Graphic Arts Certificate

Graphic Arts Certificate at Harper College

Learn graphic arts and print production, while working toward a degree

Program facts  arts icon


  • Credit hours: 27
  • Stackable to degree: Yes
  • Potential job outcomes: Desktop publisher, digital illustrator

Take the first step toward a career in the graphic arts industry with this 27-credit-hour certificate program. You’ll develop a foundation of knowledge in the graphic arts and print industries,
gaining hands-on experience working with the latest computer software and understanding current production techniques.

Classes focus on graphic arts technology, desktop publishing,
digital imaging, press operations, digital illustration, web foundations, page layout, packaging/finishing/distribution and more.

Build on this certificate by earning an AAS degree in Graphic Arts Technology (Graphic Arts Design specialization) through additional coursework.

Certificate program requirements

This 27 credit-hour certificate program is designed to prepare students for direct employment in the printing industry. These technical courses are designed to provide students with basic knowledge of the graphic arts industry. This program covers the latest computer software and production techniques.

Required:

Number Course Title Credits
GRA 101 3

Description: Gives students an overview of the graphic arts industry. Covers various occupations including basic information for making career and education choices. Builds the foundation for continuing education in the graphic arts program. Includes historical, current and potential developments in the printing industry. Provides a comprehensive understanding of desktop publishing software and the steps related to producing printed materials.

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.

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.

GRA 111 3

Description: Covers fundamentals of offset printing as well as new technologies in the digital print arena. Provides knowledge of press maintenance and safety, feeder systems, registration requirements, ink systems and color management tools and techniques in the print industry.

Prerequisite: GRA 101 with a grade of C or better.

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.

GRA 145 or

Description: Introduces the student to WordPress fundamentals to create basic web pages. Hands-on computer activity includes WordPress templates, dashboard and widget usage; blogging/posts; adding links, videos, photo galleries; creating user accounts and theme changes. Student will also learn to translate the WordPress full web site into a mobile website and will integrate with social media platforms. An introduction to UI (user interface) design will be explored for mobile applications.

Prerequisite: GRA 101 or WEB 110 with a grade of C or better, or consent of coordinator.

WEB 150 0-3

Description: Introduces the foundational skills needed to create web pages utilizing HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Topics include Web design best practices, web site hosting, Internet protocols, graphics, media and security. Students utilize the skills learned to create a business-oriented web site project. IAI MC 923

Recommended: WEB 110 or CIS 106 or GRA 101 are strongly recommended courses in preparation prior to WEB 150.

GRA 211 or

Description: Provides essential information needed to estimate, schedule, and project manage a print job. Analyzes cost calculations of various functions within the graphic arts industry. Covers workflow, scheduling, and quantity estimation to produce a quality document. Explores CSR (Customer Service Representative) roles in graphic arts workflow.

Prerequisite: GRA 101 with a grade of C or better.

MGT 111 0-3

Description: Introduces the nature of business and the environment in which it operates. Forms of business ownership, introduction to operative and facilitating facets of business operation, management, marketing, accounting, statistics, business law, finance, investments, insurance and labor-management relations.

GRA 213 3

Description: Provides instruction on manufacturing processes and techniques for various types of print graphics with an emphasis on 3D packaging. Studies production practices, material usage, flexography process, finishing and distribution processes and environmental/sustainability trends. Covers the interaction between products and the many roles that packaging plays in the supply chain. Presents methods of postal requirements, barcoding, how products get to market, costs, manufacturing needs and delivery of said product.

Prerequisite: GRA 111 or GRA 222 with a grade of C or better, or consent of program coordinator.

GRA 229 3

Description: Explores advanced multi-page layout techniques in InDesign software. Projects focus on creating documents that follow industry standards and best practice for print graphics. Emphasis is placed on projects for print and preflighting techniques.

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

Related programs

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

Resources

Next steps

For more information about graphic arts courses at Harper, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.