graphic design diploma

Graphic Design Diploma Summary

The Graphic Design Diploma program at ABM College allows students an opportunity to explore their creative and visual communication skills in a digital world. Students will gain a thorough understanding of fundamental graphic design principles, how to design digitally using Adobe Creative Suite (including PhotoShop, InDesign, Illustrator and more) to create their own portfolios to present to potential employers. Students finish off with a 4-week practicum placement at the end of the course to add work experience to their resume.

Creativity Lives Here

Students build on their creativity to bring projects to life using industry-standard software

Interactive Learning 

Relaxed learning environment for students to easily understand course material

Turn Skills Into a Career

Students turn their skills and knowledge into a portfolio they can use to get a job quickly


Graphic Design


53 Weeks
49 In-Class
4 Practicum


Calgary Campus





Career Opportunities

  • Graphic Designer
  • Production / Layout Artist
  • Multimedia Designer
  • Illustrator / Animator
  • Art Director
  • Visual Marketing Assistantgraphic designer career opportunities
graphic designer average expected salary

Is a Professional Career in Graphic Design Right for You?

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The fun, online quiz takes 3 minutes to complete and you’ll get a personalized report. Identify your strengths and social style plus the training and positions you’re best suited for.

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Graphic Design Diploma Description

The ABM College Graphic Design diploma program teaches students how to professionally design for a broad range of applications and career opportunities. Students receive extensive training on industry-standard design software, combining the latest digital techniques with standard art principles to provide the essential knowledge and skills required to begin designing and building professional graphics.

Students will receive a solid foundation in core design areas such as composition and layout, typography, colour and drawing, as well as photography and business integration — preparing them for a variety of industry experiences. Students also receive a practicum placement to incorporate their knowledge and skills within a professional setting and to help add work experience to their portfolios.

Admission Requirements

Standard Admission

Students must meet ONE of these criteria:
Alberta High School Diploma or equivalent with minimum score of 65% in English 30-1 on verified transcript
General Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.), plus successful interview with ABM College Administration, and if student’s first language is not English, Canadian Language Benchmark of 5 with SLE Language Evaluation Test

Mature Admission

Students must meet ALL of these criteria:
1. At least 18 years of age prior to admission
2. Score of 20 or higher on Entrance Exam (Scholastic Wonderlic)
3. Successful interview with ABM College Administration
4. If student’s first language is not English, Canadian Language Benchmark of 5 with SLE Language Evaluation Test

Next Program Start Dates:

Sept 8th, 2020 (eve)
Oct 5th, 2020 (eve)

Graphic Design Diploma Program Information Kit

This kit includes useful information about the Graphic Design Diploma program at ABM College.
  • *If you do not reside in Canada, please refer to our International Student section.

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Have Questions?
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More Information

For further information about our Graphic Design program, please contact an ABM College admissions advisor.


"ABM College is number 1 in the region, kind and socialable people to deal with, fantastic teachers, and well trained overall staff. I recommend ABM College to everyone who is planning to persue a career, you cannot lose, nothing beats the best."
Beverly Bailey

"The instructors are highly trained and knowledgeable on the courses/subjects that they teach. Management is also very helpful, and they are always there to answer any questions that students might be having. Thank you ABM for your support."
Admasu. W.

graphic design classroom setting

Graphic Design Course Components

Course Description: This course introduces students to the fundamentals of graphic design and its application for print and web. Students discover that design is a complex process that involves research and analysis, concept development, evaluation, refinement, and execution.

Course Description: Layout and composition are the building blocks of graphic design. The goal of this module is to give students skills that will allow them to work with visual contrasts, cropping, hierarchy, and direction in single images and complex compositions. 

Course Description: Students learn about visual contrast, colour, rhythm, and pattern in design. They also learn the process involved in making an abstract design from shapes, and how to use that element to create a repeating pattern design. Students explore the various aspects of colour and identify many ways of integrating colour for effective design layouts.

Course Description: This course teaches students about typography and its significance within graphic design in the development of type. Students learn about the terms and measurements that form the basis of typographic vocabulary, and deconstruct fonts to show the working components.

Course Description: This module introduces the student to the basic principles of drawing. Students learn basic knowledge in drawing, fundamental concepts and techniques, and practice their drawing using charcoal, pencil and conte.

Course Description: This course is an introduction to photography from a graphic design perspective. Students will learn how to capture still image, video and sound for various environments, including print and online. 

Course Description: Students examine the essential capabilities and creative applications of Adobe Photoshop CC, from correcting colour and print to retouching portraits, navigation, resolution, cropping, selecting, printing, and making web graphics.

Course Description: As a continuation of Adobe Photoshop 1, this module covers advanced compositing techniques, including painting with the mixer brush, adding a background, matching colour schemes across images, and blending multiple pictures to create a panorama. Students also learn how to apply layer styles, use layer effects, add adjustment layers, and various blending modes. 

Course Description: Students create and design scalable computer graphics with Adobe illustrator including core drawing and shape tools, transformation and reshaping features, text manipulation, and the pen tool. The module prepares the students to create simple vector graphics, educate them about best practices to enhance workflow, and train them on how to integrate and manipulate colour and type in designs and to prepare documents for output to print, web, and video.

Course Description: Students discover the essential capabilities and creative application of InDesign. Students will create a series of projects using different available tools and techniques including single and multiple pages, drop-down menus and panels, column set up, selection tools, layers, colour from different libraries, paragraph and character styles, picture frames, text wraps around images, links and more.

Course Description: Students explore the fundamentals of working with digital images acquired from capture, with a focus on the image optimization process within Adobe Photoshop CC. Students learn how to produce a high-quality image that can be reproduced for multiple purposes. The objective of this module is to prepare students to effectively process camera RAW files with Photoshop CC RAW processing interface, process jpg files using a non-destructive workflow, work with the appropriate file format depending on content and usage, maximize the tonal range and correct a colour cast in a digital image, work with layers, layer blending modes and layer styles, perform non-destructive image retouching, crop, rotate, and resize images to meet specific requirements, and export files for both web use and print production.

Course Description: This module aims to educate students on why designers do more than simply design things, and how graphic design and business are very much integrated disciplines. 

Course Description: Students learn how to create a good portfolio that effectively showcases their work and abilities. Students can then use this portfolio to present to potential employers.

Course Description: Students will gain practical and hands-on experience to apply the knowledge and skills learned in class to real-world experiences in a professional capacity during a four-week practicum placement.

Course Description: This course helps students explore and understand the role of communication in professional business settings. Attention is given to workplace culture, interpersonal and team communication, technology, professional presentations, research, meetings, and professional writing grounded in communication and business theory.

Course Description: Students work with a professional career counsellor to develop and optimize a professional resume to put forward for employers. Additional support in job searching, interview techniques, and other career transition skills are offered to ensure students have the best possible work prospects.