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Graphic Design

Start Date: September

Location: Prince of Wales Campus

Length: 2 Years

Credential: Diploma, Graphic Design

Program Availability: Fall 2024 Term

Canadian Applicants: Open

International Applicants with a Valid Study Permit: Open

Other International Applicants: Open

The Graphic Design program prepares you for the many creative opportunities a career in design can bring. Through exposure to various ideas, projects, and client work, you will be guided and encouraged as you work to build your creative point of view and style.

We will introduce you to creative problem solving, illustration, digital painting, expressive typography, history of graphic design, prepress, UI/UX, print production, web design, and project management. You will study the latest software applications that will help bring your ideas to life. We emphasize the establishment of strong visual problem-solving skills.

Study at our Prince of Wales Campus

Our studio setting is designed to simulate industry, and your time with us will prepare you to be a collaborative team member. Your creativity, combined with determination, will help turn your natural abilities into a fulfilling career with a path that is uniquely yours.

This program is located in the Charlottetown Centre - Take a virtual tour! 


The Graphic Design program is designed to build upon your artistic foundation to prepare you for a career as a commercial designer. Applicants are required to submit a portfolio of their best work when they apply to the program. Review our Portfolio Requirements.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Conceptualize and develop design solutions using principles of design to create visual communications that meet the needs of the project.
  2. Use recognized industry practices, research, and communication objectives throughout the design process, to meet the project objectives and/or client needs.
  3. Design, develop, and create a variety of media products using relevant, current and/or emerging technologies.
  4. Maintain an awareness of current visual media design trends, technologies, and industry practices, and develop strategies for their implementation into graphic design.
  5. Plan, implement, critique, and present graphic design projects using project management skills to deliver quality work to clients in a timely manner.
  6. Complete all work in a professional and ethical manner, and in accordance with all applicable legislation and regulations.
  7. Collaborate on creative projects and employ best practices in the design profession within a multidisciplinary work environment.
  8. Develop the knowledge and tools to set fair and competitive prices for services rendered and confidently negotiate rates to ensure appropriate compensation for work completed.


This program has degree pathways, giving you the opportunity to receive credit for your Holland College diploma when you continue your education. For a complete list of agreements, visit the Degree Pathways page.

Partner Institution Credential Details of Agreement
University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, P.E.I. Bachelor of Arts Graduates with a 70% average receive up to 60 hours of credit toward a Bachelor of Arts degree.
University of New Brunswick - Saint John, Saint John, N.B. Bachelor of Applied Management Graduates with a 70% average receive two years of credit toward a Bachelor of Applied Management degree.
Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta Bachelor of Professional Arts Graduates receive two years of credit toward Bachelor of Professional Arts in Communications Studies. This is an online program.
  • Grade 12 or equivalent with credits at or above the general level
  • Grade 12 English, minimum 60%
  • Submission of a portfolio. Your portfolio will be a significant factor in gaining admission to the program. Review portfolio requirements.
  • Résumé including work and volunteer experience with applicable dates, membership in groups, associations or athletics, awards and distinctions, and any other information about yourself relevant to the program.


2024/2025 Academic Year

Tuition, fees, and other costs are listed in Canadian dollars. International tuition includes the International Student Fee.

Students are required to bring their own laptop, which must meet the following technical requirements:
MacBook Pro, macOS 10.14 (or later), 16 GB minimum (32 GB recommended).

Fees are Course Based

1st Year



Tuition $4,550 $10,550
Fees $828 $1,578
Other Costs $2,860 - $5,860* $2,860 - $5,860*
Total $8,238-$11,238 $14,988 - $17,988

*Includes cost of laptop

2nd Year



Tuition $4,550 $10,550
Fees $1,028 $1,578
Other Costs $500 $500
Total $6,078 $11,928

Canadian Cost Breakdown

Tuition & Fees

1st Year

2nd Year

Tuition $4,550 $4,550
Lab Fee $100 $200
Student Union $178 $178
Health Insurance Fee $470 $470
Fitness Centre Fee $80 $80
Graduation Fee - $100
     Total payable to Holland College $5,378 $5,578
1st installment due first day of first semester $ 3,103 $ 3,303
2nd installment due first day of second semester $ 2,275 $ 2,275

Other Costs
Please note: the cost of books, materials, and supplies are included here for your information only, this amount is not payable to the college. Do not include this amount in your tuition payment.

