Used to convey a message to the public (more specifically a target audience) through symbols, words, photos, topography, visual arts, graphics and layout techniques, graphic design is a highly creative field. Design and advertising companies, magazine and design firms, packing design studios, marketing and communications agencies, publishing companies, newspaper departments and TV production facilities all employ graphic design professionals who offer their visual design skills, creative problem solving skills, and the ability to effectively communicate solutions to their clients. As the contemporary commercial design world becomes more integrated, competitive and collaborative, they must be ready to thrive in a new world of imagination, work directly with internal and external clients on projects, and more. This type of preparation occurs through graphic design courses in programs such as Centennial College’s Graphic Design – Media.
One of the first things that sets Centennial College’s Graphic Design program apart is that is it formally recognized by the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD Ontario), which represents more than 3,000 graphic designers, managers, educators and students across Ontario. As Jim Jackson, Graphic Design Specialist, Marketing Department, AXA Insurance, notes, “Graduates that possess strong practical knowledge and good design skills coupled with emphasis on producing high work are always sought after in the graphics industry”. This is the second aspect that sets Centennial apart. Its graphic design courses offer multidisciplinary design skills and practical experience. Centennial graduates are more flexible and their design solutions will be more effective than solutions of those without this experience.
Taking two years to complete, students attend specific graphic design course at the graphic design schools such as: Design & Imaging (introduces three major software applications used throughout the Graphic Media Design program: digital illustration, imaging and layout application); Professional Practice (introduces students to the business component of graphic design); Design Process (focuses on the design process and its application to problem solving); Corporate Identity (develops creative strategies and implements these strategies in creating visual identity for business); and more. To round out training, students finish their time at Centennial College with a Field Placement, during which they work in the field to apply what they have learned and network.
Students walk away from these graphic design courses with employable skills, as evidenced by the words of Arash Giani, who graduated from the program: “Graphic Design – Media gave me all the tools and skills I needed without dictating to me ‘what to think’ but showing me ‘how to think like a great designer.’ I got my internship immediately and got hired in the same place as soon as my internship ended. I was ready!”
Application requirements start with possession of an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or being 19 years of age or older. In addition, you must have the compulsory English 12C or U credit, or skills assessment, or equivalent. Lastly, during a program information session you will have to submit a portfolio that contains up to 15 pieces of your original work in art and design. It must demonstrate your ability and interest in graphic design, colour integrated designs created in digital illustration and digital imaging applications and a short research paper about your design philosophy and field of interest.