Part-time: this program is open to applications throughout the year.
Full-time: this program is open to applications beginning:
*or next business day
Applications are considered for a specific intake.
There are no specific entrance requirements for this program, although BCIT strongly recommends students have BC Grade 12 English, or equivalent.
Applications are now being accepted through the Admissions Department for the full-time intakes.
BCIT accepts only complete applications. In order to apply:
You can check the status of your application online at any time using the Student Information System.
For applicants interested in part-time studies, please refer to the Program Declaration section below, or see the program matrix for course by course registration.
To determine if the courses you intend to take will be applied towards a credential you must declare your program.
Program declaration enables you to declare a program of study and outline the courses you plan to complete to meet the program requirements. Program declaration also provides the opportunity to apply for transfer credit. Upon approval, a confirmation letter will be mailed to you outlining your program of study.
To declare your program, please submit the Part-time Program Declaration form [PDF]. This form is also available at Student Information and Enrolment Services. Please allow approximately six to eight weeks for processing.
Within 2 business days of submitting your completed application, BCIT will send a message to your personal e-mail and your myBCIT e-mail address. All correspondence about your application will be posted to your online myCommunication account at my.bcit.ca. We'll send you an email when a new message is posted. It's important to watch for these emails, or regularly check your account online.
You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within 4 weeks.
Check current availability of courses for this program.
Fundamental graphic design techniques are necessary for production of projects for both the print media and multimedia/webpage design. The course includes both lecture time and lab time in areas of design elements and principles, typography, colour, page layout, corporate identities, advertisement, and brochure production. All design areas will be related to both print and multimedia/webpage production. This is NOT a computer-based course.
Adobe InDesign MAC 1
Adobe InDesign is a professional page layout application for print and digital publishing that allows you to design, preflight and publish a broad range of content for print, web and tablet apps. InDesign offers precise control over typography, built-in creative tools, an intuitive design environment and tight integration with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat. InDesign is built for designers, content production professionals and service providers who work for magazines, design firms, advertising agencies, newspapers, book publishers and retail/catalogue companies, as well as in corporate design, commercial printing and other leading-edge publishing environments.
Visual Composition & Layout
Good media design depends equally on two essential components: effective technological design, which provides an architecture which allows it to function optimally, and communication design (graphic design), which applies the principles of visual communication to creative concepts in order to transmit content effectively. This course will address only issues relating to communication design. We will discuss concept development and the principles of composition and layout (the organization of visual elements) in relation to both print and web design. The emphasis of this introductory course will be in the development of and application of skills through analysis and hands-on projects and exercises. Course content: (1) Brief presentations will introduce principles and concepts and their application.(2) Technical and conceptual skills will be developed through projects and exercises, which will be done both in class and as homework. The use of computers will be permitted only on projects and/or project components as specified; not all coursework will be digital. (3) Students will analyze and evaluate design work through group critiques and individual written and verbal deconstruction of designs. Instructor feedback will be given during group and/or individual. (4) Information regarding periodicals, trade publications and other resources will be presented so that students can continue their studies in this discipline. Prerequisites: MDIA 1049
Color Theory for Design
Colour is one of the most crucial elements of design. This course introduces the principles of colour and light in relation to psychology, physics, design and communication. It also explores the additive primaries (red, blue and green), the subtractive primaries (cyan, magenta, yellow). Hands-on exercises will lead to an understanding of the use of hue, saturation, value, tint and shade, contrast and harmony. The students will be learning how to visually and psychologically use colour to convey a message effectively to various target audiences. Use of Adobe software will assist students in understanding the application of colour techniques on practical projects and exercises for both print and web. In addition, the Pantone Matching System to accurately produce colour for various reproduction methods will be explored in the various Adobe software. The sessions will also help the students comprehend and analyse how others solve visual colour problems in an effective manner so they can themselves be inspired to make unique and outstanding use of colour.
