Harper College

Graphic Arts Core Skills and Knowledge

Students in the Graphic Arts program at Harper are required to pass the GRA 101, 102, 103, and 112 courses. These courses have lecture and lab components. Listed below are expectations of what a student will know after completing each course. Each student must have these skills and knowledge in order to pass the next class that follows. All projects reflect the criteria listed below.

GRA 101: Intro to Graphic Arts Technology

  • How a graphic arts workflow functions in a print environment (design through bind)
  • Basic application skills (raster, vector, page layout)
  • Different print processes: offset, flexo, gravure, etc.
  • Basic color management requirements for print, and standards organizations
  • Raster basics: Resolution formula, color space, file format
  • Vector basics: Mathematical formula, res independent, color palette require.
  • Page layout basics: multi page, color palette, bleed, typography needs
  • Pantone and CMYK differences and uses
  • Proofing, plating, basic paper and ink

GRA 102: Desktop Publishing (prepress and print production)

  • Page layout concentration: multi page, color palette, bleed, typography needs
  • Pantone process uses, CMYK choices from image criteria
  • Color management tools, uses, standards, requirements, procedures
  • Paper selection and uses in a print workflow
  • Preflight criteria/skills and knowledge
  • Estimating
  • Intermediate application skills (raster, vector, page layout, pdf)
  • Die creations, imposition

GRA103: Digital Imaging 1 (Photoshop basics)

  • Color management: Pixels, RGB, CMYK color, the channels, the image modes, the blending modes.
  • Creating a clipping mask.
  • Masking: Using layer mask; modifying a layer mask; removing color using a mask; blending images using a mask
  • Using quick mask and selection
  • Basic color correction: Using levels; curves; modifying color and tone; replacing color, etc.
  • Retouching: Blemishes, skin tone, etc.
  • Paths and shapes: Pen tool; know how to create a clipping path
  • Layers D

GRA112: Digital Illustration 1 (Illustrator basics)

  • Drawing lines & shapes: Compound paths; using the pen tool
  • How to create a clipping mask: Clipping with type/object; applying opacity masks
  • Editing paths: Path segments; selecting and editing with anchors; bounding box; using pathfinders
  • Fills and strokes: Color and pattern swatches; defining gradients; live trace/paint
  • Transparency, blends, gradients and mesh
  • 3-D effects
  • Layers
Last Updated: 4/8/24