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Graphic and Print Production

Learn the process and technical knowledge of the printing industry and gain experience in real print shop environments.

A man and woman examine a large banner laid out on a table in a print shop.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years

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The graphic and print production sector is a vibrant and ever-evolving field that brings together creativity, technology, and hands-on skills. All printed products, whether paper, vinyl, textile or other material, go through a number of production steps. From the logistics of the job to its shipment to the client, the expertise and ability of the graphic and print production specialist is critical to the success of a project.

In this program, you learn current software applications used in signage, design, publishing and the printing industries. You develop a comprehensive knowledge of the interaction of printing devices as they relate to pre-press, paper, toner, ink, vinyl signage and finishing technologies. The skills you gain enable you to troubleshoot problems and ensure finished products meet industry standards.

Work experience

  • Field experience is a mandatory credit course, providing you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • This program is eligible for an optional cooperative education (co-op) credit course between year one and two.
    • Co-op provides an opportunity for paid, full-time employment in a field related to your program.
    • Co-op takes place in third term and must be a minimum of 12 weeks and 420 hours.
    • Our co-op program follows Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) guidelines.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work experience are your responsibility.
  • For more information, visit work experience opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • This program is not offered at any other post-secondary institution in the province. It provides the fundamental skills you need for employment in printing, publishing and other media-related industries.
  • You learn in an environment that's been built to simulate the printing industry, using industry-standard equipment and processes; you get the skills employers are looking for.
  • You learn from faculty who have strong industry connections and experience. Our instructors regularly upgrade their skills through industry work.
  • You collaborate with peers and professionals in related programs, which may include Graphic Design and Professional Photography.

Other info


Seats are available at Ivany campus for domestic applicants only. International applicants will be waitlisted.

September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.
Seats available

Admission requirements

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2024-25 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Printing and related industries are a large component of the manufacturing segment in the Canadian economy. Industry demand exceeds the current supply of qualified print specialists, and many graduates have dynamic job opportunities waiting when they complete the program.

Future study options

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

COMM 1227 - Communications I
This course provides the student with an overview of the communication skills required by business and industry. Students will learn to apply these communication skills to be successful in their selected workplace setting.

COMM 1228 - Communications II
This course further develops essential communications skills with a focus on basic writing. This course provides the student with the opportunity to develop written work typical of the industry related to their program of study.

DIGI 4003 - Introduction to Graphic Design
This course introduces the learner to graphic design. It covers the basic building blocks required to produce visual communication for any medium. It also covers the importance of identifying and targeting specific audiences. The learner will cover a variety of topics including typography, colour, image, layout and hierarchy. Learners will also consider the importance of consistency and will develop critical, analytical and aesthetic skills.

GAPP 1002 - Pre-Press I
Students are introduced to a variety of RIPs (raster image processing), devices, and workflow management procedures in order to prepare files that will meet product specifications. Students begin learning efficient use of material and requirements for bindery and finishing that affect the pre-press process.

GAPP 1010 - Digital and Offset Production I
Students will be introduced to specifications and standards regarding how to output files to toner and inkjet devices as well as vinyl cutting devices.

GAPP 1027 - File Creation and Assembly I
This course introduces the learner to the basic tools and skills to build single page layouts and prepare single colour documents for output. Pages and documents are created using industry standard raster, vector, and page layout software.

GAPP 1028 - Bindery, Finishing and Installations I
This course begins to introduce the students to the fundamental skills and tools required for the preparation of stock for printing. Students practice trimming and measurement skills to produce a quality finished product. Students learn how to safely set up and run basic finishing equipment.

GAPP 1032 - Customer Service and Production Planning
This course builds the skills necessary to communicate with customers effectively and appropriately in a faced paced environment. Students will learn how to accurately calculate the cost of a production, provide timelines and integrate jobs into a workflow in order to provide the customer with the highest standards.