Practical Color Management
This course is a user practical approach to real world colour management implementation from monitors, and proofing to simulate a printing process in graphic arts. Students will learn basic overview of colour theory and apply industry standard measuring devices for creation of monitor and printer profiles as well as key procedures to maintain process control. Prerequisites: MDIA 1170 or MDIA 1180
Students will be shown examples of good and bad typography and will be encouraged to view everyday print with a more discerning eye. The derivation and development of letterforms since the invention of movable type will lead to an appreciation of font suitability to subject and medium. Fonts will be deconstructed to show the working components. Rules and conventions will be discussed so that students can compose balanced documents. Pica measurement will be used in document construction. InDesign preferences will be dissected to show their dramatic impact on typography. Exercises will be undertaken in various typographic modes to exhibit control of aesthetics and meet the expectations of design studios. Display exercises will show the impact of optical and metric kerning. Prerequisites: MDIA 1049 and MDIA 2049
Digital Darkroom and colour correction covers the fundamentals of digital images acquired from scanning or digital cameras and correcting them. The focus of this course is on optimizing images and the colour correction process within Adobe Photoshop. Topics include colour theory as it relates to digital images, scanning, resolution, digital image formats, and the colour correction process, & CMYK conversion. The course will be provided in a lecture/lab format with in-class exercises providing hands-on experience. This course is equivalent to and replaces MDIA 1111. Prerequisites: MDIA 1170
Adobe InDesign MAC 2
Adobe InDesign 2 covers industrial strength publishing techniques and quick tips for working with InDesign’s user interface. This course covers InDesign’s many windows, panels, panel shortcuts, docking panels, menus, title bar, control panel, pasteboard, scroll bars and other tools that InDesign displays on your screen. The course tells you what they all are and how you use them to help you make the most of using InDesign in a production environment. Prerequisites: MDIA 1049
Strategic Design for Business
Graphic designers apply principles of visual communication to express their client's message, but must also work within the context of business strategy and goals in order to be fully successful. This course will examine how design can support and reinforce the business goals of a client through an in-depth exploration of some critical components of design process: research, concept development, analysis and evaluation. Standard business practices and working effectively with clients will also be discussed. Course content: (1) Brief presentations and exercises will introduce principles, concepts and their application. (2) Students will explore principles, concepts and techniques through comprehensive development of one major project. (3) Students will analyze and evaluate work through discussion, critiques, and verbal and written presentations. (4) Information on resources for further studies will be provided. Prerequisites: MDIA 1040 and MDIA 1105 and MDIA 1160 and MDIA 1180 and MDIA 1049
Portfolio Design & Presentation
During this course students will design and create a series of tightly defined documents for presentation to prospective employers. Students will prepare an effective medium to assist in furthering their careers by creating documents professionally while using the Adobe Creative Suite including InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and Acrobat. The instructor will provide guidance regarding the portfolio content. All students will produce a print portfolio as well as a pdf electronic portfolio. This course is recommended to be the last course in the certificate. Prerequisites: MDIA 1040 and (MDIA 1049 and MDIA 2049) and MDIA 1140 and MDIA 1105 and MDIA 1900 and (MDIA 1180 or MDIA 1170) and (MDIA 2180 or MDIA 2270) and MDIA 2012 and MDIA 1144 and (MDIA 1025 or MDIA 1026) and (MDIA 1160 or MDIA 1260) and (MDIA 2260 or MDIA 2261) and MDIA 2088
Adobe Acrobat MAC
In this course students convert documents to PDF format, to bridge the gap between paper and digital workflow. This includes converting small volumes of paper documents to searchable Adobe PDF files and to e-mail graphics files that were previously too large, and modifying PDF's to include advance functions such as high level security, video/audio files and electronic forms. Students also prepare files for professional print, through to posting PDF files on the web for online distribution.
Adobe Acrobat PC
This course teaches students how to convert any document to PDF format, to bridge the gap between paper and digital workflow. Learn to convert small volumes of paper documents to searchable Adobe PDF files and to e-mail graphics files that were previously too large. Modify your PDF to include advance functions such as high level security, video/audio files and electronic forms. The course focuses on preparing files for professional print, through to posting PDF files on the web for online distribution.
Adobe Illustrator MAC 1
Adobe Illustrator software is a comprehensive vector graphics environment that invites you to explore more efficient ways to design. Vector graphics are made up of lines and curves called vectors and may be modified without losing any detail or clarity and maintain crisp edges when resized. This graphics course taps into the power and precision of creating vector illustrations and logos and gives a head start on creating more complex drawings. Students will use multiple art boards to create different components of their artwork using a range of sophisticated drawing, color, blends and transformation tools.
Adobe Illustrator MAC 2
This course expands upon your Illustrator vector knowledge by taking advantage of many advanced techniques including; using the control panel for managing many options and properties for a selected object, creating realistic gradient meshes with shading, using new join techniques, applying clipping masks, opacity masks, using one-point, two–point, and 3D perspective drawing tools, editing live corners, applying lighting and shading to 3D objects, spraying objects with a set of symbolism tools and creating and expanding patterns. Students will create a series of projects using all of the above techniques. Prerequisites: MDIA 1160
Adobe Illustrator PC 1
The Adobe Illustrator level 1 course provides students the opportunity to complete three vector artwork projects that introduces illustrator’s user interface, main toolsets and the core concepts of creating vector artwork. The course examines artwork view modes, rulers, guides, and selection, drawing, painting, shaping and type tools. Students work with layers, paint objects, apply custom colors and gradient fills, draw straight lines and curves with the pen tool, convert points, and use primitives to create basic art elements. Students also work with type and change type attributes.
