19 January 2021 21:46

Photography video graphics web | Florence Tiber-Valley Experience
Photography video graphics web | Florence Tiber-Valley Experience

Graphic Design Course of Professional Training in Florence


Nov 03 2020


TheDarkroom Academy Florence
Borgo Santa Croce 17, Florence



In Brief

The course in Graphic Design offers professional training aimed at the production of coordinated images in the field of editorial and web design for subsequent starting of a professional career in this field.

640 hours in total

Classroom training course
Duration: 8 months
320 hours of training classes
320 hours of assignments
80 hours class per month (40 class training, 40 assignments)

Class training plan:
2 classes per week, in two consecutive days, 4 hours in the first day, 6 hours in the second day.
Timetable: Wednesday 2pm-6pm, Thursday 2pm-8pm

Closed number: 12 participants admitted
Certificate with final evaluation and hours frequented
Lessons in English language

Apply within September 1st 2020 and pay only 2995 instead of 3495 Euro!
Application closes on October 10th at 3495 Euro.


The graphic designer: competence, training and creativity

The graphic designer is in charge of developing advertising material mainly related to publishing. The training of a professional graphic designer is linked to the artistic field in its most diverse forms in addition to the knowledge of the various communication techniques. School training aimed at the design of coordinated images and generally limited to the design of editorial and web material.

The graphic designer can be involved in different working realities, from the graphic agency for the creation of advertising campaigns to the creation of corporate images (coordinated images) as printable editorial products, up to the use in the creation and construction of websites and social profiles.

Professional training course

Our academic course offers professional preparation adapted to the demands of the contemporary market. The subjects dealt with and discussed in class have as their purpose the education and the practice of the subjects treated in order to make the discussed information indelible and clear to the student. During the course of the lessons the student will have as a tool the sketchbook which will function as a container of information and as a collector of visual and historical research.

The contemporary graphic designer responds to a public that requires advanced technical skills, originality in the graphic solution, speed of implementation, originality in the choice of materials in print production and style for web and social media.

We train you for to achieve such a result

Theory and practice go hand in hand on our journey to reach a level of skills that only professionals in the graphic design sector have. The lessons will have a theoretical part where the information transmitted will be taken up in the practical part, becoming visual research exercises (photos, drawings, etc.), historical research (articles, historical documents etc.), organizing the layout that will be created with hands, scissors and glue creating a notebook (sketchbook) where the information takes shape and will be easy to consult.

The teaching method of the academic year is consolidated and functional to train the student and bring her/him to the achievement of excellent technical skills in the use of graphic software such as Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign, in the conception and making of refined and excellent paper products and web.

The exercises on lateral thinking to stimulate creativity will be part of the course, where the intertwining with other visual materials will enrich the creative and technical approach.



Module 1. History of graphic design and history of typeface

Subjects: History of the contemporary graphic sign and history of the typeface.

History of the Graphic sign from the branding of artifacts in the Egyptian period to the visual perception of the Austrian school with the current of thought of the Gestalt at the Bauhaus up to the computer graphics of the first Macintosh.

History of the typeface. Retracing the history and social evolution, we will trace a course of development of writing departing from the works of Amanuenses, passing through the first print productions with the technique of movable type, the Quattrocentina or Incunabolo, arriving at the first projects of creation of the modern typeface with the works of Edward Johnston who in 1916 designed the first Sans Serif font, still used today in the London subway signage.

Main topics of the course:
History of the graphic sign
The marking of artifacts in the Egyptian era responds to the need for product identity
The simple shapes and immediate visual impact
Unequivocal signs of recognition, colors and shapes in Roman times
Heraldic symbols in the Middle Ages
Uniforms and colors in Renaissance times
The industrial revolution with the first promotional messages
Graphic construction rules
The first coordinated image
Modern graphic design
Computer graphics
History of the typeface
The Amanuenses
The first forms of movable type printing
The Venetian school
Johannes Gutenberg
The first typographic character without thanks
The classification of typefaces
Typefaces in computer graphics
The style of contemporary typefaces

Module 2. Semiotics and colour theory in graphic design

Subjects: The history of semiotics and the construction of pictograms, theory and perception of colour and the meanings associated with them.

Semiotics is the science that studies signs and their meanings. “The sign is in fact something that, in addition to the sensitive aspect with which it presents itself, leads us to think of something else starting from our own convictions.” (Saint Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 AD). The English school of thought with Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and John Locke (1632-1704). The reflections of the French rationalist philosophical school (Descartes, 1596-1650) and German (Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, 1646-1716). The study and construction of pictograms that enclose the meaning in the graphic sign (eg road signs).

