Graphic Design

Program: GRDE
Credential: Ontario College Advanced Diploma
Delivery: Full-time
Work Integrated Learning: 1 Field Placement
Length: 6 Semesters
Duration: 3 Years
Effective: Fall 2024
Location: Barrie Downtown


This program is designed provide students with an education in the principles and practices of visual communication design. Students learn the skills and knowledge necessary to create effective designs for a wide range of both traditional and digital applications, including branding, editorial, advertising, information design, user interfaces, web and social media, and motion graphics. Throughout the program, students explore a variety of design topics, including layout, typography, composition, colour theory, and production. They develop skills in industry-standard software and tools while working in a hands-on, project-based learning environment. The depth and breadth of instruction in design and technology is reflected in the portfolio developed in this three-year program, preparing students to take on more creative and independent roles once they enter the workplace.

Career Opportunities

At an entry-level of responsibility, graduates create and produce effective visual communications, in print and digital media, within constraints set by employers, clients, and the market. Graduates may find employment with design studios, advertising agencies, newspapers and magazines (online and print), web/interactive studios, corporations with in-house design departments, government agencies, or educational institutions. Graduates may also choose to work independently as freelance graphic designers.

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. conceptualize and develop design solutions using principles of design to create visual communications that meet the needs of the project;
  2. employ the design process to create design solutions that meet the project objectives and the needs of the client and/or user;
  3. plan, create and use photography, illustration and typography in design layouts to meet the requirements of the creative brief;
  4. design, develop and create a variety of media products using relevant, current and/or emerging technologies;
  5. communicate ideas, design concepts and opinions clearly and persuasively to others;
  6. use recognized industry practices throughout the design process and related business tasks;
  7. plan, implement, and evaluate graphic design projects using project management skills to deliver quality work to clients according to schedule and within budget;
  8. complete all work in a professional and ethical manner, and in accordance with all applicable legislation and regulations;
  9. keep current with visual media design trends, technologies and industry practices using strategies that enhance work performance and guide professional development;
  10. apply basic entrepreneurial strategies to identify and respond to new opportunities within graphic design;
  11. employ environmentally sustainable design principles and practices to reduce the impact of the design process and final product on the environment.

External Recognition

Upon enrolment, students are registered as members of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers, providing them with opportunities and resources for professional development. Visit for more information.

Program Progression

The following reflects the planned progression for full-time offerings of the program.

Fall Intake

  • Sem 1: Fall 2024
  • Sem 2: Winter 2025
  • Sem 3: Fall 2025
  • Sem 4: Winter 2026
  • Sem 5: Fall 2026
  • Sem 6: Winter 2027


A number of articulation agreements have been negotiated with universities and other institutions across Canada, North America and internationally. These agreements are assessed, revised and updated on a regular basis. Please contact the program co-ordinator for specific details if you are interested in pursuing such an option. Additional information can be found on our website at

Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or mature student status
  • Grade 12 English (C or U)

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to:

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit for Prior Learning website for details:

Selection Process

All applicants must submit 3 to 5 samples of creative work that represents their interest in the field of Graphic Design. Samples may be created using digital or traditional media (ie; sketches, paintings, photography, graphic design work - print or digital, etc.). Work can be submitted in pdf or jpeg format, or you may provide a link to an online portfolio. We accept submissions by e-mail only. For email submissions, send to the Academic Program Assistant at portfolios@georgiancollege.caPlease include your name, student number and OCAS number.

Please note, successful graduates of the Art and Design Fundamentals one-year Certificate program (Program Major: AADF) at Georgian College are exempt from this requirement.

Contact the program coordinator to obtain additional information.

Graduation Requirements

28 Program Courses
2 Communications Courses
4 General Education Courses
1 Field Training

Graduation Eligibility

To graduate from this program, the passing weighted average for promotion through each semester, from year to year, and to graduate is 60%. Additionally, a student must attain a minimum of 50% or a letter grade of P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) in each course in each semester unless otherwise stated on the course outline.

Program Tracking

The following reflects the planned course sequence for full-time offerings of the Fall intake of the program. Where more  than one intake is offered  contact the program co-ordinator for the program tracking.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Hours
Program Courses  
COMP 1020 Digital Page Layout 1 42
GRPH 1000 Typography 42
GRPH 1001 Graphic Design 1 42
PRNT 1002 Production Fundamentals 42
Communications Course  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Semester 2
Program Courses  
COMP 1021 Adobe Photoshop 42
COMP 1076 Web Fundamentals 42
COMP 2035 Adobe Illustrator 42
GRPH 1002 Graphic Design 2 42
Communications Course  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Semester 3
Program Courses  
COMP 2148 Digital Ad Design 42
GRPH 2000 Graphic Design 3 42
GRPH 2001 Production Studio 1 42
GRPH 2010 Drawing and Illustration for Graphic Designers 42
HSTY 2001 A History of Illustrative and Graphic Art 42
PHOT 1005 Photographic Communication 42
Semester 4
Program Courses  
BUSI 2004 Professional Practices for Designers 1 42
COMP 2111 Web: Content Management 42
COMP 2129 Motion Graphics 42
GRPH 2002 Production Studio 2 42
GRPH 2003 Graphic Design 4 42
GRPH 2011 User Interface Design 42
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
Semester 5
Program Courses  
GRPH 3000 Graphic Design 5 42
GRPH 3001 Portfolio Development 42
GRPH 3004 Professional Practices for Designers 2 42
GRPH 3009 Production Studio 3 42
GRPH 3010 Three-Dimensional Environmental Design 42
GRPH 3012 Package Design 42
Semester 6
Program Courses  
GRPH 3005 Trends and Issues in Graphic Design 42
GRPH 3008 Advanced Graphic Applications 42
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Field Training  
GRPH 3011 Field Training 160
 Total Hours1588

Graduation Window

Students unable to adhere to the program duration of three years (as stated above) may take a maximum of six years to complete their credential. After this time, students must be re-admitted into the program, and follow the curriculum in place at the time of re-admission. 

Disclaimer: The information in this document is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational objectives and employment market needs. 

Program outlines may be subject to change in response to emerging situations, in order to facilitate student achievement of the learning outcomes required for graduation. Components such as courses, progression, coop work terms, placements, internships and other requirements may be delivered differently than published.

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