Graphic and Communications Design

CampusStart DateTuition/Fees
MonctonSeptember 2022 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International

Program Overview

Graphic and Communications Design specialists are creative experts who produce memorable content. They value innovative visual aesthetics and excel at business communications and marketing. You'll learn how to plan, produce, and present graphics and text-based design solutions that will engage your chosen target audience. In a world where billions of images are uploaded each day, businesses hire trained and talented designers who know how to stand out and capture attention.


The requirements for this diploma program may be achieved within two academic years of full-time study.

Admission Requirements

    Profile A

  • High School Diploma or Adult High School Diploma or GED Diploma of High School Equivalency or Essential Skills Achievement Pathway: Post-Secondary Entry High School Diploma

    NB Francophone High School Math Equivalencies
    International Student Admission Equivalencies

    Career Possibilities

    Successful graduates may work in a variety of organizations such as marketing/advertising agencies, graphic design studios, or web and media design companies as a graphic designer.

    Find career possibilities related to this program in Career Coach.

    Specific Considerations

    Technology Requirements
    NBCC is a connected learning environment. All programs require a minimum specification, including access to the internet and a laptop. Your computer should meet your program technology requirements to ensure the software required for your program operates effectively. Free wifi is provided on all campuses.

    Program Courses

    Courses are subject to change.

    This course is designed to provide students with the artistic and technical skills to produce motion graphics, such as text and images, using editing software. 

    This course is designed to provide students with in-depth knowledge of the features and functions of raster-based software for the production of creative and technically sound visual designs.

    This course is designed to provide students with in-depth knowledge of the features and functions of page-layout software to create engaging layouts for interactive PDF files and e-publications. This gives students the skill to create such things as flyers, brochures, annual reports, magazines, books etc.

    This course is designed to provide students with knowledge of the features and functions of vector-based software for the production of creative and technically sound visual designs. Students explore the context and purpose of the illustrative work by combining images with text based elements and adjusting the physical form.

    Students participate in a series of learning activities, assignments, and exercises that are designed to increase their skill level in producing written materials appropriate to the business environment. There is a strong focus on reviewing fundamental writing skills such as grammar, punctuation, spelling, sentence and paragraph structure, combined with careful analysis of the intended purpose and audience of the documents that learners create. Participants will research, prepare, format, draft, proofread and edit a series of documents commonly used in today’s workplace paying special attention to communicating most effectively in written format.

    This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skill to write compelling and persuasive content, often intended for advertising purposes. Students learn the rules and techniques to write quality copy as well as adapt writing style to suit print, digital, and broadcast media.


    • COMM1189

    This course is designed to build students’ creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Here students use creativity, curiosity, user-centered approaches, and teamwork to conceive and draft preliminary visual design solutions. They openly explore their personal creativity while being given the tools of the design thinking process. As part of this, they are taught the very basics of drawing skills to produce roughs and storyboards of their designs.  They also critically analyze existing design solutions to assess their effectiveness as well as to enhance their own personal creativity and problem solving skills.

    In this course, students build upon their creative thinking and problem-solving skills to create digital renditions of their visual design solutions. They continue to apply the design thinking process as well as basic drawing and rendering techniques to pitch the design concepts and prototypes. The focus of the course is the use of digital tools to produce the finalized digital visual design solutions. The course instructor serves as the “client” with whom the students engage for feedback and sign-off of the conceptual designs through to the fully developed product.


    • GDGD1243B

    This course provides students with foundational knowledge and skills in the design of visual solutions.  Students are introduced to the history of design and the factors influencing its evolution (e.g.: social, cultural, artistic, political, economic etc.). They are taught the elements and principles of design to communicate visually, giving strong consideration to the intended message and audience.

    This course teaches students how to create designs with type for communication and creative purposes. Students explore the history of typography and use this knowledge to inspire their designs. They are taught the anatomy of type, its classifications, and families.  They examine considerations for its construction and purpose such as size, scale, weight, slope, and/or colour as well as for layout, alignment, and spacing.

