Harper College

Fashion Graphic Arts Certificate

Start your career in fashion illustration and design

Program factsarts icon

  • Credit hours: 21
  • Stackable to degree: No
  • Potential job outcomes: Fashion designer, illustrator

Prepare for a career in the graphic arts/fashion industry with this 21-credit-hour certificate program. Focus on fashion illustration by taking courses designed to give you beginner’s knowledge of the graphic arts industry for print along with the illustration needs of the fashion industry. You’ll also get training in the latest computer software, illustration and production techniques.

Areas of study include fashion design illustration, digital imaging and illustration, introduction to graphic arts technology, graphic arts desktop publishing and graphic design.

You can sharpen your creative skills in one of Harper College’s three state-of-the-art graphic arts labs, equipped with Mac computers and the latest creative software. Classes are led by knowledgeable instructors who are industry experts in the field. After graduation, you’ll be ready to start your career or continue your studies with one of Harper’s degree programs.

Certificate program requirements

This 21 credit-hour certificate program is designed to prepare students for direct employment in the graphic arts/fashion industry with a fashion illustration specialty. These graphic arts and fashion courses are designed to provide students with basic knowledge of the graphic arts industry for print as well as the illustration needs of the fashion industry. This program covers the latest computer software, illustration and production techniques.

F = Fall only course S = Spring only course U = Summer only course


Number Course Title Credits
FAS 105 3

Description:  Introduces basic and advanced techniques in rendering the fashion figure, garments, details, and textiles using various media with a focus on application of color and texture. Students will begin to develop a personal illustrative style. Students will be introduced to technical drawing and flat sketches for use in spec sheets, presentations, and story boards.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2024

FAS 210   S   3

This course is only offered in the spring term.
Emphasizes work on a professional studio level. Focuses on work sketches as well as finished art using digital media. Studies illustration for advertising, publicity, promotion and display. Preparation of professional portfolio.

Prerequisite: FAS 105 and GRA 112 with grades of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2024

GRA 101 3

Description:  Provides students an overview of past, present and future graphic arts processes including graphic applications for design/layout, imaging, photography, prepress, print and finishing. Direction is provided on occupations in the Graphic Arts industry and the use of digital applications related to producing print materials. Provides a hands-on understanding of desktop publishing software through lab and lecture.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2024

GRA 102 3

Description:  Presents a clear understanding of graphic desktop software and their many functions in the printing industry. Provides hands-on training using the most current desktop publishing software. Focuses on project work, page layouts and output functions.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in GRA 101.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2024

GRA 103 3

Description:  Covers fundamentals of professional digital image-editing software (Adobe Photoshop). Emphasizes skills to manipulate photos using current software tools and special effects filters. Explores program tools, color correction, channels, layers and masks. Computer skills are required for success in this course.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2024

GRA 112 3

Description:  Presents vector graphics software and its applications to the graphic arts industry. Explores tools and functions within the current software. Focuses on creating illustrations, working with type, color, and all tools needed to create multi-colored illustration and separation. Emphasizes techniques to create illustration files for use in digital print production. Computer skills are required for success in this course.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2024

GRA 120 3

Description:  Focuses on beginning fundamentals of graphic design utilizing all design principles and involves an overview of design and layout rendering techniques. Focuses on typography, images and graphics, utilizing design processes (including research and sketching) and current graphic software for print. Projects are critiqued for aesthetics and production for print.

Prerequisite: GRA 102 with a grade of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2024

Related programs

Students interested in graphic arts design and technology may also be interested in:



Next steps

For more information about the Fashion Graphic Arts Certificate program, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.

Last Updated: 11/13/23