Creative Technology Diploma - Sterling College Vancouver
Gain relevant skills required to pursue careers in the computer-aided design and interactive media industries. Our College programs in Vancouver reflect current market trends and our facilities come equipped with the equipment you need to fully immerse yourself in a world of creativity.
graphic design, product design, creative arts, graphic design programs in vancouver, graphic design training vancouver
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Creative Technology

CUTTING EDGE DIPLOMA PROGRAM DESIGNED BY INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS

Courtesy of Vancouver Economic Commission. For more information on Vancouver’s Economy, Check out the video above or visit the Vancouver Economic Commission’s website.

Choose Sterling College to gain the relevant skills required to pursue careers in the computer-aided design and interactive media industries. Our programs reflect current market trends and our facilities come equipped with the tools and equipment you need to fully immerse yourself in a world of creativity.

Students with no experience start with our Foundations program, which provides students the opportunity to explore all  elements of design, technology, and applied art in order to determine which career path they want to follow.

Graduates of our Foundation program or other equivalent post-secondary programs will embark on a one year (with no work experience) or two year (with work experience) journey that will have them focus on one of three areas: Interactive Design & Creative Technologies, Graphic Design, or Industrial (computer-aided) Design.

Graduates of Sterling College Creative Technology programs are positioned to enter careers as creative directors, production artists, mobile app developers, and graphic, layout or web designers to name a few.

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PROGRAM OPTIONS

DIPLOMA IN CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIES (FOUNDATION) – 33 WEEKS OF INSTRUCTION

Drawing for Design

In this course, students will explore the fundamentals of drawing such as line, form, shading, and perspective. Students will develop their compositional skills and their ability to use imagination and observation to communicate ideas through the art of drawing.

Digital Imaging & Colour Theory

In this course, students will be introduced to the basics of image manipulation in a raster based software environment. Students will learn the vocabulary used to describe color in computing, how images are processed and how and when to use different image file formats. Students will also explore artistic color theory, and how to create color harmonies to express the mood or communicate function within their digital compositions.

Vector Art & Design I

In this course, students will be introduced to the basics of vector graphics creation. Students will design, create, and manipulate images for integration in publication layout and design, web output, use in other software packages, or immediate output. Topics include vector imaging tools, technical illustration, bitmap to vector conversion, typography, and output considerations.

Introduction to Design

This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of design and how to identify the use of these principles in classic visual arts and contemporary design. Students will be required to implement their knowledge of the fundamental principles of design in iterative conceptual compositions which will form the basis of later digital design artworks. Critical thinking and problem-solving techniques will be applied to the ideation process in order that students arrive at suitable solutions for visual design challenges. Students will be required journal their visual ideation through the use of an organized sketchbook(s) which will be diligently maintained throughout the entire diploma.

User Centered Design

This course will provide an intensive project-based introduction to interaction design, oriented toward practical methods for designing interactive systems. The goal of this course is to provide students with the skills necessary to design information system interfaces, through hands-on experience with the techniques and methods used in a professional design environment.

Vector Art & Design II

In this course, students will further their knowledge of vector graphics creation through a series of project-based lessons, which will integrate the use vector graphics within web & print design scenarios. Emphasis will be placed on the development of professional work practices, creative problem-solving techniques, and critical thinking skills. Competency will reflect a mastery and control of the technologies and an ability to apply learned skills to creative projects.

Web Design & Development I

This course introduces students to the design & development of functional, user-friendly web sites. Student will learn to use HTML & CSS and ancillary design software to produce functioning web sites. Emphasis will be placed on the development of professional work practices and organization. Students will be required to utilize user centered design knowledge in designing appealing user experiences.

History of Design

This course provides students with a history of ideas and their expression in design. Particular attention is paid to the interrelationship between form and culture and the broad social and environmental circumstances in which design responses arise.

Concept Design

This course provides students with a studio space and structured ideation framework in which to explore design concepts for their pursuant Design Project course. The work produced in this course will form the foundation for the first-year portfolio and as such it will be ambitious, thoughtful and reflective. Emphasis will be placed on the development of professional work practices, creative problem-solving techniques and critical thinking skills.

Layout Design I

Layout design will build upon core principles of design and serve as an in-depth look at the grid system in order to create effective and aesthetically pleasing layouts which engage the audience in a clear and concise manner. Projects will include developing concepts and creating posters, event fliers, brochures, and menus as well as self-promotional material.