1st Year

2nd Year

Books - -
Laptop $2,360-$5,360 -
Materials/Supplies $500 $500
     Total $2,860-$5,860 $500
Grand Total $8,238 - $11,238 $6,078

International Cost Breakdown

Tuition & Fees

1st Year

2nd Year

Tuition* $10,550 $10,550
Lab Fee $100 $200
Student Union $178 $172
Health Insurance Fee $1,220 $1,195
Fitness Centre Fee $80 $80
Graduation Fee - $100
     Total payable to Holland College $12,128 $11,428
1st installment due first day of first semester $9,853 $9,153
2nd installment due first day of second semester $2,275 $2,275

Other Costs
Please note: the cost of books, materials, and supplies are included here for your information only, this amount is not payable to the college. Do not include this amount in your tuition payment.

1st Year

2nd Year

Books - -
Laptop $2,360 - $5,360 -
Materials/Supplies $500 $500
     Total $2,860 - $5,860 $500
Grand Total $14,988 - $17,988 $11,928

*Includes the International Student Fee.

  • Design studios
  • Freelancing
  • Web design firms
  • Corporate in-house design
  • Advertising agencies
  • Pre-press production such as offset, screen print, signage, and flexography


Many Holland College programs have degree pathway agreements with other post-secondary institutions. You can receive credit for your Holland College diploma toward a university degree or other post-graduate credential, saving you time and money! Find out more on the Degree Pathways page.

Course Code

Course Name & Description

Credit Values

Course Code:SAFE-1005

PEI Occupational Health and Safety

An overview of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of Prince Edward Island. Students examine the legislation, how PEI employees are protected while on the job and the responsibilities of employees and employers.

Credit Value:0

Course Code:GDES-1000

Design I

Learn the fundamental building blocks and processes of design, concentrating on the elements, variables, and principles of design. Using a project-based approach, the design process, design thinking, and visual communication skills are applied to create graphic design solutions.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-1015


Colour is one of the many tools designers use to create both visual and psychological impact in graphic design. Explore the theory and practical application behind colour, its emotional impact on a design, its physiological and psychological impact on a viewer through illusion, and how it applies to solving problems in any design situation.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-1025

Web I

HTML is the foundation of all web pages as it defines the structure of a page while CSS defines its style. Students will explore HTML and CSS to learn how to structure files and optimize images to produce professional, vibrant webpages that meet client needs.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-1030

Graphics and Illustration I

Students will delve into the exciting world of digital graphics, exploring the wide range of applications in various design disciplines. Students will discover the foundations of creating digital graphics that communicate effectively.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-1040

Typography I

Typography is a fundamental tool of graphic design and visual communication. Learn to evaluate typography in its many applications with a critical eye. Develop a vocabulary of typographical terms. Identify the classification of typefaces and how to select typefaces that communicate the desired tone. Explore expressive and experimental typography in contemporary graphic design.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-1050

Design II

Create effective design solutions for client-based scenarios, and develop conceptual, creative, critical thinking and presentation skills. Apply and further develop an understanding of primary and secondary design elements, variables, and principles using software to create digital design solutions based on project objectives.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-1065

Web II

Expand knowledge of HTML and CSS to build more complex web solutions that meet client and end-user needs. Build a custom website using content management systems. Analyze social media platforms to understand how to create successful content for clients.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-1075

History of Graphic Design

Explore graphic design history including the Industrial Age, the Arts and Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau, the beginnings of 20th-century design, the influence of Modern Art, Pictorial Modernism, the new language of form, Bauhaus, the modern movement in America, the International Typographic Style, the New York School, the evolution of corporate identity and visual systems, conceptual images, Post-Modern Design, and the Digital Revolution.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-1080

