Computer Graphic Artist

Program Outline

Instruction Sets
Your program consists of six Instruction Sets designed to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills you'll use in your new career.

Here's how it works
You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.

Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons:

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: To prepare students for an entry-level career as a computer graphic artist.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Understand the benefits of using computer programs and hardware to create computer graphics that are artistically interesting and appealing to clients and consumers, as well as review different career options available to digital artists.
  • Explore basic color theory concepts and software techniques, the relationship between light and color, the organization of colors using color wheels and color spheres effectively, and the differences between additive and subtractive color and how it affects art on a computer.
  • Understand computer graphics and the difference between raster graphics and vector graphics along with the components and steps involved in publication design.
  • Identify how a computer works with existing graphics, original graphics, photographs, and the different types of graphics software available.
  • Understand the history of and the current uses for the Internet and the World Wide Web, how to navigate through the Internet using web URLs, and links and use email and upload and download files.
  • Recognize and name Internet service providers (ISPs) and search engines, while understanding how to use search engines and their features, including parts of a URL.
  • Identify the various components of a document, how the spacing between letters, lines, and words can be used, and what must be considered before a document can go into a page layout program.
  • Understand the term illustration and its applications in the world of graphic design, including the role of graphic images in publications; identify the different types of illustrations commonly used in graphic design and computer graphic formats used by most page layout software; and review today’s most popular graphics software packages.
  • Exhibit the basic design principles for communicating visually and incorporating Gestalt theory into your work by demonstrating how to use color, type, and an understanding of four basic principles of design: contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity.
  • Display the skills involved with setting up your own workspace including working with multiple art boards and preparing artwork for output by creating documents that fold and using templates, and explore drawing of basic shapes, drawing and painting complex artwork; working with gradient meshes, custom swatches, brushes, symbols, special effects, and type; combining text with graphics; creating charts, graphs, using image trace and live color and drawings in perspective, and constructing website interfaces.
  • Recognize the advantages and disadvantages of working from home, as well as how to review strategies for organizing and managing your home office, develop a proper work-life balance, and list the equipment you’ll need, as well as understand procedures for successfully marketing your home business.
  • Understand the role of client’s expectations, the various functions of a portfolio, including common methods of presenting artwork, key elements of a professional résumé and different ways to promote your artwork.

Instruction Set 1

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal. Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers. Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Introduction to Digital Art
Learning about the Computer Graphic Artistry field; basic equipment; skills needed; career opportunities.

Instruction Set 2

Color Theory
Aspects of color; conveying emotions and ideas with color; creating tints, shades, and intensities; major principles of color compositions.

Computer Graphics
The role of computer graphics in document layout; creating new or manipulating existing artwork, graphics, and photographs; multimedia, virtual reality, and animation.

Instruction Set 3

Internet Basics
Where to find browsers online; how to use a browser, including loading URLs, moving to other pages, saving pages and graphics, bookmarking, downloading, using email and search engines, setting preferences, plug-ins.

Elements of Design
You will learn about what to consider before laying out a document, the varieties of typefaces, the components of a typical page, line spacing, the E-scale system of measurement, how to use style manuals and specifications, as well as all the elements of a well-designed Web page.

Types of illustrations used by desktop publishers; selecting, sizing, and placing art in documents; arranging and manipulating images.

Instruction Set 4

Introduction to Graphic Design
Introduction to Graphic Design; the Four Basic Principles of Design; Color Relationships; Essential Aspects of Typography; Incorporating Proximity, Alignment, Repetition, Contrast, Color, and Type into Design.

Textbook included

Instruction Set 5

Graphics Design and Production (Illustrator®)
Getting Started with Illustrator and Creating Text and Illustrations; Transforming Objects and Working with Layers, Patterns, and Brushes; Filters, Effects, Appearance Attributes, and Graphs; Using Symbols; Preparing for Printing and the Web.

Graded Project

Instruction Set 6

The Home Based Business
Identifying the type of business that suits you best; evaluating your needs for your home business; time management and organization; balancing your work with your life; handling paperwork such as permits, licenses, and taxes; planning for the future.

Selling Yourself as a Computer Graphic Artist
Constructing your resume; preparing your portfolio; fashioning electronic portfolios using pre-configured software packages.


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

Illustrator is a trademark of Adobe registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Pentium is a trademark of Intel Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

IBM is a trademark of IBM Corporation registered in the United States of America and for other jurisdictions.