Graphic Media Design

Full-Time Two Year Diploma. Next intake September 23rd, 2019.

Founded in 1991, the Pacific Design Academy offers the longest-running Graphic Design program in Victoria, with links to the graphic design community through our graduates and the local branch of the Graphic Designers of Canada.

Why you should study with us:

We offer a Cutting Edge, Industry-Sensitive Curriculum
A board of industry professionals reviews our curriculum every year, ensuring that our courses are relevant to the ever-changing needs of employers in the field. Our Mac-based training environment boasts the latest industry-standard software.

We are Focused on Graphic Design
Each year you will receive 720 hours of education over three twelve-week terms. Unlike more generalized visual arts courses or quickie one-year courses, our Graphic Media Design program is intense and focused on preparing you for work as a graphic designer within an efficient time frame.

We’ve Got You Covered
The graphic design industry demands an increasingly wide knowledge base. Our courses cover design for print and web, typography, conceptual thinking, copywriting, marketing principles, the business of graphic media, photography, communication skills, illustration and storyboarding, video technology, sound design and kinetic typography, integrated marketing campaigns and branding. Our course outlines (listed below) offer details. We will teach you how to use the latest industry software to create stunning layouts, interactive websites and unique campaigns.

We’re Professionals
Not only are we are working professionals in the industry; many of our instructors have years of experience in passing along their knowledge. That’s quite a skill in itself!

We’ll Give You Individual Attention
Our small class sizes mean that we are readily available to offer help or guidance. And we care, we really do. We feel that your success is our success.

We’ll Help You Graduate with a Great Portfolio!
With the wide variety of work-related, hands-on projects offered and our attention to detail, you’ll have the opportunity to graduate with a relevant and impressive print and interactive portfolio. Knock the socks off your prospective employer - many of our graduates already have. Join their ranks!

Tuition and Lab Fees: 
Fees for all the programs are listed on page 3 of our Application Form.

Full Time Application Form
About the Program

“I am a recent grad from PDA and I can not say enough good things about the program! The department head, Jen Forbes, is fantastic and dedicated to the success of the students in the program. My skills have grown so much in the last 2 years and I feel confident that I will be successful in my career!”

Student 1

“I have really enjoyed my time at Pacific Design Academy. The program provided me with high quality instruction in the Adobe Creative Suite, design concepts, typography, and more. I would also like to thank Jennifer Forbes, our department head for everything she has done! I'm excited to start working this summer :)”

Student 2

"Loved it! I am ready to go! The perfect program for the ambitious, modern, creative individual."

Student 3

"I feel like PDA is teaching me the skills I need to find a career after graduation and enjoy coming to school every day."

Student 4

Course Description:

Drawing & Illustration I & II
Students will develop an understanding of drawing techniques appropriate to graphic design, produce thumbnail roughs and explore a variety of mediums. Also this course will concentrate on modifying original artwork for use in digital environments.

Conceptual Thinking

This course is intended to develop students' problem-solving and creative thinking skills. Projects will cover a variety of design areas, which includes theories of typography, graphic illustration and colour fundamentals.

Design Fundamentals

Through a series of demonstrations and projects students will review the elements and principles of design and appreciate the function of the creative design process.

History of Art &
Graphic Design I & II

History is a wonderful source of ideas and techniques. History of Art and Graphic Design explores the historically influential styles that have affected design in the 20th and 21st centuries, which brings to the students' attention the vast, complex historical background of art and design.

Typography I, II & III
The history, anatomy and characteristics of typeface, point size, pica measurement, and serif and sans-serif styles are important to the graphic designer who uses words and letters in the design process. Students will consider typographic choices and issues of legibility and readability in design projects such as logos, letterheads, book and magazine covers, and illuminated letters.

Business of Graphic Design
Students will develop the professional skill sets necessary in the print industry. The objective of this course is to illuminate for students the process of managing a graphic design project, which includes designing marketable strategies, preparing market-value cost estimates and time management schedules, as well as adhering to professional conduct standards.

Effective Communication
Beyond your technical training and skills are the qualities that give you the edge to get hired and remain grounded and creative in any circumstance. This class imparts self-awareness and communication skills to make careers, working relationships, and life more fulfilling and sustainable.

Copywriting will identify marketable approaches for client- and consumer-relations and assist students in developing the necessary writing skills for professional-grade advertising projects. These classes will focus on improving communication and planning skills as they relate to advertising techniques. 

Photography I & II 
Students will learn the general operations of digital camera equipment and imaging software as it pertains to producing commercial-quality print material. Uses of natural lighting to enhance subject matter, as well as cropping techniques, scanning and image enhancement will all be discussed. 

Graphic Software
Students will learn to navigate the Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign) and develop the necessary skills for each software package. Adobe Illustrator will be used to design illustrations for print advertising and packaging; Adobe Photoshop to learn photo manipulation techniques; and, InDesign to design layouts for various print projects. 

Studio Projects 
Studio projects emphasize the integration of design skills with learned software programs. Students will work on a variety of projects designed to stretch their use of imaginative design with the use of various software programs. 

Interactive Media I & II 
Students will gain an appreciation of interactive media as it applies to the web and CD-ROM format. These courses cover applications specific to interactive media such as Adobe Fireworks and Flash, as well as an overview of Dreamweaver.

User Interface Design
User Interface Design focuses on user-centred design elements, known as Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Understanding how the end-user interfaces with interactive applications provides the necessary insight to create attractive and user-friendly multimedia experiences. 

Media Projects I & II 
Students will create websites and CD-ROM materials using Flash to showcase interactive media development skills. 

Students will gain a better understanding of the relationship of marketing and graphic design. From Branding to Direct Marketing, lectures will cover how each different marketing approach succeeds and fails. They will learn the basic foundations of marketing but also gain insights on how to market online strategies through their online designs. 

Sound Design
Students will learn how sound applies to interactive media environments and to utilize and edit sound effects with tracks from sound libraries. Sound compression for the web, interactive technologies and their effectiveness in the workplace will be discussed. 

Storyboarding I & II 
Storyboarding is the ability to reduce a complete narrative structure into separate components. These components are then used as a guide during interactive media and motion picture projects. Students will learn to identify key concepts and break them down into the most important visual elements for screen shots and how to illustrate these screen shots using various mediums and drawing techniques. 

Web Programming I & II 
Students will gain an understanding of interactive media as it applies to the web. These courses cover applications specific to interactive media, including Java Script, PHP and CSS. 

Video Technologies
This class will cover video technologies as they apply to the web and interactive technologies. Subjects including web-casting, streaming video, video compression and optimization will be discussed. 

Advanced Print Project
Students will design a variety of projects intended to be technically sound and prepared for the various print processes available to designers today. 

Product Development
Students will complete a market plan with brand development. They will take an unbranded product and bring it to market. 

Portfolio I & II
Students will assemble their portfolios and learn to promote themselves in a professional manner using the skills they have developed through previous coursework.

Samples of Student work:

Graphic Design
Animated Logos
Animated Montages
Web & Social Media


Head of Graphic Design
Jennifer has an Honours Degree in Commercial Art and over 15 years of Graphic Design experience. She has worked as an Art Director in the magazine publishing industry; as a Graphic Artist in the advertising department of a major newspaper; and as an Art Director in most aspects of the graphic design industry. Her experience in this field ranges from work for international agencies such as UNICEF to corporate clients in the real estate and tourism industries. Jennifer also enjoys the personal interaction of working with small companies and helping develop corporate identities and marketing strategies. She enjoys sharing information and has been a part time instructor for over ten years.