For complete information on the Graphic and Web Design program, please visit the program section of the John Abbott website.
Welcome to John Abbott College’s Graphic & Web Design departmental page.
In GWD you will master the skills you need for a fulfilling career in graphic design and web site design. In three years, you will be thoroughly prepared to join the corporate design world, set up your own freelance design company, or continue your design education at university.
In your final semester in GWD, you will enter the workplace for a challenging three-week fieldwork experience (“stage”), where you will apply your knowledge and skills in an exciting, contemporary, fast-moving corporate design environment. You might even see the work you do during your internship appear in point-of-sale kiosks, signage, local newspapers and on the internet.
Throughout your GWD training, you will learn from enthusiastic teachers who are up-to-date with practical knowledge of the design field, who are well-connected with the local design community, and who bring their real-world design experience into their classrooms. We encourage students to freelance while still in the program and many students graduate with impressive portfolios filled with work done for real-life clients.
Our program is close-knit and you will develop productive collaborative relationships with other students and teachers. Field trips to printers and web design studios, in-school exhibitions, a graduate vernissage, and guest speakers from the corporate world make sure that the Montreal design community is incorporated into the classroom. GWD students study in three labs (2 Mac labs and one PC lab) equipped with industry-standard software and have access to up-to-date design resources in the John Abbott Library.
If your goal is to enter the design industry after graduation, there is a large pool of employment opportunities on the West Island and downtown that is eager to employ strong design students in both print and web. If your goal is to continue your studies at university, GWD graduates continue to study design at Concordia University, Ryerson, and other exciting universities across Canada and the USA. If your dream is to combine a graphic design education with a university degree in Marketing, Business Administration, Computer Science, or Education: the sky’s the limit, as many of our grads can attest.
Members of the Department
Gianni Berretta is a new member of John Abbott College’s Department of Publication Design and Hypermedia Technology. He holds a Bachelor degree in Graphic Design from Concordia University, and is finishing up a Masters in Art Education from Concordia as well. What Gianni enjoys most about teaching at JAC is the interaction with his students. He is passionate about guiding them to achieve the next level in their skills, knowledge and work process.
514-457-6610 ext. 5941
Liliane Bohbot began her design career as a portrait artist, travelling through many countries earning her living from street portraiture. Returning home to Montreal, she pursued a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts at Concordia University (Interdisciplinary Arts), graduating with distinction. While still painting and exploring new media during her Masters' in Art Education, she discovered digital media and went on to exhibit her work and win several art competitions worldwide with video art, portraiture and drawings. In addition to teaching full time at John Abbott College, Liliane freelances in both traditional and new media in oil paintings and portraiture.
Belinda GareAdmin. Chair
Belinda grew up in Northern Ontario where she developed a love of nature and animals.
Many of her gouache paintings can be described as close up "natural landscapes".
Enjoys playing softball in summer and curling in the winter and tries not to take either too seriously.
Currently resides in Rigaud, Quebec and enjoys walking her dog on the mountain.
About teaching in Graphic & Web Design
"It is so fulling to be a part of the diverse and talented community of John Abbott College.
Having come full circle as an art director and a visual artist,
I now get the opportunity to share what I have learned from my own experience.
Designers solve problems in order to communicate an idea or a message.
Graphic and web designers develop their craft by understanding the principles of design,
developing strong technical skills, listening, interpreting and appreciating a client’s perspective or
situation. They embrace feedback and strive for the best solution.
Part of my role as an educator is to facilitate the process of solving problems.
When this happens in a classroom, it is a real privilege to be a part of the process.
Rough drawings develop into final concepts. Ideas come to life on-line.
It is not by magic that this happens, it is by participating and fully engaging in problem solving
that solutions emerge from the white space or dark screen.
By the third year, students appreciate the value in what they have learned.
When they return from their stage, they comprehend that others value what they know.
The best part of teaching is working everyday with amazing, young people."
Ask Belinda about her roadtrip to Alaska!!
