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Graphic Design Basics

Curious about graphic design or wanting to strengthen what you have tried to figure out on your own? This course provides a practical foundation in graphic design, interweaving design principles with their direct application in the industry-standard software for vector-based design, Adobe Illustrator.

The course begins by teaching you the basics of Illustrator, so you have a solid understanding of the interface and its basic tools. You’ll then apply this knowledge to trace and alter a variety of images of your choosing.  

Expanding on this foundation, you will then delve a bit deeper into Illustrator in order to recreate an existing logo, and then sketch and design one of your own. You’ll learn more advanced tools in Illustrator revolving around color, shapes, repetition, blending, and 3D effects that set the stage for designing your own business card and event poster. 

All throughout the course, you’ll explore the fundamental concepts that underpin effective design, examining how elements such as color, composition, typography, and imagery interact to convey compelling visual messages. You’ll also learn reasons behind the occasional breaking of design rules by artists and designers, fostering a deeper understanding of the creative process. 

The goal of the course is to give you real-world design experience in Illustrator, begin to cultivate a strong design sensibility, and provide you with a strong baseline from which to pursue future graphic design projects. 

What you will learn:

✔ Navigate Adobe Illustrator comfortably and use the basic and some of the more advanced tools         
✔ Make informed decisions based on design principles         
✔ Recreate a popular logo and design one of your own         
✔ Design your own business card         
✔ Design a poster for an event     

Join our visual arts classes online and take your skills to the next level.

Register Now

What you need to participate:

  • Computer or mobile device with Internet. Internet speed must be at least 1.5Mbps download and 800Kbps upload. For students using a mobile device, download the Canvas mobile app and select “Interlochen Online” as your school.
  • Adobe Illustrator subscription
  • Sketchbook and pencil

How the course works:

Interlochen Online courses are designed to be inspiring and flexible with weekly learning units that combine video segments and guided instruction that you can complete on your own schedule during the week. You will interact regularly with your teacher and peers inside the learning environment. 

You can also participate in an optional weekly hour-long video class meeting, where you can learn from the teacher and interact with your classmates in real-time. At the beginning of the course, you will complete a survey indicating your preferred times for the class meeting. The teacher will make every best effort to identify a meeting time that works for everyone. The teacher will also post recordings of the meetings and you can view them when it is convenient. 

The goal is that you walk away not only with practical skills and friendships but that you are inspired and motivated to pursue your art and realize your potential.

Upcoming Course Dates

April 1 - 26, 2024 | Teen and adult sections

May 6 - 31, 2024 | Teen and adult sections




Teens: Grades 7-12

Adult Learners: 18+

Future Sessions

Academic Calendar

Meet the Faculty

London Parker


Questions? Speak with an Advisor.


Phone: 231.276.5990 

You can also schedule an appointment.

The Premier Source of Online Arts Education

Learn on a schedule that works for you

Expert instruction and personalized feedback

Connection with peers from around the world

Coursework that supports your creative expression

Learn more about Interlochen Online
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