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Introduction to Graphic Design Review by Erica Beyea and Rebekah Teague

Meredith Duke
Sweet Bee Pixels

In the comprehensive course, Introduction to Graphic Design, middle and high school students can master a complete portfolio of creative designs and practical projects while learning all aspects of graphic design. This course covered foundational knowledge to the finished product. The author begins with an education on terms and copyright laws, equipping the student to understand the lingo of graphic design. There are lists of suggested free online resources that the student can use to learn more, observe designs, and practice their own ideas.

Introduction to Graphic Design is a PDF e-book that is purchased and downloaded from the author’s website. Author Meredith Duke is a graphic design artist herself, and her website displays her work, as well as the opportunity to download a free sample of the course. The 93 page e-book contains seventeen lessons that could each be completed in 1-2 weeks, depending on how much time the student spends on each assignment. Each lesson contains thematic instruction, a page of review questions, and a project.

While working through this course, the student will not only learn about pixels, fonts, and marketing, but also be guided through the design of a logo, a brochure, an advertisement, a T-shirt, a book cover, a product label, and a poster. Examples are displayed and analyzed for strengths and weaknesses, and new design ideas are assigned. The student is free to create their own portfolio based on the fictitious company requests listed in the assignments. A valuable benefit of this course is the ability to email completed work to the author for professional feedback.

We have found this course to be extremely user-friendly and easy to navigate, especially for a beginner with no previous graphic design experience. The lessons are well organized and build on each other. As we worked through the course, designs improved weekly. As a parent and teacher, I most appreciate that this course teaches principles, while giving the student freedom to creatively pursue their own ideas. Each student will see their design a bit differently, and this course encourages that individual creativity.

Introduction to Graphic Design can be purchased for $34.99 and can be used for high school credit. I highly recommend this program for all students, but especially those who wish to learn the fun and exciting world of digital design.

-Product review by Erica Beyea, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2016

And another reviewer’s thoughts:

Introduction to Graphic Design is a course intended to assist the user in creating beautifully designed graphics. The course teaches the basics of graphic design using free design software programs found on the internet, as well as general design.

The 73 page course comes in a PDF download, and is made up of 17 lessons that build upon one another.

These lessons include:

Lesson 1: Intro to Graphic Design 

Lesson 2: The Law 

Lesson 3: The Elements of Design – Pixels 

Lesson 4: The Elements of Design – Fonts 

Lesson 5: The Elements of Design – Colors 

Lesson 6: The Elements of Design – The Audience

Lesson 7: The Elements of Design – The Message 

Lesson 8: Using PicMonkey, Canva, or Gimp 

Lesson 9: Creating a Logo 

Lesson 10: Creating a Flyer, Postcard, or Advertisement 

Lesson 11: Designing a Brochure 

Lesson 12: Designing a T-Shirt

Lesson 13: Designing a Book Cover 

Lesson 14: Designing a Product Label 

Lesson 15: Designing a Poster 

Lesson 16: The End Game 

Lesson 17: Final Assignment 

Introduction to Graphic Design is intended to be used by Middle or High Schoolers. However, I knew that I could put it to good work myself! I am always creating graphics as a blogger. Most importantly, my husband and I pastor a small church. It is important to me to have the tools to create quality products for our church.

This is most certainly a “read and do” course. Each lesson has an assignment at the end. They are as simple as finding designs that appeal to you and learning to really evaluate that design to see why it works. More challenging assignments include designing an advertisement and brochure. The course even talks about jobs that use graphic design.

I found Introduction to Graphic Design simple to use. The lessons are written clearly, and the author uses graphics and pictures to emphasize the points. I am a visual learner and it helped to “see” what was being taught.  

One of my favorite parts of the course are the resources provided by the author. She devotes a whole lesson on copyright infringement and gives us a list of open source materials. She also walks us through free design programs found online.

I was also pleased to discover that I can use this course for my high school student. He can earn ½ an elective credit if he spends 60 hours on the course. I plan on adding it to his coursework.  

Introduction to Graphic Design was fun to use! I loved working through the assignments and I feel that it really contributed to my design confidence. I look forward to putting using my new skills!

-Product review by Rebekah Teague, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2016