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
ARTS1250History of Design3
Natural Sciences/Mathematics3
Social Sciences3
Technical Requirements
GRDP1110Introduction to Graphic Design2
GRDP1121UX/UI Design I2
GRDP114021st Century Print Technologies1
GRDP1150Design Principles & Applications2
GRDP1160Production Principles & Applications2
CWEB1000Introduction to Web Languages2
GRDP1170Applied Color Theory1
GRDP1210Packaging Design3
GRDP1220Design for Print2
GRDP1230Vector Design1
GRDP1240Photo Editing & FX2
GRDP2110Color Management2
GRDP2121UX/UI Design II2
GRDP2130Design for Publication2
GRDP2140Production Art2
GRDP2150Advanced Structural Design2
or GRDP2160 Design for Animation & Interactivity
GRDP2170Information Design2
GRDP22103D Imaging1
GRDP2221Business of Design1
GRDP2231Design & Production Portfolio2
GRDP2240Advanced Production Studio2
or GRDP2250
Environmental Graphic Design
and Design for Web
GRDP2270Design & Production Internship3
or GRDP2280 Design & Production Capstone
Total Credits61

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 Arts & Sciences 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
GRDP1110 Introduction to Graphic Design 2
GRDP1121 UX/UI Design I 2
GRDP1140 21st Century Print Technologies 1
GRDP1150 Design Principles & Applications 2
GRDP1160 Production Principles & Applications 2
GRDP1180 Typography 2
ARTS1000 Introduction to Drawing 3
Communications 3
 Total Credits17
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
CWEB1000 Introduction to Web Languages 2
GRDP1170 Applied Color Theory 1
GRDP1210 Packaging Design 3
GRDP1220 Design for Print 2
GRDP1230 Vector Design 1
GRDP1240 Photo Editing & FX 2
ARTS1250 History of Design 3
Natural Science/Mathematics 3
 Total Credits17
Plan of Study Grid
Second Year
GRDP2110 Color Management 2
GRDP2121 UX/UI Design II 2
GRDP2130 Design for Publication 2
GRDP2140 Production Art 2
Advanced Structural Design
or Design for Animation & Interactivity
GRDP2170 Information Design 2
ENGL1010 English 3
 Total Credits15
Plan of Study Grid
Second Year
GRDP2210 3D Imaging 1
GRDP2221 Business of Design 1
GRDP2231 Design & Production Portfolio 2
Advanced Production Studio
or Environmental Graphic Design and Design for Web
Design & Production Internship
or Design & Production Capstone
Social Sciences 3
 Total Credits12

GRDP1110 | Introduction to Graphic Design | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Explore industry leading software and demonstrate learned skills through activities and projects. Discover current and historical leaders in the graphic design field. Observe and evaluate graphic design in the world around us.

GRDP1121 | UX/UI Design I | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Explore design and user-centered approaches to interface development. Model UX/UI best practices in planning, research, prototyping and user testing. Develop basic software skills used in the UX/UI design process.

Corequisite(s): GRDP1150

GRDP1140 | 21st Century Print Technologies | Lecture (1 Credit)

Compare various plate-based and digital print processes to determine the advantages and disadvantages of each.

GRDP1150 | Design Principles & Applications | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Explore basic design principles and processes including research, creative problem solving, design workflows, and production practices; includes examining typography, drawing, layout and composition using industry standard software.

Corequisite(s): GRDP1121, GRDP1160, GRDP1180

GRDP1160 | Production Principles & Applications | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Explore fundamental post-design practices related to producing commercial print pieces. Emphasis is given to modern and emerging digital print workflows. Common industry tasks such as preflighting, proofing, file repair, photo editing, color separating, screening and high-resolution printing and finishing are introduced.

Corequisite(s): GRDP1150 GRDP1180

GRDP1180 | Typography | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Examine typographic principles with an overview of the history of type. Identify typographic vocabulary, and explain the use of typography as a tool to enhance visual interest and communication.

Corequisite(s): GRDP1150 GRDP1160

CWEB1000 | Introduction to Web Languages | Lecture/Studio (2 Credits)

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Basic page structure, tags, link, text formatting, forms, tables, and debugging with trouble-shooting skills. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), advanced formatting, and layout.

GRDP1170 | Applied Color Theory | Laboratory (1 Credit)

Explore the science, physiology, psychology and meaning of color. Relate RGB, CMYK and LAB color space usage in color reproduction. Practice the use of color as it relates to typography, composition, layout and production practices.

