Graphic Arts

Graphic NewLogo


Mrs. Meg Palmieri • Phone: 603-673-4201 Ex: 3605 • E-Mail: • Rooms: 132 & 134


ON MY FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, my kindergarten teacher had asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up, and I told her “I want to be an art teacher”. Teaching would come much later in my career.

After my first year of high school, my art teacher suggested that I consider graphic design as a profession. In those days, the computer was not widely used and graphic design was done by hand. After high school, I applied to Fitchburg State University and got accepted to the Communications Media program specializing in Graphic Design. My intention was to study Graphic Design while working full time at what I could find to help my parents pay for my education. I was lucky and found a design job on campus doing all the promotional marketing pieces for the college.

At college, I met two influential professors who noted and encouraged my direct simple design approach and took the time to share constructive criticism. One of my professors’ referred me to Channel Seven in Boston for my last semester Internship. That Internship had lead to many experiences to design business-marketing materials, display graphics for trade shows, ads, set design and in-house forms. While there I was exposed to a number of new technologies including early examples of the Macintosh II personal computer and T.V graphic images that were produced by the paint-box computer. After the Macintosh II computer was introduced, I made a change in my method of work, by adopting the computer as my method of design.

After receiving my B.S. at Fitchburg State University, I started to free-lance at a few graphic agencies and studios around Leominster Massachusetts, where I grew up. Even though I’m now a full-time teacher at Milford High School I’m still doing freelance work from time to time. Again I found myself going back to school, first for my teaching certification to teach art then again to teach graphic design. After many years of freelance, I had learned of a part-time position as a high school art teacher. After working in the high school I learned of another job opening for a part-time graphic design teacher. For nine years I had worked in Leominster schools at three different schools and grade levels over the years. I decided to teach only high school graphics and applied to Milford High School. I have been here ever since the ATC had opened its doors and I loved every minute of teaching here.

As we all know, nothing remains the same. I have proven myself adaptable to changing technology, and I have returned to school many times. Recently I finished my masters in Art Education at Fitchburg State University.  I have new challenges ahead in learning other technical skills, but I am also secured that my wealth of past experience will help me.

So many experiences and factors in my life have added up and led to my decision to study Graphic Design and Art. Going to Fitchburg State University I was fortunate enough to discover graphic design, and everything fell into place. The design has become more than just a major and more of a life purpose. I am happiest when I’m creating and what better way to spend my time than to create meaningful work to improve people’s lives. I design in order to bring awareness and promote change in a sustainable manner. The design is a cycle that continues to give back. Now I can give back my experiences to my students.



Suppose you want to announce or sell something, amuse or persuade someone, explain a complicated system or demonstrate a process. In other words, you have a message you want to communicate. How do you “send” it? You could tell people one by one or broadcast by radio or loudspeaker. That’s verbal communication. But if you use any visual medium at all if you make a poster; type a letter; create a business logo, magazine cover, ad, or a cd cover; even make a computer printout-you are using a form of visual communication called graphic design.

Graphic designers work with drawn, painted, photographed, or computer-generated images (pictures), but they also design the letterforms that make up various typefaces found in movie credits and TV ads; in books, magazines, and menus; and even on computer screens. Designers create, choose, and organize this elements-typography, images, and the so-called “white space” around them- to communicate a message. Graphic design is a part of your daily life. From humble things like gum wrappers to huge things like billboards to the T-shirt you’re wearing, graphic design informs, persuades, organizes, stimulates, locates, identifies, attracts attention and provides pleasure.

Graphic design is a creative process that combines art and technology to communicate ideas. The designer works with a variety of communication tools in order to convey a message from a client to a particular audience. The main tools are image and typography.

Image-based designers develop images to represent the ideas their clients want to communicate. Images can be an incredibly powerful and compelling tool of communication, conveying not only information but also moods and emotions. People respond to images instinctively based on their personalities, associations, and previous experience. For example, you know that chili pepper is hot, and this knowledge in combination with the image creates a visual pun.

In the case of image-based design, the images must carry the entire message; there are few if any words to help. These images may be photographic, painted, drawn, or graphically rendered in many different ways. The image-based design is employed when the designer determines that, in a particular case, a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

Type-based design in some cases, designers rely on words to convey a message, but they use words differently from the ways writers do. To designers, what the words look like is as important as their meaning. The visual forms, whether typography communication designed by means of the printed word or handmade lettering, perform many communication functions. They can arrest your attention on a poster, identify the product name on a package or a truck, and present running text as the typography in a book does. Designers are experts at presenting information in a visual form in print or on film, packaging, or signs.

