Graphic designers are people who like to be creative, can sketch and communicate ideas, and enjoy seeing their designs in everyday applications. The Digital and Graphic Arts program at HFC is designed to foster your ability to communicate ideas visually and creatively for a multitude of purposes and platforms. We offer students the skills required for entry-level design positions, as well as certificates in illustration and animation. Our program will provide you with confidence in your work; the ability to design professionally for print, web, and motion; and the skills necessary to gain employment or transfer to a four-year college/university design program!

We offer courses in print, front-end web design, motion graphics, digital photography, illustration, and animation. You will gain experience using software and equipment used in the industry, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. If you are motivated, you may be able to obtain internships at well-known agencies such as Team Detroit and Yazaki.


Illustration is one of the two certificate programs offered within the Digital and Graphic Arts program. It is based in art foundations and continues through to digital illustration. You will sharpen your drawing and painting skills, then move into painting in Photoshop and creating vector graphics.


The Animation certificate program provides you with introductory to intermediate training in animation, character design, storytelling and 3D model building. This program is designed to supplement your graphic design skills or serve as a basis for further study at a four-year college/university.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students should be able to:

  1. Create visual communications for an intended message, from conceptual development to final artifact using a range of media, both traditional and digital, for final output both printed and digital.
  2. Utilize current graphic design terminology and methodology as a basis for discussing and evaluating works of design, both student and professional.
  3. Incorporate historic and contemporary design influences, both period and designer, in the creation of design solutions as well as understand the role of design in culture.
  4. Implement appropriate typographic treatments for print and digital communications. This includes typesetting, legibility, hierarchy, and style to create engaging communication solutions.
  5. Apply design processes to complete appropriate design solutions. This includes the ability to sketch and refine preliminary concepts, employ the elements and principles of design as well as color theory into effective solutions.
  6. Utilize current industry software and equipment to construct vector and raster files for use in print, motion and digital outcomes. This includes appropriated file formats for saving work as well as for distribution of final output, and preparation for print or file transfer.
  7. Develop and present a portfolio of projects for use in seeking an entry-level position or transfer to a four-year degree program. Curate and exhibit projects in a graduating student exhibition

Student Testimonials

Emily Ruda

Henry Ford College was the perfect stepping stone for my education. The Graphic Design program has great teachers and a fantastic leader, Vicki Shepherd. I joined the student-run newspaper, "The Mirror News," where my graphic design skills landed me a job as layout assistant. The newspaper's creative team also had a side project. I was assigned lead designer for "The Looking Glass" and I couldn't have done it without the skills I learned from this program.

Joe Fraga

Graphic Designer, Yazki Student Madonna College

The Graphic design program at Henry Ford College was a great learning experience. The program is structured to develop each student’s skill-set both creatively and technically. I really appreciated the focus on the creative process from start to finish and the demand for quality work for each and every project. What I have learned from the program has helped me become a better graphic designer. My portfolio helped me obtain a great long-term co-op and a sizable scholarship to continue my education.

Jerry Moore

Freelance Designer, Sirrus Radio

I loved how the Graphic Design program started to shape into a more career-driven program; we learned the most from critiquing each other’s work. My last semester in the HFC Graphic Design program was amazing. I built up my portfolio and showed it to my friends, family, and peers, and I had my digital art displayed in the show. It was a great way to show everyone my passion.

Career Opportunities

  • Production Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Visual Designer
  • Front-End Web Designer
  • Content Management Design
  • Illustrator
  • Animator
  • Motion Designer
  • Content Developer
  • Layout Artist

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated April 3, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
2 years
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Sep 2019
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