Graphic, Design & Visual Communications


Course Description

Graphic Communications is a dynamic industry that balances art and science. The Graphic shop will prepare students seeking a career in the digital media field. From concept and design to printing and distribution, this program instills the latest industry standards and best practices. In the classroom, students will learn editing and drawing techniques in Photoshop and Illustrator, page layout in InDesign and Quark and web design in Dreamweaver. In shop, students will learn how to use a digital press, print plates, operate an offset press and various bindery methods.

The Graphic Communications program will teach you: desktop publishing, offset printing, digital printing, layout & design, safety, web design, color theory, marketing, the use of light tables for assembly (stripping), offset plate making, offset press operation, binding & finishing operations, printing sales and estimating with customer contact.


Carolyn Rutkowski (Dept. Head) | 781.499.7438
Martha Paradis | 781.499.7438
Stephen Culp | 781.499.7438

Graphics Courses

Related - Introductory to Design Theory: In this class, students focus on developing an understanding of the basic design theories that are essential to a solid design foundation. Students will use a variety of traditional methods to illustrate their understanding of the Elements of Design, Principals of Design, Basic Typography and Color Theory. Students will work with pencil, charcoal, and other methods of drawing, painting with acrylic and water based paints, cut paper and collage. In this class, use of the computer to create art is minimal.
Shop - Introduction to Graphic Production: This course is designed to provide vocational students with a base knowledge of the Graphic Communication production environment. Students will learn basic functionality and maintenance of copiers, network printers with and without inline finishing. General understanding of paper type and paper weights and industry specific math and measurement.

Skills: Typography | Intro to Elements and Principles of Design | Sketching Techniques | Mac OS | Paper | Bindery | Adobe Indesign | Digital Printing
Related - Design Theory I: In this class students will expand on their understanding of design theory using a problem solving approach and a variety of traditional and electronic tools. The projects will include real-world consumer driven problems that will allow students to illustrate their understanding of design theory while practicing the software skills needed to attain Adobe certification. Weekly projects, class critiques and written essays to develop and demonstrate communication skills will be emphasized.
Shop - Graphic Production: Second year students learn functionality of the shop machinery; Offset Press, Screen Printing, Wide Format Printer, Cutter, Stitcher, Folder, Dye Sublimation, and Embroidery. Students are introduced to the daily operations of the live work done for the school and community.

Skills: The Design Process | Copyright Laws | Introduction to drawing | Offset Printing | Adobe Illustrator | Photoshop
Related - Advanced Design Theory: Students move beyond the foundations of design and visual communications to build a stronger understanding of its application in a modern design studio. Students will be introduced to a variety of design mediums including web design, motion graphics and video as well as marketing theories such as campaign building, branding, portfolio development, career development, and time management. Weekly projects, class critiques and written essays to develop and demonstrate communication skills will be emphasized.printing, web design, animation, photography and digital video.
Shop - Advanced Graphic Production: Third year students begin to act as Production Coordinators. They run the morning and afternoon production meetings plan the schedule for the next day and will have direct contact with customers and vendors. Students will analyze and evaluate inline perfect bind and book making and variable data. Students are actively engaged in the daily operations of the live work done for the school and community.

Skills: Photography | Web Design | Animation Basics | Drawing | Branding | Image Retouching and Composition
Related - Design Theory Application: In Senior year, students focus on independent application of skills attained over the previous three years. Four large scale projects are designed to challenge students planning and self-management skills while allowing them to demonstrate skills from Strand 2 and prepare them for work or college.
Shop - Independent Graphic Production: First half of the year they participate in grooming the underclassmen in the daily operations of the live work done for the school and community. The second half of Senior year is a year of individual focus. Students will select an avenue they choose to pursue greater knowledge in and will propose projects based on their individual interest.

Skills: Independent work skills | Presentation skills | Work and College Prep

New Certification from Design & Visual Communications

What is Adobe Certified Associate?

Changing the world is possible, but it requires the right preparation and skills. One of the best ways to be prepared is with Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) certification. ACA certification is an industry-recognized credential ​that can be used to effectively validate one’s skills in Adobe digital-media software. It represents the creative skills in demand today by industry and academia and reflects well when presented on a resumé or college application.

Having ACA certification is a great validation of one’s Adobe creative skills, and ACA InDesign certification is available for Creative Cloud (CC). CC-based ACA certifications are current for three years after the date of issue.

Intro to Desktop Publishing: This course is designed to provide vocational students with a base knowledge of computer hardware, Adobe InDesign and workflow management. Student will learn how to troubleshoot their computer, manage files, alter print drivers, utilize peripherals including scanners and external drives as well as build basic print documents through software (Adobe CS6 InDesign).
Intro to Creative Studio: In the tenth grade, student will analyze and apply design theories and industry standard software. Students will be problem-solve on various projects. We will apply the function and importance of the Indesign workspace, setting up documents/pages, working with objects, flowing and editing text, working with typography/color/styles, graphics, tables, transparencies, printing and exporting , pdfs and epub. Small to mid-size projects will introduce students to a variety of opportunities within the graphics field and will develop student’s ability to address real-world consumer driven problems with creative solutions.
Advanced Creative Suite: In the eleventh grade, student will evaluate design theories and create designs through industry standard software. Students will define purpose and use of vector based graphics and demonstrate use of tools, palettes, options, masks and paths through the creation of illustration presentable for portfolio. Students also will be able to explain characteristics of photography styles, identify and demonstrate the use of camera settings, explain lighting techniques and prepare contact sheets.


Local Employers

Eastern Press Heidelburg Press Jay Publishers Services
MacDonald & Evans Norris Litho PIP Printers
RR Donnelley Smith Print The Patriot Ledger
Western Reprographics Webster print