Graphics and Illustration II

Develop conceptual thinking and the ability to solve visual problems graphically using vector illustrations. Discover the strategies and methods to produce effective design and to solve visual challenges. Utilize time management, research skills, design principles, typography, colour choice, and drawing skills to create vector illustrations.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-1090

Typography II

Learn how to skillfully apply typography to create page layouts that utilize information hierarchy. Study various software applications with an emphasis on contemporary typographical principles. Assess client needs and design type solutions that effectively communicate a suitable tone.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-2000

Design Projects III

Explore a series of typical design problems such as branding, corporate packages, annual reports, marketing materials, brochures, editorial magazine spreads, posters, and packaging. Experience the design process from start to finish including identification, concept development, art direction, pre-press production speficiations, and presentation.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-2010

Prepress I

Learn the development, selection, and evaluation of production processes. Explore "the back end" of graphic design including the ability to get design solutions to production and print, while meeting client and production process limitations.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-2020


The technology of graphic design ranges from the pencil and swatch book to the computer's hardware and software. Knowing how and when to effectively use these tools is an essential skill for any graphic designer. Students develop skills in digital hardware and software as identified by the graphic design industry, including, graphic, draw/paint, page layout, and image manipulation software.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-2030

Typography III

Build professional typography solutions for personal and client-focused design projects. Design a custom typeface and learn how to create a font for installation. Produce original type solutions that demonstrate skill and creativity. Develop your own design and typography perspective through research and project based learning.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-2045


Create a working knowledge of programming languages. Utilize UI/UX principles to help produce effective screen based content for clients. Publish web content to a server and usilize no-code applications to create content. Create a soicla media plan that will help effectlivy promote your clients.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-2050

Design Projects IV

Produce effective design solutions that meet client needs. Develop the ability to write client briefs, explore ideas individually and as part of a team, establish and meet deadlines and design to meet project objectives.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-2060

Prepress II

Develop proficiency in designing custom production workflows for print projects. Learn how to generate colour separation, create multi-page design documents, produce paper dummies, collect files for layout, and proof and evaluate printed products.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:GDES-2075

Motion Graphics

Unlock the dynamic world of motion graphics with a comprehensive course designed to build a solid technical proficiency and creative expression foundation. This course is designed for beginners and aspiring motion graphic designers seeking to explore industry-standard software and animation principles.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:PROF-2090

Professional Development I

Explore career options in graphic design as a freelancer or as an employee. Develop an understanding of industry standard business practices, government regulation, and ethics. Learn about various business models and how to employ time management skills, research industry competitiors, and price design services. Create estimates and invoices and design personally branded documents.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:PROF-2095

Professional Development II

A personal web portfolio is the most effective tool a graphic designer has to help promote their skills online. Students utilize their web knowledge to help construct a portfolio that displays the type of work they are seeking.

Credit Value:3

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Over the course of the two years, I have grown so much, starting with no knowledge or experience in Graphic Design to feeling extremely confident now in my abilities as a professional designer. I have had opportunities to work with creative professionals in the industry and had hands-on experience working on real-life projects. Taking this program was the best decision I have ever made and has completely set me up for an amazing and successful future, I would recommend it to anyone!

Chloe, Class of 2022


Fundamental Arts

Study Fundamental Arts & develop your skills as an artist with this 1-year certificate. Courses in art history, drawing, design, animation, & digital photography help you build your portfolio and prepare for a career in the arts.

Photography and Videography

The one-year Photography and Videography certificate prepares you to become a professional content creator. You'll learn the technical skills and advanced techniques to capture dynamic images & video as a professional photographer /videographer. Study photography basics in lighting, exposure, and composition and use those skills to capture and edit video, master Photoshop, design a portfolio, and develop creative visual content for online & traditional platforms.

Video Game Art and Animation

Improve your drawing skills and learn the latest software techniques to create 2D & 3D animations in the 2-year Videogame Art & Animation diploma program. In this art-based program, you will develop the core skills needed to generate artwork using Adobe™  and Autodesk™ products, and the technical aspects required to integrate your work into the production pipeline.