The New York Film Academy’s One-Year Graphic Design program integrates key aspects of contemporary design
thinking within the context of the Academy’s renowned film program. This unique curriculum offers special
focus on areas of design practice relating to communication, narrative structure, storytelling, motion
graphics, and the integration of design and film. Emphasis is placed on acquiring design fundamentals,
while also addressing areas where graphic design and film intersect. Students will ignite a whole new
creative journey and expand their possibilities in the field of graphic design. Guided by a world-class
faculty of respected and active professional graphic designers, one-year students develop a diverse design
portfolio, professional fluency in industry standard tools, and in-depth knowledge of graphic design.
This conservatory-style, experience-based course offers students the opportunity to master the visual
language of graphic design and gain the technical, collaborative, and artistic skills required to pursue
success in an increasingly competitive field. Two semesters of sequential, hands-on intensive courses ensure
that students develop a cutting-edge skill set as they explore the fundamentals of design, image, and
typography. These skills will come to life as students walk through real-world industry processes from start
to finish — from understanding client design briefs to generating ideas, sketching, refining, prototyping,
and production. The class projects will guide students in creating branding and visual identity, and learning
interface design and design for interaction (mobile, responsive design and app design), motion graphics (on
screen branding and identity, film titles, campaigns and trailers), and print materials (editorial, book and
collateral). Students work with expert faculty and state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, discovering
connections between their aesthetic sensibilities and commercial objectives.
NYFA’s one-year graphic design program equips students with the technical knowledge, design theory, and studio
skills they need to reach a truly competitive level of professionalism and artistry. Students will complete
this course of study with comprehensive knowledge of graphic design — and a professional portfolio of 7-10
pieces showcasing the breadth and depth of their design skills and experience.
1-YEAR GRAPHIC DESIGN PROGRAM - SEMESTER ONE
Students are introduced to the fundamentals of graphic design and build a design skill set through courses in
basic design, communication, and typography. History of graphic design and computer lab courses augment students’
knowledge base as they develop fluency in current industry software such as Adobe Creative Suite-InDesign,
Photoshop Illustrator, and After Effects. Faculty work with students to establish an in-depth understanding of
the design process. From initial brainstorming and sketching to rapid prototyping, students foster an
understanding of visual relationships and how to use them to communicate a direct and coherent message in varied,
interrelated media formats.
1-YEAR GRAPHIC DESIGN PROGRAM - SEMESTER TWO
Building on the skills acquired in semester one, semester two students engage in design problem solving and
application. Through courses in branding and visual identity, interactivity and user interface, and design and
motion, students work to address real-world graphic design challenges in a client-based setting. Portfolio
production, business practices, and computer lab courses augment hands-on learning, providing students with the
rigorous academic foundation for achieving fluency in current industry software such as Adobe Creative
Elements of Design
This course develops an understanding of visual relationships and how to use them to
communicate a direct and coherent message. The course will investigate issues of
composition, organic and geometric form, color, craft, and the process of communication.
This course develops an understanding of basic image meaning, sequencing, and narrative
structure, and how these create visual impact and clarity while solving communications
problems. Special attention is given to developing the student’s perceptual abilities
through the introduction of basic semiotic theory.
Fundamentals of Typography
This course develops an understanding of basic typographic vocabulary and basic
typographic visual relationships. Through a thorough understanding of typographic history,
and classification students learn to recognize type families and key fonts. Through a
series of visual exercises, students learn how hierarchy, composition, image, motion and
sound are used to communicate a message.
Drawing & Image Making
This course develops an understanding of image making and drawing, and their potential as
tools for communication. Students will explore image making with traditional as well as
experimental materials. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the basic meaning of an
image and how that meaning can be changed, manipulated, or strengthened depending on how
it is generated. Students will explore single-image, image combination, composition, and
History of Graphic Design
This course exposes students to a comprehensive history of graphic design. Through visual
presentations, lectures, and class discussion, students will explore this history from the
invention of writing to the industrial revolution to the digital revolution.
Tech Lab 1
This course introduces students to essential industry standard design software. The course
will cover basic file set-up, file management and best practices. Emphasis will be placed
on student proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite and related software.
Communication Strategies — Branding and Visual Identity
This course introduces students to branding and identity, and the designing of a visual
identity program for delivery in varied, interrelated media formats — collateral, web,
print, and mobile. This course develops approaches to solving branding and visual identity
problems of broad scope and increasingly practical applications. Students working within
static and motion contexts focus on developing the “narrative structure” of a brand. Students
will develop a design brief, design proposal, and a solution that emphasizes the visual and
narrative structure of their brand identity.
Design for Interaction
This course develops approaches to designing for interactive media across multiple platforms.
From print to tablet to mobile device, students will apply the skills that they have acquired
within the graphic design program to solve interactive design problems. Students are introduced
to concepts of interactivity and user experience while expanding their understanding of
typographic and visual communications. Working with Adobe Creative Suite software, students will
create and implement design prototypes — and will user-test their designs, refining their
interface models as needed.
Type and Motion
This course expands the understanding of narrative storytelling by investigating typographic
and visual principles in an on-screen environment over time, and incorporating sound and
motion. Conceptual clarity, organization, pacing, craft, storytelling, and expressive richness
are emphasized through a series of individual projects building in length and complexity as the
semester progresses. Emphasis will be placed on students developing a nuanced understanding of
how words, images, and ideas take visual form in an on-screen reading environment.
Tech Lab 2
In this class, students will continue to gain proficiency with and become fluent in advanced
software used in contemporary design practice. Adobe Creative Suite: Photoshop, After Effects,
Students will learn programming for web, mobile devices, and responsive web design. Students
will also gain knowledge of the technical process involved in the production of digital
pre-press and print production.
Portfolio Production and Business Practices
This class focuses on the professional portfolio and the business of design: understanding
client needs, contract negotiation, use rights, copyright, invoicing, etc. Students will
develop a professional portfolio in multiple formats (print and web) and develop
self-promotional strategies including resumes, cover letters, and promotional mailers. Students
will also visit New York design studios to see first hand how a professional design studio
functions and to make valuable networking connections.
The Design Studio is a simulation of a real-world graphic design challenge in a client-based
setting. Through research into various design areas — interface design, web design, print,
motion graphics — students will research a design problem and present a design brief that
addresses and offers solutions to the selected problem. The brief will include details of the
design problem to be solved. Students will work to “client” timelines and deadlines.
Dates & Tuition
Fees Per Year
Tuition: $32,054 (USD) + Lab Fee: $1,034(USD)
Number of Semesters: 2
Students will also incur additional expenses on their own productions. This varies depending on how much film they shoot and scale of the projects.
Location & Available Dates
For New York City: September 2017 - May 2018 January 2018 - September 2018 September 2018 - May 2019
For Los Angeles: September 2017 - May 2018 January 2018 - September 2018 September 2018 - May 2019
Please note: Dates and Tuition are subject to change