Digital Imaging & Photography

In this course, students will further their knowledge of image manipulation in a raster based software environment Additionally students will learn the basics of camera operation, exposure, and high dynamic range photography. Emphasis will be placed on the critical analysis of photographic examples and comparisons with student work. Students will be required to demonstrate an ability to select suitable photographic assets for use in varying design scenarios.

Web Design Development II

This is a project-based course which focuses on students creating well-structured and organized websites with robust and reliable code. Students will also be introduced to database driven web publishing platforms. Students will be required to utilize effective search engine optimization practices.

Design Project

In this course students will develop their proposed project from Concept Design under the guidance of a mentor. Students will engage each other in peer review and refine their projects to better achieve the desired impact on their target audiences. The goal will be to create a seminal piece which will form the basis of their foundation diploma portfolio and as such should be ambitious, thoughtful and reflective. Emphasis will be placed on the development of professional work practices, creative problem-solving techniques and critical thinking skills.

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN – DIPLOMA IN CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIES (ADVANCED) – 44 WEEKS OF INSTRUCTION

Introduction to 3D Arts

The purpose of this course is to provide students with fundamental 3D modeling, surfacing, lighting, and animation skills. These skills will serve as a foundation for future courses in the respective disciplines and as a 3D design and conceptualization tool. Through a series of progressive modeling lessons students will learn concepts key to efficient modeling, while gaining a greater understanding of the Maya user interface. Time will be spent using photographic reference to design and texture models. Building upon their previous Adobe Photoshop experience students will learn to use 2D image manipulation techniques in a 3D context. Basic lighting principles will be introduced for presentation purposes. In the latter half of the term students will explore basic animation tools and techniques.

Drawing for Design II

Drawing for Design II is an advanced drawing course that will focus on expanded definitions and practices of drawing. This course will consist of self-directed in and out of class studio work to materialize thematically driven projects. Each project will conclude with a class discussion critiquing the conceptual, material and formal attributes of the works in an effort to evaluate whether the artists intention and final product are in alignment and how their drawings are experienced by viewers.

Product Design I

In this course, students will be introduced to product design, product marketing, prototyping & manufacturing. This theoretical understanding of the industry will be applied directly to a contextual training framework, where students will learn software tools, while gaining a broad understanding of product design workflows and industry practices. This course will also introduce the Autodesk Inventor application, its interface and the basic CAD/CAM tools needed to design, test, manufacture, and manage your product.

Computer Aided Design

This course provides students with a broad introduction into 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional Computer-Aided Design (Autodesk AutoCAD) and modeling with a focus on product and industrial design. Students will learn how to use industry-leading CAD software program to model products and create industry-standard annotated construction plans.

Group Intermedia Project

This course provides students with the opportunity to apply, in a team context, what has been learned throughout the program thus far. Students will further their learning while cultivating critical life skills including: learning research methodologies, developing strategies for analyzing and addressing problems, and working with others. Students will develop an intermedia group project which may include the expertise of any student within the Sterling College School of Creative Technologies. The project will be the seminal piece that will be presented to potential employers, as a professional portfolio piece, demonstrating growth as a designer, and a capability of working effectively within a group.

User Experience Design

This is a project-based introduction to the user interface design process and is oriented toward practical methods for approaching a design problem. The focus of the course is to develop conceptual designs based on the needs of users. Students explore the methodologies of user research, design conceptualization and design validation. An emphasis will be placed upon the cognitive principles of user experience in system design.

3D Lighting & Rendering

This course explores the theory and practice of lighting and rendering in a 3D application. Using industry standard production rendering software, students will render realistic 3D images. Students will also learn the theory behind path-traced rendering.

Prototyping

This course provides students with the opportunity to test and prototype their innovations. Students will learn to use cloud computing to simulate stress on components and in a maker lab, students will use 3D printers and CNC milling machines to bring life to their inventions.

Product Design II

In this course, students will further their exploration of product design, product marketing, prototyping & manufacturing, while gaining a deeper understanding of Autodesk Inventor and its ancillary software applications. Successful products require the matching of user needs with available technology with consideration of manufacturing and marketing. This course will explore methodologies for identifying consumer needs, developing new product concepts, prototype development, estimation of manufacturing costs, and developing business plans to support the development and marketing of these products. Students will begin developing their own product concepts. However, these concepts must be feasible to build in a maker lab.

Group Project Studio

Given the collaborative nature of the 21st century workplace, the group project experience will require students to work as part of a larger team. Together, students will demonstrate innovative and effective production strategies while producing an end result that conveys the messages associated with the selected theme or thesis. The project will demonstrate sophistication associated with a high level of cultural, business and communication awareness, along with strong technical ability, and the creativity to express ideas that engage with issues germane to the contemporary environment.