    This course is designed to teach students the theory of colour and its significance and impact in graphic design. Students are introduced to the use of colour in art history and the factors influencing its use (e.g.: social, cultural, artistic, political, economic etc.). They are taught the principles, properties, and attributes of colour and how to apply these for maximum impact in their visual design solutions. They apply this knowledge both traditionally and digitally.

    This course focuses on the principles and methodologies to used streamline, classify, and creatively visualize complex qualitative and quantitative information. Students explore the evolution of information design and the theoretical concepts associated with it.  They learn the strategies to analyze and organize information to succinctly relay the required information to serve audience needs. They create visual information design solutions as it pertains to environmental and experiential design.


    • CGGI1127A
    • GDGD1245A

    This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the print production life cycle and the roles and responsibilities of designers within it.  Students gain insight into the evolution of print production and its impact in modern society. They learn what is required of designers in each phase of the print production process as well as the methodologies, tools, and techniques used to carry out these tasks. They become highly familiar with print industry terminology and practices including advanced press and finishing techniques such as spot colours, special finishes, die-cuts, and folds. They learn everything required to present, validate, format, and package digital files for print production.


    • CGGI1127A

    This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skill to produce cover-to-cover publications with extended applications of text and image. It teaches students to build a unified communication form that is more than the sum of its parts. This may include varying forms of content for such things as magazines, newspapers, catalogues, annual reports, literature systems etc. It addresses the vast array of design considerations that need to be taken into consideration when organizing large and varied quantities of information as well as the advanced level of layout, production, and industry standards associated with these designs.


    • GDGD1245A
    • CGGI1127A

    This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skill to develop effective branding strategies and brands. They research existing brands, deconstruct the attributes that make up a brand, and engage in the process of creating brands. They utilize the brand positioning process, strategic thinking, and case studies to successfully complete individual and collaborative design projects.


    • MKTG1077A

    This course addresses the functional and aesthetic requirements of product packaging. The students will apply creative problem-solving techniques and working skills to a number of consumer-oriented product packaging assignments. Through research students will be encouraged to examine and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of existing products in the marketplace as they are related to their targeted market.


    • GDGD1245A
    • CGGI1127A
    • GDGD1249A

    This course is designed to enhance knowledge and practical understanding by discussing emerging trends and/or special issues in the field of Graphic and Communications Design. The contemporary topics addressed are those at the forefront of industry or those of interest to students and/or faculty. Here, students may conduct in-depth research or apply emerging methodologies, applications, tools, and or/techniques.  At the instructor’s discretion, the course may be presented as either an instructor-directed or student-directed learning experience. Due to the variable nature of this course, exams are discretionary.

    This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skill to understand consumer behavior and the strategies by which to reach, influence, and retain prospective customers.

    This course introduces the concept of web development and provides the student with the knowledge to develop a well-designed Web site through the use of HTML and CSS.

    Responsive Web Design is a web design approach aimed at providing optimal viewing across a wide variety of devices from desktop computers to mobile devices. In this course, students gain experience in creating responsive web designs that meet specifications and are capable of adapting to any device on which they are displayed. Students learn how to use flexible grids, layouts, images and CSS media queries to make their designs responsive. Testing methodologies and best practices in the design of mobile web applications are also discussed.


    • MULT1083

    This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skill to produce a media production integrating audio, video, text, and graphic elements. Students also learn to optimize and package files appropriate for a given media platform (e.g.: film, television, or the web).


    • CGGI1092B

    This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skill to optimize the interaction between a system and its user; the system being such things as web or mobile sites, applications, or screen-based products.  Important components of this interaction include the user-interface, navigation, and the presentation of the information within the system. It focuses on the cycle of research, testing, and development on the premise of user needs, goals, and expectations. It builds upon the principles of user experience and responsive web design to create user-centred products/services that optimize user experience and satisfaction.  As part of learning activities, students will be given hypothetical situations for which they must creatively design user-centred interaction solutions.


