DSN1562 -- The field of computer graphics consists of page layout, illustration and photo manipulation. Page layout is the hub for illustrations and photographs. Purpose-built instructional web pages, in-class and video tutorials guide students through the process of building electronic documents in Adobe InDesign, containing images edited in Photoshop and custom digital illustrations created in Adobe Illustrator. Activities include learning common technology-related terminology, organizing graphics files and fonts, illustrating digitally and editing photographs which they integrate into page designs.

Day One

Congratulations on being accepted into the Graphic Design program at Algonquin College. We have a number of topics to cover in our first Computer Graphics class.

Drawing with Shapes

Using Illustrator's shape tools to draw can be an effective way to create smooth paths and predictable results.

Pen Tool

The Pen Tool is one of the trickiest tools in Illustrator. It's also one of the most fundamental to vector drawing. You need to do your time with the tool in order to tame it.

Setting Type

Adobe Illustrator is pretty good at setting type. It's no InDesign, but it can set point type, area type, type on a path and more. What's really great, is that you don't always need to draw a box to type.

Types of Swatches

Illustrator is a go-to application for print design as well as design for the screen. Depending on your intent, you'll need to make decisions about colour. We'll learn to create and edit global, spot, RGB, CMYK colour swatches in Illustrator.


Artboards are more than simple pages in Illustrator. They can be different sizes, re-arranged and even nested. We'll create, edit and manage artboards in Adobe Illustrator.

Illustrator Fundamentals

This is a summative assignment which includes all the Illustrator skills you've learned to date.

Using Fonts

Because you'll be juggling many simultaneous assignments, you'll need to activate and deactivate fonts. Most of the time, you'll use fonts from TypeKit. The odd time, you'll need to install fonts on your computer.
Mac OS Creative Cloud InDesign Illustrator Photoshop

Drop Caps

Drop caps originate from decorative capitals hand-drawn or painted onto the page. We'll take a much less messy route by letting InDesign set a custom attention-grabbing drop cap.
InDesign Illustrator

Our First Layout

In our introduction to page layout in InDesign, we'll build a single page layout promoting Apple's Mac Mini desktop computer.

VW Layout

Use the provided files to build the Volkswagen advertisement according to the included PDF design guide.
InDesign Photoshop Acrobat

Raster Image Fundamentals

Understanding the properties of raster images is crucial to building efficient web sites, mobile apps and printed material. The concepts of pixel dimensions, resolution, colour space and more all play a role in creating graphics that save load times and print quickly.
InDesign Photoshop


The Crop tool has been in Photoshop since about 1988. Since then, it has learned to do much more than crop an image. We'll explore these features today.


Layers are among the fundamental features in Photoshop which aid editing. Superficially, they're simple, but the feature set goes deep.

Intro to Layer Masks

Layer Masks are arguably the most powerful, most frequently used tool in the whole Photoshop universe. We'll create pixel-based Layer Masks to achieve different results.

Adjustment Layers

Adjustment Layers give instructions to layers below to do something like change colour, increase contrast, invert colours and much, much more. They're central to a non-destructive colour adjustment workflow.

Retouching Fundamentals

We'll use the Clone Stamp Tool, the Healing Brush and Content Aware tools to remove blemishes from a photograph.

Magazine Cover

We'll use all the Photoshop tools we've covered to date to design a magazine cover using a non-destructive workflow.