The magic of light will be experimented with the construction of the camera obscura and with the use of the prism we will make the knowledge of the visual spectrum. Newton’s colour studies, color theory and Goethe’s studies up to Itten’s chromatic scale. Perception and interpretation of color and the meanings connected to them.

Main topics of the course:
History of semiotics
Perception and meaning of the signs
From the teachings of Saint Augustine to the English, French and German school of thought
From the school of thought to the design of symbols
What are the rules for the construction of pictograms
How to design and organize information in design
Color perception
The magic of light
Prism and light spectrum
Optical camera
Study of the Newtonian color
The study and color theory by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Study and classification of the color of Johannes Itten
Classification of colors in primary, secondary and tertiary
Play with colours

Module 3. Course of professional analog photography and darkroom

Subjects: Basics of photography techniques, use of b&w film and darkroom work

This program introduces to the understanding of photography at a basic level, gives ability to use the film photo camera and standard lenses, introduces the art of photography for both film and digital. It’s designed to supply beginners in photography and graphic design with knowledge on how to make photographs with film and how to print photos with chemicals and enlargers in the darkroom. The goal is to give awareness of this old-styled classic process for to produce hand-made images and to help students in the conception of multimedia photographic and graphic design projects based on traditonal techniques.

This is our basic course of introduction to photography. It starts with the study of the film. In recent years film has powerfully come back, especially in the field of fine-art photography and in the market of art galleries. Many professionals want to offer a new “handmade” product which differs from digital photography, now broadly standardized. This is the course for to enter the “old/new age” of photography.

The course introduce to film camera operation, exposure without the use of a light meter (Sunny 16 Rule), teaches about the process of classical image development (black and white negative film development), basics of darkroom, and explore the evolution of the photographic technique to develop a critical eye.

A complete study on lenses will begin in this course. Here students get aware of what a lens can provide to their style and get answers on the most hit questions of the moment. For example, we will provide answers on what lens is best to begin with, such as a prime lens or a zoom lens, or what’s the final word on 35 mm lens vs 50 mm lens. Those are just some topics that will be discussed throughout the module.

During the course some outdoor shooting sessions are planned in order to practice the new skills acquired in class. Some strolls in Florence and surroundings are planned. Some other sessions will be hold in the darkroom for to develop the films taken during the filed trips.

What do you need to take part of this course?

Students should own a film photocamera (analogue) fully working and serviced, to ensure it does work properly for the one-day workshop.
More over they should provide the following materials as follows:
1. at least 3 rolls of black and white films (Ilford HP5 or Kodak Tri-X or similar);
2. a 10-sheets box of black and white photo paper 24×30 cm, RC type;
3. a 10 to 25-sheets box of b/w photo paper 13×18 cm, RC type;
4. some negative sleeves, transparent type (plastic made).
Chemicals are included in the course fee.

Main topics of the course:

How to choose a film photocamera
SLR vs. Mirrorless
Small, medium and large format cameras
Hands on: how to use your grandpa’s film camera
Speed, aperture and ISO controls
Characteristics and functions of the lens
The standard lens
The f16 sunny rule for to expose your film
Black and white film photography in practice: outdoor walks in town
Introduction to darkroom and darkroom work
Film development and enlargements of negatives
Basics of photographic composition

Module 4. Visual analysis in graphic and artistic composition

Subjects: Visual and structural analysis course in art.

The course includes the application of the concepts discussed in the previous modules 1 and 2.
During the lectures practical pencil drawing exercises will be held to better understand and analyze the message expressed in the artistic composition.

The main steps that the students will take during the analysis of the main data, images and visual elements, the historical and political context and the expressive and emotional values ​​of the work must be collected and stored in order to create a complete visual search path , analysis and final conclusions.

Main topics of the course:
Learning how to read the message in a work of art
Understanding the construction grid
Reading the signs and their meaning
Researching and understanding of the life and the work of the analyzed artist
Historical social analysis of the work
Classification and meaning of colors
Message decoding
Analysis exercises with tissue paper and pencil
Cataloging and archiving of visual research material
Understanding the construction grid
Introduction to layout preparation

Module 5. Graphic construction, graphic composition (layout), typeface design

Subjects: Geometric design. Introduction to the design of a project layout. How to prepare the layout based on the visual and historical research stored in the sketchbook. Adobe Illustrator and font editor software.

The core of this module will be based on the concepts discussed in the previous module.

Students will be engaged in dismantling geometric shapes using squares, pencils and rubbers. Specific exercises are planned for hands-in practice.  Mind-relaxing exercises will be also presented as part of a creative phase that requires brainstorming attitudes.

