Course Syllabus

Class Description

This class will cover both the design and technical aspects of computer illustration.

  • Principal software: Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud 2017
  • Ancillary software:  Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat
  • Projects will include a mask design, icon design, an illustration design and a book cover or packaging design.

Prof. Barrett office hours: Monday and Wednesday 11 am–Noon. Office: FA237.

Class Outline

  • Digital graphics applications and systems overview
  • Cloud-based workflow using Canvas. File back-up procedures
  • Computer graphics concepts and terminology
  • Color theory and terminology
  • Applying the principles of art and design to computer graphics.
  • Scanning and importing images using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Working with large-format color printers
  • Image research / finding visual sources for original work.
  • Abstraction and creative interpretation of photographic sources.
  • Internet resources for illustration and graphic design
  • Intellectual property rights and responsibilities

Canvas and turning in your work

  • You can access Canvas from any computer with an Internet connection.
  • Class resources will be posted on Cerritos College’s Canvas system.
  • Lessons and assignments will be turned in to Canvas. Quizzes will be online on Canvas.
  • Important Email communications will be sent to the email address listed on your Canvas Account.
  • Once you create a Canvas account, you can choose how to receive class notifications, by text or email.

Your files and folders must be titled correctly to receive credit.

  • File naming instructions will be given with each assignment.
  • Use your Canvas FILES Google Docs or a private, free DROPBOX account as a back-up.
  • Back up your unfinished lessons and other files to an online dropbox at the end of each class.


Required Textbook

Adobe Illustrator CC Classroom in a Book (2015 release). ISBN# 978-0-13-430811-1

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(Used copies should be available) Also available as an ebook for mobile devices.

Supplementary Resources for ART 186

Instructional Methods

  • Lecture / Studio demonstration of technical skills.
  • Youtube Instructional videos by your Professor (search Youtube for ProfessorBRB)
  • Hands-on tutorials in the textbook
  • Individual help
  • Skill-building exercises
  • Creative projects
  • Class critique and discussion.

Audio or Video recording in class is prohibited without written permission from the professor.


  • 1GB (or larger) flash memory stick
  • 2 or 3 two-pocket folders for turning in finished projects (free at the student activities office.)
  • Optional: Highlighters and a Sharpie marker

 Required Notebook

Each student must maintain and bring to every class, a 3-ring notebook containing the following:

  • Class syllabus
  • All class hand-outs and assignment sheets
  • Notes taken from lectures and demonstrations
  • Research and sketches for projects
  • Assigned writing projects
  • Source material (such as photographs) for projects

Each student is responsible for all materials handed out in class and posted on Canvas. 


  • Skill-building Exercises and Class Projects will be evaluated in the following areas;
  • Attendance and Participation in Critiques
  • Following directions (staying within the limitations of the project)
  • Accuracy (meeting the objectives of the project)
  • Design quality (creative concept, full exploration of visual possibilities, originality, aesthetics)
  • Presentation (neat and clean work presented appropriately)

 Research contributes to the grade on many projects.

Late work will be not be accepted. Plan Ahead!

Grades are on a point system, letter equivalents are listed below.

  • 100–95%  A+ Professional quality
  • 94–90%    A Excellent work. Original design and fine craftsmanship
  • 89–85%    B+ Very good work, well above the average produced by students at this level
  • 84–80%    B Good work, above the average produced by students at this level
  • 79–75%    C+ Competent work that fulfills the requirements with distinction
  • 74–70%    C Competent work that fulfills the requirements of the assignment
  • 69–65%    D+ Work that partially meets the requirements of the assignment
  • 64–60%    D Work needing significant improvement to meet minimum requirements
  • 59–0%    Fail Work that fails to meet the requirements of the assignment

Participation (10% of the final grade)

In accordance with Cerritos College policy, students may be dropped after 4 absences. 
More than 3 absences during the semester will lower the final grade.

  • Attendance and Participation in Class (10% of the final grade)
  • First Three Absences (-3 pt each)
  • Four or more Absences ( -6 pt each)
  • Tardy (Arriving more than 3 minutes late) (-3–6 pt)
  • Leaving early (-3–6 pt)

Students who arrive after attendance has been taken must ASK to be marked present during break or after class.
Job conflicts, transportation problems, or lack of preparation do not excuse you from attending class.
If you are tardy or absent, the instructor can not repeat or summarize the lecture or assignment for you. 
Exchange contact information with a fellow student, so that you can trade notes and information in case of absence.     
 If you are having a problem with an assignment, talk to the instructor before giving up. 
She will do her best to help you to solve your problem.


 How to Succeed in College  

  • Be in class on time, with your book and materials.
  • Do reading assignments before the start of class.
  • Maintain professional standards of speech and conduct.
  • Work productively in class for all scheduled studio time. (Arriving late or leaving early will result in a lower grade).
  • Use college computers only for academic work. (Students accessing social media, shopping or entertainment sites will be asked to leave).
  • Take responsibility for all information presented in class, even if you are absent.
  • Exchange contact information with a classmate and check Talonnet/Canvas.
  • Come to class prepared to work, with books, note-taking materials and data storage. Do not use class time to shop.
  • Put cell phones on “airplane mode” during class. Check messages ONLY during break. Do not text during class.
  • Do not eat in classrooms or computer labs.


Need for Assistance

If you have any condition, such as a physical or learning disability, which will make it difficult for you to carry out the work as outlined, or which will require academic accommodations, please notify the teacher within the first week of class.


This is a pre-professional program committed to upholding the highest standards of professional behavior. Everyone is encouraged to bring their ethical questions to the class for group discussion. Deception, plagiarism, dishonesty or any form of cheating are not acceptable. Representing the work or ideas of another as one’s own is plagiarism. For information on Cerritos College Academic Honesty policies, please refer to the Cerritos College Student Handbook.

Computer Classroom Procedures

College Computers are for academic work only. Students using them for entertainment, social media or other personal purposes will be asked to leave class. Failure to abide by College policies regarding the use of computers may result in temporary or permanent loss of computer lab/classroom privileges. 

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of computer graphics terminology and formats.
  2. Produce three original vector illustration designs.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of computer graphics color modes and systems.
  4. Demonstrate vector drawing skills using the Pen Tool and the Object Tools.

Course Summary:

Date Details