Graphic and Web Design

Graphic & Web Design (570.G0)

PROGRAM PLANNER FOR FALL 2024 OR LATER The following planner indicates all the courses needed and the usual path to complete your DEC in this program.

** Courses taken by some students may need to be adjusted due to recent changes brought to the “Charte de la langue française” by Bill 96. **

  • Students who require a mise à niveau  English or French course will be required to pass it before they can take their introductory course in English or French.
  • No General Education courses should be taken in the final semester due to a fulltime Stage in weeks 13, 14 and 15.
  • Students will be required to pass a Ministerial Exam of Language of Instruction and a Program Comprehensive Assessment in Graphic & Web Design.
ENGLISH | 603-101-MQ

Students are required to successfully complete four (4) English courses to obtain their DEC. Courses 603-102 and 603-103 may be taken in either order only after successfully completing 603-101. Course 603-200-MQ is the 4th and last English course required. Click to view courses list. 

FRENCH | 602-1xx-MQ

Every student needs one of each of the Block “A” and Block “B” courses in order to complete their DEC. For each block, there are four levels of courses: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 and Level 4.
Placement in the appropriate level of French is determined by the students’ high school marks. The French Department reserves the right to change the placement of a student upon written notice. Students take the Block “B” course at the same level as the Block “A” course.
If placement determines that students do not have a college level of proficiency in French, students may be required to take remedial courses to upgrade their knowledge of the language. Click to view courses list. 

HUMANITIES | 345-10x-MQ

Students need three (3) Humanities courses to complete their DEC. Courses 345-101-MQ and 345-102-MQ may be taken in either order, but both must be successfully completed before registering in 345-21_-AB. Click to view course list. 

Intro to Photography & Digital Imaging | 570-150-AB

The Intro to Photography & Digital Imaging course introduces students to the fundamentals of digital imaging and photography. The course will, in parallel to the imaging fundamentals, cover basic digital asset management skills that are needed when working with large collections of images and video files.

Web Fundamentals | 570-151-AB

The Web Fundamentals course provides students with a thorough grounding in the basics of HTML, CSS and web site management in order to enable them to create web pages and web sites.

Page Layout | 570-152-AB

The Page Layout course introduces students to both the concepts and the software used for printed page layout. Using this software, students will bring text, images, and graphic enhancements to the texts together in visually-pleasing layouts.

Vector Graphics | 570-153-AB

The Vector Graphics course introduces the building blocks of working with 2D vector graphics including creating basic objects, manipulating the points and curves of the shapes, controlling object attributes, assembling basic shapes into more complex objects, and manipulating text elements in order to create sophisticated digital drawings and/or page layouts using vector-based drawing software.

Sketching for Design & Creativity | 570-154-AB

The Sketching for Design & Creativity course is an introduction to the creative process used by graphic designers. Students will learn to understand a professional workflow, and how a good design brief helps designers to analyze and fully respond to a client’s needs.


  • Students who require a mise à niveau  English or French course will be required to pass it before they can take their introductory course in English or French.
  • No General Education courses should be taken in the final semester due to a fulltime Stage in weeks 13, 14 and 15.
  • Students will be required to pass a Ministerial Exam of Language of Instruction and a Program Comprehensive Assessment in Graphic & Web Design.
ENGLISH | 603-1xx-MQ

After successfully completing their 603-101 course, students may choose to take either a 603-102 or a 603-103 course. Click to view courses list. 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION | 109-101-MQ

Students are required to successfully complete three (3) Physical Education courses to complete their DEC. Courses 109-101-MQ and 109-102-MQ may be taken in either order, but both must be successfully completed before registering in 109-103-MQ. Click to view courses list. 

COMPLEMENTARY COURSE

Complementary courses provide an opportunity for students to explore subjects outside their field of concentration and are offered in six different areas. Except for Liberal Arts, Arts & Sciences and Double DEC programs, students must take two (2) complementary courses as part of their General Education requirement.
Students are encouraged to select courses from subjects that are outside their program of study;
Students can take a course from each ensemble of the same domain;
Or
Students can take a course from either ensemble of two different domains;
Or
Students can take a course from the same ensemble of two different domains;
Domain 1, Domain 2, Domain 3 , Domain 4 , Domain 5 and Domain 6

Click to view courses list. 

Digital Imaging | 570-250-AB

The Digital Imaging course follows in the footsteps of the Intro to Photography & Digital Imaging course, expanding the student’s repertoire of image manipulation techniques. While the intro course focuses on more traditional photographic approaches, Digital Imaging focuses on pixel-level editing, compositing, layering, and other photo manipulation techniques that are used in the graphic design industry.