Portfolio Mentorship

In this course students will finalize and refine the choices they have made for inclusion in their final portfolio, based on the feedback provided over the course of your program, and the artistic strengths discovered or finessed. Additional guidance will be provided during the course of the term. The goal of the course is to design a portfolio that will differentiate each student from their fellow graduates and better position them for entry into the industry.

Manufacturing I

This course is a study of the manufacturing processes, illustrating how designs are turned into products. Students will also further their ability to operate makerspace tools. It will also discuss how the material properties of a product dictate the manufacturing processes that can be utilized and will highlight major design guidelines for each manufacturing process to be successful.

Portfolio Studio

In this course students will be provided with a mentored studio in which to assemble and finalize items for inclusion in their graduate portfolios.

Students will produce a final portfolio that demonstrates the conceptual and artistic sophistication associated with a high level of cultural, business and communication awareness, along with strong technical aptitude and creative ability to express ideas that engage with issues germane to the contemporary environment.

Professional Practices

In this course students will prepare themselves for a new career. Students will create self-branding material to market themselves to potential employers, such as a portfolio web-site and business cards. Students will begin professional social networking and developing professional contacts within the industry. This course will also provide job seeking skills such as: job searching, cover letter writing, resume writing, mock interview experiences and professional communication.

Manufacturing II

This course furthers students understanding of manufacturing processes, contracting job-shops and factories and the operation of makerspace tools. Students will take their design concepts and construction plans, from previous terms and produce a product(s) prototypes for inclusion in their final portfolio.

GRAPHIC DESIGN – DIPLOMA IN CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIES (ADVANCED) – 44 WEEKS OF INSTRUCTION

Web Design & Development III

This is a project-based course which focuses on students creating well-structured and organized websites with robust and reliable code. Students will focus on the implementation of JavaScript and PHP in their web development projects. It is expected that within this course students will create a website which will feature in their professional portfolio.

Typography I

In this course, students will explore the use of effective visual communication through, clear, appropriate and functional typography. Students will learn the vocabulary, history and contextual application of typography. The desired outcome is a student capable of producing appropriate, discriminating and inventive work.

Drawing for Design II

Drawing for Design II is an advanced drawing course that will focus on expanded definitions and practices of drawing. This course will consist of self-directed in and out of class studio work to materialize thematically driven projects. Each project will conclude with a class discussion critiquing the conceptual, material and formal attributes of the works in an effort to evaluate whether the artists intention and final product are in alignment and how their drawings are experienced by viewers.

App Design & Development I

This course provides students with a broad introduction into 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional Computer-Aided Design (Autodesk AutoCAD) and modeling with a focus on product and industrial design. Students will learn how to use industry-leading CAD software program to model products and create industry-standard annotated construction plans.

Brand Identity Design

This course will prepare students to design and establish visual identities and brand standards across a variety of mediums. The course will help the designer look beyond logo design and acquire a fundamental understanding of the aspects of designing a brand system that is scalable and replicable, regardless of application.

Group Intermedia Project

This course provides students with the opportunity to apply, in a team context, what has been learned throughout the program thus far. Students will further their learning while cultivating critical life skills including: learning research methodologies, developing strategies for analyzing and addressing problems, and working with others. Students will develop an intermedia group project which may include the expertise of any student within the Sterling College School of Creative Technologies. The project will be the seminal piece that will be presented to potential employers, as a professional portfolio piece, demonstrating growth as a designer, and a capability of working effectively within a group.

User Experience Design

This is a project-based introduction to the user interface design process and is oriented toward practical methods for approaching a design problem. The focus of the course is to develop conceptual designs based on the needs of users. Students explore the methodologies of user research, design conceptualization and design validation. An emphasis will be placed upon the cognitive principles of user experience in system design.

Visual Communications

This course explores visual understanding and the psychology of imagery. Topics include, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, iconography and how semiotics can influence our designs. We will also explore contemporary social media phenomenon, such as going viral on social media, or utilizing copy and imagery to encourage online visitor to click on something. Students will review and provide feedback to fellow classmates about their work. The feedback and personal reflection are key components of the course as everyone works collaboratively to understand how visual communication functions in the digital age, and how everyone can become more fluent at analyzing, interpreting and creating images and graphics that communicate effectively.

Typography II

In this course students will further their investigation into the structural and communicative aspects of typography and refine their process of using type to enhance meaning. Building on skills and knowledge acquired in previous courses, students will work on advanced typographic systems that integrate conceptual and theoretical perspectives on syntactics, semantics and pragmatics.

