Design Kickstart

Master Design Fundamentals in 8 Weeks!

In Design Kickstart, you’ll take on industry-inspired projects while learning key design concepts that will elevate your design work right away. By the end of this course, you’ll have all of the foundational design knowledge necessary to start crafting storyboards that are motion ready.

Course Duration
8 Weeks
Software
Photoshop & Illustrator
Verified Credential
Intro to Design Principles
Next Session Starts:
October 10, 2022
Next Session Starts:
As soon as you register
Enroll NowNotify MeLearn More

Cohort-based learning

Exercises & Project Files for Every Lesson

Technical & Creative Support Along the Way

Verified Credential Upon Course Completion

Course Overview

At the heart of every great piece of art is a foundation of design. If you want to make unforgettable animation, you need to know how to create compositions with motion in mind. If you’re a designer, animator, or even a visual effects artist, you need Design Kickstart. Built with a true design beginner in mind, this course explores contrast, harmony, balance, and more of what makes good art great. 

You’ll learn important Design Principles and fundamentals by using them in projects that mimic real-world client briefs, building your design knowledge while putting new techniques into practice right away. By the end of this course, you’ll have the foundations you need to further explore the depths of designing for motion.

Course Outcomes
Master the principles of design and learn why they are pivotal to creating great art
Improve your skills with real world client briefs and practical exercises
Design storyboards and compositions that will be critiqued by a professional designer

What You'll Learn

Each week is jam-packed with intense learning. While you have some flexibility in how you tackle your workload, the course is curated in a specific order. We build up foundations that support more and more advanced techniques with lessons to practice your new skills along the way.

Week 1
Day 1
You'll Learn:
Seeing like a designer
Photoshop Hotkeys & Quick TIps

Grab a bucket, because we’re turning on the fountain of knowledge! You’ll get a brief overview of all the important design principles to be covered in the weeks ahead. As a project, you’ll try your hand at designing a style frame, exploring different shapes within the composition.

Week 2
Day 2
You'll Learn:
Using contrast in designs
Working with type
Figure-ground relationship

This week you’ll be introduced to the critical role of contrast in composition through the use of positive and negative space. We’ll cover figure ground, hierarchy, transition moments, rhythm and implied movement, and emphasis.

Week 3
Day 3
You'll Learn:
Emphasizing important elements
Creating good value structure
Basic color theory

It’s time to dive deep into creating compositions that work as a series meant to be put into motion. You’ll utilize grids, guides, and ratios, and learn how to use them in your compositions. We’ll further explore Contrast and Emphasis, create movement in your still designs, and discover how adding color and value to your composition changes everything.

Week 4
Day 4
You'll Learn:
What being a designer is really like
Review design principles you’ve learned

This week is a "focus week," a chance to catch up on course work and material. Listen to our interview with Nathaniel Howe about building a career as a Designer, and get ready for the big project around the corner.

Week 5
Day 5
You'll Learn:
Simplifying complex ideas
Designing with large amounts of type

You’ll continue to refine your typesetting skills with a complex typographical challenge. You’ll get a lesson in simplicity by using basic shapes to communicate complex ideas, as well as a more challenging multi-frame design meant to test your knowledge. By the end of this week, you’ll understand tracking, leading, kerning, and other fundamentals in good type design.

Week 6
Day 6
You'll Learn:
Additional design tips and tricks
Creating a full set of design boards
Growing as a designer

It’s time to put your new design skills to the test by working on your final project. We’ve got a client that needs your design expertise, and you’ll have to pull on every bit of knowledge to impress them. You’ll get to take a full set of boards from concept to finish, while picking up some helpful tips and tricks along the way.

Weeks 7-8
You'll Learn:
Extended Critique Period

The final 2 weeks of class are Extended Critique. You can use this time to catch up, complete your final project, then turn it in for critique.

What You'll Get

School of Motion courses are custom-built to provide you with an unmatched learning experience. We want you to actually enjoy logging into your classes, and we’ve designed our programs to be the most effective form of online education out there. In every course, you’ll get:

Cohort-Based Learning

Join artists from around the world on our custom learning platform. Never learn alone, as you’ll have immediate access to a forum of fellow students to share work, ask questions, and improve together. 

Exercises & Project Files for Every Lesson

Each course comes packed with free project files, assets, and additional material to keep you learning and growing long after the course ends. Our exercises are designed from real world briefs, so you’re learning the skills you need to excel on your next project or venture.

Technical & Creative Support Along the Way

You’ll be assigned a Teaching Assistant with years of experience in your chosen course. They’ll provide technical and creative feedback to guide you through new skills, improve your techniques, and provide encouragement along your journey. 

Verified Credential Upon Course Completion

Completing a course isn’t just about bragging rights. Once you’ve completed at least 70% of your work in a given course, you’ll earn a verified credential that can show current and future employers exactly what you’ve accomplished.

Permanent Access to Course Material

We all need a refresher now and again, which is why you’ll keep access to your course—and all the assets and project files—for the rest of your life. Come back to listen to exclusive interviews, review old lessons, and try out new techniques using your old assets.

