Skip to main content MCC Crescent Shape Search rss Facebook Twitter Youtube chevron pointing down

Associate in Applied Science



Graphic Design - Program Requirements

How to enter the Graphic Design Program

  1. General college admissions requirements.
  2. Anyone can take the recommended First Semester courses (especially GDES110-Computers in Design I) before following the next steps:
  3. To qualify to enter the Grapic Design program and to be able to enroll in *GDES160–Graphic Design I (or any subsequent GDES class), students must successfully complete GDES110–Computers in Design I (with a C or higher) and meeting 70% or above in the Technical Skills Assessment. The competency testing will include use of the industry software tools (Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign) as covered in Computers in Design I. Testing sessions will begin just before open enrollment and will continue with a few dates before the new semester starts.
    [These dates will be posted on our website and in the Penn Valley hallways.]

Skills Testing

The skills test must be completed/passed before the semester you plan to enroll in GDES160 (offered only in the Spring).
Students can take the skills test once per semester.

Students can take the skills assessment ONCE per semester. If a student requires ADA accommodations, they must present a form from the ACCESS office that outlines the needed accommodations at least 2 days prior to their testing date. If accommodations cannot be made within reason or in time, another testing date will have to be chosen.

Testing Dates & Times

Date Time Location
Friday 11/3/17 10:00 a.m. - noon PV CA 211
Saturday 11/4/17 10:00 a.m. - noon PV CA 211

Email Darlene Town to register

What Happens Next?

When students register for one of the testing dates and passes the skills assessment, they will be notified by MCC email and their name will be forwarded to the Advising Office and the Humanities Division. A student must then contact Darlene Town, or Christine Howell, to be enrolled in GDES160.

What to Know for the Skills Test

  • Creating a folder with correct directory structure within it (files and folders inside it in proper location)
  • Naming files and folders correctly/according to instruction
  • Photoshop
    • Changing image color modes from RGB to CMYK
    • Changing image file format and name to EPS
  • Illustrator
    • Creating a new document in CMYK color mode
    • Use template file (deleting it later) to draw graphic symbols
    • Use Layers to organize content
    • Create Colors/Swatches and apply Stroke and Fill colors
    • Using the Pen tool, Ellipse tool
    • Saving as a PDF format
  • InDesign
    • Creating the document the correct page size, margins, and bleed area according to instructions
    • Setting vertical and horizontal Guides
    • Using the Type tool and Character and Paragraph panels—setting font, size, color, leading, kerning,horizontal scale
    • Placing images and adjusting their sizes and position
    • Placing text from an external file
    • Creating adjusting objects/frames - sizes, location, opacity
    • Applying Fill and Stroke colors
    • Using the Control panel—positioning/sizing objects, paragraph spacing
    • Typing text according to instructions, without typos
    • Using the Text Wrap panel—what gets wrapped and offset
    • Using Pen tool to modify the shape of a frame
    • Using Text Frame Options panel
    • Save as Package
  • Proofread your typing for errors
  • Work under deadline with controlled content and layout instructions
Last Modified: 10/10/17