Responsive Design | 570-251-AB

The Responsive Design course explores principles of UI and UX design including accessibility, usability, and designing web content that is easily portable across different sized display screens, while maintaining the aesthetic quality and brand recognition of the underlying design.

Typography | 570-252-AB

The Typography course gives students a thorough understanding of the basics of laying out typographic content. These principles are the same for both print, screen and web. By understanding the fundamental building blocks of type and what the characteristics of good typography are, students learn to create better designs and layouts for any medium.

Sustainable Design for Community Engagement | 570-253-AB

The Sustainable Design for Community Engagement course is both a theoretical and hands-on practical course. Students will learn about the broader issues surrounding economic, environmental, and social sustainability. As the course progresses, the focus will concentrate more and more on sustainability practices within the fields of communication, media and design. Students will also learn how to develop market-targeting techniques, creating a mini-portfolio of sustainably designed projects appropriate to their specific target audiences.

Design Theory & Practice Fundamentals | 570-254-AB

The Design Theory and Practice Fundamentals course is a combination theory and studio class. Its goal is to introduce students to a number of historical components, such as art and graphic design history and technical best practices that are of core importance to the graphic design industry.


  • Students who require a mise à niveau  English or French course will be required to pass it before they can take their introductory course in English or French.
  • No General Education courses should be taken in the final semester due to a fulltime Stage in weeks 13, 14 and 15.
  • Students will be required to pass a Ministerial Exam of Language of Instruction and a Program Comprehensive Assessment in Graphic & Web Design.
ENGLISH | 603-1xx-MQ

After successfully completing their 603-101 course, students may choose to take either a 603-102 or a 603-103 course. Click to view courses list. 

HUMANITIES | 345-10x-MQ

Students need three (3) Humanities courses to complete their DEC. Courses 345-101-MQ and 345-102-MQ may be taken in either order, but both must be successfully completed before registering in 345-21_-AB. Click to view courses list. 

COMPLEMENTARY COURSES

Complementary courses provide an opportunity for students to explore subjects outside their field of concentration and are offered in six different areas. Except for Liberal Arts, Arts & Sciences and Double DEC programs, students must take two (2) complementary courses as part of their General Education requirement.
Students are encouraged to select courses from subjects that are outside their program of study;
Students can take a course from each ensemble of the same domain;
Or
Students can take a course from either ensemble of two different domains;
Or
Students can take a course from the same ensemble of two different domains;
Domain 1, Domain 2, Domain 3 , Domain 4 , Domain 5 and Domain 6

Click to view courses list. 

Branding Studio I | 570-350-AB

The Branding Studio I course will teach students how to produce pieces with strong brand appeal. Students will study marketing basics so they can identify a target market, and prepare advertising materials that appeal to that specific audience. They will also learn how to exercise an emotional pull on consumers, develop a strong foundation in consumer psychology, and how to develop and express a well-thought-out brand strategy.

Web Publishing | 570-351-AB

The Web Publishing course is designed to introduce students to the complex world of database-driven web sites and applications. Based on the coding languages and design principles learned in first year, this course enables students to learn the basics of modern web publishing and the role of the interface designer within it.

Book Design | 570-352-AB

Longer documents, like books, catalogs, and manuals are more complicated to create than shorter documents. Therefore, the primary objective of the Book Design course is for students to learn the workflow for successfully designing longer documents both in print and in digital formats. By successfully using the various functions and tools in page layout software, they will learn to lay out a long-format document in such a way that manual labour is minimized and creative adjustments can be applied document-wide as necessary.

Logo & Pictogram Design | 570-353-AB

The Logo & Pictogram Design course enables students to create simplified and communicative symbols that can be used as logos in branding projects, as user interface elements in web and application design, as well as in signage and wayfinding projects.

Photography & Advanced Image Processing | 570-354-AB

The Photography & Advanced Imaging course is designed to finalize the three-course photography/digital imaging sequence within the GWD program. It will teach students the basic technical vocabulary of photography which will be useful in their graphic and web design careers. It will also give students the opportunity to practice the art of 2D composition as well as learn the technical tools and processes of digital image creation, editing, publication and archiving.


