Graphic Design

Graphic designers see the world for what it can be, not just what it is. They are forward-thinking, innovative, artistic and creative. Fanshawe’s Graphic Design program will inspire your passion for art and give you the skills to apply and communicate your creativity in a variety of mediums. Develop your artistic talents and learn to be a visual communicator as you develop industry connections and work on real-world projects. Graduate with a dynamic, professional portfolio that will set you apart in your career.


This three-year advanced diploma program guides students to be adaptable designers with a passion for learning. Learn from industry experts with diverse working experiences, who will teach you to communicate your ideas in interactive media, web, digital and print mediums. Graphic design courses teach theory and history, illustration, motion graphics, typography, interactive web design, communications and camera basics. You’ll also learn professional practices and current industry production standards to work independently and with different types of organizations. 

Apply your learning during three co-op work semesters, where you’ll make industry connections and gain valuable experience working within a wide variety of organizations.

Graduate with a professional portfolio, work experience and the industry contacts you need to launch a career in our rapidly changing creative industry, which includes many specializations and a diverse job market. Graduates find work in advertising agencies, design studios, direct mail agencies, environment/signage companies, printing companies, on-line graphics, and multimedia companies, among others. 

Program Overview

Our Three-Year Advanced Diploma provides comprehensive training to students wanting to enter this professional industry. The program ranges from industry standard design software training, the fundamentals of basic design skills to creative concept development, traditional illustration and photography. We offer comprehensive training in interactive design, web and multimedia, digital illustration, motion graphics as well as courses covering theories of creativity, visual thinking, typography and design history. Besides the traditional aspects of design, we initiate new courses on an ongoing basis as well as update and refresh present courses each term to ensure students remain current with trends in the graphic design industry.


Supplies required

Computer requirements


Co-op Opportunities & Career Information

Co-op Opportunities 

The Graphic Design program offers a cooperative education component, which provides students the opportunity to gain invaluable first-hand workplace experience within their chosen field. Here are some co-op jobs that have kick-started the careers of students before even graduating! 

Junior Graphic Designer
Create impactful designs according to brand guidelines that capture and promote brand image.

Junior Graphic Designer
Design in multiple environments, including digital and print in a fast-paced, growing organization where your skills will be valued.

Junior Front-End Web Developer
A Fun, flexible work environment that will expose you to a variety of web technologies and allow you to expand your knowledge base.

For more information regarding co-op, please check out our co-op site or contact the Co-op Office at to connect with a consultant.


Career Information

Graduates of this program have found a wide range of creative, artistic, challenging careers with companies such as: 

  • advertising agencies
  • design studios
  • direct mail agencies
  • environment/signage companies
  • corporate public relations, marketing, art departments
  • publishing/magazine/newspaper
  • printing companies
  • on-line graphics
  • multimedia companies

Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduation employment rates among large colleges in Ontario? 

Here are some examples of career opportunities for graduates of Fanshawe’s Graphic Design program:

Graphic Web Designer
A Creative, detail-oriented and versatile designer with a strong interest in design for print materials and for digital platforms such as social media, email and web.

Graphic Designer
Undertake many important creative and technological projects in a fast-paced and rewarding environment.

Graphic Artist
As a talented graphic artist you will work freelance and build whole goods, parts, and service flyers for a dealership.


Brandy Huxley

"Through Fanshawe I have made friendships that will last a lifetime, learned skills that moved my career forward, and continue to open doors that will foster and grow my love of design."

Brandy Huxley
Graduate 2007
Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

1. conceptualize and develop design solutions using principles of design to create visual communications that meet the needs of the project.

2. employ the design process to create design solutions that meet the project objectives and the needs of the client and/or user.

3. plan, create and use photography, illustration and typography in design layouts to meet the requirements of the creative brief.

4. design, develop and create a variety of media products using relevant, current and/or emerging technologies.

5. communicate ideas, design concepts and opinions clearly and persuasively to others.

6. use recognized industry practices throughout the design process and related business tasks.

