123
 
GRAD-3012 Illustration 2
Advanced Rendering For Illustration is the final term of Graphic Design Drawing / Illustration. Students are challenged to conclude their artistic exploration by focusing on an individual direction & develop a personal style of illustration. By the end of the term, students are expected to have a beginning to a body of work indicative of their chosen individual style / technique. A primary goal is the generation of original & marketable communication art.

Prerequisites:
GRAD-2138
 
GRAD-3013 Typography 2
This course will give Graphic Design students a practical, working knowledge of the history of typography and typographic terms used by the graphic design industry. Students will also study and become familiar with specific typeface classifications and their various characteristics.

Prerequisites:
GRAD-1096
 
SAFE-1028 WHMIS
The Workplace Hazardous Materials System (WHMIS) is a system for ensuring that important information about hazardous products is communicated where products are used, stored and handled. This course provides Information necessary to understand and interpret information about hazardous products, including pictograms (symbols), labels and Safety Data Sheets.
 
SEMR-9093 Work Experience 1
Work Placement 1 is your first of two opportunities to gain workplace experience in the design industry. The two-week placement allows you to apply the skills you develop in the graphic design program, get professional feedback on your abilities in the workplace, determine your specific areas of interest in the design industry, and test your skills against the demands of the workplace.

Prerequisites:
Enrolled in/Completed Term 3 courses
 
SEMR-9363 Work Experience 2
Work Placement 2 is your second opportunity in the Graphic Design program to gain professional experience through a three-week hands-on work placement in the graphic design industry. Instructors arrange work placements based on academic performance, professionalism, workplace readiness, and available opportunities.
Prerequisites:
Enrolled in/Completed Term 4 courses
 

Laptop Delivery

All first year students will be required to purchase their own laptops. You will be required to purchase a laptop computer for use throughout the program. Red River College will provide the software, and there will be a software fee associated with this.

The use of laptop computers is an integral part of this program. It will enhance your learning and competitiveness in the job market. This universal-access approach to learning is a shared one between students and the College. Laptop and software specifications will be provided to you by the College after you are accepted into the program to ensure the laptop complies with the program requirements.

Do not purchase a laptop until you have been accepted and registered in the program. Laptop specifications will be provided with letters of acceptance. You will have on-campus access to e-mail, College networks, and the Internet.

The College will also provide a detailed list of required software, network access, and help desk support if you require assistance. You will have on-campus access to e-mail, College networks, and the Internet.

Off-campus access to the Internet is the responsibility of the student.

Transfer Credit Opportunities

Transferring credits from high school

  • Graduates of high school vocational education programs may be eligible for advanced standing credit in this program.

Transferring credits to other post-secondary institutions

  • Graduates of this program can receive advanced credit towards the Bachelor of Professional Arts (Communication Studies) at Athabasca University.
Employment Potential

Graduates of this program have found employment as:

  • Production specialists
  • Graphic designers
  • Illustrators
  • Art directors

Working for:

  • Retail stores
  • Advertising agencies
  • Graphic design studios
  • Newspapers and magazine publishers

Some graduates may choose employment as freelance artists.

Contact Information

For general information about this program or how to apply, contact Enrolment Services at 204-632-2327.

For detailed program information, contact:

Diane Livingston
Coordinator, Graphic Design Program
204-949-8309
E-mail: dlivingston@rrc.ca