Graphic Design with Adobe

From: $90.00 / month for 5 months

Grades:  10th–12th

Live Class:  Tue 4:00–5:15 p.m. ET

Dates:  Jan 2–Apr 28

Price:  $399

Instructor: Brian Reeves

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Course Description


This course extends the first semester’s immersion into design ideas and skills into learning and using professional tools to develop

Students will develop projects driven by their interests as they learn to use much more powerful industry-standard software tools including Adobe’s Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and Dimensions. Projects including designing more icons, emojis and patterns, and now a poster, a mini-zine book, and a package design.

We’ll be using analog tools like pens and pencils in sketchbooks and tracing paper, cut paper and glue, and also a variety of free online software tools.

Completing this course is a recommended step toward preparing for work as a designer, for college coursework in art and design (and just about any other major could take advantage of these skills), and for starting one’s own business.

Subjects covered in this course will include:

  • A continued look into topics covered in the first semester, including the importance of the iterative process, proofing, and the “gestalt” principles of design.
  • Design challenges relating specifically to design for print vs. on-screen output.
  • Using Adobe Illustrator to create and edit vector graphics.
  • Using Adobe Photoshop to create and edit pixel-based images.
  • Using Adobe InDesign to arrange text and images in multi-page publications.
  • Using Adobe Dimensions to create a “virtual proof” of a packaging design.

Course Objectives: After completing this course, student will be able to:

  • Use analog and sophisticated digital tools to engage in the creative process to develop effective solutions to visual and textual problems
  • Experience visual art and design with greater sensitivity
  • Communicate with greater clarity as to the qualities of designs made by themselves and others
  • Tap into their own interests, passions, concerns, and ambitions as content for coursework.
  • Gain experience in considering the needs of a client, an audience and other contextual factors for each project.

Required materials

  • a subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud service, which can be purchased for approximately $20 per month
  • sketchbook, or loose paper without lines
  • mechanical pencils with eraser

Course Structure

Each class meeting will begin with a look at the previous week’s homework, followed by a lecture/discussion and technical demonstration. Students will be encouraged to share their work-in-progress via screen-sharing and the camera.

Each week’s homework will be listed and covered during class. 1-2 hours of homework will be expected each week, and will sometimes entail watching a video online that I’ve found or created to help work and learn a particular topic at your own pace.

The information shared and technical knowledge will be largely sequential, so missing previous classes could make it hard to work on current work, so students who miss class will be encouraged to review the previous meeting.

Who should enroll?

This course is recommended for 10th-12th grade students interested in art and design, and and/or just using the industry-standard professional tools by Adobe.

While there is no prerequisite, the previous semester’s Design 1 course is highly recommended, as it provides a more comprehensive foundation upon which to build with the more technically-focused 2nd semester. Experience in drawing is also recommended.

Technology Requirements

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Web cam, sound card and working microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
  • Computer with internet connection to use the free online tools
  • An email address to sign up for some of the free online tools
  • A camera —phone cameras will do well

Evaluation and Feedback

Feedback will be offered in each class and, in some cases, in written form. Scores will be applied to most assignments within the week following the first due date, with lower scores usually meaning the directions weren’t followed. Students are encouraged to set up individual meetings to get more feedback and to work through any conceptual, aesthetic or technical impasses.

Assignments can be revised for more credit up until the end of the semester.

Participation in class meetings is worth 25% of the grade, so that earning an A or B requires coming prepared and getting engaged with the instructor and classmates during our meetings.


Parents and students can contact me via email and can expect a response within 24 hours. They can also set up a Zoom meeting via If the time that works for them isn’t available there, I encourage them to suggest a time that does via email.

Required Texts


No texts are required for this course, however, a subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud service is required, which can be purchased for approximately $20 per month.


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Instructor Bio

Brian Reeves

Hi. I’m Brian Reeves.

I’m an artist, designer, and educator who loves engaging in the creative process, expanding my horizons to learn new things, and sharing my passion for art and design with students of all ages.

I first studied drawing and printmaking at the University of Minnesota and the University of Northern Iowa, where I gained experience creating etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, and screen prints. As a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison I embraced digital tools, starting with Photoshop, and expanded to designing my own interactive software and websites.

Since completing my education, I’ve continued working on fun and rewarding creative projects in a wide range of media, including portraits, sculptures, cartoons, illustrations, logos, packaging, posters, pamphlets, instructional diagrams, 3D models, websites, mobile apps, fonts, animations, banners, murals, and more.

While many of my creations have been exhibited in galleries, printed in publications, and displayed on city streets around the world, I’m most proud of the work I’ve done in the classroom helping others learn to express themselves creatively using many traditional and digital media.

I have taught drawing classes since 1994 as well as other subjects at various colleges in Missouri, Maine, and Massachusetts, where I currently teach drawing and design courses at Boston College and Emmanuel College.

I bring positive energy and a constructive spirit of experimentation, wonder, and mutual appreciation into the classroom to create a welcoming, collaborative environment, meeting students where they’re at in their development. I strive to create fun, challenging assignments to explore art, encouraging students to tap into their individual interests to complete assigned projects. Some of my own favorite subjects beyond art and design include astronomy, backyard birdwatching where I live in Maine, playing games, and making music.

I’m excited to begin working with many of you at Aim Academy!

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