Graphic Design Program

Graphic Design

Graphic design curricula include the concepts and skills needed to design, layout and produce images to be printed, used on the web, and application user interface design. Typographic development is included in this part of the program.

Both Graphic Design and Illustration programs incorporate digital media in their courses of study. Software applications that are used include Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and AfterEffects, Corel Painter, Autodesk Maya, and Pixologic ZBrush. Courses in digital arts are meant to supplement, not replace, hand fabrication concepts and skills, and the prerequisites and/or recommended preparations reflect the skills needed to succeed in the variety of digital courses offered in our programs.

Graphic design is used every single day in the world of advertising, including everything from books and magazines, health and personal care, food products, automobiles, clothing, computers, and just about everything else you could think of in-between.

Courses and Scheduling

For the latest class schedule or course/program information, please use the links below:

Current Class Schedule

Details about the Graphic Design major including a summary of the program, requirements, and courses.

Current Palomar College Catalog for both class information and program requirements. You need only download the Art section of the catalog for this information.

Visit Class Search on the Palomar College website to search for open classes!

View the Program Mapper for detailed course sequencing options, degree requirements and transfer information.


Some of what Graphic Designers do:

  • Create websites
  • Develop and apply brands (identity design, billboards, signs, etc.)
  • Logo design
  • Package design
  • Pictograms
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Print design (magazines, brochures)
  • Motion graphics and animations (multimedia)
  • Film titles and marketing
  • Signage for architectural projects
  • Television graphics/show openings/closings
  • Environmental design: navigation
  • Map design
  • System designs (manuals and instruction materials)
  • Exhibit design
  • Graphics for products (on product instruction)
  • Game design, especially peripherals (in-game graphics)
  • User interface designs


What Classes do I need to take to learn Graphic Design?

Intro to Art
To learn what’s been done, and apply what you learn in other classes to historical examples. In other words, learn how to steal from the best…

Concept Sketching
To learn how to get ideas down on paper fast. Ideas don’t hang around–you need to be able to communicate them quickly, especially to your (future) clients.

Design and Composition
To learn the basics of composition: how to put things together and make them look good.
To grasp proportion, balance, color, line, and other elements of design.

Color/Light and Theory
To begin to understand the complexities of color, and how you can use color to help communicate your message.

Graphic Design I
To put the concepts you learned in design and composition (as well as color) to practical use.
To learn communication and problem solving–practical concepts that will give you design (and job) skills. AND to learn hand skills–how to communicate quickly and effectively without using a computer…oh my god, without a computer.

Digital Concepts
To learn the software professionals use daily in Graphic Design. Specifically, Illustrator and Photoshop.

Graphic Design II
Even more practical work in design. Magazine layout, packaging, logos, this time using the computer.

Typography Design
Because typography is the graphic designers swiss army knife. And something a lot of designers don’t understand or use well. You will when you take this class.

Motion Design
Lots of graphic designers end up working in time-based mediums (animation, motion graphics, stuff like that). Motion Design teaches you how time-based work is done.

3D Modeling
3D modeling is becoming something that designers need to know–at least the basics–since it’s use a lot in contemporary design work. This class gets you started in the digital 3rd dimension.

 I already took (fill in the blank) in High School…why do I need to take it again?
When you take a college art class, you’re in class 6 hours a week, and you’re expected to do another 6 hours a week out of class. You are learning MUCH more that you ever thought possible about the subject you’re taking. That’s why you need to take it again. High school gets you started. College keeps you going on the path to expertise.

 I want to learn more stuff…
There are many other classes you can take to add to your knowledge or to refine your area of specialization. These include:
3D Animation (Maya software)
Digital Sculpture (ZBrush software)
Photography (both film and digital)
Illustration (both traditional and digital