Adobe Illustrator PC 2
This course provides students with the opportunity to complete three vector artwork projects using a variety of advanced vector authoring tools and techniques. Students are introduced to advanced typography tools including; area type, type on a path, vertical type, and type options including; tracking, kerning, and vector type by converting to outlines. Students will work with type-intensive designs; wrap text around objects and type that is created in connected text frames. The course will also cover gradients, blends, and gradient meshes. Students will apply and modify gradient meshes that can be used to add elements of realism by controlling shading and lighting areas, attach art elements to linear perspective grids to imply three dimensions. Other areas of study include; working with multiple art boards, transform objects from a central origin point using the different transformation tools including; scale, shear, rotate and reflect tools, create and paint vector art with the pen and brush tools, integrate Photoshop images into Illustrator and utilize pathfinder options to combine different graphic shapes.
Adobe Photoshop MAC 1
This course introduces students to the creative world of photo editing using Adobe Photoshop. The course starts with an overview of raster based applications, including image resolution and the co-relation between pixel dimensions, color depth, and image quality. Students will customize the Photoshop workspace, use the quick selection tool, use the quick mask selection tool, manipulate selections, save selections to channels, and perform tonal corrections with the spot healing brush tool and the content-aware fill. Students will create point type, create a clipping mask from type, create vector paths, use layers and adjustment layers, and paint with the mixer brush tool.
Adobe Photoshop MAC 2
This course covers advanced compositing techniques, including painting with the mixer brush, adding a background, matching colour schemes across images, and blending multiple pictures to create a panorama. Students will select different brush settings and create a custom brush preset. The course also covers applying layer styles, adding adjustment layers, using layer effects and blending modes. Students will manipulate an image with Puppet Warp, create type on a path, warp point type, design with paragraphs of type and work with type styles. Other topics covered in the course include straightening and cropping images, using the spot healing and brush tools, repairing areas of an image using the clone stamp tool, applying gradients to layers, and working with masks and channels. Students will also prepare files for the web by creating slices and export HTML and images. Prerequisites: MDIA 1180
Adobe Photoshop PC 1
This course teaches students how to create and edit digital images. Students will learn the purpose of the various tools in the toolbox, work with layers and blending modes to create depth and transparency, how to retouch photos, select and recolor areas of an image, as well as create interesting type. Students will gain knowledge of image size, pixel depth and resolution while focusing on selection techniques with various selection and drawing tools. Difference between raster and vector imaging is explained in detail, as well as use of filters, channels and paths. Students have their own workstations
Adobe Photoshop PC 2
This course covers a range of advanced Photoshop techniques that teaches students to create and produce high quality digital images for web or print. Students will learn how to look at color models, measure RGB and CMYK color, adjust midtones, shadows and highlights and perform precise color corrections; Students will also practice adjusting color and tonal balance of images and retouching. Students will learn how to create composite images using layers options and ‘smart objects’, as well as simple animation that can be outputted for web or video. Photoshop’s automated functions, batch processing and actions scripts, and Camera raw are covered in this course as well. Prerequisites: MDIA 1170
Check current availability of courses for this program.
Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.
Graphic Design is a flexible, part-time studies program. You can expect to complete the associate certificate in approximately two years, depending on your work schedule. All program requirements must be completed within five years.
This program is also now offered in a full-time 25 week format at the Downtown Campus and/or Burnaby Campus.
3700 Willingdon Avenue
555 Seymour Street
Note: This program is primarily offered at the Downtown Campus, with the occasional intake offered at the Burnaby Campus. Please indicate on your application which location is preferred or contact the Admissions Office to place your request.
The Graphic Design Associate Certificate program requires the completion of 15 courses totalling 29.5 credits.
Graphic Design Full-time Program Structure:
Graphic Design Part-time Program Structure:
The BCIT student outcomes reports present summary findings from the annual survey of former students administered by BC Stats one to two years after graduation. These reports combine the last three years of available results for the 2012-2014 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2011-2013 graduates and for Degree 2009-2011 graduates. The reports are organized into three-page summaries containing information on graduates' labour market experiences and opinions regarding their education. More detailed information can be accessed at the BC Student Outcomes website.
To view these results, you may need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.
Upon successful completion of all program requirements, complete an Application for BCIT Credential [PDF] and submit to Student Information and Enrolment Services.
Allow approximately six to eight weeks for processing.
All financial obligations to the Institute must be met prior to issuance of any credential.
Program Assistant, Digital Arts
604-453-4032 | Karen_Harvey@bcit.ca
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