Introduction to Graphic Design

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ART 224

       Course Name: Introduction to Graphic Design

       Credits: 3 (0 lecture; 6 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course explores fundamental concepts of visual design. Content includes range of functional aspects of design, such as communication and the production process, to visual aspects of design. Vector drawing used as medium for design process examination. Adobe Illustrator used as the main software.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Draw images by using vector-based drawing techniques.
  2. Apply graphic design principles to reinforce the artist’s/designer’s intent and concept.
  3. Create and modify typography for different visual structural considerations.
  4. Use color in an effective manner.
  5. Use the design process to create visual communication.
  6. Identify the visual language including its vocabulary and grammar.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Straight Lines in vector based drawing
    1. End points and Length
    2. Direction of a line
    3. End of a line
    4. Patterns of a line
  2. Shapes and Aggregates in vector based drawing
    1. Definition of a shape
    2. Linear shapes
    3. Planar shapes
    4. Shapes combined with lines and planes
    5. Aggregates
    6. Components and units
    7. Repetition and Variation
  3. Formal Organization
    1. Translation
    2. Reflection
    3. Rotation
    4. Letter forms
    5. Layers and shadows
  4. Structures
    1. Types of structures
    2. Visual order
    3. Repetition
    4. Concentricity
    5. Gradation
    6. Levels of Construction
  5. Composition and Communication
    1. Frame of reference
    2. Size and position of shapes
    3. Background
    4. Legibility and visual expression
  6. Visibility and Illusion
    1. Gestalt grouping and laws
    2. Memory and association
    3. Space, time and color
    4. Contours
    5. Subliminal
    6. Building volume
  7. Visual Design
    1. Aesthetic Organization
    2. Decoration
    3. Self-expression
    4. Communication
    5. The design process
    6. Visualization
    7. Ideas and methods

VII.  Methods of Instruction

This course will be taught using a combination of lecture, demonstration, presentation and hands-on studio time at the College’s Mac and PC computer workstations.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Attend and participate in classes and lab sessions.
  2. Complete assignments on deadline and participate in critiques prepared to show assigned work.
  3. Complete exercises assigned in class.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  1. CDs or flash drive for file storage
  2. Ink jet paper

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

The final grade will be based on understanding and demonstration of key principles and course objectives. Grading and evaluation will be based on work, projects, assignments, process, critique, participation, and other items at the instructor’s discretion.  

Completion of projects and participation in critique are required. Course instructors will base grades and evaluation on specified elements and percentage weights.

Critiques offer the student the opportunity to show work in progress to the instructor and to the class, allowing each student to obtain feedback on the work presented.

XI.   Other Course Information

Please note:
Some of the activities, lectures and assignments in this class may include imagery that is controversial, uncomfortable, shocking, has nudity, and personally unpopular to one's beliefs. If a student objects to this practice, he/she is encouraged to discuss with the instructor early in the semester alternative ways of completing course requirements.

Attendance is required at all critiques. Lab hours will be posted and open lab time will be supplied to the student.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.