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CTE/Skilled & Technical Sciences Education Curriculum Digital Graphic Arts Intro
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Core Standards of the Course

Strand 1
Students will be able to understand and demonstrate safe practices.

Performance Skill
Understand and demonstrate safe practices.

  1. List safety rules involving chemicals and flammable liquids.
  2. Read, comprehend and follow instructions on warning labels.
  3. List the steps to be taken in case of injury in the lab.
  4. Identify locations of first aid kit, eye wash station, MSDS and safety equipment.
  5. Follow proper safety procedures and dress code when operating equipment.
  6. Demonstrate common sense when working with others.
  7. Pass general lab safety test.

Strand 2
Students will understand the design process.

Standard 1
Understand the process of planning a document.

  1. Understand the importance of preplanning a project including creating thumbnail sketches.
  2. Understand the importance of preplanning a project in terms of audience, purpose, timeline, page arrangement and production method.

Standard 2
Understand the principles and elements of design.

  1. Identify and utilize the following principles of design: balance (formal/symmetrical, informal/asymmetrical), contrast, emphasis, movement, unity.
  2. Identify and utilize the following elements of design: line, shape, value, texture, color, space (incl. positive and negative), form.

Standard 3
Understand the proper use of color in publications.

  1. Understand the difference between the two basic color modes CMYK and RGB.
  2. Create variations of color using tint, patterns, gradients, and opacity.

Performance Skill
Use planning, principles and elements of design, and color to compose a project.


Strand 3
Students will understand principles of typography.

Standard 1
Identify typeface classifications and their uses. (Serif, Sans-serif, Script, Decorative see https://www.fonts.com/content/learning/fontology/level-1/type-anatomy/type-classifications)

Standard 2
Know and apply the following concepts:

  1. Understand that fonts are grouped together in families and given a family name (i.e. Arial, Garamond).
  2. Utilize the three basic categories of type styles (normal, bold, italic).
  3. Apply typeface design (serif, sans-serif, script, decorative).
  4. Apply copyfitting techniques (leading, kerning, tracking, alignment, point size).
  5. Apply basic text alignment (left, right, centered, and justified).

Performance Skill
Create a project demonstrating knowledge of typography.


Strand 4
Students will be able to understand and demonstrate digital illustrations.

Standard 1
Know basic operations of tools, panels, and menus in a drawing/illustration application (i.e. Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape).

Standard 2
Understand, create, and manipulate vector graphics.

  1. Identify vector graphic formats and their appropriate use (e.g., PDF, AI, EPS, etc.).
  2. Import/export images for project requirements (compression, resolution).
  3. Operate drawing tools to create and manipulate paths (lines and bezier curves) using anchor points, direction handles.
  4. Define and apply stroke, fill (solid and gradient), and opacity.
  5. Utilize appropriate selection tools.
  6. Perform grouping and ungrouping of objects.
  7. Transform objects while constraining proportions.
  8. Create and manage layers.
  9. Use text tools.
  10. Understand final output formats.
  11. Practice basic keystroke and shortcut keys.

Performance Skill
Create a vector image. Modify a vector image by selecting and manipulating anchors and handles.


Strand 5
Students will understand raster images (incl. digital photos).

Standard 1
Know basic operations of tools, panels, and menus in a painting/photo editing application (i.e. Adobe Photoshop, GIMP).

Standard 2
Define, create, manipulate, and appropriately use bitmap (pixel based) raster graphics.

  1. Identify raster graphic formats and their appropriate use (e.g., JPG/JPEG, GIF, TIF, BMP, PSD, PNG, etc.).
  2. Acquire image assets (i.e. scan, digital camera, internet search, stock sources, etc.).
  3. Import/export images for project requirements (compression, resolution-such as 72 points in an inch).
  4. Crop, resize, straighten, and transform an image.
  5. Use layers, mask, and selection tools.
  6. Apply filters and effects.
  7. Adjust color, contrast, create gradient.
  8. Apply and maintain transparency or Alpha channels.
  9. Restore images.
  10. Utilize color selection techniques.
  11. Operate painting and drawing tools.
  12. Practice basic keystroke and shortcut keys.

Standard 3
Color theory

  1. Recognize and apply color modes for web-based graphics and printed graphics (RGB & CMYK, grayscale).
  2. Recognize and apply the following color properties: hue, saturation, and value (tint and shade).
  3. Recognize and apply color schemes (complementary, analogous, monochromatic).
  4. Develop a basic understanding of the color wheel including complementary, analogous and monochromatic colors.
  5. Understand that colors are used to communicate a mood or message using different colors that are associated with different meanings.
  6. Recognize and apply symbolism/emotions in color (i.e. warm and cool colors).

Performance Skill
Use colors to communicate a mood or message.


Strand 6
Students will be able to perform relevant computer functions on any standard platform (Windows, Mac, Linux).

Standard 1
Perform basic computer functions on all platforms.

  1. Practice asset and file management using folders and naming conventions.
  2. Define hardware and hardware functions as they apply to the graphics industry (processor, RAM, graphics card, scanner, digital camera).
  3. Understand and use modifier keys.

Standard 2
Develop an awareness of digital and collaborative technologies.

  1. Explore and assess emerging share/collaborating technologies (i.e. Google Docs, Dropbox, Windows Live, FTP servers).

Strand 7
Students will explore career opportunities and demonstrate understanding of employability competencies.

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Standard 1
Develop career skills related to working in the digital arts industry, including social media.

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  1. Identify occupations related to digital media careers (i.e., graphic/commercial artist, project manager, programmer, subject matter expert, technical writer, application programmer, A/V specialist, instructions designers, art director, copy-writer, 3D animator, etc.).
  2. Identify knowledge and skills necessary for specific digital arts occupations.
  3. Identify next levels of education for a given career.

Standard 2
Demonstrate communication and media skills.

  1. Collaborate within a team.
  2. Develop employable competencies/characteristics: responsibility, dependability, ethics, respect, and cooperation.
  3. Analyze how individuals interpret messages differently, how values and points of view are included or excluded, and how media can influence beliefs and behaviors.
  4. Understand construction and purposes of media messages.
  5. Evaluate information critically and competently.
  6. Apply a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of media.
  7. Understand the difference between royalty-free and copyrighted images and text.
  8. Understand the process of obtaining and citing permission for copyrighted works.
  9. See Title 17 United States Code -Section 107 Limitation of exclusive rights: Fair use.

Performance Skill
Create and finalize a professional portfolio with projects completed during this course. Portfolio should demonstrate a progression of skill.



UEN logo http://www.uen.org - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - A Bodell and see the CTE/Skilled & Technical Sciences Education website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - THALEA LONGHURST .

These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Board of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.