Degrees, Certificates, and Transfer

Associate Degree in Graphic Design


“Design is thinking made visual.”
  – Saul Bass

DesignProcess

© 2014 VMD Department. Photo by Julia Sperling, VMD student  


Graphic Designers make meaning by shaping messages through content and form. Our role as designers, regardless of medium, is the same — to communicate in a clear, evocative and memorable way. 

The program begins with core courses providing a broad, multidisciplinary foundation. Throughout the program, we work to balance practical skills development with conceptual thinking and creativity. Elective courses allow students to customize the program. All students finish with the Design Studio Practicum, Emerge Studio, which provides a more real-world environment for exploration.

The AA in Graphic Design is for students beginning their studies, who have not completed a degree at another institution. Students who have already completed a degree should persue the Graphic Design Certificate.

 

Our Certificate Programs

We have five areas of emphasis in which you can obtain certificates. Each area requires a foundation certificate, completed first, and an emphasis certificate. For information on waiving specific classes in a certificate, visit Department Prerequisite Policy.

Graphic Design Emphasis


Visual Media Production Emphasis


Digital Illustration Emphasis


Digital Animation Emphasis


Web Front-End Production Emphasis


Game Development Emphasis


Many students will complete one foundation certificate and one or two concentration certificates, depending on their interests. Emphasis foundations offer electives to further customize a program of study. For more information, contact the appropriate person listed to the right.

Students who entered the our department before Fall 2013 can choose to follow the former certificate structure or switch to the new one described here. If you are an existing student and not sure what program of study to follow, please contact Lorraine Leber at lleber@ccsf.edu. To see the former certificates, see Prior Certificates.
 


Foundation Certificates


Visual Design

The Visual Design Foundation certificate provides essential knowledge, processes, principles and skills for visual design and production for print and interactive communications. It can serve as a stand-alone certificate, or as the basis for advanced study in graphic design, visual media production or other areas. 

PSLOs

Demonstrate an understanding of iterative design process

Demonstrate an understanding of the elements and principles of visual design

Demonstrate an awareness of type selection, specification and practices

Demonstrate awareness of computer tools and processes used in visual communication

Create and edit files using industry-standard software

Analyze and critique communication design work in verbal and written form

Required Courses (25 units)

VMD 100 (GRPH 23) Orientation to Visual Media Design

VMD 101 (DSGN 101) Design Fundamentals

VMD 105 (GRPH 25) Visual Media Digital Skills   

VMD 120 (GRPH 35) Graphic Design I

VMD 130 (GRPH 53A) Typography I

VMD 140 (MMSP 130) Web Production I    

VMD 150 (GRPH 100A) Illustrator I

VMD 152 (GRPH 101A) InDesign I

VMD 154 (GRPH 98A) Photoshop

 

Digital Art

The Digital Art Foundation certificate provides essential knowledge and skills for digital artists. It can serve as a stand-alone certificate, or as the basis for continued study in digital illustration, animation, gaming or other areas. 

PSLOs

Demonstrate an understanding of iterative design process

Demonstrate an understanding of the elements and principles of visual design

Use drawing as a means of idea exploration

Demonstrate an understanding of color vocabulary, selection and use in design

Demonstrate basic proficiency with computer tools and processes used in visual communication

Create and edit files using industry-standard software
Analyze and critique design work in verbal and written form

Required Courses  (19 units)

VMD 100 (GRPH 23) Orientation to Visual Media Design

VMD 101 (DSGN 101) Design Fundamentals or ART 125A Basic Design

VMD 105 (GRPH 25) Visual Media Digital Skills

VMD 150 (GRPH 100A) Illustrator I

VMD 154 (GRPH 98A) Photoshop

ART 130A Basic Drawing

DSGN 150 Color in Design or ART 126 Color

 

Web

The Web Foundation certificate provides foundational knowledge and skills for those who want to work on web development. It can serve as a stand-alone certificate, or as the basis for continued study in front-end web development.

PSLOs

Demonstrate an awareness of computer tools and processes used in visual communication and web development

Create and edit files and web sites using industry-standard software

Demonstrate an understanding of the elements and principles of visual design

Demonstrate an understanding of iterative design process

Analyze and critique communication design work in verbal and written form

Produce web site work both independently and collaboratively

Required Courses (16 units)

VMD 100 (GRPH 23) Orientation to Visual Media Design

VMD 101 (DSGN 101) Design Fundamentals

VMD 105 (GRPH 25) Visual Media Digital Skills

VMD 140 (MMSP 130) Web Production I 

VMD 154 (GRPH 98A) Photoshop

CNIT 132 Intermediate HTML and XHTML

Emphasis Certificates


Graphic Design

This certificate requires successful completion of the Visual Design Foundation certificate (27 units) or demonstration of equivalent knowledge and skills.

