Graphic Design & Production (GRDP), AAS

At Dunwoody College of Technolgy, the Graphic Design & Production program focuses on graduating designers who can take visual communication projects from concept to final product. Students are prepared to work in a variety of creative fields, including marketing, advertising, publishing, packaging, and structural design.
The program places an emphasis on developing fluency with the professional design and production processes. Students learn to produce work that solves visual communication challenges creatively and effectively, informed by technical practices and standards. Instruction takes place in a hands-on design studio and experiential maker’s space. Students use current professional graphics hardware (Apple OSX) and software (Adobe Creative Cloud). Course content includes design, layout and typography; color theory, color management, and photo editing; web development and animation; structure, packaging, and 3D.
Arts & Sciences curriculum both supports the students’ technical direction and enhances their oral and written communication skills, fundamental math skills, and critical thinking ability. The course of study culminates in an industry internship or capstone project where students gain on-the-job experience. 
Credential Earned: AAS
Length of Program: 2 years (4 semesters)
Classes Offered: Day
Available Starts: Fall Semester
Bachelor's Completion Option(s): Business Management Leadership (AMGT), Bachelor of Science
  • Characterize industry models and processes.
  • Prepare projects to provided graphic communications specifications.
  • Control color processes.
  • Demonstrate professional workplace behavior.
  • Apply principles and elements of design to visual communications.
  • Evaluate graphic communication work/deliverables.
  • Model a professional design process.
  • Develop a professional brand/persona.
General Requirements
ARTS1000Introduction to Drawing3
Humanities Elective3
Natural Sciences/Mathematics3
Social Sciences3
Technical Requirements
GRDP1101Graphic Studio4
GRDP1102Industry Focus3
GRDP1103Production Focus3
GRDP1104Image Editing1
GRDP1201Type Studio4
GRDP1202Packaging Focus3
GRDP1203Identity Focus3
GRDP2101Structural Studio4
GRDP2102Prepress Focus3
GRDP2103DataViz Focus3
GRDP2201Interface Studio5
GRDP2202Portfolio Focus3
GRDP2203CGI Focus3
GRDP Electives3
Total Credits60

The following sample academic plan demonstrates how a student's schedule might look on a semester-by-semester basis, including elective courses. Your actual degree plan may differ from this sequence, depending on whether you start in the fall or spring semester, what transfer credits you may have (if any), and which General Education courses and electives you take and when you take them.

The sample academic plan is for informational purposes only. To determine your academic plan, please meet with an academic advisor.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
GRDP1101 Graphic Studio 4
GRDP1102 Industry Focus 3
GRDP1103 Production Focus 3
GRDP1104 Image Editing 1
ARTS1000 Introduction to Drawing 3
 Total Credits14
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
GRDP1201 Type Studio 4
GRDP1202 Packaging Focus 3
GRDP1203 Identity Focus 3
GRDP Elective 1
Humanities Elective 3
 Total Credits14
Plan of Study Grid
Second Year
GRDP2101 Structural Studio 4
GRDP2102 Prepress Focus 3
GRDP2103 DataViz Focus 3
GRDP Elective 1
Communications Elective 3
Math/Natural Science Elective 3
 Total Credits17
Plan of Study Grid
Second Year
GRDP2201 Interface Studio 5
GRDP2202 Portfolio Focus 3
GRDP2203 CGI Focus 3
GRDP Elective 1
Social Sciences Elective 3
 Total Credits15

GRDP1101 | Graphic Studio | Lecture/Studio (4 Credits)

This course is an introduction to the tools, techniques and principles of graphic design. Students will conduct research, utilize creative problem solving, and explore design workflows. Communication of design intent with an emphasis on typography, drawing, layout and composition will be explored using industry standard software.

GRDP1102 | Industry Focus | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

This course will explore the design industry. Career paths, professional organizations, and best practices will be introduced. Students will also explore design history, the impact of design on contemporary culture and the importance of effective communication through design.