7. plan, implement, and evaluate graphic design projects using project management skills to deliver high quality work to clients according to schedule and within budget.

8. complete all work in a professional and ethical manner, and in accordance with all applicable legislation and regulations.

9. keep current with visual media design trends, technologies and industry practices using strategies that enhance work performance and guide professional development.

10. propose creative solutions to design problems


Program Availability

Canadian Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2022 September
2022 September
London - Online
2023 January

International Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2022 September
2023 January

Program Details

Program Code
Academic School

Program Coordinator:

Lee-Ann Sandford

Day Time
Ontario College Advanced Diploma
90 weeks

Admission Requirements

OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U),
University/College (M), or Open (O) stream WITH:
- Any Grade 12 English (C) or (U)
Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE) 
Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED)
Mature Applicant with standing in the required course stated above
Completion of Visual Artwork and Written Response

English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 53, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 169 with no language skill less than 162, with test results within the last two years
  • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 70% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 8, 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9, or 70% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10
Recommended Academic Preparation

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Grade 11 or Grade 12 Communications Technology (M)
  • Grade 11 Visual Arts (M) or (O) OR Grade 12 Visual Arts (M) OR Grade 11 Media Arts (M) or (O) OR Grade 12 Media Arts (M)
  • Grade 12 Business and Technological Communication (O)
Recommended Personal Preparation

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Involvement with school year book publication plus any freelance professional work such as posters, flyers, handbills etc.
  • An awareness of advertising design, media advertising and the printing industry plus an interest in photography and the Internet
Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements
  4. Assessment of Applicant's skill set relevant to the program based on a Completion of Visual Artwork and Written Response
Post-Admission Requirements

Post-Admission Requirements

See Post-Admission Requirements

Tuition Summary


Canadian Costs
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.



Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
WRIT-1036Reason & Writing 1-Art & Design3
This course introduces students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.
GRAF-1037Design Basic 13
This course will introduce students to the basic elements, principles and history of design. Students will undertake black and white two-dimensional projects related to graphic design and explore all possible solutions in which creativity, procedures, craftsmanship, and conceptual techniques are emphasized. All work is done using traditional tools and supported by practical applications, lectures audio/video presentations, and open class discussions.
GRAF-1049Typography Basic3
In this course students are introduced to the fundamentals of typography. Students will develop an awareness of typographic design and form to communicate. Emphasis is placed on typographic history, typographic vocabulary, type classifications, anatomy, letterforms, spacing and hierarchy through a series of lectures, class discussions and hands-on projects. Creativity, process work, research and attention to detail is encouraged. All work is done using traditional tools with hands-on techniques.
GRAF-1050Digital Applications 13
Students analyze and report on contemporary conventional production tools and workflow systems used in commercial graphic design studios. This course is designed to introduce the student to the tools and facilities of the current trade iteration of 'page layout' software for producing page composition, typography and design projects. Students will explore the basic tools and facilities of bitmap editing software in the production of design projects. Students are introduced to the current trade iteration of 'vector drawing' software for producing graphic images. Students are introduced to the current trade iteration of 'portable document format' software. Students will use these four software technologies together to produce design projects.
GRAF-1052Interactive Design 13
This course is designed to introduce the student to the tools and techniques that facilitate the process of interactive design. Students will be lead through a series of graduated lessons, both practical and theoretical, supported by relative in-class assignments, 3 major term projects and a dynamic presentation. The current iteration of Adobe Photoshop CC, and Microsoft Power Point, will be utilized. Students will be encouraged to begin the process of creating a self-defining style, with acute consideration for; planning, organization, layout, style, technical development, typography, content development and integration.
GRAF-1040Creative Concepts 13
This course is designed to develop and explore the innate creativity within the students. This course guides students through explorations of various media in order to reflect upon and express their unique personality and creativity within their cultural context.
COOP-1020Co-operative Education Employment Prep1
This workshop will provide an overview of the Co-operative Education consultants and students' roles and responsibilities as well as the Co-operative Education Policy. It will provide students with employment preparatory skills specifically related to co-operative education work assignments and will prepare students for their work term.
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