CD124 SEC103: Digital Graphics I

Course Information


  • Instructor: Sofia Paraskeva
  • Company website: Copper Blue Media
  • Email: sofia_paraskeva[at]
  • Office Hours: Wed. 3-3.40
  • FIT Tutoring Center: A608B

Course Description

Digital Graphics I is an overview of Adobe Illustrator and an introduction to FIT online and printing resources.
Students will receive a working knowledge in Adobe Illustrator. Emphasis is on teaching an analytical approach to rendering along with the technical features of Illustrator. Students will not be creating highly conceptual artwork initially; so will be able to focus on technological aspects of technical drawing, digital drawing with software and software skills.

Required Reading

  • Adobe’s online manuals, videos and pod-casts

Required Supplies

  • External back up drives, pens, a few sheets of tracing paper, pica ruler. Bring supplies to every class.


  • In-class work and in-class assignments: 15%
  • Projects: 60%:
    • 10% Label
    • 20%  Street Scene
    • 10% Logo Satire
    • 20% 3 Views
  • Class Participation and Attendance: 10%
  • Mid-Term Quiz: 5%
  • Final Proficiency Test:10%

(A: 91% or above, B: 90% - 71%, C: 70% - 61%, D: 60% - 51%, F: 50% or below)

Attendance Policy

If you are going to miss a class, you must let me know as soon as possible by email. Please do not schedule doctors appointments, job interviews, etc. during class time, as this will count as an absence. If you find you are having trouble with attendance, please see me as soon as possible – do not wait.

Due to the quantity of material covered in the course, I will not be able to spend class time explaining missed assignments or lectures to students. If a class is missed, it is your responsibility to get the information from one of your classmates and/or Angel, or if necessary, make an appointment with me during office hours. Please arrive on time to class, with supplies, and be prepared for lecture to start on time.

Please read and sign the two-part Department Attendance Policy form. Return one copy to the instructor and keep one for your records.

  1. Students are required to attend all classes, be on time, and remain for the entire class.
  2. Students who are absent for 3 classes will receive a grade of "F."
  3. Student who arrives 10 minutes after the start of the class will be considered late
  4. 2 late occurrences = one absence
  5. A student who arrives over 1 hour late or not returning from the break will be consider absent from the class
  6. An excused absence is still considered an absence

Assignments & Exercises

We are going to cover an extensive amount of material in this class. Please be here every class. It will be very difficult to catch up
Assignments and exercises will be given every week. You may be given credit for each part of each assignment, no matter how small. Assignments must be completed on time and presented in a neat, clean, professional manner. For each week an assignment is late, the grade will be lowered one grade point.

Hand in assignments or progress submissions on time, even if not completed to your satisfaction.

Keep all of your work and computer files for this class. A final digital file of your semester's work is required at the end of the semester. It is the student’s responsibility to BACK UP their work.

Projects, assignments and grading breakdown are subject to change at the instructor’s discretion.

NOTE: The final grade on Angel may not reflect the actual final grade.

Supplementary Materials


Free tutoring services are available to full time students from the Academic Skills office, A608b. Consider tutoring as soon as possible if you are falling behind. It gets very difficult to schedule a tutor later in the semester., 212-217-4080.


Additional tutoring is available for students with learning disabilities through our Learning Disabilities Program at FIT. 212-217-4090,, room A570.

Weekly Outline

Week 1

  • Introduction to course:

    • Course objectives
    • Syllabus and attendance policy
    • Grading policy and proficiency tests
    • Saving all work to a back-up external drive and N drive
  • Lecture:

    • - Introduction to Course and computer room
    • - Online at FIT (N drive, transport, DARS, Digital Library)
      Backup work to external drive
    • - Understanding Vector Graphics
  • Demonstration: Illustrator

    • Mac basics, Illustrator Keyboard shortcuts, setting preferences
    • Tools, Menus, Control panels and Palettes
    • Navigate Program – zoom, nudge, ruler, guides, quick-keys
    • Selection and Direct Selection Tools
    • Stroke and Fill
    • Preview mode
    • Closed Shapes with shape tools
  • In-Class Assignment 1: StraightLines, Open & Closed paths

    Name and save file using correct naming convention: lastname_assignmentname.

  • In-Class: Tombstone or Alternative

  • Homework

    • Read: Basic Anchor Points (in Class Handouts)
    • Finish In-class Assignment 1
    • Finish Tombstone
    • Buy all supplies and bring to every class
  • Reading and online videos

  • Class Handouts

  • Additional Links


  • Rosh Hashanah - College Closed

Week 2


Week 3

  • Lecture:

    Planning complex illustrations by editing and combining shape, converting points and using Bezier curves with pen tool
    Review open versus closed shapes

  • Demonstration:

    • Layers Palette duplicating and Paste Remembers
    • Layers creating, selecting and duplicating objects
    • Mixing Lines – transforming shapes
    • Converting Points on Paths
    • Bezier Curves and Anchor points
    • Rotate, reflect, scale and multiple duplicates
  • Project 1: Label

    First Assignment: Create a simple label for a beer bottle or milk carton.
  • Reading

    Illustrator online Selecting and arranging objects chapter

Week 4


Week 5

  • Lecture:

    • Perspective
      One, Two and Three Point
  • Demonstration:

    • Closed shapes with one mirrored edge
    • Appearance Panel (show how to make Multiple strokes)
  • Project 2: Street Scene

    First Major Assignment: Buildings as closed shapes in Perspective
    Two versions a gray scale and color version with tints and gradients
    Each side of a building must be a closed shape (so one side of each line will be duplicated and placed exactly on top). Students will learn layers, closed shapes, duplication, and moving individual points in a shape.

Week 6

  • Lecture

    • Color Basics, Color Palettes, Guides and Libraries
    • Tints and Transparency
    • Importing pantone colors and saving to Swatches
    • Color Blends, Gradients, and Mesh
    • Bezier Curves and Anchor points
    • Importing gradients (metal) and adjusting them
  • Reading

    Podcast: Using rulers and guides

Week 7

  • Review for Quiz

Week 10

  • Project 4: Three Views

  • Lecture

    Advanced features of Illustrator

Week 11

  • Critique Label project

Week 12

  • In-Class: Approve object students want to render for the 3 Views assignment
  • In-Class: Work in Class


  • Thanksgiving - College Closed

Week 13

  • In-Class: Work in Class

Week 14

  • Review for TEST: In-class review so students can ask questions
  • In-Class: Create on PDF file of all work and print it as a booklet>
  • Final Critique of all Projects

Week 15

  • Proficiency Test

Final Words

Keep and backup all the exercises and projects that you have done through out the semester! I will ask you to burn all the files on one CD/DVD at the end of the semester and give it to me for the final grade.