We live in a visual world, with graphics all around us that capture our attention, tell a story or convey a message. With BCIT’s Graphic Communications diploma, you will learn to design and produce a wide range of compelling and visually appealing graphic products, such as packaging and marketing materials, architectural and vehicle wraps, signage and billboards, magazines and posters, and t-shirts and other specialty printing. The creative and technical skills of graphic communication professionals are in high demand as companies look for new and innovative ways to communicate and engage with their audience, extend their brand message, and get their products to the end consumer.
You will get hands on experience with the entire workflow of graphic output, from design through to production of the finished product. Along the way, you will learn creative software, work with the latest technology and equipment, and develop marketing, leadership and entrepreneurial skills for a successful career in this fast-paced industry.
About the program
Employers value BCIT’s applied, job-ready approach to education and training. It’s the BCIT advantage that sets our graduates apart from the pack.
- Two-year, full-time program
- Earn two credentials: Diploma in Graphic Communications and Associate Certificate in Graphic Design Foundations
- Major, industry-standard, graphic communication projects at the end of Years 1 and 2 that you can use to build your portfolio
- Optional 12-week paid, competitive entry, Co-op job placement between Years 1 and 2
- 5-week practicum at the end of Year 2
- Dedicated on-campus facility for the program, with industry-standard equipment, providing lots of ‘hands on’ time to produce graphic materials and provide access to the latest technologies in design, imaging, printing, packaging and finishing
- Well supported by industry, with several financial awards for incoming, continuing and graduating students
- Excellent job placement rate upon graduation
Learn more about how BCIT’s Graphic Communications program can help you reach your career goals on the Program Details page.
Who should apply for the Graphic Communications Diploma?
A career in graphics communications might be right for you if you are:
- You’re creative, inquisitive, and enjoy making things
- You enjoy problem-solving and trouble-shooting
- You appreciate good design, inspiring visual communication, and beautiful craftsmanship
- You’re passionate about sustainability and interested in how it applies to areas such as packaging and the use of environmentally friendly materials
- You’re looking for immediate job placement with rewarding, long term career opportunities
If this sounds like you and you’re ready to improve your career, check out our Entrance Requirements page for our easy application.
What grads can do
Graphic communications professionals are in high demand, working in a broad range of positions in the ever-changing graphics industry. With the hands-on experience grads acquire in the Graphic Communications program, you will be prepared for jobs in graphic design and production, digital imaging, specialty printing, packaging, customer relations and marketing in the graphics industry.
To find out more about the career opportunities available to graduates of the program, visit our Graduating and Jobs page.
The courses in the Graphic Communications diploma were designed by industry professionals to ensure you are trained in the latest software and equipment that industry is using today. You will gain experience in each step of the graphics workflow, from design to final execution of the finished product. Courses are delivered in a dedicated print/imaging facility incorporating pre-media, prepress, print and finishing equipment for lots of ‘hands on’ time on equipment, as well as in computer labs, interspersed with some online learning. Classes include a range of artistic, practical, and theoretical learning. Students’ time is distributed between lectures, labs, and project work.
The Graphic Communications diploma prepares talented individuals with a solid foundation of creative, business and technical training so that they have the vision, knowledge and applied skills to drive the graphic communications industry into the future.
Upon successful completion of the Diploma in Graphic Communications, you will be able to:
- Conceive, create, and design professional quality graphic communications, page layouts, impositions, and die-lines with Adobe Creative Suite.
- Process digital files through industry-standard pre-press software and apply effective colour management using colour spaces, corrections, conversions, separations, spectrometry, densitometry, and calibration.
- Operate, maintain, and troubleshoot basic lithographic, flexographic, xerographic, and inkjet presses and demonstrate an understanding of their applications.
- Apply practical binding and finishing techniques to complete multifaceted and cohesive marketing campaigns, including packaging, signage, and other promotional materials.
- Conceive, create, and brand basic websites and storefronts to demonstrate typical web-to-print imaging workflows.
- Determine optimum production workflows and manage all phases of the graphic communications manufacturing process using effective scheduling, estimating, purchasing, coordinating, accounting, and documentation.
- Identify emerging trends, new technologies, and cross-media applications through practical research and reporting to develop skills for venture creation and new business opportunities.
- Develop and manage customer relationships through effective marketing, sales, and negotiation strategies.
- Make informed environmental and ethical business decisions in order to foster a sustainable future and a sense of professional self-worth.
