Student Excellence Exhibition
Celebrating the Spectrum of Graphic Arts Technology
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
5:30pm – 7:30pm
Learn more »
Many people use the term “Graphic Artist” as a general term and are unaware of the key focus of any particular program. The College of DuPage Graphic Arts Technology program offers production/technical skills for the printing and publishing industry. Issues covered are for the implementation, problem solution, and proper set-up of press-ready printable documents for today’s industry, as well as, multipurposing documents for the web. Another program, Graphic Design (formerly Advertising, Design, and Illustration) focuses on the creative/design side of the advertising Industry.
The Graphic Arts Technology curriculum focuses on publishing and printing industry technical skills and standards. The production curriculum of Digital Prepress or Print Production coursework, allow students to gain knowledge of the most widely used software programs, ( Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash, and Fireworks) in-demand by local employers. Color correction, file preparation, preflighting, and the ability to translate file to the internet, are key skills employers are looking for.
Start first by registering as a student at College of DuPage. The beginning classes in the Graphic Arts Technology program are GRAPH 1101 Printing Methods and Processes and GRAPH 1102 Introduction to Graphic Publishing Applications. These classes are the foundation for the beginning student. For more information about degrees or certificate programs, consult the degrees & certificates page of this site. For further information and guidance though the program, consult a Graphic Arts faculty adviser.
No, the department has Macintosh computer labs equipped with the latest version of the Mac OS (operating system) and software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Flash, and Fireworks; along with Flightcheck, QuickEst, and Postscript fonts. After taking several classes many students purchase computers and software for in-home practice.
The Graphic Arts Technology curriculum is created for students just beginning their education on the Mac computer and learning the software related to the printing and publishing industry. Coursework is prepared for the average-speed student, thus those that are computer savvy will complete the projects a bit faster than those who are new to the basic functions of a computer. The printing and publishing industry is a time demand and detail oriented industry, so coursework has specific time demands to increase the proficiency of students’ entry level skills, and building on their advanced skills. All classes offer sufficient lab time to complete the necessary coursework.
Respect course prerequisites. Each course builds on the other.
Register early and pay on time to ensure your seat in the class.
Try to learn as much as you can about the industry.
Learn as much as you can from experienced people
Keep current on latest graphic-based software/hardware.
Subscribe to graphic-related periodicals.
Be a self-motivated lifelong learner.
Seek advising from a full-time GAT faculty member, for indepth course and transfer information.
Be willing to accept an entry level job to break into the field, polish your skills
and gain knowledge.
Suggested courses to complete the degree/certificate requirements are available from any of the Graphic Arts advisers. Since individuals have different time schedules for taking courses, you should make an appointment with one of the faculty advisers to plan a course of action to complete the coursework. Dedicated students may finish their Graphic Arts coursework in two years.
Yes and no. If you have more than 20 accumulated hours in the Graphic Arts program and have not broken enrollment for more than two terms, you can continue with the requirements for the quarter system degree/certificate. If you have broken enrollment for more than 2 terms, it is suggested that you retake key coursework as programs and coursework has changed. If you have less than 20 accumulated hours in the Graphic Arts Technology program will follow the semester requirements. Contact a Graphic Arts Technology adviser for personal guidance.
As a degree granting institution we must adhere to a high standard of educational proficiency. As such, there are no competency tests offered for the intermediate or advanced level classes. We feel students need the information given in the courses in order to be successful. Many students feel they have the knowledge, but rapidly find in the first few course sessions, they need the information given in the classroom. Special competency exams may be given for those individuals with previous work-related experience on a Macintosh platform. The only two classes that a student may proficiency out of are GRAPH 1101 and GRAPH 1102. Students who feel they are eligible to proficiency out are encouraged to make an appointment with an adviser to discuss their eligibility.
It is recommended you talk with a full-time faculty adviser within the department to discuss your background. Only you can decide if you feel you have the necessary skills and knowledge to enroll in an advanced level course. The GAT department has created the coursework to prepare students for the printing and publishing industry workforce or for a baccalaureate institution—from entry level to an advanced level. If you choose to enroll in an intermediate or advanced course, you will be expected to maintain the same level of coursework without the additional background the other students have gained from taking the beginning courses.
Students with credit from other institutions should send their transcripts to the Office of Records at COD to have their coursework evaluated for potential credit at COD. Not all coursework will transfer, especially if the coursework does not correspond to the individual courses in the Graphic Arts program. After you have received your evaluated transcript from Records, please make an appointment with a Graphic Arts faculty adviser to review your transcript.
Attention to detail
Good communication skills
Knowledge of color theory and color correction
Ability to work quickly and accurately under tight deadlines
Willingness to develop ideas and concepts
Good organizational skills
Solid mechanical skills
Troubleshooting and problem solving skills
Ability to juggle multiple projects simultaneously
Ability to work well with a diverse group of people
Technically accurate software skillsAbility to follow directions and interpret instructions given
Ability to communicate with clients and various groups within graphic arts.
Knowledge of cross-platform issues for print and Web
OVERALL: produce technically accurate documents that are prepared properly for print production
Color correction specialist
Prepress imaging specialist (processes images, digitally color corrects composites photos, preps for print
Prepress technicians (trapping, photographic stripping, film/plate output imposition
Preflight operator (File or studio technician)
Digital prepress supervisor
On-demand print specialist
Customer service/Production manager
Web publisher (production, building sites, repurposing print documents)
Project manager content developer
There are 4 general levels of client rates, download the print skill and price guide at www.aquentpartners.com
1 plus years: $10–20 per hour • $20 – 30,000 per year
2-4 years: $15–25 dollars per hour $30–45,000 per year
4-6 years: $20–35 per hour • $50–80,000 per year
6–10 years: $35-75 per hour • $60–125,000 per year
These figures are meant only as a general guideline for potential earnings in the Graphic Arts fields. Your salary will depend on your skill level and the general state of the market. Agencies will evaluate your skills and can tell you where you fall based on your skill level. You are evaluated not only on how you present yourself and your skills, but on the samples that you have in your portfolio (portfolio includes traditional print and Web site/samples).
Graphic Arts is a major industry in Illinois, so there are many jobs available. Chicago is a printing mecca bridging the east and west coasts. There are many major printers in the Chicago area such as RR Donnelly and Copley. Because the industry is here, there is a need for skilled and knowledgeable professionals in the publishing and printing industry. Entry level positions and knowledge can lead to on the job and hands on training that can lead to higher skilled and higher paying jobs. According to the Printing Industries, Illinois/Indiana, printing is the third largest manufacturing sector in Illinois, contributing more than $9.1 billion, (more than the NFL, NBA, and NHL combined) to the state’s economy in 2002. Illinois printing companies alone employ more than 84,000 workers, and this does not even include the numerous advertising agencies, universities, major corporations and firms with in-house print shops.