Learn how to apply your artistic vision to the widest spectrum of digital experience for web, mobile, and tablet platforms, from gaming to broadcast mediums. Your focus is on creating big ideas, executing successful projects that consider current trends, technology, and consumer mindshare. You'll collaborate with thought leaders, work directly with clients, and partner with industry mentors to envision new design directions, emulating a digital agency experience.
The following is an in-depth breakdown of the Digital Design program given by Term and Subjects Covered. To get a sense of a typical week for a Digital Design student, visit What You Will Learn.
Program & Term Overview
Creating a Design Core – Terms 1-3 (6 months)
In the first half of the year, we provide you with a strong foundation in the ABC's of Digital Design. You learn why it is important to understand the core motivations of your Audience, and to create desirable products that meet both their current and future needs. You learn to navigate and manage the technical constraints of a project while considering business and Brands. You also learn the latest design tools, techniques and approaches that increase your capacity for design and your ability to execute larger more complex projects.
Weeks 1-8 (Term 1): Understanding Fundamental Design Approaches
Term 1 immerses you in the skills, theories, and techniques you need for understanding the fundamentals of Digital Design. You learn to apply iterative design approaches and treatments in relation to multiple mediums. Core competencies are built for identifying target audiences, pitching concepts, pre-visualization, composition, storytelling, HTML & CSS developmental constraints, interactive principles, and postproduction workflows. You develop a solid understanding of the tools, approaches and career opportunities within the three focus areas: Communication, Interactive, and Motion Design.
- User Experience
- Storyboarding & Pre-visualization
- Motion Design 1: Animation & Basic Effects
- Communication Design 1: Core Principles
- Interface Development 1: Web Fundamentals
- Interactive Design 1: Interface Principles
- 2D Graphics 1: Photoshop
- Industry & Career Preparation 1: Career Opportunities
- Project Management 1: Presentations & Team Dynamics
Weeks 9-16 (Term 2) Managing More Complex Technical Projects
Term 2 extends your knowledge into ideation techniques, interactive architectures, and the application of visual design principles. You learn the fundamentals of typography and print design, and gain knowledge of project management, social media and blogging essentials. You focus on responsive design by creating and interpreting wireframes, producing interface designs reflective of the tone, language and style of your project. You are able to consider more sophisticated technical constraints by expanding your understanding of HTML and CSS, along with a more advanced emphasis on lighting, chroma keying and advanced animation techniques for motion design. Here, you'll produce your first portfolio pieces and participate in your first Digital Design Slam, working with teams made up of students from all levels of the program to produce exceptional results within a tight, focused timeframe.
- Information Architecture 1: Fundamentals & Web
- Interaction Design 2: Web & Devices
- Interface Development 2: CSS & Wordpress
- Motion Design 2: Light, Camera, Interpolation
- Creative Methodologies 1: Applying Design Frameworks
- Communication Design 2: Typography
- 2D Graphics 2: Illustrator
- Industry & Career Prep 2: Establishing a Voice
- Project Management 2: Traditional Frameworks
Weeks 17-24 (Term 3) Creating Big Ideas Within Design Constraints
In Term 3, you delve into more advanced topics using increasingly more sophisticated tools and design processes. You undertake a major client, partnering with a local or international non-profit organization. You learn to manage these projects through the use of agile project management techniques and scrum management. You continue to build your portfolio by delivering three additional individual projects: 1) A branding project that tackles strategies around local business; 2) A motion broadcast package; and 3) An information design for mobile and tablet devices. You also pay visits to various local design agencies and have your first exposure to creative talent recruiters.
- Creative Methodologies 2 : Graduate Project Definition
- Big Idea, Clients & Collaborations
- Communication Design 3: Branding
- 2D Graphics 3 : InDesign - Publishing & Editorial Layouts
- Information Architecture 2 : Responsive & Mobile Devices
- Motion Design 3 : Broadcast Packages
- 3D Graphics 1 : Modeling & Materials in Cinema 4D
- Industry & Career Preparation 3 : Design Career Paths
- Project Management 3 : Agile Methodologies
Master Classes in Design – Terms 4-6 (6 months)
In the second half of the year, you set your own direction, as VFS provides you the opportunity to build valuable skills and create portfolio pieces in three areas of specialization: Communication, Interactive, & Motion Design. You tackle more sophisticated and technically complex projects, while defining and executing your graduate project. We round-out the year with a 5-week Employment Boot Camp, where you are exposed to a number of influential industry members as you focus on preparing and networking your way into your dream job.
Weeks 25-32 (Term 4) Specialization & Expanding Your Portfolio
Term 4 concentrates on advanced classes emphasizing core concepts while enabling you to create more work for your portfolio. You have the option of extending your knowledge of branding, reinforcing motion design principles by creating a title sequence, traveling deeper into the z-space with 3D, or learning how to consider complex systems and identify contextual design opportunities as your interactive mind grows to consider the macro level. In addition, you partner with the Head of Department (HOD) to identify portfolio gaps. While refining your pitching skills, eventually, you're paired with an industry mentor to help tackle your graduate project, which will serve as the cornerstone to your Digital Design portfolio.
- Project Management 4: Graduate Project Planning
- Industry & Career Preparation 4: Art of Pitching
- 2D Graphics 4 (elective): Photoshop & Illustrator on Trend
- Communication Design 4 (elective): Advanced Branding & ID
- Interactive Design 3 (elective): Systems Thinking
- Motion Design 4 (elective): Title Sequences
- 3D Graphics 2 (elective): Dynamics and Mograph
Weeks 33-40 (Term 5) Building & Refining Graduate Projects
Term 5 focuses your studies to match a specific career profile: Communication Designer, Information Architect, Interactive Designer, Motion Designer or Project Manager. You work one-on-one each week with your industry or faculty mentor to bring your graduate project to completion. By executing a comprehensive design brief, you are exposed to the intricacies of studio-scale productions. Electives in this term give you the advanced techniques to shine in the industry while also affording you the chance to get additional assistance with your final project. Course content includes: The application of game design principles to create tiers of rich and rewarding systems; Integration of 2D & 3D motion mediums to create more dynamic and emotional experiences; The transformation of brand strategies into beautiful packaging projects; and Experimentation within core design tools to aid in defining personal styles.
- 2D Graphics 5 (elective): Experimental Practices
- Communication Design 5 (elective): Packaging
- Interface Development 4 (elective): Trends in Development
- Interactive Design 4 (elective): Gamification of Life
- Motion Design 5 (elective): 3D & 2D Integration
- 3D Graphics 3 (elective): Composition & Integration
- Project Management 5: Graduate Project Development
- Industry & Career Preparation 5: Personal Brands
Weeks 41-48 (Term 6) Building an Employment Launchpad
Your final term focuses on you and your professional status in the industry. Working with experts in portfolio development, employment strategy, and the business, law, and ethics of design, you develop and create your own unique professional identity, and begin a dialogue with outside companies. In the portfolio review session, you work directly with outside industry experts to refine both your portfolio and your communications strategy, giving you the best possible launch pad for your design career. Your student journey culminates with Appetizers, our networking event, which brings you face to face with the design industry that wants to meet you.
- Theoretical Approaches (elective)
- Stop Motion (elective)
- Business, Law & Ethics
- Portfolio Development
- Project Management 6: Project Refinement
- Industry & Career Preparation 6: Employment Launchpad