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Graphic Communications (Production)* Pathway

Why Graphic Communications (Production)?

Graphic Communications (Production) is a catch-all term for all the industries involved in reproducing an image. The image, whether it be a word, photograph or illustration can be reproduced on paper, cloth, metal, glass, plastic or a variety of other materials so that the message can be widely seen.

Graphic Communications (Production) is a multi-faceted industry with a wide range of career opportunities. This highly technical industry employs men and women working as chemists, engineers, computer programmers, writers and editors, designers, marketing specialists, researchers, press operators, technicians, salespeople, managers, photographers and bindery workers, as well as a variety of other positions. Many, but not all of these occupations require a college degree.

Joining the graphic communications industry is a wise career choice for high school graduates. The exact size of the industry is hard to determine because of the wide variety of companies involved. However, the number of printing and publishing companies probably ranks second to restaurants in total establishments. The industry includes small, medium and large businesses in both small towns and large metropolitan areas.


The International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) is an innovative education framework incorporating the vision and educational principles of the IB into a unique programme specifically tailored for students who wish to engage in career-related learning. The aim of the IBCP is to provide students with both an academic and practical foundation to support both their further studies and specialized training, thereby ensuring their success in the workforce. The IBCP combines highly regarded and internationally recognized IB Diploma Programme courses with an approved career-related study and a unique IBCP core. Graphic Communications (Production) is one of eleven MHS Career Pathways that has been approved as IBCP.


*The Graphic Communications (Production) program is "industry certified" by PrintED, administered by the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF®). An "industry certified" program has received a "stamp of excellence," which represents the apex of program quality. Only those programs that have successfully undergone rigorous reviews by leaders from business and industry are recognized with this distinction.

adobe aca logo*Students in this pathway have the opportunity to sit for the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) exam in Graphic Design & Illustration using Adobe Illustrator. Adobe Illustrator software is the industry’s premier vector-drawing environment for creating scalable graphics. Digital media gurus bring their unique vision to life with shapes, color, effects, and typography by using a host of powerful functions to make fast work of their most complex designs.

Graphic Communications Courses and schedule

Graphic Communications (Production) Course Schedule

Introduction to Graphics & Design – 2 semesters.
Introduction to Graphics & Design builds a foundation for various functions of the printing industry emphasizing layout, composition, art, design and operation of printing and finishing machinery and technology. The goal of this course is to provide all students with an introduction to the principles of graphic communications & design and its place in the world. Exposure to career possibilities, discussion of ethical issues relating to graphic communications and design will also be important threads in this course.

Graphic Design & Production – 2 semesters.
Prerequisite: Intro to Graphics & Design
As the second course in the Graphics Production Pathway, this course builds on knowledge and skills learned in the Intro to Graphics and Design course and focuses on procedures commonly used in the graphic communication and design industries. Students will gain experience in creative problem solving and the practical implementation of those solutions across multiple areas of graphic communications.

Advanced Graphic Output Processes – 2 semesters.
Prerequisite:: Intro to Graphic & Design and Graphic Design & Production
Participates will be completing real print jobs for local clients. Students gain experience in successfully completing the output processes of various projects in an increasingly independent manner from direct teacher control. Students also learn to manage the output and completion process as a whole including customer relations management, printing, finishing, and binding. Students accumulate work samples that will constitute their personal portfolio. Upon successful completion of the course, students are prepared to move into employment or a post-secondary education environment where self-motivation and a high level of skill are expected.
Post Secondary Institutions of Study

Post-Secondary Institutes to Study Graphic Communications (Production)

•    American Intercontinental University
•    Art Institute of Atlanta
•    Atlanta Technical College
•    Bauder College
•    Brenau University
•    Chattahoochee Technical College
•    DeKalb Technical College
•    Fort Valley State University
•    Herzing College
•    Herzing College
•    Hi-Tech Institute
•    ITT Technical Institute
•    Chattahoochee Technical College
•    Portfolio Center
•    Savannah College of Art & Design
•    The Creative Circus
•    Westwood College
Most major colleges also offer programs in the field of graphics. The schools listed are graphic specific schools.


SkillsUSA is a national, nonprofit student organization that has developed more than 10 million workers who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations through active partnerships between employers and educators. SkillsUSA’s mission is to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.