The Graphic Design certificate builds on the Visual Design Foundation certificate for students interested in working as graphic or visual designers for communications. It provides advanced study and application of design thinking to a broad range of communications projects (both interactive and print). Students will refine their skills in Emerge Studio, our on-campus design studio practicum. The certificate proscribes key courses, but allows the student to customize the program to meet their personal goals through electives. 

PSLOs

Select and use various design process models in developing design solutions

Combine appropriate aesthetic form and content to create evocative and engaging work

Select and use typefaces, create type hierarchies and demonstrate attention to typographic detail
Demonstrate proficiency with computer tools and processes used in visual communication

Create, edit and troubleshoot files using industry-standard software

Select appropriate tools, materials and processes for print and interactive projects

Produce graphic design work both independently and collaboratively

Analyze and critique communications design work in verbal and written form

Employ professional design/production studio practices, such as project management, record keeping, asset management, file naming and archiving

Maintain a portfolio of graphic design work

Required Courses (34 – 36 units)

DSGN 150 Color and Design

VMD 110 (GRPH 110) History of Graphic Design

VMD 111 Print Processes for Designers

VMD 122 (GRPH 36) Graphic Design II

VMD 124 (GRPH 37) Graphic Design III

VMD 126 (GRPH 140) Design for Interactive Media

VMD 131 (GRPH 53B) Typography II

VMD 153 (GRPH 101B) InDesign II

VMD 190 (GRPH 149) Portfolio Development

VMD 200 (GRPH 68) Design Studio Practicum

Electives: 4 – 6 units
VMD 127 (MMSP 136), VMD 141 (MMSP 135A), VMD 142 (MMSP 135B), VMD 151 (GRPH 100B), VMD 155 (GRPH 98B), VMD 194A (GRPH 197), or other approved course

Visual Media Production

This certificate requires successful completion of the Visual Design Foundation certificate (27 units) or demonstration of equivalent knowledge and skills.

The Visual Media Production certificate builds on the Visual Design Foundation certificate for students interested in visual media production. It prepares students to enter the workforce as production artists — integral members of a collaborative team. Production artists are proficient with industry-standard software for print and interactive development and have a working understanding of design process, layout, type and color.

Students will refine their skills through a supervised work-experience in a local firm or in Emerge Studio, our on-campus design studio practicum. The certificate proscribes key courses, but allows the student to customize the program to meet their goals through electives.

PSLOs

Create files for a variety of media, applying appropriate design and typographic principles

Demonstrate proficiency with computer tools and processes used in visual communication

Create, edit and troubleshoot files using industry-standard software

Select appropriate tools, materials and processes for a range of print and interactive projects

Analyze and critique work in verbal and written form

Produce work both independently and collaboratively

Employ professional design/production studio practices, such as project management, record keeping, asset management, file naming and archiving

Maintain a professional portfolio of digital media work

Required Courses (33 units)

VMD 131 (GRPH 53B) Typography II

VMD 141 (M135A) Web Production II

VMD 142 (M135B) Web Production III

VMD 151 (GRPH 100B) Illustrator II

VMD 153 (GRPH 101B) InDesign II

VMD 155 (GRPH 98B) Photoshop II

VMD 190 (GRPH 149) Portfolio Development

VMD 200 (GRPH 68) Design Studio Practicum or VMD 194A (GRPH 197) Internship

Electives: 9 – 11 units
VMD 111 (GRPH 27), VMD 126 (GRPH 140),  VMD 127 (MMSP 136), VMD 156 (MMSP140), VMD 166 (MMSP 145), CNIT 133 or other approved courses

Digital Illustration

This certificate requires successful completion of the Digital Art Foundation certificate (19 units) or demonstration of equivalent knowledge and skills.

The Digital Illustration certificate builds on the Digital Art Foundation certificate for students interested in digital illustration for a variety of applications. The Digital Illustration Certificate Program combines the study of illustration, art and design with digital tools and techniques to create communicative imagery that is disseminated through all forms of visual media. This certificate prepares students for freelance illustration positions in print and interactive media publishing, advertising, animation, and gaming.