  • Students who require a mise à niveau  English or French course will be required to pass it before they can take their introductory course in English or French.
  • No General Education courses should be taken in the final semester due to a fulltime Stage in weeks 13, 14 and 15.
  • Students will be required to pass a Ministerial Exam of Language of Instruction and a Program Comprehensive Assessment in Graphic & Web Design.
ENGLISH | 603-200-AB

After successfully completing their 603-102 and 603-103 courses, students must choose a 603-200 course. Click to view courses list. 

FRENCH | 602-20x-MQ

Every student needs one of each of the Block “A” and Block “B” courses in order to complete their DEC. For each block, there are four levels of courses: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 and Level 4.
Placement in the appropriate level of French is determined by the students’ high school marks. The French Department reserves the right to change the placement of a student upon written notice. Students take the Block “B” course at the same level as the Block “A” course.
If placement determines that students do not have a college level of proficiency in French, students may be required to take remedial courses to upgrade their knowledge of the language. Click to view courses list.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION | 109-102-MQ

Students are required to successfully complete three (3) Physical Education courses to complete their DEC. Courses 109-101-MQ and 109-102-MQ may be taken in either order, but both must be successfully completed before registering in 109-103-MQ. Click to view courses list. 

Branding Studio II | 570-450-AB

Following up on the concepts introduced in Branding Studio I, the Branding Studio II course provides students an opportunity to delve deeper into both the conceptual and visual aspects of professional branding design. The Branding Studio II course will therefore continue to encourage students to develop pieces with strong brand identity characteristics that correspond to the target market, appeal to potential customers through consumer psychology, and express a well-thought-out brand strategy. Students will combine their layout skills with their skills in producing professional visuals and typography to create items that are consistent with the brand’s look and feel.

User Experience Design | 570-451-AB

Within the Graphic & Web Design program, the User Experience Design course is the first to introduce the study of a graphic user interface (GUI) in a wholistic context, and from another person’s point of view than that of the visual designer’s. While most web design courses focus on building a user interface (UI), the User Experience Design course introduces an overlapping yet different specialty within the web design industry: the art of crafting the end-user’s overall experience of  a digital product.

Corporate Publications Design | 570-452-AB

The Corporate Publications Design course is intended for student designers to become intimately familiar with the aesthetics and stylistic conventions inherent to producing work for corporate clients. The Corporate Publications Design course will delve into the stylistic recipes used in high-caliber design work. By examining the fundamental page layout grid system, the usage of color, photography, and typographic aesthetics in detail, students will learn what to do—and what not to do—when taking on this type of important project.

Digital Illustration | 570-453-AB

The Digital Illustration class introduces students to the art of creating evocative and visually compelling images that communicate their ideas effectively. Often used to accompany an editorial piece, used as promotional artwork for music, video and film, or part of an overall user experience strategy, illustrations are an integral part of modern visual communication.

Interactive Design | 570-454-AB

The Interactive Design course teaches students to think in terms of guiding a user through a digital experience over time by using different forms of feedback. Students will learn about the different technologies commonly used to build interactive effects in web UI design, and study the most commonly used forms of interaction. They will learn to plan and mock up more complex interactions, following industry best practices appropriate to a professional design and development team.


  • Students who require a mise à niveau  English or French course will be required to pass it before they can take their introductory course in English or French.
  • No General Education courses should be taken in the final semester due to a fulltime Stage in weeks 13, 14 and 15.
  • Students will be required to pass a Ministerial Exam of Language of Instruction and a Program Comprehensive Assessment in Graphic & Web Design.
HUMANITIES | 345-2xx-AB

Students need three (3) Humanities courses to complete their DEC. Courses 345-101-MQ and 345-102-MQ may be taken in either order, but both must be successfully completed before registering in 345-21_-AB. Click to view courses list. 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION | 109-1xx-MQ

Students are required to successfully complete three (3) Physical Education courses to complete their DEC. Courses 109-101-MQ and 109-102-MQ may be taken in either order, but both must be successfully completed before registering in 109-103-MQ. Click to view courses list. 

Applied Prepress Concepts | 570-550-AB

The Applied Prepress Concepts course serves as an introduction to the technical aspects of outputting graphic design projects, as well as an overview of the processes—and careers—in the printing industry.

Portfolio I | 570-551-AB

The Portfolio course is designed to permit students to apply all the graphic and web design skills acquired in the previous four semesters and prepare their graduating body of work. This portfolio will be used to apply for Stage, to apply for admission to university for those students who wish to pursue their studies, and/or to demonstrate skills to prospective employers.

The Portfolio I course is of particular importance to students hoping to go on to university, as the deadline for applying to university is just before midterm in their final semester.

