Category Archives: High School Electives

Homeschool Course Outline: Exploring Graphic Design

Here is a homeschool elective course outline that I put together for my 15 year old who is interested in graphic design.


Course Title: Exploring Graphic Design (Intro to Graphic Design)

Reading/Viewing List

Take notes (written or electronic/blog). Be sure to:

  • Take down key points; include diagrams where helpful/applicable
  • Summarize what you read
  • Tell how this information is useful or relates to you
  • Tell what you don’t get after reading
  • Tell what you finally get after reading
  • Tell what you would like to know more about
  • Briefly review the article (was it well written, confusing)
  • Cite the article source and title, date you took notes
  • Check off the article on this list

I. Introduction to Graphic Design

Teach Yourself Graphic Design: A Self-Study Course Outline, Hodge,Sean

The Importance of a Graphic Designer

Beware Of Tools Vs. Talent

Be Creative!

II.Career Exploration

Graphic Design: A Career Guide, American Institute of Graphic Arts

Graphic Design Basics: Spotlight on Multimedia Careers, Graphic Design

Graphic Designers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Summary Report for:27-1024.00 – Graphic Designers, O*Net Online

25 Graphic Design Career Preparation Tips, (

Graphic Design Career Tips : A Day in the Life of a Graphic Designer (Video)

Graphic Design Career Tips : About Jobs in Computer Graphic Design (Video)

Cool Careers: Graphic Designer (Video) (really inspirational)

Cool Careers: Multimedia Designer (Video)

The 36 Point How To Be a Freelance Designer (Video)

How to Become a Graphic Designer or Web Designer

So, You Want to be a Graphic Designer… Now What?

Career: Graphic Designers (

III. Graphics Design Education

Graphic Design Education and You – Part I, Graphic Design

Graphic Design Education and You — Part II, Graphic Design

Graphic Design Courses: What You’ll Study

Deep or Wide: Between Education and the Design Profession, Zerillo, Pete

A Brief Guide To Design Education, Richardson, Adam

IV. Graphic Design History

History of Graphic Design

V. Introduction to the Elements of Graphic Design

The Basics of Graphic Design (Elements and Principles)

Classic Graphic Design Theory, Skaalid, Bonnie

What is Graphic Design? Overview, Basics of Design Principles, and Design Elements

Introduction to the Elements of Design,Bear, Jacci Howard

Elements of Design, (from “Art, Design, and Visual Thinking: An Interactive Textbook) Jirousek, Charlotte (start with Language Design section before moving onto this section)

VI. Introduction to the Principles of Graphic Design

The Principles of Design, Joshua David McClurg-Genevese (Digital Web Magazine)

Introduction to the Principles of Design, Bear, Jacci Howard (

Principles of Design, (from “Art, Design, and Visual Thinking: An Interactive Textbook) Jirousek, Charlotte

Graphics Design Principles Index,

VII. The Design Process

Graphic Design Publishing Process From Start to Finish, (All Graphic

VIII. Real World Graphic Design Application

Working Within Limitations to Achieve Great Designs, Hodge, Sean

IX. Learning from Professional Designers

X. Developing Your Skills

a. Tools and Technology (listing under O*Net’s Job Summary for Graphic Design (see above)—software

Graphic Design Career Tips : Best Graphic Design Tools

b. Soft Skills (non technical skills—e.g listening, critical thinking, problem solving, speaking, etc). (how to’s)

XI. Putting Together a Portfolio

12 Steps to a Super Graphic Design Portfolio

Creating A Successful Online Portfolio by Sean Hodge

10 Steps To The Perfect Portfolio Website by Lee Munroe

XII. Participate In Online Communities

To Do List

  • Start Career Exploration/Management Binder
  • Explore Graphic Design as a Career & Develop a Career Plan
  • Study Basics of Graphic Design
  • Start Portfolio
  • Learn graphic design/photo editing software
  • Complete design briefs (projects) and get feedback
  • Take Art Lessons
  • Find suitable online graphics community to participate in (optional)
  • Develop non-technical skills needed

Tags: , ,

Graphic Design: Quiz/Back in the Day/Creativity


A few more graphic design resources I came across:


Graphics Design Quiz

Though kind of subjective, I thought this was a neat little exercise.

There is a fictitious product and you are given 10 pairs of ads for that product. You are to determine which one of the pair (in each question) has a better design.  The quiz provides the “answers” at the end as well as explanation of why one design is better than the other. For a few of them, the author states that it is subjective in the fact that the correct one was a personal preference of the author (not all but a few).

My daughter and I took this and I scored one point  higher than her, but in reality, I feel that she has is more intuitive when it comes to design. So I would take it with a grain of salt, but I thought it was a useful exercise


Article: Beware of Tools vs. Talent

From the same site, I found this nifty article (kind of a long read, but interesting). The author talked about the days when she was a graphic designer and things were done by hand, rather than by computer.   I think it will give potential graphic designers an appreciation of how good they have it today that they can use software for design projects.

It has a nice little section entitled:

How Can You Tell If Someone Just Has The Tools
Or If They Have Talent?

I think this would be great for potential graphic designers to see what types of skills they should be looking to develop.



Article: Be Creative!

“Creativity is the one thing that will make one company stand out from the rest. Remember, in business, image is everything, and creativity is the essence  behind the image.”

I liked this article because it showed some ways (gave examples) that you can think outside of the box as far as design (or outside the bubble as the author stated it).


Just a few things that I am adding to my daughter’s reading list for our homemade graphic design courses…….



Picture Source: :

Comments Off on Graphic Design: Quiz/Back in the Day/Creativity

Posted by on June 8, 2010 in High School Electives