When you look at an “ordinary” printed page of running text, what is involved in designing such a seemingly simple page? Think about what you would do if you were the designer.


Graphic design programs are available at all education levels – you can earn an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. Each program is uniquely designed to prepare graduates for employment, from entry-level designers to creative directors of advertising, marketing, and design agencies. If you’re just starting out in the field, an associate’s degree offers a general education for entry-level employment, while a master’s degree is suited for the advanced study of design and layout.

Graphic designers can work in a variety of settings. Newspapers, book publishers, printing companies, advertising, and public relations firms, and specialized design services need graphic designers to collaborate with colleagues or work with clients located around the world. Designers can also work as independent contractors or consultants. No matter which route you take, the hands-on training you’ll receive, as a graphic design student will ensure a rewarding career in the graphic design industry. For more information about art and design schools, check out the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. For scholarship and grant information, visit the National Endowment for the Arts. For jobs visit U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics



PhotoshopGraphic Arts

Screen Printing 1


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Everyone has seen one type of printing or another, whether it was a street sign, a bag of chips or a T-shirt design. Simply put, graphic designers give meaningful visual form to content in all media: from print to screen; business cards to billboards; computer interfaces to movies screens. The Graphic Arts Department at Milford High School offers a diverse educational experience in all phases of the printing industry. Not only are all students exposed to the design criteria, but they are also exposed through hands-on projects. If you enjoy working on computers, pursuing a degree in graphic design might be an appropriate choice. Graphic Arts will prepare students for college or employment in a variety of areas, from the printing and publishing industry to the applications found on the World Wide Web. The program offers three areas of study: Photoshop, Graphic Design, and Screen-Printing. Also identifying career opportunities with portfolio preparation in each of the programs. All courses are an ideal combination of instructor’s demonstration and hands-on practice.



This course is designed to give students an understanding of Adobe Photoshop CS5. Adobe Photoshop is a complex graphics and image editing software and paint program.  Chances are, you’ve heard of Photoshop frequently in the past even if this will be the very first time that you use the program.  Adobe’s Photoshop program has become a mainstay with graphics designers, professional photographers, and even hobbyists to edit graphics as well as create and manipulate images.  It’s fun to use, and it can turn the most amateur photographer to a professional with just a few clicks of the mouse. This course is designed to give students an understanding of how to use Photoshop to perform many different image-processing techniques. Adobe Photoshop has become an industry standard for so many different disciplines including graphic design, digital photography, web design, digital video editing, and even creating animations. You’ll learn the basics so that you can complete the most basic of tasks, but you’ll also get the chance to delve into some advanced features.  Whether you’re a graphics designer or photographer who wants to improve your Photoshop skills – or a hobbyist who enjoys editing and manipulating images – you’ll learn everything about Photoshop that you need to know in the hands-on lessons. Adobe Photoshop is often a prerequisite for many other software programs and is the one program that everyone in every area of digital media should know. Projects include everything from simple color correction to complex photo retouching, providing an overview from scanned images to the printed piece.  The course covers how to use several tools for selecting parts of images, retouching, layers, special filters, painting, digital photography, and animation. Assessment includes project grades and portfolio critiques. Take a look at the best Adobe Photoshop tutorials



This course is designed to give students exposes to a wide range of animation techniques. Knowing the industry-standard animation and interactivity tool Adobe Animate CC (previously known as “Flash Professional”) can help you get a foothold in the exciting multimedia world. During this course, students will be explored by the history and evolution of early animation. Emphasis will be on the processes involved in the creation of animation stressing teamwork, storyboarding, creating the character, stage design, and sound design. The class will consist of demonstrations, viewing of related works, hands-on experimentation, and critique. Weekly projects will further student’s exploration of animation approaches and techniques. Digital cameras, scanning, Wacom Tablets, and computer editing are critical skills that make the foundation for this class. Students will learn, applications in Adobe Animate CC, Stykz, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Bridge and also applications in ilife: (iMovie, iPhoto, iTunes, Photo Booth, and GarageBand).

