We know. It’s confusing. Graphic design is the very well-established practice of applying layout, color, typography and imagery to all kinds of projects: Packaging, brochures, logos, books, exhibitry, and more. Visual design, meanwhile, is a new term that has come to mean the application of graphic design skills to digital projects, such as websites, apps, and interactive kiosks.

At SVC, we teach the foundational skills that can prepare you for a career in graphic design, and the more advanced visual design skills that can set you and your portfolio up for jobs as a user interface (UI) or digital visual designer.




Browse Current Visual Design Classes

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Visual Design vs. Graphic Design

We know. It’s confusing. Graphic design is the very well-established practice of applying layout, color, typography and imagery to all kinds of projects: Packaging, brochures, logos, books, exhibitry, and more. Visual design, meanwhile, is a new term that has come to mean the application of graphic design skills to digital projects, such as websites, apps, and interactive kiosks.

At SVC, we teach the foundational skills that can prepare you for a career in graphic design, and the more advanced visual design skills that can set you and your portfolio up for jobs as a user interface (UI) or digital visual designer.

You’ll learn from the pros.

The best people to teach you visual design are people who put their design skills to work at a high level every day. They’re the experienced, senior-level professionals who teach these courses. Because they’re in the business, they know what they’re talking about from a design point-of-view. They can also share what it’s like to work in design and give you some invaluable pointers for your job search.

Visual Design Classes and Workshops from SVC

When Can You Learn?


Just a reminder again: This is not a certificate program, but a collection of individual classes — so you can take just the ones that fit your needs and skill level.

Some classes might not be offered this quarter. But they will be soon! From the class page, click "notify me when offered again" to receive an email reminder when the class is available.

10-Week Class

  • Introduction to design elements
  • The vocabulary of design
  • Scale, proportion, balance
  • Understanding grids and modularity
  • Intro to responsive web design

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10-Week Class

  • Color theory and the color wheel
  • The vocabulary of color
  • Mixing colors effectively
  • RGB vs CMYK
  • Color for digital projects

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10-Week Class

  • Anatomy and vocabulary of type
  • Leading, tracking, alignment, justification
  • Type hierarchies and type mixing
  • Type on a screen vs. on paper
  • Readability and expressiveness

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10-Week Class

  • Understanding creative briefs
  • From sketch to layout to finish
  • Special requirements for digital projects
  • Giving and receiving critiques
  • Working with responsive design

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5-Week Class

  • Basic theory and terminology of grids
  • Rule of thirds and the golden ratio
  • Determining optimal number of columns
  • Break points and optimizing for mobile
  • When to break the grid

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5-Week Class

  • Overview of type terminology
  • Choosing fonts for your project
  • Technology of type for web and apps
  • Readability and accessibility
  • Hierarchy and contrast in type design

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Saturday: One-Day Workshop

  • Sight, hearing, mobility impacts

  • Standards for accessibility
  • Accessibility evaluations
  • Universal vs. ability-based design
  • Understanding disabled users

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Saturdays, Two-Part Workshop

  • Fundamentals of motion design
  • How motion design applies to UX and interactive design
  • Key frames, interpolation and timing
  • Prototyping micro-interactions

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10-Week Class

  • Differences between native and web apps
  • Designing user inputs and controls
  • iOS and Android style conventions
  • Micro-interactions and animations
  • Developing high-fidelity, interactive prototypes

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10-Week Class

  • Using brand guides and design systems
  • Creating mood boards, type ramps, style guides
  • Designing navigation, page elements, and interactions
  • Creating responsive websites for multiple screens
  • Micro-interactions and animations

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Get Started

You can go ahead and register for any of the classes on this page if you’d like to get going.

If you’re thinking about combining this track with SVC’s UX Certificate Program, then we invite you to join a free info session so we can recommend the best sequencing for your program and visual design classes.

Join a free info session

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