Print & Packaging

This course explores graphic design for printed media and packaging. Students will design and produce consumer product marketing material and package designs for use in their professional portfolios. This course is about designing tangible packaging experiences and product brochures, which follow a predefined brand standards guide, and create a psychological connection with the consumer.

Group Project Studio

Given the collaborative nature of the 21st century workplace, the group project experience will require students to work as part of a larger team. Together, students will demonstrate innovative and effective production strategies while producing an end result that conveys the messages associated with the selected theme or thesis. The project will demonstrate sophistication associated with a high level of cultural, business and communication awareness, along with strong technical ability, and the creativity to express ideas that engage with issues germane to the contemporary environment.

Portfolio Mentorship

In this course students will finalize and refine the choices they have made for inclusion in their final portfolio, based on the feedback provided over the course of your program, and the artistic strengths discovered or finessed. Additional guidance will be provided during the course of the term. The goal of the course is to design a portfolio that will differentiate each student from their fellow graduates and better position them for entry into the industry.

Layout Design II

Students will further their exploration of layout design and organizational principles of composition to achieve specific communication objectives. Students will be finalizing visual arrangement choices for their graduation portfolio pieces.

Portfolio Studio

In this course students will be provided with a mentored studio in which to assemble and finalize items for inclusion in their graduate portfolios.

Students will produce a final portfolio that demonstrates the conceptual and artistic sophistication associated with a high level of cultural, business and communication awareness, along with strong technical aptitude and creative ability to express ideas that engage with issues germane to the contemporary environment.

Professional Practices

In this course students will prepare themselves for a new career. Students will create self-branding material to market themselves to potential employers, such as a portfolio web-site and business cards. Students will begin professional social networking and developing professional contacts within the industry. This course will also provide job seeking skills such as: job searching, cover letter writing, resume writing, mock interview experiences and professional communication.

Web marketing & Data Analytics

In this course students will prepare themselves for a new career. Students will create self-branding material to market themselves to potential employers, such as a portfolio web-site and business cards. Students will begin professional social networking and developing professional contacts within the industry. This course will also provide job seeking skills such as: job searching, cover letter writing, resume writing, mock interview experiences and professional communication.

INTERACTIVE DESIGN & CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIES – DIPLOMA IN CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIES (ADVANCED) – 44 WEEKS OF INSTRUCTION

Web Design & Development III

This is a project-based course which focuses on students creating well-structured and organized websites with robust and reliable code. Students will focus on the implementation of JavaScript and PHP in their web development projects. It is expected that within this course students will create a website which will feature in their professional portfolio.

Typography I

In this course, students will explore the use of effective visual communication through, clear, appropriate and functional typography. Students will learn the vocabulary, history and contextual application of typography. The desired outcome is a student capable of producing appropriate, discriminating and inventive work.

Drawing for Design II

Drawing for Design II is an advanced drawing course that will focus on expanded definitions and practices of drawing. This course will consist of self-directed in and out of class studio work to materialize thematically driven projects. Each project will conclude with a class discussion critiquing the conceptual, material and formal attributes of the works in an effort to evaluate whether the artists intention and final product are in alignment and how their drawings are experienced by viewers.

App Design & Development I

This course provides students with a broad introduction into 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional Computer-Aided Design (Autodesk AutoCAD) and modeling with a focus on product and industrial design. Students will learn how to use industry-leading CAD software program to model products and create industry-standard annotated construction plans.

Augmented & Virtual Reality

This course explores the concepts required to design, develop and deploy virtual reality and augmented reality applications. The course will cover VR and AR hardware, stereoscopic vision, VR software development, 3D user interfaces and presence.

Group Intermedia Project

This course provides students with the opportunity to apply, in a team context, what has been learned throughout the program thus far. Students will further their learning while cultivating critical life skills including: learning research methodologies, developing strategies for analyzing and addressing problems, and working with others. Students will develop an intermedia group project which may include the expertise of any student within the Sterling College School of Creative Technologies. The project will be the seminal piece that will be presented to potential employers, as a professional portfolio piece, demonstrating growth as a designer, and a capability of working effectively within a group.

User Experience Design

This is a project-based introduction to the user interface design process and is oriented toward practical methods for approaching a design problem. The focus of the course is to develop conceptual designs based on the needs of users. Students explore the methodologies of user research, design conceptualization and design validation. An emphasis will be placed upon the cognitive principles of user experience in system design.

