Visual Design


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Visual Design


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Visual Design is all around us: street signs, films, social media, websites, and more. Thinking in a visual way gives us yet another tool for creative problem solving and thinking. This course focuses on what it means to think like a designer. We will approach design from a graphic design standpoint, but the concepts will tie into many different design practices. Some student examples can be seen here.

The students will be introduced to Illustrator as a unique tool in the design industry as well as reviewing Photoshop. We will do projects where they will be challenged to incorporate both tools into their workflow. Projects will include a collage, logo, and poster, among other smaller assignments to create understanding of composition and other design principles.

This class builds on the Photoshop class and works towards Advanced Visual Design.

Please view prerequisites and required supplies below.

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Students need Adobe Creative Cloud Suite for students for $19.99 a month for a year. They will need Photoshop and Illustrator as well as the full Adobe Acrobat program. Students also need a sketchbook, pencil/pen,  and markers.


Carissa Sheehan is a big fan of creating life-long critical thinkers and creative problem solvers. Learning how to approach problems in a visual way adds an amazing dimension to those skills. The bulk of her career has been spent working in graphic design for Christian ministries and nonprofits.

Carissa graduated with a Bachelors in Art from John Brown University and later with her Masters in Applied Linguistics from the University of Colorado at Denver. She has taught outdoor education classes, coached volleyball, and tutored adults in ESL.

In the field of graphic design she has worked as a designer as well as a Creative Director and Art Director. Much of her experience has been in small departments where she has learned the process of design from concept to delivery. This enables her to offer real world examples and advice to students who are either interested in making graphic design their collegiate field of study or who would like to use it as a way to earn money as a freelancer right away. 

After studying watercolor and oil painting in college, she discovered the joys of painting with acrylic paint. She runs a small paint party business as well as sells some of her work online. She loves the laid back approach to painting exemplified in people like Bob Ross and strives to pass on an enjoyment and mastery of painting to her students.

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