GRDP1210 | Packaging Design | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

Investigate the packaging design process through the development of a custom paperboard or corrugated folding carton intended for retail purposes, from concept sketches to completed prototype. Both structural and graphic design stages are addressed, along with physical and virtual prototyping.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP1110, GRDP1150, GRDP1160, And GRDP1180

GRDP1220 | Design for Print | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Examine graphic design principles as applied to traditional print media. Create various print projects from concept and brand development to print ready files. Demonstrate critical design analysis through classroom critiques.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP1150, GRDP1160, And GRDP1180

Corequisite(s): GRDP1240

GRDP1230 | Vector Design | Laboratory (1 Credit)

Discover two-dimensional design through a study of vector graphics using industry standard vector software creating logos, illustrations, web graphics and more.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP1160

GRDP1240 | Photo Editing & FX | Laboratory (2 Credits)

Practice post-photography image editing, color correction, masking, retouching and comping tasks with RAW camera files and provided high-resolution images. Explore common special effects such as silhouetting, shadow and reflection creation, extreme color alteration, and layer blending. Prepare photos for print, web and interactive uses.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP1160

Corequisite(s): GRDP1220

GRDP2110 | Color Management | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Examine the color reproduction process. Explore contemporary software tools and workflows used to produce accurate and predictable color outcomes for both print and web. Model professional team based processes used in controlling and analyzing color outcomes.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP1130, GRDP1170, And GRDP1220

Corequisite(s): GRDP2140

GRDP2121 | UX/UI Design II | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Apply user-centered design concepts to human and computer interaction. Produce design artifacts using in-depth tactics for planning, collaborating, researching, prototyping and testing. Develop additional software skills used in the UX and UI processes.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP1120 Or GRDP1121

GRDP2130 | Design for Publication | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Examine the design structure and production of multi-page documents such as newsletters, magazines, books and catalogs. Cross-media publication processes are explored.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP1220

Corequisite(s): GRDP2140

GRDP2140 | Production Art | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Implement an array of production tasks and workflow expertise to execute design intent and safeguard brand requirements across publishing platforms. Apply production values related to specific print and finishing conditions for commercial print, packaging and labeling. Focus on attention to detail, ability to follow instructions, and the measurement and evaluation of digital and printed work.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP1150, GRDP1160, GRDP1220, And GRDP1240

Corequisite(s): GRDP2110 GRDP2130

GRDP2150 | Advanced Structural Design | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Design and build elaborate folding structures such as free-standing displays, trade show marketing, and paper pop-ups. Produce virtualized 3D imagery and animations from the structural and graphics files used to output physical prototypes.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP1210

GRDP2160 | Design for Animation & Interactivity | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Investigate the concepts and tools used for creating time and motion-based documents including work that allows user interaction from storyboards to finished stand-alone and web-based projects.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP1220 And GRDP1230

GRDP2170 | Information Design | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Explore the theory and practice of information design using basic principles to demonstrate the accessible and effective presentation of information in wayfinding, forms, informational graphics, charts and graphs.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP1220 And GRDP1230

GRDP2210 | 3D Imaging | Laboratory (1 Credit)

Create and manipulate three-dimensional objects intended for professional use online, in video and animations and camera-less photography.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP1210 And GRDP1240

GRDP2221 | Business of Design | Lecture (1 Credit)

Examine basics of marketing, proposal development, pricing, legal considerations, and client relationships in graphic design and print organizations. Discover various career paths in the graphic and production design industry. Prepare for job search and interviewing, including resume development.

Corequisite(s): GRDP2231

GRDP2231 | Design & Production Portfolio | Laboratory (2 Credits)

Plan and prepare an analog and digital presentation of student design work as evidence of graphic design skills and abilities. Focus is on selection, organization and presentation for professional advancement.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP2130 And GRDP2140

Corequisite(s): GRDP2221

GRDP2240 | Advanced Production Studio | Laboratory (2 Credits)

Employ the production expertise learned in the program thus far by collaboratively producing real print pieces for program promotional use or outside client requests. Interact with creative industry studio professionals to produce comps and prototypes for real clients.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP1240 And GRDP2140

GRDP2250 | Environmental Graphic Design | Laboratory (1 Credit)

Explore the application of Graphic Design concepts in 3-dimensional spaces, including way-finding, place-making, and branded environments.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP1230, GRDP2130, And GRDP2170

GRDP2260 | Design for Web | Laboratory (1 Credit)

Develop a professional portfolio website for self-promotion. Model UX/UI best practices in planning, research, prototyping and user testing.

Prerequisite(s): GRDP2120

GRDP2270 | Design & Production Internship | Internship (3 Credits)

Investigate and validate professional skills and processes through a monitored on-the-job work experience.

GRDP2280 | Design & Production Capstone | Capstone (3 Credits)

Identify and express technical skills and professional behavior that reflect advanced graphic design knowledge and production skills.