Visual Communications

This course explores visual understanding and the psychology of imagery. Topics include, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, iconography and how semiotics can influence our designs. We will also explore contemporary social media phenomenon, such as going viral on social media, or utilizing copy and imagery to encourage online visitor to click on something. Students will review and provide feedback to fellow classmates about their work. The feedback and personal reflection are key components of the course as everyone works collaboratively to understand how visual communication functions in the digital age, and how everyone can become more fluent at analyzing, interpreting and creating images and graphics that communicate effectively.

App Design & Development II

In this course students will further their investigation into the mobile solutions for Android and IOS. Students will use Android SDK, iPhone SDK to create applications. Students will explore the use of application program interfaces and build applications which utilize information stored within an online database.

Java Programming I

This course is an introduction to software engineering, using the Java™ programming language. Students will learn procedural programming techniques that impose hierarchical structure on the design of the programs and the principles of object-oriented programming.

Print & Packaging

This course explores graphic design for printed media and packaging. Students will design and produce consumer product marketing material and package designs for use in their professional portfolios. This course is about designing tangible packaging experiences and product brochures, which follow a predefined brand standards guide, and create a psychological connection with the consumer.

Group Project Studio

Given the collaborative nature of the 21st century workplace, the group project experience will require students to work as part of a larger team. Together, students will demonstrate innovative and effective production strategies while producing an end result that conveys the messages associated with the selected theme or thesis. The project will demonstrate sophistication associated with a high level of cultural, business and communication awareness, along with strong technical ability, and the creativity to express ideas that engage with issues germane to the contemporary environment.

Portfolio Mentorship

In this course students will finalize and refine the choices they have made for inclusion in their final portfolio, based on the feedback provided over the course of your program, and the artistic strengths discovered or finessed. Additional guidance will be provided during the course of the term. The goal of the course is to design a portfolio that will differentiate each student from their fellow graduates and better position them for entry into the industry.

App Design & Development III

In this project-based course students will be tasked to build an app for inclusion in their professional portfolio. This course will further explore object oriented preprogramming, software development kits and application program interfaces.

Portfolio Studio

In this course students will be provided with a mentored studio in which to assemble and finalize items for inclusion in their graduate portfolios.

Students will produce a final portfolio that demonstrates the conceptual and artistic sophistication associated with a high level of cultural, business and communication awareness, along with strong technical aptitude and creative ability to express ideas that engage with issues germane to the contemporary environment.

Professional Practices

In this course students will prepare themselves for a new career. Students will create self-branding material to market themselves to potential employers, such as a portfolio web-site and business cards. Students will begin professional social networking and developing professional contacts within the industry. This course will also provide job seeking skills such as: job searching, cover letter writing, resume writing, mock interview experiences and professional communication.

Web marketing & Data Analytics

In this course students will prepare themselves for a new career. Students will create self-branding material to market themselves to potential employers, such as a portfolio web-site and business cards. Students will begin professional social networking and developing professional contacts within the industry. This course will also provide job seeking skills such as: job searching, cover letter writing, resume writing, mock interview experiences and professional communication.

INSTRUCTORS

WILLIAM MAHER, ACADEMIC DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIES

William is an experienced Technical Artist with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in curriculum development, leadership, team training & development, new program application preparation and review (certificate/diploma/degree). Strong arts and design professional with a Masters of Arts degree in Computer Animation from the University of Teesside UK.

COLIN CALNAN, PROGRAM AMBASSADOR

Colin is a Senior Developer with over 10 years experience. Highly skilled problem solver with keen analytical skills. Effective communicator with an outgoing personality and experience in teaching and mentoring. Strong web development background with a Masters of Science degree in Design & Digital Media from the University of Edinburgh.

ADAM KYLE WILSON, PROGRAM AMBASSADOR

Adam is a design expert who has many years of experience as an instructor and professional within the digital communications industry, working for top clients such as Nike, Disney, GE, Mercedes, and Lululemon. He has also been featured on stage as a lecturer at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference as well as the Google I/O conference in San Fransisco. His past students and colleagues have described him as down-to-earth and enthusiastic, with a fresh take on thinking like a designer and the importance of context and process.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

 

Students are required to have one of the following pre-requisites to qualify for enrolment into a Sterling College Diploma or Certificate program:

  • Grade 12 graduation from a Canadian High School or an equivalent level institution Worldwide;
  • Successful completion of the Government Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D);
  • To apply as a mature student, you must be over 19 years of age and must write a letter of intent. There will also be an interview conducted by the Academic Director for approval of entry.

If English is not your first language, students will be required to have the pre-requisites to qualify for enrolment into this program. Please see our International Students page for more details.