Bachelors (BA) in Graphic Design

Overview

The graphic design major provides students the opportunity to develop an informed design practice built on a rich understanding of the principles of design, the impact of visual communication, and a variety of strategies for creative problem solving.

Encompassing a broad range of media, the curriculum focuses on powerful visual communication and research-based design solutions. Starting with coursework that establishes a strong understanding of foundational formal principles, typographic sensitivity, compositional strategy, and ensures knowledge of current industry-standard software the major then opens up to offer students the opportunity to study the most prevalent uses of design including print, packaging, branding and identity systems, campaigns, web design, and systematic design projects.

Through the curriculum, students are introduced to rich design processes that include idea generation, creative research, problem definition, concept development, sketching, prototyping, image making, typography, print production, and the production of interactive media. All design students take part in an internship and work directly with clients during their course of study. Design majors graduate the program with experience and knowledge that prepares them to join design studios, lead in-house design teams, or launch their own independent design practice.

Faculty
The versatile faculty is made up of artists and designers who actively produce and exhibit their creative work − artists who are leaders in their various fields of discipline. They love to teach because they love what they teach. Our faculty is equipped to motivate, inspire and nurture; they become true mentors to their students. The faculty of the Department of Art and Design believe it is necessary for students to become leaders rather than followers, to become the next generation of gifted creative artists and designers and to become art professionals in the ever-growing number of contemporary art and art-related careers.

More information about the graphic design major can be found on the art major admissions page.

Degree Outcomes

Graduates with a BA in graphic design will:

  • Demonstrate the ability to write and speak about art, design, and art history with clarity and logic, and be able to form and support critical judgements about art, design and art history
  • Demonstrate the technical mastery of the relevant materials and tools, and the terminology, theories, and practices relevant to the student's field of study
  • Demonstrate the ability generate, support, and utilize individual thoughts and ideas
  • Demonstrate the ability to do research in art, design, and art history, and the competence and knowledge to analyze and think critically
  • Demonstrate expanding knowledge of historical achievements and contemporary thinking, trends, processes, and issues in art and design, and apply that knowledge to their personal work
  • Demonstrate broader and deeper understanding of contemporary arts practice, grasp of how to develop and maintain studio or design practice, and ideas communicating successful cultivation of both audience, concept and goals in visual art and design
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Major Requirements

Complete the following:

An introduction to materials, techniques, and theory related to two-dimensional design. Additional course fee is required.
Art majors given preference. This course is a study of materials, methods, and techniques used for drawing with pencil, ink, charcoal, and other drawing media. Additional course fee is required.
A study of the relationship between art and Christianity in the contemporary world. Designed primarily for studio art majors. Prerequisite: either ARTS 382 Twentieth Century Art or ARTS 384 Contemporary Art Forms. Additional course fee required.

Choose one of the following:

A survey of the elements and concepts of art theory and practice as reflected in culturally and historically significant painting, sculpture, architecture, and other art forms, from 1450 to the present. Additional course fee is required.
Art and its relationship to Western culture of the 20th century. Additional course fee is required.

Complete the following:

This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
The technical coursework establishes foundational software knowledge in industry-standard programs, equipping students to create work for a wide-range of media.

Complete the following:

This course is an introduction to industry-standard graphic design applications such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Additional course fee required.
Building on skills developed in Creative Suite, this project-based course focuses on the creation and technical execution of vector-based design and illustration. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite
Building on skills developed in Creative Suite, this project-based course focuses on intermediate to advanced techniques employed in the creation of raster-based images for use in illustration and design projects. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite
Building on sills developed in Creative Suite, this project-based course focuses on intermediate to advanced techniques that pertain to the layout and creation of flat, multi-page, and digital works of design. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite
The contextual coursework immerses students in historic, social, and contemporary practices related to the field of design.

Complete the following:

An examination of the variety of structures, processes, and methods designers use to create ideas, overcome obstacles, and engage audiences. Problem identification, creative strategy, ethnography, and research methods are considered as students explore a variety of approaches to ideation and creation.
This course surveys graphic communication through history, and the impact of technology on the visual qualities of graphic design, advertising, fashion, media, architecture and industrial design. Beginning with prehistoric petroglyphs and concluding with the World Wide Web, this course will examine how culture shapes the practice of graphic design as well as how design shapes its corresponding culture. Additional course fee required.
An applied studio of design theory and the way that design projects impact community. Students will research, plan and propose projects to better communities based on discussions of the social, cultural, environmental and communal impact of design. Additional course fee is required.
This course couples a 1 or 2-hour student internship or professional experience with a 1-hour seminar that explores workplace communication and problem solving. Additionally, students will gain exposure to common business practices such as the development of contracts, estimates, invoices, accounting, promotion, and project management. Prerequisite: Junior status or instructor approval.
This course focuses on the organization and preparation of a portfolio showcasing a student's creative work in preparation for employment in the field of design. Students will explore visual composition and organization, document assembly methods and various reproduction image management techniques. Computer photo editing and printing are used to a paper and digital portfolio. The implications of a professional portfolio to gain employment is emphasized. Additional course fee required.
The graphic design core is a series of project-driven coursework that covers the most frequent applications and outcomes developed by graphic designers.

Complete the following:

An introduction to typography including type history, typefaces, type selection, layout, the use of type in effective designs, and creative approaches to using type. Additional course fee required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite
A focused study of design for printed 2D and 3D objects. Topics include project ideation, paper qualities, technical execution, working with print templates, document preparation, and the creation of production-ready work. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 220 Tyopgraphy
An introduction to web design that covers content, design, and front-end web development, including HTML, CSS, and standard user interface models. Students will review best practices in visual communication and engage in hand-coding while exploring site production methods, design models and creating functional web pages. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite
This course focuses on the design for interactive objects and experiences. Topics include navigation, information architecture, user experience, development of effective interfaces, and kinetic design. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 220 Typography
In this exploration of visual thinking and systematic approaches to graphic design including brand development, identity systems and generative design methods, students will develop, design and present projects with clear communicative goals. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 220 Typography
Applied design projects that allow students to work collaboratively with regional clients. Within this course, students will work in teams as they move projects from concept and quote to preparation for production. Designers will develop work across a variety of media and learn to manage client relationships while producing work that meets the needs of real audiences. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: Junior Status.