Graphic Design

Full-Time Programs

Graphic Media Design at Pacific Design Academy

Welcome to the Pacific Design Academy! Here’s why you should study with us:

• We’re Experienced and Connected

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

• 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!

Department Head


Jennifer Forbes

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Course descriptions

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.