Graphics Communication Technology

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Graphics Communication Technology

Explore Graphic Communication Careers

Get creative. Speak your mind. Showcase your artistic talent. Graphics, media, communication, and design skills are relevant to a variety of industries and careers that cover all ends of the creative spectrum. Explore the cutting-edge technology and software used by today’s commercial artists and communication specialists.

Learn to think creatively about the world around you. Explore design, hone your creative problem-solving skills, and learn the most up-to-date software. Students will build on their art and communication skills to explore new levels of creativity, as well as layout and design fundamentals.

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Course offerings may vary. Visit your nearest Kirkwood location website or high school for local course options.

ART-301 | Design Fundamentals | 3 credits

Introduces design concepts and fundamental skills through studio exercises. Explores design elements such as shape, value, texture, color, line, space and mass. Students generate creative ideas and employ a variety of media and materials to gain visual sensitivity through practical experience. Once passed, this course may be repeated one time.


GRA-127 |  Illustrator I | 3 credits

Introduces Adobe Illustrator and its application in graphic communication. Includes learning activies with Adobe Illustrator tools as they apply to object (vector) based files as well as Adobe Illustrator filters and layers. Teaches basic drawing and tracing techniques, creating line art, logos, and learning how to simplify art work through stylizing. Explores creative use of type. Covers how to set up color for reproduction, how to save and manage files created using these programs, and how these files interact with page layout and paint (raster) programs.


GRA-131 |  Digital Layout | 3 credits

Provides working knowledge of the CS6 Adobe InDesign page layout program and its use in creating effective page layouts combining graphics and type. Include toolbox and tool usage, importing and editing text and graphics, master pages, use of text styles and paragraph formatting, general layout and design concepts, printing operations, and importing graphics, columns, and grids. Offers creation of various single and spot-color documents including flyers, newsletters, and other printed materials.


GRA-140 | Digital Imaging | 3 credits

Introduces electronic image editing software using Photoshop. Covers basic scanning techniques for grayscale and line art images; proper manipulation procedures required for various output sources, including input and output resolutions, file size, multiple file-saving formats, simple image enhancements and creating duo-tones; and creative application of Photoshop.

There are immediate employment opportunities for entry-level work using Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator.

Average Salaries

Graphic Designer

Technical Writer

News Anchor

Based on available Iowa salary data at

The Graphic Communication Technology Academy can lead students to college certificates, diplomas, associate's, bachelor's, and graduate degrees. Examples of college majors include, but are not limited to: Graphic Communication Technology, Web Design, and Graphic Design. Careers might include: advertising, marketing, printing and publishing companies, and Web design.

If you are planning to transfer to a four-year college or university after attending Kirkwood, specific transfer information can be found at All About Transferring.