NAIT

Graphic Communications is a full time program offered at the Northern Alberta Institute Of Technology

Contact Us

Norm PetersonAcademic Chair
Email: gcs@nait.ca
Phone: 780.491.3198
Fax: 780.491.3160

Val ArychukProgram Assistant
Email: gcs@nait.ca
Phone: 780.491.3159

Buddy System (Student for a Day)
The NAIT Buddy System provides an opportunity for prospective students to spend a day teamed with a NAIT student, to attend classes and laboratory sessions, to ask questions and experience NAIT first hand.

Program Promotional Video
A program overview at NAIT

Frequently Asked Questions

“The printing press is either the greatest blessing
or the greatest curse of modern times, one sometimes forgets which”
-James Matthew Barrie quotes (Scottish Dramatist and Novelist best known as the creator of Peter Pan, 1860-1937)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I require a portfolio as part of the entrance requirements?

No. Our design instruction starts with the basics and increases progressively throughout the year, you will graduate with a well-rounded portfolio.

2. Do I have to have an artistic background for the program?

Having a background in the arts is a definite asset but there are many avenues of employment in our industry that do not require artistic abilities, but leans towards a technical prowess. View the Pre-Press Technician and Graphic Designer employment profiles on the links page.

3. When can I apply for the program?

You can apply anytime throughout the year right up until the program starts in September. However, it is better to apply early as the program tends to fill quickly.

4. Can I observe GrafCom’s classes?

Nait has a student for the day program whereby you can come in an audit classes for a day (or even half a day). You will be paired up with a current student and be able to observe the classes and instruction. Check with the Program Assistant for details.

5. What are the class sizes?

We accept 40 students but for a majority of the lab time students are split into two groups to reduce the student to instructor ratio.

6. Does the program run any part-time or evening courses?

No. We only offer the 1-year certificate program starting in September and ending in April.

7. Is funding available to help offset the costs?

You will need to inquire with Nait’s career and counseling services for answers and processes.

8. Do I require a computer and software at home while attending Nait?

Yes and No. You may find it convenient to have a computer at home but we offer after hour’s lab access to students. Some find it easier to complete assignments at Nait as most of the supporting files and input output devices are available. If you are accepted into the program don’t buy any software until you come to Nait as you will qualify for student pricing, in some cases it is almost a third of the price that you would pay retail.

9. Does the program keep current with the changing technology?

Yes. We have modern computing labs boasting high end scanning, printing, cutting and proofing devices. Program software is running on the latest versions and staff are constantly upgrading and enhancing their skills to keep abreast of the changes. Our program also meets annually with Industry Advisory Representatives to get feedback on changing technologies and what skill sets are required for graduates.

10. Is the print industry on the decline as other mediums of communication are introduced?

According to the PIA (Printing Industries of America) the amount of printing done in the Edmonton area has remained steady for over 2 decades. Some portions of the industry such as business forms and catalogues have seen a decline. Digital printing, new media, and print on demand technologies and E-books have consistently doubled since they were introduced. Print communications is still one of the most cost effective methods of mass communication.

11. What is the print industry doing to be a better friend to the environment?

The print industry is making significant strides in environmental protection. Many customers are requesting the papers be FSC Certified, meaning that forests are no clear cut but selective logging practices are utilized (see links page). FSC creates long-term sustainability; printers that become FSC Certified must adhere to strict guidelines. Production and post consumer paper waste is utilized in the creating of new papers, thus requiring less virgin pulp. Printers are also using vegetable oil based inks and environmentally friendly UV coatings. With the advancement in digital technologies, many companies engage in Print on Demand, which printing only the required amount of copies necessary.

12. What does the long-term future hold for Print Design?

Looking down the road there may be new mediums to replace traditional ink on paper technology; such as print on demand, E-books, PDF files, Google books, etc. Graduates from GrafCom will still be in high demand as logos, layouts, advertisements, photo manipulations, typography and design skills will still be required regardless of the output medium.

13. Can I combine Graphic Communications with other programs at NAIT?

Many GrafCom grads have combined this program with Photography, Marketing and Digital Media and IT programs. Given that there are similar courses between GrafCom and DMIT, graduates from GrafCom are given credit for 6 courses within the DMIT diploma program, thus eliminating over a semester within DMIT.  This would give you a very diverse portfolio covering print, e-books, promotional, video and website mediums. After completion of the DMIT program you could further your studies by enrolling in the Bachelor of Technology degree program.