Art 354: Computer Graphics

Course Description

Application and principles of computer graphics as a creative technological medium. Practical tutorials in the use of Illustrator CS5 and Photoshop CS5 in the creation of print graphic communications. Tapping into the computer as a powerful medium for visual expression.

Course Objective

This course will cover Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop (basic to advanced skill levels). We will deal with both technical and creative aspects of each application.

Course Student Learning Outcomes

Understand and Apply Knowledge Related to Computer Graphics and Visual Communication.

  1. Develop professional skills in the process of design from conceptual development to  completion of final product.
  2. Conduct research on a design problem and apply research to conceptual development.
  3. Produce professional presentations of computer graphic concepts and ideas.
  4. Be able to demonstrate the ability to critique others and their own work on the techniques of computer graphic design.


Project one:

Advertisement for a magazine

(Automobile or fashion)


For students to learn about the techniques in Adobe photoshop for magazine advertisements. (creating environments, atmosphere, compositing, retouching, etc.)

Computer skills:

Adobe Photoshop: resolution, color adjustments, compositing, cropping, cloning, selecting, image manipulation, image compositing, creating atmosphere and other effects.

Graphic Design Skills:

Formal elements of design such as Focal Point, Hierarchy, Eye flow (continuation), Unity color, tone and layout, Balance using negative and positive space


  • Version for print:
    2 page advertisement for a magazine. (a spread) Full bleed, full color
  • Versions for iPad:
    (2 total) 1 version horizontal, 1 version vertical.


  • Version for print:
    Depends on the magazine that would feature your advertisement. (can not use 8.5 x 11. Magazines are not this size, so do research on sizes.) Resolution should be 266ppi.
  • Version for iPad:
    The iPad display is 1024 x 768 pixels. The pixel density (resolution) is 132 ppi.

Mood Boards Examples:




Part 1:


What magazine will the Advert be placed. Choose a magazine that you think is well designed and has a good size.

Measure the size of the magazine. (Can not be 8.5 x 11 if it is then you make a change to the size for the sake of the magazine style).

Is this a car advertisement or a fashion based advert?

What brand or type of brand will you be focusing on?

Can you find a high quality logo for your brand? (This will be needed.) In some cases it will need to be scanned and then recreated or retouched.

Think about how a part of the advert can move (2D movement might be applied.)

Your advert will be seen in a magazine for print and a magazine on an iPad/ tablet device, so you will need to do 3 versions (one for print- 2 page spread) (one landscape and one portrait). So how will that work?

What are the sizes and dimensions of these adverts based on the magazine? You will need to research this information?

Collect various (15-30) backgrounds to use, environments, like landscapes, cities, buildings, etc. These must be high resolution, so in some cased you may need to scan from photographic books. But look for wallpapers and high resolution images on line.

Size: 11 x 17 For automotive or fashion advertisement


Part 2:

Rough Comp

(automotive or fashion)

This will the placement of the images:

  • A digital file showing the composition of the images.


  • Make sure you think about the principle of design, Focal point, hierarchy, eye flow, contrast.
  • Do not include the type.

Meeting with Professor:

  • You will need to make an individual appointment with the professor so that you can get technical
  • help and feedback.
  • This will be essential in the success of your product.


Project Two:

Movie Poster

(Film will be given)


For students to learn about the techniques in Adobe Illustrator for movie poster advertisements. (creating environments, atmosphere, compositing, etc.)

Computer skills:

Adobe Illustrator: color adjustments, compositing, cropping, scalable vector graphics. It is typically used to create illustrations, charts, graphs, logos, diagrams, cartoons of real photographs, and more.

Graphic Design Skills:

Formal elements of design such as Focal Point, Hierarchy, Eye flow (continuation), Unity color, tone and layout, Balance using negative and positive space


  • Version for print:
    Movie advertisement for a poster. Full bleed, full color, version vertical.


  • Version for print: 13x 19