Designers may not have superpowers, but they do have the power to shape how we experience the world. Design touches everything. From the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep (and wake again), the individual decisions designers have made impact our lives in ways large and small.
Design is about relationships. The relationships between objects and people, experiences and audiences, clients and customers (and many others) are all given careful consideration by graphic designers. Graphic designers are particularly adept at exploring the relationships between form and content, audience and context, as well as message and interpretation. They also like to make things that look cool. Who wouldn't love to work on a project with expressive typography?
Our students come here to experience a comprehensive academic experience that focuses on developing the skills and sensitivities essential to the practice of a professional designer. They learn how to give voice to messages with a visual language. They learn to work on their own and collaborate with others. Since they're working towards a bachelor of fine arts degree, they develop a rigorous studio practice, enhancing their design skills with ones from studio art.
Our graduates leave with the definitive professional degree in the field, prepared to enter the workforce as designers for print and web, front-end developers and more.
Admission to the Graphic Design program is selective. Passing our Candidacy Portfolio Review is required for admission to intermediate and upper level courses. We're looking for students who can think (and make) like designers, and who show the potential for success in our senior studio course.
The Graphic Design program requires students who pass our Portfolio Review to purchase a computer and a subscription to design software.
We recommend Apple Macintosh MacBook Pro laptops. A laptop puts a student’s work at their fingertips anytime and anywhere they wish to work. We also recommend that you buy the fastest laptop computer you can afford with extra RAM and a high-capacity external hard drive for external storage and backups. The university has some minimum hardware configurations.
The University Bookstore sells computers with an educational discount. If you purchase a laptop, consider purchasing an external display.
Graphic Design students should also purchase a subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud which includes many of the applications used in the industry like InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. The Creative Cloud subscription also gives students access to Adobe's font library. You can subscribe to this software at adobe.com.
Out(In)side at Graphic Design's Senior Studio Exhibition
Senior Sean Burgess used a webcam and software written in Processing to develop Out(In)side, an interactive installation that projected happenings inside the gallery on its windows. The software scanned a 1 pixel wide vertical slice of the camera's view at a time to contstruct the image.
AppalCart System Map
Redox Typeface Poster
My favorite class was Idea Lab because we had the most laughs and really bonded as a group. I learned a lot about experimentation and collaboration, which were important for moving forward.
Trips to New York
Graphic Design Senior Studio students travel to New York to visit design studios, museums and galleries. In the spring of 2017, they visited 2x4, Common Name, Frank Collective, Grand Army, Partners and Spade, Pentagram, Project Projects, Shapeways, The Type Directors Club (above), and Vice.