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Graphic Design Curriculum Update: Introduction to Graphic Design for Beginners
Teaching Graphic Design to High School: A Simple Introduction to basic design

So, your teaching graphic design to high school students (YAY!)… Maybe you’re asking yourself, “Where do I start?” Maybe you’re thinking, “I’ve never taught this before and I don’t know what to do!” Or maybe you just want to quit and find a new job where you don’t even have to worry about it…

I hear you, BELIEVE ME, I hear you. Graphic design can seem pretty intimidating if it isn’t something you’ve ever done before. Not only are there graphic design principles and skills to be learned, there is also the program to use, the technical difficulties to deal with, not to mention the fact that - *gasp* - this may be a topic that your students know more about than you do!

Sorry…did I take that too far? Maybe this is how you’re feeling, or maybe you are just wanting to know where to start. Either way, let me help guide you in the right direction.

When starting something new it’s best to start, well, at the beginning! You’re teaching graphic design for beginners, after all, so we need to start with graphic design basics. The first question to tackle is What is Graphic Design? Before you can dive into using digital programs and learning all the technical language that goes with that, you must first answer this essential question. It sets your class in the right direction and gives them an idea of what the possibilities are in the field of graphic design.

The dictionary describes graphic design as, “(n.) the methodology of visual communication and problem solving through the use of type, space and imagery.”

graphic design is visual communication

Ok…let’s unpack that, basically, it’s sending VISUAL messages to people. This includes everything from traffic signs to magazine covers to iPhone app icons! Graphic designers have a WIDE range of possibilities when it comes to what they can create.

Next, cover the Methods of Graphic Design. This is pretty simple. Graphic designers either work with:

  • images
  • type
  • images and type
an image is worth a thousand words
image source

Seems easy enough, right? Most graphic designers work with images and type. But there are certainly those out there who work exclusively in photo editing or illustration and there are those who work in the field of typography.

Lastly, touch on the responsibilities of a graphic designer. Namely, that they are expected to not only design cool stuff, but also be able to communicate with clients about the designs they create and be ok with making edits where need be (which is a lesson all in itself…accepting criticism gracefully is a learned skill!).

responsibilities of a graphic designer

That’s it! No need to stress about teaching an introduction to graphic design. :) If you’d like, you can download the FREE detailed lesson plan to see a simplified breakdown of how I structure this unit below.

This unit has been fully updated with PowerPoint, assignment page (with answer key), formative and summative assessments, and more! Should you decide to purchase, click below and use this coupon code: ZKCM7X8W04, to receive 25% off this unit (valid through 9/17/19)!

If you like it and want more, you could subscribe for access to the full site, but don’t dilly dally (yes, I just said that)! The membership is only open for the remainder of September this year!

As always, comment or email with any questions you have. Also, stay tuned for a contest that will be announced in the coming weeks! Just know that you will need to be a member at Digital Art Teacher to join.

Have an excellent week fellow teachers! (PS. You’re going to CRUSH IT this week!)