Distance Learning Degree Programs in Computer Graphic Design

Distance learning students studying computer graphic design gain an understanding of aesthetics and design essentials. Coursework focuses on desktop publishing programs and supplemental hardware, such as digital cameras and scanners. Online associate, bachelor's and master's programs in computer graphic design are offered through both conventional schools that offer distance-learning degrees and for-profit schools.

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Online Degree Programs in Computer Graphic Design

Students can usually earn an online associate's degree in computer graphic design from an art or professional school. Associate programs focus on technical skills and prepare students to work as assistant graphic designers or in related technical jobs. Undergraduate degrees earned through distance learning can generally be completed faster than 4-year traditional graphic design programs. Conceptual development is a focus of the degree programs, along with branding and identity, typography, Web design and motion graphics. An online graduate degree program typically targets graphic designers who are already working in the field and who prefer the convenience of an online program when it comes time to update their skills.

Undergraduate Programs

The typical online bachelor's program in computer graphic design covers topics in techniques and production and helps students develop an understanding of color, typography and composition. Students use scanners and digital cameras to create graphic designs. Computer-based hardware and training in PageMaker, Acrobat, Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator software are also part of the bachelor's program. While earning their degrees, students may develop a portfolio of graphic design projects to present to potential employers.

Graduates of distance-learning programs in computer graphic design are prepared for entry-level careers as assistant art directors, production artists or corporate communications coordinators.


Typical online courses required for computer graphic design degrees are:

Fundamentals of Graphic Design: The course covers the basic principles, guidelines and terminology of graphic design, including layout composition, content development, scale and pattern.

Calligraphy: The time-honored skill of hand-lettered classic and contemporary letterforms is explored, and calligraphy skills are applied to design.

Typography: Type specifications, copy fitting, kerning and other skills required for properly setting type are covered in the graphic design class.

Graphic Design: The concepts of design are explored, with emphasis on research, evaluating information and creating symbolism for ideas in design.

Photography for Graphic Design: Students gain visualization skills and become familiar with aspects of photography such as subject matter, composition, cropping and emotional impact.

Printing for Graphic Designers: Technical background is the focus of the class, including the production of design materials.

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