Prerequisite: None 

Expectation: Quality Producer



 This course was designed to walk you through the program step-by-step, teaching you what you need to know to gain a working knowledge of InDesign and commercial printing. Adobe InDesign CS5 is a page design program that allows you to design high-quality brochures, flyers, business cards, postcards, books and even pages for digital publishing such as those for the iPad and Kindle.  You’ll learn everything about InDesign that you need to know in the hands-on lessons. Adobe InDesign is now one of the most powerful layout programs for professional desktop publishers and graphic designers. The process of creating a document that looks like a professionally designed and printed document. Includes sizing and inserting photos, graphics, and line drawings to the text copy. Instruction will be provided to create an original layout for a notepad, logos, brochures, and other materials that utilize different types of print. Students learn basic and advanced techniques for designing and creating effective promotional pieces, publications, and digital art. In addition, students gain a foundational knowledge of the processes behind commercial printing operations. Assessment includes project grades and portfolio critiques. What is the printing press? Find out here!  Digital vs Offset printing. Take a look at the best of InDesign tutorials.

Prerequisite: None 

Expectation: Quality Producer



 This course is designed to give students an understanding of Adobe Illustrator and Screen-Printing. Screen-printing is arguably the most versatile of all printing processes. Some common products from the screen-printing industry include posters, labels, decals, and shirts. Students will initially be introduced to basic drawing using  Adobe Illustrator and Wacom graphic tablets.

Over the years Adobe Illustrator has become the standard application when it comes to illustration design. Artists, illustrators and graphic designers use Illustrator to create vector-based graphics, which — contrary to raster-based editors such as Adobe Photoshop — can be easily rescaled without the loss of quality. Illustrator is often used to quickly transform hand-drawn sketches on a sheet of paper into lively and colorful digital images. However, to master Adobe Illustrator isn’t easy; and the creating process of professional illustrations requires both time and patience. Therefore hands-on lessons can be exactly what needs to be done in order to create professional illustrations and how masters of illustration actually manage to do their magic. Assessment includes project grades and portfolio critiques. Take a look at the best of Illustrator tutorials and more Illustrator tutorials the best of screen-printing tutorials.

Graphic Arts are a group of courses that prepares students for college in a variety design area. Graphic Designers create books, websites, magazines, catalogs, typefaces, television graphics, posters, and postcards. From complex identity programs to single logos, graphic designers give a face and a “visual voice” to retail and cultural enterprises. Simply put, graphic designers give meaningful visual form to content in all media: from print to screen; business cards to billboards; computer interfaces to movies screens. If you enjoy working on computers and have a good eye for color, animation, and web design, pursuing a degree in graphic design might be an appropriate choice. You’ll learn the necessary skills and receive the right training to work in this creative and challenging industry.

Prerequisite: None 

Expectation: Quality Producer



Welcome to Independent Study/Graphic Arts! Students will initiate independent computer related work, utilizing various software and hardware. Independent Study was created to help students fill a full-time schedule, and to pursue extra work in the Graphic Arts that will help in their course of study, and their portfolios. During the full block, the student is to schedule every day where he or she is present in the Graphic Arts studio to work on a special project. The project that you will be working on will be of your own design, developed in consultation with a faculty member. It can be any type of project that utilizes skills that you have already learned in coursework. Ideally, it should be something that will help build your portfolio. Students will enhance the development of their graphic design skills through the advanced use of Photoshop and Illustrator and InDesign. Instruction will be provided to create an original layout for design materials that utilize different types of print for in-house jobs. Students learn basic and advanced techniques for designing and creating effective promotional pieces for the school. The students will be responsible for a portfolio. As an advanced class, the students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to their placement.

Expectation:  Quality Producer

Prerequisite: Students have complied with Photoshop, Graphic Design, and Screen Printing courses and had earned an A in each.

Recommendation: Teachers recommendation, on track to graduate, good attendance and discipline record, work independently, reliable, parent/guardian support and approval.



Graphic Arts students are encouraged to explore across the disciplines and incorporate various techniques in their designs. Graphic Arts students have access to a Mac Lab with the latest Adobe Software. Students also create using hands-on techniques: Stop-motion animation screen-printing, letterpress printing, offset printing, bookbinding, and papermaking.

