Download graphic design curriculum PDF

All the training curriculum is now available to download for interested high school teachers. Click on the links below to access the PDF files.

Created by AIGA Minnesota with support from AIGA Innovate.


Unit 1: Introduction to Graphic Design

Students are introduced to the industry, what designers do, and what graphic design actually is. Students will get a taste of what is to come in Units 2 and 3 by learning and practicing the creation of thumbnail sketches, rough sketches, and comprehensive design, the building blocks of the design process. 

Unit 2: 2D Design Basics

Students learn the fundamentals of two-dimensional design, the foundation of art, graphic design, and visual communication. This unit focuses on how through simple, yet intentional visual manipulation, points, lines, planes, gestalt, and color can communicate and create meaning. 

Unit 3: Design Process

Students will learn and practice the design process and explore it through a simple five-step plan. Designers practice the design process in order to find solutions to the visual problems they take on. Students will be able to identify each step in the design process, understand the importance of each step, and implement them. 

Unit 4: Typography

Students will be introduced to the power of words through typography. After a brief but important history of the alphabet, students learn to use typography as a communication tool—not only to make artful design, but to organize and communicate the meaning of an idea. Students will understand how type can be used to make text more readable and understandable and how it can organize content for ease of use and comprehension.

References; Glossary

A list of the participants who helped create the curriculum, references used in its creation, and a glossary of terms for easy reference.


The handouts are supplementary documents linked directly to the specific unit sections. They are referenced specifically in those sections.


These customizable rubrics are are meant as examples of how to assess this curriculum. There is one available per unit; unit 4 includes additional rubrics for use within that unit.

Tags education graphic design