Software for Graphic Design

I.     Course Prefix/Number: CAB 281

       Course Name: Advanced Techniques Using Creative Software

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

CAB160, CAB 165, CAB 172, and CAB 175 each with minimum grades of C in each

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

This is a project oriented capstone class in which the student uses current illustration and design software packages to create various professional modes of output. Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are used along with Adobe InDesign.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate the transformation of visual concepts into camera-ready pages.
  2. Explain the functions of the basic components of electronic publishing.
  3. Describe graphic production using appropriate terminology.
  4. Differentiate fonts by their characteristics.
  5. Choose the proper font to control how a piece looks to reinforce what it says.
  6. Use typography as image, alone and with other elements.
  7. Describe how the elements of design (letter-forms, columns, margin, etc.) are made into a cohesive whole through the use of visual hierarchy, typographic space and grid systems.
  8. Design graphics for various modes of output (i.e. slides, overhead transparencies, hard copy prints for handouts, reports, ads, package design, and proposals)

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. Graphic layout
    1. Design fundamentals
    2. Composition through the use of positive and negative space
    3. Page design using and manipulating grids as an underlying tool
    4. Type characteristics and manipulations
    5. Type specifications
    6. Type as image and in combination with graphic elements
    7. Variations in different format applications
  2. Functions of graphic software
    1. Awareness of differences for creating for specific audiences
    2. Choosing correct color, ink and paper for specific projects
    3. Using Pantone colors for specific client logos, etc. (Heinz red, Blockbuster blue, etc.)
  3. Terminology and definitions

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Seminars and individualized instruction along with class critiques of assignments.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Attend seminars as scheduled.  Participate in class critiques.  Complete required assignments.

IX.   Instructional Materials

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

Textbooks, online resources, and such other materials deemed appropriate for the topic and assigned by the program and instructor. USB Flash Drive

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Applications, exercises and tests

XI.   Other Course Information

Software Users!  Copying software is in violation of Federal law and College policies.  Suspected violations will be vigorously investigated and if warranted, appropriate penalties applied. 

Specifically, you do not have the right to:
  1. make copies of software for yourself or others.
  2. receive and use unauthorized copies of software.

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.