Mac Computer Lab: By merging art and technologies, students create new forms of expressions and ways of appreciating art for the 21st century. The computer lab gives students an opportunity to utilize equipment and technology that enhances their topics of study. The new computer lab is equipped with twenty-two 21″ iMacs with the latest design software including the Adobe Creative Suite. The lab is also equipped with printers, overhead digital projection, and is supported by the school’s server with fast Internet access. Graphic Arts students also have access to a variety of equipment within the department including Darkroom, light tables, scanners, tripods, drawing tablets and green screen.

Shop Area: The printing facilities give students an opportunity to integrate printing techniques into their class projects and portfolios. The shop area is divided into three area, letterpress, offset printing and screen-printing. The facility is equipped with a dark room that has two screen – printing exposure units, reclamation sink as well as storage racks for water-based techniques.

The Letter Press area is used to teach typographic terminology, history, and technology.  There are a variety of resources for students to use, including Nolan proof press, abundant wood, metal fonts, bookbinding press, and a Kelsey Letterpress.

Students will also learn how the print industry translates the process designers use to produce the designs, using modern state of the art screen printing and offset printing equipment. They will also explore the bindery/finishing area of the department in finishing the final printed piece. This allows students the rare opportunity to not only know the front end of design but the back as well.



Determining whether a design is visually satisfying has much to do with subjective preferences. Evaluation of design as a valid solution to a particular problem, however, might be objective. The following is a list of questions that could help to establish a set of criteria:

  • Did the design meet the deadline?
  • Does the design incorporate all given specifications?
  • Does the design contain all the necessary information?
  • Did the student understand the problem and reach the goal?
  • Did the student provide a unique solution to the problem — significantly original, and violating no copyright regulations?
  • Has the design reached a high standard of visual accomplishment?
  • Does it show a level of sophistication approaching that of a contemporary graphic designer — well crafted, communicating well, and interesting?
  • Is there room for further improvement? Can the student tell what that is?

The above criteria are arranged somewhat in descending order of importance. All the questions reflect the discipline of the design profession and demand positive answers, although there are different levels of achievement in each case.

Indicators of Achievement:

  • Students use specified elements and principles of art in each graphics experience.
  • Students recognize and identify the elements and principles of art in each design, particularly those specified in each assignment.
  • Students use appropriate techniques specific to each design experience. Students use processes appropriate to each design experience.
  • Students demonstrate a progression in each experience that moves from experimentation to execution with confidence.

Students demonstrate a progression in each experience that moves from experimentation to execution with confidence.



Animation Rubric

Employability Skills








  • Graphic Arts uses a competency-based educational approach by moving control of learning from the “instructor” to the “learner.”  A competency is simply a statement of learning outcomes for a skill or a body of knowledge.  When students demonstrate a “competency,” they are demonstrating their ability to do something.  They are showing the outcome of the learning process.  Lots of the things that people do in their lives can be defined as different competencies job skills, living skills, etc. Mastery levels are determined by course project rubrics (see Appendix A).  Students must meet the criteria and demonstrate the competencies for each project.

Competencies: Understand the methods and practices necessary for success in the graphics communications industry.

Student will:

  • Define graphic communications by identifying the major processes, discussing the pros and cons of each and the products produced by each
  • Select and/or demonstrate the best means to communicate a message to a target audience.
  • Discuss the relationships between illustrators, photographers, designers and others in the industry.

Competencies: Understand the legal, ethical and social responsibility aspects of the graphic design industry to abide by its

Student will:

  • Explain the laws and regulations governing information gathering and media production (copyright, trademarks, intellectual property, etc)

Competencies: laws and regulations.

Student will:

  • Identify the influence of media, arts, and performances on society.
  • Discuss and be aware of the ethics and regulatory policies of businesses in the industry.
  • Describe government regulations and codes – awareness of recycling, forest management and ecology related to the industry.

 Competencies: Understand the concepts, tools, and processes of basic design, art and copy preparation required by the graphic communications industry.

Student will:

  • Employ the use of printer’s measurements to compute inches and fractions, points and picas, decimals, percentages, and proportions.
  • Demonstrate how to prepare thumbnail sketches, rough layouts, and comprehensive layouts
  • Demonstrate how to use copy fitting and mark up procedures to specify type sizes, type styles, etc.
  • Demonstrate basic use of industry standard software for digital media

Competencies: Understand the elements of visual design to effectively deliver content.

