Course Description

Learn the fundamentals of graphic design including the elements and principles of design, color theory, and typography. Hands-on activities using the color wheel, type gauge, dot graph paper, and more—included in the graphic design supply kit. Students will also spend time exploring Adobe Photoshop to apply this knowledge into digital designs.

This course is ideal for students with interests in drawing, painting, art, graphic design, advertising, animation, fashion, architecture or web design. General experience with computers and the internet is necessary, but no experience with art or design is expected.

Students who complete Intro to Graphic Design will be prepared to take the Intermediate Photoshop (offered separately for middle school and high school students) course.

Please note times are in Central Standard Time (CST).

Course Outline

Day 1

  • Learn: Design Elements and Principles
  • Photoshop Tools and Practice:
    • Workspace and Panels
    • Layers
    • Various Painting tools
    • Color Picker
  • Design Projects:
    • Hand-drawn Principles & Elements

Day 2

  • Learn: Color Theory and Adobe Color
  • Photoshop Tools and Practice:
    • Embedding Photos
    • Blending Modes
    • Selection tools
    • More Color tools and panels
    • Color Themes
  • Design Projects:
    • Creative color wheel
    • Photo collages
    • Photo re-coloring

Day 3

  • Learn: Typography, Using a Type Ruler, and Adobe Fonts
  • Photoshop Tools and Practice:
    • Text tools
    • Emoji Font
    • Shape tools
  • Design Projects:
    • Hand-drawn fonts
    • T-shirt designs

Day 4

  • Learn: Image Resolution, File types and sizes
  • Photoshop Tools and Practice:
    • Crop, Free Transform
    • Resizing and file types
    • Image Resolutions
  • Design Projects:
    • T-shirt designs (cont.)
    • Inspiration copy-cats

Day 5

  • Photoshop Tools and Practice:
    • Smart Objects
    • Adjustment Layers
  • Design Projects:
    • Advertisement Design
    • T-shirt/Product Mock-ups


Supplies are not included in the cost of the course. Please click here to view a supply list. 

Students will need a computer (Mac or PC) that has the free Creative Cloud Desktop App installed. Students will receive instructions on how to download the free Creative Cloud software and set up an Adobe ID and a free trial of Photoshop (no credit card needed, only an email address).



  • Online registration closes at noon 4 days prior to the start of the class.
  • For late registration options, please contact SMU College Prep at 214-768-2267 for assistance.
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