Lay-out: “English term that means: layout, plan, mass project, layout. In the editorial graphic field he identifies with the project that will guide the creation of the printout, whether it is a cover, a layout, an institutional or promotional page “(D. Baroni, Lexicon of editorial design, p.202 def. lay out).

Design of a typeface, the study and classification of typographic characters discussed in module 1 will serve as a basis for developing a new lettering design experience.

The development of the project is based on hands-in practice. Students will experiment cutting and pasting (or collage), drawing on vellum paper for tracing shapes, and sketchbook progress.

Moreover students will develop a new font family during the course.

The program provides an introduction to the different printing methods, to better understand the production of a typeface, and a demonstration of manual printing and letter-press.  A guided tour in a typography facility will be part of this program.

Main topics of the course:

Sketchbook making
Axonometry drawing
Building the perspective
Historical analysis of perspective in the history of art
Application of the construction grid
Sign building according to the message
Layout drawing
From the sketchbook to the layout and from the layout to the final print
How the project is presented to the customer
How the final press is organized
Preparing sketchbook for font visual research
Everyday’s typefaces applications
Understanding of the needs related to the creation and use of a specific typeface
Characteristics of the product to choosing a typeface
Choosing a typeface determines the style and the message
Structure and construction grid behind the construction of the letters
How to design and create a font
Editable project typeface

Module 6. Video making course for photographers and graphic designers

Subjects: videography, use of Dslr and mirrorless cameras for to make short podcast videos and documentaries, video making and multimedia techniques for photographers and graphic designers.

The students are introduced to photography in motion with techniques of video production, directing and editing, both with the camera and the computer.

The buddy photographers and graphic designers cannot ignore the professional video production techniques to integrate their commercial offer with the modern demands of multimedia market. They are therefore aware of the use of video as a means of propaganda both personal and retail offerings to their prospective customers.

During this module the students will prepare podcasts and commercial videos working on their final portfolios. The video so produced will be used for the promotion of the student as a buddy photographer, graphic designer and/or videographer on both their websites and social networks.

Main topics of the course:

Video Production
Main topics of the course:
Awareness in the field of multimedia photography.
The video formats and camcorders. Video podcasts and professional video
How to use modern DSRL to make video
Gears for shooting videos: from tripod to dolly, from steady to tracking shot.
Think of the movie. Elements of director and screenplay.
The video editing and basic tools for the computer
Export formats according to end use
The interaction of the video with the web site, and the metadata
Making of video podcasts for the web and socials: corporate, news, event, conceptual, fashion spot.

Module 7. Editorial design and print production

Subjects: What is meant by editorial design? In common language it is used to define a set of projects that have the purpose of transferring on paper. The projects that are revered are of the most varied, from the daily to the guide for tourists.

To better understand what we are talking about when we use this term we will start from the definition of publishing: Publishing is the entrepreneurial activity of production and management of mass reproducible contents and of their diffusion and marketing in forms that can be transmitted through the media. We will discuss the issues related to print production of projects defined as editorial graphics.

Basic notions about printing, how and why to choose different types of printing. Benefits and defects of different printing techniques.

The aim of the course is to train the student in order to prepare him for the printing production of his projects to evaluate the typology based on technical and economic needs.

The various methods of industrial and semi-industrial printing production will be introduced, such as offset printing, rotary printing, pad printing, as well as manual printing techniques that are now back in fashion as opposed to the now widespread digitization that leaves no room for other forms of development printing.

Main topics of the course:

How to choose the printing technique
Factors that determine the choice of the printing method
The relationship between your project and the chosen printing technique
Strongness and weakness of the most commonly used techniques
4-colors printing: what does it mean?
Line-print and Pantone color print
Zinc matrix for hot stamping
Choosing the base in relation to the project
Print production and multimedia production
Shavings, abundances, thawing and creasing
Printing and color profile executive

Module 8. Portfolio design and final year exhibition

Subjects: Layout design and finalization of the project in definitive press. Choice of media (paper, web, social media, video, etc.). Choice of projects developed during the course of the academic year to be finalized for the construction of the final portfolio.

In this module all the contents discussed in the previous modules are summarized and finalized. The projects will be developed for multimedia production. Projects are reviewed for the making of the final exhibition (to be included in the personal portfolio). The final project will collect the best works performed during the year.

The portfolio will show the style performed by the buddy designer along with his/her skills achieved.

Main topics of the course:

Choice of projects developed during the academic course
Refining styles, shapes and colors
Preparation of the final prints
Layout and portfolio preparation
Backstage video footage of the end of year exhibition setup
Final projects installation and set-up
Video recording of the final exhibition


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