- Practise safe workplace habits in a graphic communication manufacturing environment, including proper material handling and the application of WHMIS standards.
Qualified graduates of this program may apply for acceptance into BCIT’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program. The BBA program is offered as a full-time degree in the day, or part-time in the evenings.
These businesses in our community have donated to the Graphic Communications program at BCIT to establish our new Large Format Imaging Center.
Cascades, Onyx, Grimco, T.K. Graphics, Hemlock, Dominion Blue, Hewlett Packard, Summit Print, and Great Little Box Company.
Graduating & Jobs
The Diploma in Graphic Communications gives you the applied skills instrumental for success in the graphics industry – a large and diverse sector. Over the years, the program has grown to service all areas of the graphic communications industry, including design agencies, e-commerce, high-end and personalized packaging, specialty finishing, web to print workflows, large-format signage, xerographic technologies, flexography and new technologies such as 3D printing and manufacturing automation. With your BCIT Diploma in Graphic Communications, you’ll be in demand for opportunities in many areas of the graphics industry.
Some career opportunities where graphic communications skills are required include:
- Graphic Designer
- Production Artist
- Packaging Designer
- Inside Sales
- Account Executive
- Marketing Coordinator
- Sustainability Officer
- Customer Service Representative
- Web-to-Print Coordinator
- Variable-Data Engineer
- Prepress Operator
- Proofing Specialist
- Production Planner
- Press Operator
- Bindery and Finishing Operator
- Installation Technician
- Vehicle Wrap Installer
- Workflow Specialist
“The time spent in the BCIT graphic communication program was invaluable to my career. With the instructors being mostly industry professionals, the information and training is always current and relevant. Job placements every year also ensure a high percentage of students find work immediately after graduation. And with such a wide variety of courses within this program, you’re sure to find your true calling.”
“When I decided to return to school as a mature student it wasn’t simply to get a job, but to get a better job. The Graphic Communications Technology program has given me the education needed to find a solid, stable career. Even before completing the two-year program I have received a job offer from a very reputable company.”
Faculty, Advisors & Staff
Our instructors are active industry professionals who provide current and first-hand knowledge in their area of expertise. The material covered in the classroom directly relates to work that you will be performing in your future careers. The creative and technical knowledge you gain, mixed with hands-on training, prepares you with the foundation for a successful career in graphic communications.
Courses are reviewed frequently to ensure new tools, equipment and software programs are implemented into the curriculum.
- Masih Ferdosian, Program Head
- Wayne Collins, Faculty
- Mike Winteringham, National Accounts Executive, Mitchell Press
- Vijay Chand, Technical Operations Supervisor, Met Fine Printers
- Jim Butterfield, Hemlock Printers
- Andrew Macfarlane, Production Manager, PrismTech Graphics
- Brandon Hughes, Production Manager, Kits Graphics
- Lewis Kuiken, Manager, Converting Division, West World Paper
- Sean Bremner, Assistant Instructor
- Cam Rouse, Assistant Instructor
A program advisory committee (PAC), made up of some of BC’s top industry professionals and representing a diverse range of companies and sectors, helps keep the Graphic Communications program up to date with the latest industry trends. The PAC also provides guidance regarding the strategic direction of the program, overall trends affecting the curriculum, and the employability of our graduates.
The Graphic Communications diploma is well supported by industry, with several awards for incoming, continuing, and graduating students. Each year, close to $30,000 in financial support is available to outstanding students seeking a rewarding career in the graphics, print, and packaging sector.
Entrance Awards for incoming students:
The following organizations generously sponsor entrance awards for incoming students that have been accepted to the Graphic Communications diploma:
Please note the application deadline for entrance awards is August 5th each year. For further information regarding entrance awards, including award-specific criteria, check the following webpages:
1st year Achievement Awards
The following organizations generously sponsor achievement awards for students that have successfully completed the 1st year of the Graphics Communication diploma, and are continuing to the 2nd year.
2nd year Graduating Awards
The following organizations generously sponsor graduating awards for students that have successfully completed the Graphics Communications diploma, and are about to launch their career in the graphics, print and packaging sector.
604-412-7691 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Program Head, Graphic Communications
604-451-6959 | email@example.com
Contact a Program Advisor with the BCIT program name in the subject line if you have a question about:
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- Applying for transfer credit and advanced placement
- Job placement and graduate outcomes
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