Course Topics

Introduction: Welcome
Syllabus, Lab Rules; Artists & Apple: Why We Love the Mac; Concise History of Computers in the Arts.

Lesson 1: Raster Design
Image Modes & File Formats; Selection Tool Essentials; Introduction to the Type Tool; Using FTP.
Lesson 2: Image Acquisition
Ethics of Copyright; Online Image Resources; Film, Slide & Flatbed Scanning; Digital Camera Images & other Legal Downloads with Attributions.

Lesson 3: Correction
Correction tools; Blur & Sharpen; Toning Tools; Dodge & Burn; Levels & Noise; Scratches & Tears; Clone Stamp Tool; Repairing Damaged Photos.

Lesson 4: Colorization
Color Modes and File Formats; Color Blend Modes; Color Adjustment Layers; Hue/Saturation and Color Balance; Colorizing Black and White Photos.

Lesson 5: Compositing
Using Advanced Selection Tools; Photo Illustration Techniques; Mastering Quick Mask; Composite with Originals.

Lesson 6: Shapes & Colors
Introduction to Illustrator and Object-Oriented Design; Understanding Paths and Shapes; Strokes and Fills; Shapes & Colors Templates.

Lesson 7: Points & Paths
Intermediate Illustrator; Mastering the Pen Tool; Photo Reference; Mesh Tool; Creating Vector Illustrations; Points & Paths Templates.

Lesson 8: Vector Typography
History of Typography; Typography Basics Using Vector Type Tools; Vector Type Illustrations.

Lesson 9: Bitmap Typography
Type Tools in Photoshop; Type Mask Tools; Using Filters; Bitmap Type Illustrations.

Lesson 10: Page Design
Layout for Print; Using Adobe InDesign; Understanding Placing & Modifying Images; Layout & Design Using Type Illustrations.

Lesson 11: Video Editing
Motion Media Basics; Dynamic Time-Based Productions; The importance of audio; Introduction to Premiere Pro. Lesson 12:  Web Design
Web Design Basics with WordPress; Basic Links; Online Resources; Page Construction and Blogs.

Portfolio Development
Completion of Outstanding Work; Rework of Existing Projects or Projects Needing Help; Building a Professional Quality Portfolio.

Portfolio Submission
Final Thoughts; Preparing for Entering the Job Market; Design Career Success Strategies.

Contact Information

Harry St.Ours, Professor

Media Arts & Technologies

Montgomery College

51 Mannakee Street

Rockville MD 20850

Office: TC 119; (240) 567-7518

MA&T Dept.: (240) 567-5256



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This course is a rigorous and intensive overview of the equipment and applications used by design professionals, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro and more, using Macintosh computers. It will provide students with an understanding of the digital tools used in the visual arts, while featuring practical, hands-on use of hardware and software for solving design applications problems.

Students will develop a fundamental knowledge of the tools and techniques most commonly used by contemporary artists and designers in the studio, and will learn the basics of pixel and vector based applications, elements of typography, digital page layout, working in a network environment, web design basics, and legal issues facing the digital designer.

Upon completion of the course the student will be prepared for more advanced study in specific applications as well as survival in the digital art and design workplace.


For those taking this course in the classroom for college credit, the evaluation will be as follows: One-third of your final grade will be based on Classwork, which will include attendance & participation. Each assignment is designed to lay a foundation for the next, so students are expected to attend every class, lecture and lab. After excessive unexcused absences, a student risks being  dropped from the class.

Another one-third of the final grade is based on the average of your Assignments, which should demonstrate skillful & imaginative use of the media, including the ability to meet due dates. Each of the assignments will be graded as follows:
B- = 80-82; B = 83-86; B+ = 87-89.
This works the same for As, Cs and Ds as well, of course. All assignment grades will be averaged at the end of the semester into one.

The final one-third of the grade is based on a properly prepared Final Portfolio, submitted by the announced deadline, which will consist of all of the semester’s work, improved or updated, as necessary, based on the grades you received and the comments of the instructor, if any.

These three criteria will each be assigned a letter grade and will be averaged for the final grade, with no pluses or minuses. Therefore final grades of, for example, from 80 through 89 would all result in a grade of B.

Recommended Texts

There are no required textbooks for this class. The lessons you find here constitute the Open Educational Resource (OER) you’ll need to succeed. But if you’re looking for good software books, I highly recommend several. Once you are serious about using digital tools for the visual arts, you should invest in one or more.

The Non-Designer's Design Book, Robin Williams

Adobe Photoshop Classroom in a Book

Adobe Illustrator Classroom in a Book

Adobe InDesign Classroom in a Book

Adobe Premiere Pro Classroom in a Book

These and other highly recommended books are listed on our Recommended Reading Bookshelf for this class.

Many of these books will prove to be useful additions to your library when you become serious about digital design.

You may also be able to access free professional quality video lessons through a variety of channels, including YouTube and Adobe’s site.

Removable Media & Cloud Storage

Bringing removable media to class, like flash drives, is highly recommended. And if you don’t have a cloud storage solution, you should consider getting a free account with several GB from Dropbox. With Dropbox, you can store or retrieve your files anywhere you have Internet access. Did I mention that Dropbox was free?

Software Discounts

Software Discounts may be available to you. Students may be eligible for the usual educational discounts for full-version software offered at and other educational resellers. You can also visit the Apple Education Store for discounts on Apple hardware.

Important Information Link for MC Students

MC Students seeking or interested in a degree or a certificate in a program offered by the Department of Media Arts and Technologies must make an appointment with a full-time faculty member in the discipline of their choice for advising each semester. In addition to course requirements and objectives that are in this syllabus, Montgomery College has information on its web site (see link below) to assist you in having a successful experience both inside and outside of the classroom. It is important that you read and understand this information. The link below provides information and other resources to areas that pertain to the following: student behavior (student code of conduct), student e-mail, the tobacco free policy, withdraw and refund dates, disability support services, veteran services, how to access information on delayed openings and closings, how to register for  the Montgomery College Alert System, and finally, how closings and delays can impact your classes. If you have any questions please bring them to your professor. As rules and regulations change they will be updated and you will be able to access them through the link. If any student would like a written copy of these policies and procedures, the professor would be happy to provide them. By registering for this class and staying in this class, you are indicating that you acknowledge and accept these policies.

Syllabus Resource List

All students who have identified themselves as seeking a degree or a certificate in Graphic Design or in a program offered by the Media Arts and Technologies Department must make an appointment with a full-time faculty member in the discipline of their choice for advising each semester.



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