An Expansive Alumni Community

You’ll gain instant access to our alumni platform, The Square. Here you can network with professional artists at every stage of their career. You’ll get access to new job opportunities and exclusive alumni events, such as meetups, virtual hangouts and reel reviews. 

Upcoming Course Dates

Enroll Now

Our cohort-based leaning program runs on a designated schedule, so you’ll always have a group of like-minded artists working alongside you for support and encouragement. We offer multiple sessions each year, so choose the best start date for you and get ready to go!

October 10, 2022
Winter 2022
Course Starts:
As soon as you register
Course Duration
8 Weeks
Enroll By
October 13, 2022
Always Open
Enrollment Options
Pay all at once
$997

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Full Price
$997
Pay all at once

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Full Price
$348
3 payments of
$348

One payment now, two more 30 and 60 days from now = $1044.

3 payments of

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Free Course
This one's on us!
January 9, 2023
Winter 2023
Course Starts:
As soon as you register
Course Duration
8 Weeks
Enroll By
January 12, 2023
Always Open
Enrollment Options
Pay all at once
$997

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Pay all at once

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Full Price
$348
3 payments of
$348

One payment now, two more 30 and 60 days from now = $1044.

3 payments of

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Free Course
This one's on us!
April 10, 2023
Spring 2023
Course Starts:
As soon as you register
Course Duration
8 Weeks
Enroll By
April 13, 2023
Enrollment Options
Pay all at once
$997

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Full Price
$997
Pay all at once

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Full Price
$348
3 payments of
$348

One payment now, two more 30 and 60 days from now = $1044.

3 payments of

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Free Course
This one's on us!

Course Instructor

Mike Frederick
Creative Director, Designer & Educator

Your fearless leader on this journey is Mike Frederick, Emmy-Award winning Designer & Art Director who has been working in the field of Motion Design for over 20 years. His roster of advertising and broadcast clients is massive.

Our alumni are hired by companies like

Megumi Ikeda
Video Editor
“School of Motion courses provided me with the skills and feedback that my school couldn't provide. I wouldn't have gone viral or landed my internship without their in-depth courses.”
Justin Peterson
Motion Designer
“The decision to take Animation Bootcamp from School of Motion was a life changer. I have turned my passion of motion graphics into my career.”
Deanna Reilly
Animator & Illustrator
“School of Motion courses quickly reignited my passion for animation and helped me launch my career in an exciting new direction.agency”
Leigh Williamson
Illustrator & Animator
“I'm more confident, more relevant, more equipped, better connected and close to my goals since School of Motion entered my life.”
Join our growing community of over
15,000+ Alumni

FAQs

How do I know if this course is right for me?

Design Kickstart is for the true design beginner. You do not need to know anything about design to take this course. By the end of this course students will have strong knowledge of the most essential Design Principles for Motion Design and be ready for more advanced courses.

What are the prerequisites?

Students taking this course must have a solid understanding of how to use Adobe Photoshop for creating artwork. Knowledge of Adobe Illustrator is a plus and may be useful to students taking this course. It is strongly recommended that students take Photoshop and Illustrator Unleashed before this course, or have equivalent knowledge. Students do not need to know anything about Design or After Effects to take this course. If they are new to Motion Design it is highly recommended that they complete The Path to MoGraph for industry context before taking this course.

What is the required software?

Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 (20.0.0 or Higher)

What is the course format?

Design Kickstart is an 8-week course. Lessons become available at a specific time each week but you can watch them and do your work whenever it is convenient for you. The lessons include pre-recorded videos, podcasts, PDFs and assignments with working files.

All student work is critiqued by our highly trained Teaching Assistants. School of Motion TA's are professional Designers with real life experience in the industry.

During the course you will be invited to a private classroom that contains all of the  students and Teaching Assistants in your session. This is a great tool for connecting, asking or answering questions, sharing thoughts or insights, and winning cool contests!

How much time do I need to commit?

Design Kickstart is an 8-week course. You'll have the flexibility to watch the course content and complete your course work on your schedule. However, you can expect to commit at least 15 - 20 hours per week on course material. The video lesson are 1-2 hours in length. There are 8 assignments total. Assignments are typically assigned on Mondays and Thursdays with soft deadlines the next day. We have designated catch-up weeks built into the schedule so students have extra time to complete their assignments if needed. There is also an extended critique add-on for those that want more time with a Teaching Assistant after the 8-week course or need more time to complete assignments towards earning a credential.

Do I get a certificate at the end of the course?

Yes, if you complete, submit, and have 70% of your course assignments approved by your Teaching Assistant you will be eligible for a Course Credential through Credly. With your Credly Course Credential, you can share your accomplishments across your social networks, the blockchain, or to print out yourself.

Can I access my course content after the course ends?

Yes! Once you complete Design Kickstart, you’ll have lifetime access to all the course lessons and materials, so you can revisit them whenever you like. Also, if we make any changes to Design Kickstart following your session, you’ll automatically receive access to the latest version.

Please note: Video critiques change each session, so you’ll only have access to the video critiques during the session you're enrolled in. The written critiques you receive in your homework locker as well as the classroom content will also remain available to you forever!

Are you interested in learning more?
We can help! But first we need to learn a little more about you. Submit the form below to get the full course syllabus and more information on the course.