PSLOs

Conceptualize and create original illustrations

Use an iterative process including research, sketching,

development and refinement

Use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and other software to create original illustrative work

Analyze and critique illustration work in verbal and written form

Maintain a portfolio of illustration work

Demonstrate an understanding of business practices for illustration

Required Courses (27 units)

ART 132A Beginning Figure Drawing

VMD 120 (GRPH 35) Graphic Design I   

VMD 155 (GRPH 98B) Photoshop II

VMD 151 (GRPH 100B) Illustrator II

VMD 170 (GRPH 110A) Digital Illustration I

VMD 168 (GRPH 133) Visual Development for Animation or ART 136A Beg. Illustration   

VMD 172 (GRPH 110B) Digital Illustration II

VMD 178 (GRPH 118) Portfolio Development for Illustration or

VMD 190 (GRPH 149) Portfolio Development

Electives: 3 units
VMD 101 (DSGN 110); ART 130B, ART 132B or other approved courses

Digital Animation

This certificate requires successful completion of the Digital Art Foundation certificate (19 units) or demonstration of equivalent knowledge and skills.             

The Digital Animation certificate builds on the Digital Art Foundation certificate for students interested in Digital Animation. It combines the study of animation, art, graphics and problem solving using the tools and techniques for digital animation. This course of study prepares students for entry-level positions in digital animation.

PSLOs

Currently being revised.

Required Courses (20 units)

VMD 156 (MMSP 140) Flash

VMD 162 (MMSP 146)  2D Animation

VMD 164 (MMSP 147)  3D Animation

VMD 166 (MMSP 145) Storytelling/Storyboarding

VMD 168 (GRPH 133) Visual Development for Animation or ART 136A Beginning Illustration

VMD 191 (MMSP 131) Social Media for Professionals or VMD 190 (GRPH 149) Portfolio Development

VMD 194B (MMSP 160) Internship/Work Experience II

Web Front-End Production

This certificate requires successful completion of the Web Foundation certificate (16 units) or demonstration of equivalent knowledge and skills.

The Web Front-end Production certificate builds on the Web Foundation certificate for students interested in web development. It prepares students for work as front-end web developers, combining the study of industry-standard software, the development process and front-end web development tools.

PSLOs

Integrate knowledge of industry-standard concepts used in web production to build web sites

Demonstrate proficiency with computer tools and processes used in web development

Create, edit and troubleshoot files using industry-standard software

Produce web front-end work both independently and collaboratively

Analyze and critique communication design work in verbal and written form

Employ professional design/production studio practices, such as project management, record keeping, asset management, file naming and archiving

Required Courses (20 units)

VMD 127 (MMSP 136) User Experience

VMD 141 (MMSP135A) Web Production II

VMD 142 (MMSP135B) Web Production III

VMD 191 (MMSP 131) Social Media for Professionals

CNIT 133 Interactive Web Pages Javascript and Ajax

CNIT 198 Industry Internship or VMD 194B (MMSP 160) Internship/Work Experience

Electives: 3 units
VMD 120 (GRPH 35), VMD 130 (GRPH 53A), VMD 152 (GRPH 101A); VMD 156 (MMSP 140); CS 130A; CNIT 134

Game Development

This certificate requires successful completion of the Digital Art Foundation certificate(19 units) or demonstration of equivalent knowledge and skills.             

The Game Development certificate builds on the Digital Art Foundation certificate for students interested in game development. The Game Development certificate program combines the study of game art design and development using tools and techniques for interactive game development. This course of study prepares students for entry-level positions in the interactive game design and development industry.

PSLOs

Demonstrate understanding of concepts used in game development

Demonstrate proficiency with computer tools and processes used in game development

Create, edit and troubleshoot files using industry-standard software

Produce game work both independently and collaboratively

Analyze and critique communication design work in verbal and written form

Employ professional design/production studio practices, such as project management, record keeping, asset management, file naming and archiving

Maintain a portfolio of game artwork

Required Courses (22–24 units)

VMD 156 (MMSP 140) Flash

VMD 162 (MMSP 146)  2D Animation

VMD 164 (MMSP 147)  3D Animation

VMD 166 (MMSP 145) Storytelling/Storyboarding

VMD 180 (GAME 100) Exploring Game Words

VMD 182 (GAME 130) Game Production Workflow

VMD 188 (GAME 150) Career Portfolio for Games or VMD 190 (GRPH 149) Portfolio Development

VMD 184 (GAME 140) Team Production of Games or VMD 194B (MMSP 160) Internship/Work Experience II


Transfer Information

We have articulation agreements with several schools in the Bay Area, including CCA and San Francisco State University. For more information about transfering, contact Lorraine Leber.

Also, visit Assist.org for more information about transferring.