GAPP 1052 - Marketing and Promotion
Students will gain a strong understanding of the importance of marketing and communication tools and the impact of the message. Strategies and approaches used to promote and design online storefronts will be explored and developed.

GAPP 1057 - File Creation and Assembly II
The File Creation and Assembly II course builds on the learning acquired in the previous course. Learners transition into creating multi-page layouts, spot colours, pre-flighting, and further exposure to the industry standard raster, vector, and page layout software.

GAPP 1058 - Bindery, Finishing and Installations II
The Bindery, Finishing, and Installations II course builds on the learning acquired in the previous course and identifies the relationship of bindery and finishing with the other departments. Students learn to produce more complex folds and advanced use of the hydraulic cutter and inline finishing devices. Students receive an introduction to wide format finishing, like grommets, banners, and weeding techniques.

GAPP 1090 - History of Print
Students will examine the evolution of print beginning with Gutenberg’s printing press and identify key events and innovations that have impacted the industry.

GAPP 2002 - Pre-Press II
This course focuses on pre-flight and imposition techniques required to meet a wide variety of client needs. Students are introduced to file separations for CTP (computer to plate).

GAPP 2010 - Digital and Offset Production II
Students are introduced to more robust inkjet devices, as well as the offset printer, all with new sets of standards and specifications. Students develop production planning and material identification skills.

GAPP 2027 - File Creation and Assembly III
The File Creation and Assembly III course builds on the learning acquired in the previous two courses. Based on production planning, files and modes must reflect the intended output device.

GAPP 2028 - Bindery, Finishing and Installations III
The Bindery, Finishing, and Installations III course builds on the learning acquired in the previous courses. Students adhere to safety standards for the booklet maker and other offline bindery equipment. Students perform site inspections, overlaminate and mounting techniques, and handling of rigid materials.

GAPP 2032 - Print Operations and Innovation
This course examines the systems and processes required to operate a print business successfully through the lens of a service provider model. Students also explore innovations in the industry and the opportunities they present for application in the future.

GAPP 2500 - Work Experience
This industry applied experience will provide the learners with an opportunity to apply skills and knowledge learned in the classroom. It provides an excellent opportunity to learn new skills, to network for future employment and obtain additional valuable program related knowledge.?

GAPP 3002 - Pre-Press III
Students will build multiple impositions using automated software incorporating requirements for CTP. In addition, file format techniques and colour management for various output devices will be covered.

GAPP 3010 - Digital and Offset Production III
Students learn safe practices and produce single and multi-colour printing using an offset press. Cleaning and maintenance techniques of various devices are introduced, as well as rigid material printing.

GAPP 3032 - Print Operations Management
This course focuses on the skills and knowledge required to operate a successful print business. Students will create business proposals for operational improvement and gain an understanding of tendering using industry standard processes, templates and terminology.

GAPP 3037 - File Creation and Assembly IV
The File Creation and Assembly IV course builds on the learning acquired in the previous courses. Learners explore the creation of process colour files for output on an offset press and digital devices. Introduces colour management and variable data.

GAPP 3038 - Bindery, Finishing and Installations IV
The Bindery, Finishing, and Installations IV course is the final course in this sequence. Students explore bindery techniques such as perfect binding. Prototype packaging and multi window graphic installations are introduced. Students learn the requirements of indoor and outdoor vinyl and banner materials.

GAPP 4002 - Pre-Press IV
This course focuses on variable data file creation and preparation for output, profile creation for colour management, and imposition techniques.

GAPP 4010 - Digital and Offset Production IV
Students further develop production planning skills, learn the efficient use of rigid materials, create and output complex variable data products, and perform advanced RIP functions without supervision.

GAPP 4500 - Work Experience
?Work experience provides students with an opportunity to apply new skills and concepts appropriate for entry-level positions within the occupation. Students will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

GDES 2201 - Graphic Design
This course will focus on integrating the elements required for successful visual communication solutions while maintaining the integrity of the client branding and creating the desired consumer experience.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

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