514-457-6610 ext. 5851
Eric Girouard joined the faculty of John Abbott College’s Publication Design and Hypermedia Technology department in 2001, after starting his teaching career at the International Academy of Design in Montreal in 1997.
Although Eric holds a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts (specializing in painting & drawing) from Concordia University in Montreal, he traded in his paintbrushes for a mouse and keyboard when he first used Photoshop in 1991.
Since then, he has worked in professional photography, print and web design as well as user interface design and usability analysis. In addition to his responsibilities as departmental chair at John Abbott College, Eric is a Master mentor of photographic art at The Arcanum, runs his own blog and stock photography portal site.
Eric lives in Rigaud with his girlfriend and his two kids. When not hiding behind a computer screen for work, Eric loves hiding behind a camera for fun.
514-457-6610 ext. 5930
For the past two days I have been spending my time reading on the fine subjects of interdisciplinarity and epistemology — yes you have guessed it, I am a teacher. A longer explanation requires that I go back in time… Driving home on one of these incredibly beautiful sunny days, I happened to be driving by John Abbott College, near Montreal. Being a former John Abbott student, I daydreamed of those days gone by and at that moment I knew that I would work there someday… as this was meant to be.
Jane Hannah is a Canadian graphic artist, typographer, calligrapher, watercolorist and illustrator as well as teacher at John Abbott College. As someone whose academic beginnings focused on music and graphic arts, I was fortunate enough to work with open-hearted and talented individuals in typography and graphic design for over 20 years, thus giving me the chance to learn from a huge circle of talented people. I first taught in the Québec Public System in a program named Procédés infographiques in 1996 and then joined John Abbott College in 2001 to teach Publication Design & Hypermedia which became Graphic & Web Design in 2015. I obtained my Graphic Arts degree in 1983 and then followed with two Bachelors degree, one in Music and one in Education, then followed by a Masters degree in Education (Performa) from Sherbrooke University.
When the Mac computer arrived on the market in 1989, I left behind my brushes and paints to start working digitally (to keep up with the times). Since that time, I have come back to my roots and started watercolour painting in May 2012 as I was getting tired of working digitally and fell in love with the medium. I am mostly a rural-urban painter/sketcher.
I live in Rigaud, and my paintings reflect my environment. I am part of the Montreal Urban Sketchers group and also a member of Artistes Hudson Artists. I try to post three paintings a week on my blog: http://www.janehannah.com and I often link my paintings to music as it is an inherent part of my nature and education.
The Quest for My Life
- Leave behind old grudges;
- Whatever happens to you in life are clues to guide you;
- Everyone that you meet is your teacher;
- Face and forgive yourself;
- Only then, will you find truth.
Creativity is merely a plus name for regular activity…
any activity becomes creative,
when the doer cares about doing it right, or better.
514-457-6610 ext. 5931
514-457-6610 ext. 5934
I wanted to be a college professor like my Dad ever since I went to work with him and he let me stand on a chair and scribble on the blackboards with chalk. I used to give math quizzes to the kids I babysat for. In spite of this, I was still much in demand as a babysitter. I got my Bachelor’s of Science in Math and Computer Science and minored in Theatre and Creative Writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Then I went on to get my Master’s of Science in Statistics and Psychology at Carnegie-Mellon University. After working for a year programming in Computer Assisted Instruction, I went back to school for my doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh. For seven years I travelled around as a nomadic university professor. I replaced faculty on one and two year contracts teaching psychology and statistics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the University of Saskatchewan at Saskatoon. I wrote a couple of statistics songs to make statistics easier and performed them at coffee houses along with other songs I wrote. I also did layout and writing for a woman’s magazine. I got a lot of compliments on the comic strip I created. I fell in love with San Francisco when I was visiting my sister and trained computer science tutors at Berkeley for a year. Then I came back to Canada to teach in the math department at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Finally I came to Montreal to teach Educational Technology at Concordia University. I taught Instructional Design (I love making handouts!) and programming on Apple II microcomputers. I took lots of courses in radio, TV, and video production. When my two-year contract with Concordia ended, I decided to stay in Montreal instead of moving