Graphic Design Fundamentals introduce the student to the fundamental skills needed to be a graphic designer. Graphic designers must have an understanding of the print industry, internet media, the visual arts, design principles, typography, and color theory. The designer must solve a specific problem for someone else, the client, creating a design that is original and communicates a message to a designated audience.
In this course, students using both traditional art materials and the computer, investigate communication, creativity, and problem-solving. Students actively learn to identify and apply the principles of design and art elements within a design environment.
Meet the Graphic Design Teacher
Kathleen Nicholson began her artistic career on the east coast studying painting, drawing, and textile design at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. She earned a BFA and was subsequently awarded a teaching assistantship at Southern Illinois University where she spent the next three years teaching Foundation Design and Drawing at SIU while earning her MFA in Painting with a Minor in Lithography. After earning her Masters’s Degree, Kathleen taught at Rend Lake College, Illinois where she was first introduced to basic coding, drawing, and design on computers. She then moved to Los Angles, CA where she taught classes at Laguna Beach College of Art, before leaving academia to work as a full-time artist.
For the next 10 years, Kathleen worked as a freelance artist selling her work and completing commissions nationally and internationally through Koplin, Huntsaker/Schlesinger and Erickson & Ellins Galleries.
In 1998 she was asked to develop a graphic design evening education program at West Valley Occupational Center, one of the largest accredited occupational centers in the city of Los Angeles. Kathleen ran this program for the next fourteen years. In 2001, Kathleen was recruited by the El Camino Real administration to become the full-time instructor at El Camino. She worked in this position concurrently with the WVOC position, constantly evolving her courses to match current trends and new learnings. Kathleen’s Certifications include: the State of California, Commission on teaching Credentialing Designated Subject, Vocational Education Commercial Art; Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Education Vocational Teachers Approval, Field 21 Commercial art | Computer Graphics; Adobe certified trainer; Microsoft Office Certified Specialist Word and Microsoft Office certified Specialist PowerPoint
Over the past 19 years, ECRCHS’s graphic arts students have won numerous awards including Printing Industries Association of Southern California Technical and Academic High School Competitions, The Graphic Arts Club of Los Angeles’ annual competition: Design, SkillsUSA, The Gutenberg Student competition sponsored by International Association of Printing House Craftsmen & The Graphic Art Educator Association. Alumni of the ECRHS graphics program have worked at Unity software, Cartoon Network, CNN, Sony, DC Comics, and Chase Design to name a few.