    • SYST1039A
    • MULT1170
    • GDGD1248A

    This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skill to build and maintain a strong and unified social media presence for marketing purposes.  Students explore the evolution of a range of social media and how each is used to attract a target audience. They are taught the principles and best practices of on-line communication as well as the methodologies and tools to implement them. They explore the trends in social media and the metrics to monitor and improve marketing performance.


    • MULT1174A
    • MULT1175A

    Learners are challenged to apply human relations and interpersonal communications theory to workplace-based and real life situations. They use a problem solving perspective in suggesting and carrying out appropriate communication strategies and techniques.

    This course is designed to plan and produce a professional portfolio for showcasing purposes, incorporating multiple media platforms and highlighting the versatility of Graphic and Communications Designers in creating visual design solutions.  

    This course provides an introduction to the meaning of community service.  Students learn how community service can enhance a student’s educational experience, personal growth, employability, and civic responsibility. Students participate in one day of volunteering to enhance their understanding of civic responsibility and to help the New Brunswick Community College realize its vision of transforming lives and communities. 

    This course is designed to prepare students for employment and/or freelance opportunities by applying career planning and freelancing strategies. Students are taught the ways in which to promote and sell themselves and their services and to connect with prospective employers and clients in today’s world. They are taught the tools and techniques to manage their time, money, resources, and clients to build their assets and reputation. They are armed with the knowledge to secure opportunities for employment or independent work.

    This course is designed to apply the knowledge and skill acquired throughout the program to produce real-world design solutions for a community client. Here, student groups work in conjunction with a non-profit or charitable organization from conception through to implementation. They establish the design service need and produce the design solution(s). Working through a project brief, students develop content and produce design materials while adhering to budget constraints and project limitations. They are expected to work as part of a small team to develop design materials for both print and digital mediums that serve client needs and adhere to industry standards.

    The Graphic and Communications Design practicum enables students to enhance the knowledge and skill acquired in training through practical application in a supervised workplace setting.

    Students learn the primary functions of Digital SLR cameras including the features that affect exposures. Students also learn the to use software to process and edit photographs.

    The ability to communicate effectively with internal and external clients is essential in the workplace. This course provides students with communication skills necessary to determine clients' needs and to communicate information effectively.

    A safe and healthy workplace is the responsibility of the employer and the employee. This course introduces students to the importance of working safely and addresses how employers and employees can control the hazards and risks associated with the workplace. Students will also learn about the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders including WorkSafeNB, the employer and the employee in ensuring workplaces are safe.

    This course is designed to provide students with fundamental knowledge of user-centered design principles and practices. Serving the needs of the user, and even anticipating user needs, is fast becoming equally as important as the product or service the designer is trying to promote. Designing with the user in mind and refining all user interactions enhances the user experience and gives the product or service a competitive advantage.  As students’ skills evolve in the program, this will give them the advantage of undertaking any design with user perspective and expectations in mind. 

    NOC Codes

    2175 - Web designers and developers
    5223 - Graphic arts technicians
    5241 - Graphic designers and illustrators

    Articulation Agreements

    Institution: Dalhousie University
    Articulation Period:
    Information: Bachelor of Technology (Small Business Management).
    Students who have completed a non-business two-year technical/technology diploma program from NBCC and having a minimum cumulative average of 70% may apply for admission to the first year of the two year post-diploma Bachelor of Technology (Small Business Management) program at Dalhousie's Faculty of Agriculture (the "BTECH Program").

    Institution: University of New Brunswick Saint John - Faculty of Business
    Articulation Period:
    Information: Bachelor of Applied Management Degree
    NBCC graduates of any 2 year diploma program with a GPA of 70% or greater receive 2 years full credit toward this degree and will be eligible to enter year 3 of the 4 year Bachelor of Applied Management (BAM) program.


    Disclaimer: This web copy provides guidance to prospective students, applicants, current students, faculty and staff. Although advice is readily available on request, the responsibility for program selection ultimately rests with the student. Programs, admission requirements and other related information is subject to change.

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