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Graphic Design Fundamentals

In this class you will learn the fundamentals of graphic design while designing and producing several real-world projects. This intensive class will meet for six sessions. You will be expected to work on design projects outside of class.


  1. Broaden your understanding of graphic design concepts and processes, both formal and conceptual
  2. Enhance your skill as a designer
  3. Understand the elements of design
  4. Learn how to speak about your work and how to incorporate and evaluate critiques
  5. Develop and expand your portfolio


  1. Logo Design
  2. Label Design for a Series
  3. Invitation Redesign
  4. Publication Design
  5. Boxing Poster
  6. Advertising Design

Assignments given in class will be critiqued during class both by the instructor and during group critiques. Students must incorporate these critiques into their work and either finish the assignment in class or as homework. At the end of the session it is expected that the students will have at least 6 finished assignments for their portfolio. The instructor is available throughout the 6 classes to give feedback and advice on all projects both during and outside class.

For this class students should have a solid working knowledge of InDesign, Photoshop, or Illustrator. Throughout the course, the instructor will provide various handouts and reference materials. Source materials will be supplied by the instructor for in-class work.

About the Instructor

With 20 years of accomplishment in graphic design and advertising, Alfred Assin specializes in branding and identity. His work spans a wide array of industries, with clients including Douglas Elliman, Robert K. Futterman, GlaxoSmithKline, The Wynn Hotel & Casino, Cartier, Bass Shoes, and Maurice Villency. He has worked for top agencies such as Frankfurt Balkind and AgencySacks, as well as boutique firms like slover [and] company and Graj + Gustavsen. He maintains his own freelance consultancy, Mr. Grey, where he’s added UI and UX skills to his design toolkit, expanding his branding and identity work to websites and mobile device applications. Alfred is exceptionally attuned to client needs and adept in utilizing technology, design, and marketing strategies to maximize the impact of his clients’ advertising campaigns.

  • Boxing Poster by Matt Hageman

  • Package Design by Matt Hageman

  • Infographic by Danielle Sheppard

  • Magazine Cover by Jose Deodoro

  • Boxing Poster by Ela Prizmic

  • Package Design by Melissa Choi

Upcoming Classes

Price: $975 Click for Discounts

  • 18 hours of Hands-On Training
  • Mac or PC

What You’ll Learn

Section 1
What is Graphic Design?


  • Brief slide show and discussion
  • Visual scavenger scrapbook/personal research archive
The Design Process


  • Brainstorming
  • Client collaboration
  • Refining your ideas, incorporating critiques
  • Presenting your work
Word Work


  • Speed design with limited source material!
  • Learn to work quickly and creatively within fixed parameters.
  • Create multiple designs from one idea.
Design Assignment: Logo Design


  • Brief slide show on what makes a good logo
  • Design assignment 1: Logo redesign
  • Design assignment 2: Personal logo design

Section 2
Color Matters


  • What do colors mean?
  • How do designers use colors effectively
  • Color palates: we will explore how to choose appropriate color palates for different assignments
Design Assignment: Label Design for a Series


  • Using color and typography create a logo and an identity for a small company.
  • Transfer these ideas to labels for coffee and olive oil.
  • Each product will have three variations. Translate your design across all three versions. Maintain brand continuity.
Section 3
Information Hierarchy


  • What goes first? Second? Last? And why?
  • Are there rules? How can we be creative within these rules?
  • We explore the who, what, where, when, and why of laying out information.
Design Assignment: Invitation Redesign


  • We will design invitations for three different types of events: corporate gala; wedding; small, fun personal party
Section 4
Page Layout and Design


  • Publication and magazine design
  • How to start and finish a publication design assignment.
  • How to work. How to organize your files when given large assignments.
  • Slide show and discussion on how to design information across multiple pages.
  • How to consider information like a story with a beginning, middle, and an end.
Magazine Layout Information Hierarchy


  • Title, subtitle, byline, body copy, photos & illustrations, page numbers and captions
  • How to create a good design while telling a story and differentiating between what’s important and what is on the sidelines.
Design Assignment: Photography Magazine Layouts and Cover Design


  • Students will be given photographs and text for three different stories.
  • Each story is a part of a fictional magazine for which the students will also design a cover.

Section 5
Large Scale Poster Design


  • Slide show and discussion on poster design and composition
  • Techniques: how to use type graphically
  • Composition of text and graphics on a single, large document
  • Color and layering
  • Coming up with your own graphics
  • Working LARGE
Design Assignment: Boxing Posters


  • Students will create an old fashioned boxing poster, stacking type, using words and letters graphically, filling the page with exciting images and words while also maintaining a sense of importance within the information being shown on the poster.
Section 6
Advertising Design


  • We will re-brand a famous company with a fresh new look and design strategy.
  • Using all we have learned about color, composition, scale and identity we will create a series of ads that help take a previously languishing old brand into the present day to become relevant and exciting again.
Design Hero Slide Show


  • The instructor will show a brief slide show of design heroes throughout history