to Rochester or Ottawa for another university job. I freelanced for CBC radio and TV for several years, documentaries and teleplays, and it was exciting, but it never developed into a fulltime job. So I started working at John Abbott as head of audio-visual services. They put me in charge of the PCC lab, which was in the library at that time. My favourite computer was the first Macintosh computer, the first one to come with a mouse. I liked making promotional videos for John Abbott and running the computer labs, but I missed the independence and creativity of teaching. Susan talked me into interviewing for the Math department. Coincidentally, Dock Anson, her husband-to-be, was on the committee that hired me. When a new program started up, Susan Regan talked me into teaching Office Systems Management. So Susan and her husband are responsible for my teaching career at Abbott! It was way more fun to teach computer software than it was to teach statistics and trig. Students love it. In 1999 we changed over to a new program, PDHT, and the software is even cooler. All of a sudden I got lots of clients wanting me to make them brochures, business cards, web sites, and animations. But my first love is still teaching. I wake up in the morning excited about going to work. I can’t wait to show you guys what I know and see the cool things you’re doing. Not only are you an amazingly creative and talented bunch, but you’re also very generous about showing me new tricks in Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator and Quark. My philosophy of life is “Follow your interests. You’ll never know what they’ll come in handy.”
Rick RockTech. Chair
514-457-6610 ext. 5932
Rick began his teaching career by training and consulting design professionals, corporations and educational institutions in a variety of computer graphic related digital visual arts fields. Since 1984, he has focused his efforts on photography, illustration, 3D animation and Postscript® image setting, i.e. desktop publishing.
In the nineties, Rick was a principle collaborator with the ‘Center for Imaging Arts & Technology’ program (CIAT) of the Dawson College Institute of Photography. During that time, he retrained design professionals for the burgeoning Postscript© digital output service market. He also broadened his teaching sphere to include CEGEP students in photography and computer graphic related subjects.
In the spring of the year 2000, Rick was contracted to provide retraining to the newly conceived Publication Design and Hypermedia Technology program (PDHT) at John Abbott and Dawson colleges. PDHT was a newly formed career program transitioned from the existing Office Systems Management program. Rick made the choice to accept an invitation to join the PDHT department faculty at John Abbott College in the winter semester of 2001.
Rick continued his professional development by completing his master’s degree in education during his tenure at John Abbott. He currently remains a member of the PDHT teaching faculty. In 2018 PDHT revised its program and updated the department name to Graphic & Web Design (G&WD). Apart from his regular teaching, he is also responsible as technical co-chair for the department. He endeavors to expand opportunities for the G&WD students which includes design internship and community partnerships. The John Abbott and McGill campus communities continue to benefit from the collaborative design student services he incorporates into his classroom activities.
With over 20 years of professional experience in graphic design, illustration, branding, web design/ development, illustration, and photography, I have insider-level knowledge of both technical and creative roles. I understand how each supports the other, and how they overlap.
My experience includes agency, in-house, and freelance. I have worked with clients from multinational corporate interests to small independent shops, in industries including retail, publishing, travel, fashion, manufacturing and the arts. In addition to my experience as a web/app designer, my illustrations and photos have been used in many publications, and I have designed for production in advertising, packaging & garment for a wide variety of uses & applications.
Technically, I specialize in web design and app design, specifically UI/UX.
As a creative, my main skillsets are graphic design, illustration, and photography.
As a teacher, what like best about CEGEP is that I can mentor people starting out on their path as designers, as I can help them discover what direction they would like to go in, and guide them towards fields that suit their interests. We live in very exciting times in terms of technology and opportunity as designers, and I feel that the Graphic and Web Design program at John Abbott College provides excellent creative and technical training & opportunities for future designers.
For a complete list of courses taught by the GWD department, please visit both the Graphic and Web Design program, and the General Education (Complementary courses) sections of the Course Calendar.
Visit the Graphic and Web Design program page for detailed information.