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Posted on: May 11, 2021

CMS students who are considering a career in Graphic Arts have the option to pursue that course of study while in high school. Northwest School of the Arts is one of those schools offering the CTE Graphic & Digital Design pathway.   First-year students in Introduction to Adobe Applications recently completed a design project on composite art. Compositing is the technique of combining a variety of images and different styles to create artwork as simple as a collage of photos from an event or as intricate as a detailed fantasy image. Students mastered advanced blending and masking techniques in Adobe Photoshop to forge creative connections between otherwise disparate ideas or themes.

The Covid Pandemic did not deter these students from their course of study.  Students created various studio projects all year by downloading and having access to the Adobe Creative Cloud on their personal computers. “I always said that graphic design is about creative problem-solving and having remote access to the tools lends itself to online learning more easily than some other studio art classes,” NWSA Graphic and Digital Design instructor Michael Johnson said.

Mr. Johnson had no problem transitioning his class to online learning. “I spent the first three weeks of the school year training students how to download and install their software from Adobe’s website, uploading and accessing their native files on their CMS-based Office 365 platform OneDrive, and how to navigate through the learning management system Canvas. When students submit their work, they have to enter a link from their files in OneDrive and place it in Canvas with the appropriate specifications,” Johnson said. “Not only do the students learn 21st-century techniques on how to send work to clients, they learn they can create and show their work in an online platform faster than in a traditional classroom.”

One NWSA student preparing to pursue graphic design in college is senior Sarah Reynolds, who plans to attend UNC-Wilmington before transferring to the Savannah College of Art and Design. Sarah said taking another graphic design class Johnson previously taught led to her taking Introduction to Adobe Applications and ultimately pursuing a career in exhibition design.

What careers can an individual pursue with a Graphic Design degree?  Advertising art director, animator, artworker, concept artist, creative director, graphic designer, illustrator are just a few of the jobs available with typical employers, including advertising firms, branding specialists, public relations agencies, publishing companies, and design consultancies.

Please enjoy this showcase of Mr. Michael Johnson’s CTE Introduction to Adobe Application student portfolios.