Online Graphics Courses and Classes Overviews

Graphic design courses are frequently part of certificate and undergraduate graphic design programs. Online graphics courses are offered within graphic design or computer science programs.

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Online Courses in Graphics

Here are some examples of common online courses in graphic design and computer graphics.

  • Design Fundamentals: This course introduces students to basic graphic design techniques, including layout, graphics and production. Some courses use software programs to introduce these concepts. Students are also introduced to design ideas including line, proportion, color and texture.
  • Typography: Students gain an understanding of type fundamentals and learn proper classification of fonts. Classwork includes hand-lettering and new typeface creation.
  • Digital Illustration: This graphic design course teaches the fundamentals of computer-generated modeling and composition. Students create vector-based illustrations to incorporate into larger designs. Some courses require particular graphic design software and may provide tips for software compatibility.
  • Computer Graphics Basics: Students complete both written and programming assignments to learn two- and three-dimensional graphic imaging and scene modeling. Courses also focus on animation, shading, layering and color, and students learn about specific graphics hardware.
  • Animation Basics with Flash: In this course, students learn how to use Adobe Flash software to create and animate graphics. By the end of the course, students should be able to successfully publish a movie for distribution.
  • Design History: In this course, students learn about the history of design and how it has been influenced by social, cultural and political factors. Students analyze current trends in the field to gain an understanding of how their graphics work fits into a contemporary context.
  • Interactive Visual Design: This course prepares students to create interactive designs for visual systems. Emphasis is placed on designing and testing programs that meet specific user needs.

Program Information

In graphic design courses, students gain an understanding of imaging and production techniques, as well as design and typography, using software and other equipment. Online programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Career options for graduates include working for advertising agencies, websites and video game companies.

Computer graphics courses are offered as part of some graduate degree and certificate programs in computer science. These courses tend to focus more on programming, and depending on the course, students may need access to digital cameras, printers or scanners. Some courses also require C/C++ or OpenGL (Open Graphic Library) skills.

Students who are interested in graphic design, computer graphics or both can find relevant coursework at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, which cover both artistic concepts and technological applications.

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