Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
GD 140
Course Title:
Digital Page Design 1
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Explores beginning level graphic design and publishing using professional page layout software. Introduces typography design, basic page layout, computer file management, professional methods of design organization, keyboard work and the foundations of computer use in single-page layouts. To be taken sequentially. Placement permission slip required. Prerequisites: GD 101, GD 114, GD 120. Prerequisites/concurrent: GD 116, GD 122.

Addendum to Course Description

A grade of a "B" or higher is required for placement into the second year of the program.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Utilize the tools and techniques of industry-standard page layout software to produce professional-level printed communication materials.
  • Resolve a client€™s communication challenge in a methodical process by developing sequential thumbnail sketches, tight rough drafts and final comprehensives.
  • Use multiple-column grid formats, accepted as standard by professional designers, to organize type and images.
  • Intentionally use hierarchy to entice and direct viewers€™ attention through a layout for more effective audience retention.
  • Create printed communication materials which reflect an awareness of contemporary design trends.
  • Use a systematic, file-naming convention to facilitate organization of multiple digital projects
  • Utilize professional print production guidelines to ensure successful output of digital files at an outside vendor.

Course Activities and Design

Lecture and exercises are used to deliver course information. Single-page graphic design layout projects develop students' comprehension and mastery of the software.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Projects will be the major criteria for evaluation.  Evaluation of projects will assess students' ability to follow project specifications, demonstrate professional use of the software, accuracy, ability to meet deadlines, industry standards of craftsmanship, presentation, design and typographic principles. Additional methods of assessment may include quizzes, exercises, assignments, participation and attendance.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Technical Proficiency Design

Design Awareness
Software Navigation

Critical thinking


  • Proficient use of the layout and typography tools in software.
  • Develop layouts through process-driven methods.
  • Apply grid principles to layouts.
  • Demonstrate typographic hierarchy and appropriate type choices.
  • Combine type and images in layouts.
  • Format repetitive text elements using Paragraph and Character Styles.
  • Create visually current layouts.
  • Organize digital files and project materials in a systematic manner.
  • Build files that print successfully.
  • Follow all required specifications.