Video Editing | 570-552-AB

Students in the Video Editing course will learn the basic principles of producing high-quality video. Students will learn to capture raw video using different types of framing and camera moves. They will edit, post-process and assemble clips, static images and sound files to create professional quality videos. Students will also learn the basics of export options and the various compression settings used to save video for different methods of distribution.

Packaging | 570-553-AB

In the Packaging course, students will learn how to design two- and three-dimensional packaging including labels, packaging for food items, beauty items, technology packaging, and more. Students will learn the special aesthetic and practical considerations in designing a package. Students will become familiar with bar codes, nutrition facts tables, and other essential requirements for contemporary Canadian packaging. They will also revisit the importance of sustainability, recycling, and biodegradability for their packaging concepts. Product protection, shipping considerations, and consumer ease-of-use will also be taken into consideration for the package design.

Theme Design | 570-554-AB

The Theme Design course has an integrative role within the Graphic & Web Design program. Its role is to give students a chance to integrate all their design skills into a large coherent and well documented system. While not strictly speaking a web design course, the Theme Design course can, at the discretion of the teacher, give students the opportunity to experience the combined roles of web designer, UI designer and UX analyst while building their graduate portfolio.


  • Students who require a mise à niveau  English or French course will be required to pass it before they can take their introductory course in English or French.
  • No General Education courses should be taken in the final semester due to a fulltime Stage in weeks 13, 14 and 15.
  • Students will be required to pass a Ministerial Exam of Language of Instruction and a Program Comprehensive Assessment in Graphic & Web Design.
Portfolio II | 570-650-AB

The Portfolio II class completes the tasks initiated in Portfolio I by giving students the opportunity to finalize their body of work, create different portfolios for different design positions they might apply to (print, web, UX, video, etc). Students will also create different file types for distributing their portfolios (printed hard copy, PDF, web, tablets, etc).

This course includes the graduating student end-of-program art exhibit, the Vernissage.

Digital Marketing | 570-651-AB

Social media is the most powerful tool in today’s digital world. Without social media, it is not possible for businesses to effectively promote their brand and reach out globally. The Digital Marketing course is the only truly marketing-oriented course within the Graphic & Web Design program. While other classes such as Branding focus on the creation of assets and strategies for marketing campaigns, the Digital Marketing course goes one step further and measures the results of such campaigns.

Graphic Design Business | 570-652-AB

In the Graphic Design Business course, students will learn how to start up and run their own print & web design company. They will learn about the laws that affect contractual, freelance (and salaried) designers and small business owners in Québec. For example, they will learn how to register a company’s name with the Québec government, what the tax implications are, and how to create the necessary professional documents (like contracts) for the business administration systems.

Motion Graphics | 570-653-AB

Following in the footsteps of the Video Editing course, Motion Graphics is the art of animating graphic design. Often seen at the beginning of newscasts and television programs, as well as in commercial advertisements, motion graphics combines digital video with typography and graphic assets such as logos and photography. Usually static elements—like typography—are brought to life in the finished product by adding movement and transitions that follow the rhythm of the base video footage.

Comprehensive Assessment Studio | 570-654-AB

All John Abbott College students must pass the comprehensive assessment which is an end-of-program evaluation of the acquisition of core skills. In GWD, the CA is the base of the graduate portfolio. However, since some skills are taught as early as in first semester, graduating students may no longer like their older work. The Comprehensive Assessment Studio course is designed to give students an opportunity to refactor old work, upgrading it to better represent their current design skills.

Additionally, the course is presented in French, giving students a chance to practice working in a mostly-francophone design environment before heading off to the Stage.

Theme Design II | 570-655-AB

The second theme design course gives students the opportunity to practice their user experience (UX) analysis and interactive design skills on the user interface work they created in the first Theme Design course. Through group discussions, user testing and feedback, students will become more comfortable with the user-centered design process. This will give them the opportunity to reiterate, refine and tweak their design so that it can be included in their graduate body of work.

Stage | 570-656-AB

The Stage course is centered around a three-week internship held at the end of the final semester. Students learn to prepare their portfolios for interviews, and how to write introduction letters and resumes in the hope of getting their internship at their desired host company. As such, they will develop a branding for themselves and promote their abilities according to that strategy. Students will spend three full weeks working for their stage host, after which they return to the college for a debriefing session and to hand in their stage reports and essays.* Student should have passed all prior program specific courses in the Fifth semester to be eligible for Stage (only available in the Sixth semester).


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