Student will:

  • Discuss the elements and principles of visual art forms and their ability to effectively communicate a message.
  • Critique various elements of design.
  • Explain color theory and its relationship to additive and subtractive color spaces.
  • Discuss the art elements and principles of two- and three-dimensional forms.
  • Demonstrate basic art studio skills
  • Analyze web page parameters and usage
  • Discuss and demonstrate web page design
  • Create visual layouts.
  • Assess typographical elements.
  • Create a design that matches the medium (print, web, iPad, iPhone, etc)

Competencies: Understand the preparation of customer materials for imaging to deliver products that meet customer needs and expectations.

Student Will:

  • Demonstrate pre-flighting materials for imaging
  • Demonstrate camera and scanner operations to produce images using digital imaging processes.
  • Demonstrate the ability to export images into appropriate printing format.
  • Identify equipment, tools, and materials that are found in a bindery/finishing department.

 Competencies: Understand the concepts and procedures of paper applications in order to select appropriate printing surfaces.

Student will:

  • Identify properties of paper (paper grain, finish, flatness, brightness, basic weight, pick resistance, moisture absorbency
  • Describe how paper pulp is prepared and summarize the process of making printing paper.
  • Identify and select the appropriate paper for various projects/processes.
  • Identify basic offset operations while adhering to safety regulations.
  • Identify the grain direction of the paper and identify basic paper types, weights, grades and classifications used in the printing industry.
  • Demonstrate the use and safety of basic bindery operations.


Understand other methods of image delivery used in the graphic communications industry

Student will:

  • Identify various methods of medium (screen-printing, large format, flexography, pad printing, digital press, etc) delivery.
  • Discuss and demonstrate applications of other media such as web page design and digital imaging

Competencies: Understand the fundamental concepts of entrepreneurship and how entrepreneurship influences the economy

Student will:

  • Discuss and assess venture creation possibilities and identify the steps in planning the venture.
  • Identify the resources needed for venture startup and operation.
  • Discuss the options in planning the venture’s future (growth, development, demise).
  • Identify and discuss the traits and behaviors of an entrepreneur (leadership, personal assessment, personnel management).

Competencies: Understand the importance of personal growth and leadership to enhance career success.

Student will:

  • Demonstrate personal growth, community leadership, democratic principles, and social responsibility by participating in activities/events offered through student organizations.

Competencies: Understand the necessary employability skills in order to achieve success in today’s workplace.

Student will:

  • Demonstrate and apply good decision-making and problem-solving skills by outlining issues in situations/problems and determining, collecting, and organizing information needed in order to formulate a solution.

• Self –Management: Demonstrate and apply self-management skills by adhering to regulations, being responsible, and following through on commitments.

• Personal Work Habits: Explain the work habits an employer looks for in an employee in this industry.

• Communication Skills: Demonstrate and apply effective communication skills: verbal, written, visual, and listening.

• Ability to Work with Others: Demonstrate and apply the necessary skills in order to work effectively with others.

• Information Use – Research, Analysis, Technology: Demonstrate and apply the use of information through research, analysis, and technology.

 Mathematical Concepts: Demonstrate mathematical and computation skills as applied to real-world situations.

 General Safety: Demonstrate and apply safe practices and procedures in the workplace.

•. Career Development: Demonstrate personal/career development skills by completing a career plan.



• Running Start is a New Hampshire dual enrollment program that permits high school students to earn MCC college credits at the same time they are earning high school credit toward their high school graduation. Students will have the option of registering and enrolling with Manchester Community College ( in order to receive college credit.

•The registration fee for this option is $150.00 per course.  Students enrolled in Photoshop, Graphic Design and Screen Printing program at Milford High School can receive up to 9 college credits from MCC for Digital Imaging (GDES 115- 3 credits), Page Layout and Design (GDES 110- 3 credits), and Computer Illustration (GDES 155- 3 credits).

• Curriculum for all the graphic arts classes is aligned with MCC’s course curriculum meaning you are already completing an MCC college course and college-level work while in high school.

• Registration forms and payments are to be submitted to your high school teacher. These credits are available to juniors, seniors, and sophomores taking any of the three graphic arts courses.

• A college transcript is developed once a student registers for a course through the program. The student transcript does not differentiate if the credits were earned through the Running Start Program or on the Manchester Community College campus. It’s an official college transcript. In order for any college credits to be transferable, the student has to earn a grade of a C or Better.

CLICK HERE  and you will find helpful information about transferring from the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) to the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) and to the participating private universities.