Document Design and Production for Editors

Writers and editors constantly face the challenge of creating documents that are easy to understand. Editors often work as part of a design team when the purpose of a document is to report or persuade. In this course, we’ll examine the elements of design and how they affect usability, production, and cost.

The final assignment for this course is due one week after the course ends.


You should know how to set margins and tab stops; create and format lists and tables; add headers, footers and hyperlinks; add and perform basic changes to images; and create tables of contents.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Online - Flora Gordon $452.00 11 Register
Online - Flora Gordon $452.00 29 Register

Instructional hours: 12

Schedule clarification: Online courses begin on the first date listed and end six days after the last date listed. The interim dates/times are not your actual online class times.

What will I learn?

By the end of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe good design and how it applies to technical documents
  • Apply the five guiding principles of effective graphic design
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the terminology, types, and reasons for using grids for page layout
  • Explain the history, terminology, classifications, and components of typefaces
  • Use tables, charts, graphs, and other graphic elements
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of image file formats, their terminology, and their use
  • Identify document structures, organization methods, and binding
  • Analyze different output processes (printing, electronic) and select the best one based on the project usage, budget, schedule, distribution and accessibility needs

How will I learn?

Prepare to spend six to 10 hours per week on coursework, including:

  • Weekly course modules accessed through Canvas
  • Readings
  • Discussions
  • Exercises
  • Assignments

Course materials will be available 24/7, and assignment deadlines will be posted well in advance, allowing you to set your own pace for learning.

How will I be evaluated?

  • Participation in discussions
  • Assignments

The final assignment is due one week after the course ends.

Textbooks and learning materials

We will provide course materials online.

Hardware and software requirements

  • Access to word processor or desktop publishing software such as Microsoft Word or Adobe InDesign to complete the assignments.

We deliver this course using SFU's online course management system, Canvas. You will receive course details and Canvas access instructions on the first day of the course. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.

New to online learning? See About Online Learning for helpful videos and additional information.

English language requirements

To succeed in this course, you will need an advanced level of written and spoken English. If you are unsure whether your English language skills are sufficient, we recommend you complete the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with the following minimums:

  • Overall band score minimum 6.5
  • No band below 6.0
  • Writing band score minimum 8.0

Please note we can’t refund your registration fees after the course start date if you find your English language skills are not adequate.

If you have questions or concerns about your English language proficiency, we encourage you to contact your local IELTS Test Centre.

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