GRDP1103 | Production Focus | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

An introduction to the fundamentals of post-design practices as they relate to the production of commercial print pieces. Students will explore industry practices with an emphasis on modern and emerging digital print workflows.

GRDP1104 | Image Editing | Seminar (1 Credit)

Explore post-photography image editing. Utilize industry software tools to create effects and corrections necessary to prepare photos for professional applications.

GRDP1201 | Type Studio | Lecture/Studio (4 Credits)

Develop visual communication skills through the examination of typographic principles and history. Emphasis is placed on typography's power to convey meaning in design.

GRDP1202 | Packaging Focus | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

Explore the history and contemporary applications of packaging within a retail environment. Emphasis is placed on structural design and sustainable materials and practices.

GRDP1203 | Identity Focus | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

Explore the communication of abstract ideas though type and symbol. Develop a visual identity system with an emphasis on conveying brand messaging through research, ideation, production and evaluation of design artifacts.

GRDP2101 | Structural Studio | Lecture/Studio (4 Credits)

Develop structural design and production skills while cultivating an awareness of the global impact of packaging. Students will be introduced to sustainable practices. Emphasis is placed on the hands-on development of a retail ready package or store display.

GRDP2102 | Prepress Focus | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

Explore the post-design production stages related to file preparation with emphasize on output techniques for optimal print outcomes. Workflow automation, variable data printing, and color management will be discussed.

GRDP2103 | DataViz Focus | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

Explore information analysis and presentation through way-finding and infographics. Emphasis will be placed on accessibility, clarity, and usability.

GRDP2201 | Interface Studio | Lecture/Studio (5 Credits)

Develop human-centered approaches to interface design while cultivating empathy for social, cultural, and ability differences. This course will emphasize planning, research, prototyping, and validation best practices.

GRDP2202 | Portfolio Focus | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

Develop a personal brand, visual identity and professional portfolio through self-reflection, research, ideation and assessment. Analyze and synthesize current design work and abilities, focusing on selection, organization and presentation for professional advancement.

GRDP2203 | CGI Focus | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

Explore the creation of computer-generated photorealistic objects and scenes. Emphasis on composing product shots, focusing on 3D objects that are suitable for user interfaces.

GRDP1501 | Photography | Seminar (1 Credit)

Introduction to the technical aspects of digital photography and digital post-processing. Emphasis on studio lighting and creating photographs for visual communication projects.

GRDP1502 | Digital Surface Design | Seminar (1 Credit)

Introduction to the tools, techniques and uses of digital surface design. Explore digital illustration and pattern making with emphasis on enhancing the visual appearance of surfaces.

GRDP1503 | Motion Design | Seminar (1 Credit)

Introduction to the concepts and tools used for creating time and motion-based communications. Explore user-interactivity, frame based animations, storyboarding, and information-rich promotional presentations.

GRDP1504 | EGD | Seminar (1 Credit)

Explore the application of Environmental Graphic Design concepts in 3-dimensional spaces, including way-finding, place-making and branded environments. Emphasis on ADA compliance and human-centered interaction.

GRDP1505 | Web Content | Seminar (1 Credit)

Introduce digital content management systems and apply design thinking to scalable interface solutions. Emphasis on foundational technical skills, and the integration of visual design with the production of visual interfaces.

GRDP1506 | Experimental Type | Seminar (1 Credit)

Explore experimental approaches to typography through digital, hand-drawn and 3D applications. Conceptualize type as image with emphasis on conveying a meaning or emotion through non-traditional visual solutions.

ARTS1000 | Introduction to Drawing | Lecture (3 Credits)

Analyze basic drawing concepts and techniques through demonstrations, discussions, critiques, slide lectures, and the use of a sketchbook. Work from observation using line, tone and other elements of art to solve spatial, compositional and light problems to accurately render the illusion of 3-dimensional form on a 2-dimensional surface.

General Education: Humanities