Graphic Design

What’s your story, and how will you tell it?

Communicating visually is virtually always the most effective way to solve problems, share ideas, build a memorable identity, create distinctions, find common ground, and even instruct, inform and motivate. Good graphic design can change minds, challenge assumptions, and tackle relevant issues.

Your courses in graphic design will open your eyes to a world of new perspectives.

To become an effective graphic designer, you’ll learn to apply concept-driven creative processes to each project you undertake. You’ll research facts, brainstorm ideas, and develop a polished strategic approach to achieve your objectives. Using principles of two- and three-dimensional design, color theory, and elements such as typography, digital and traditional photography, drawing and illustration, you’ll create strong visual language to communicate your message convincingly.

You’ll gain hands-on experience in a range of traditional and emerging media, from design for publications, packaging and promotions to user-experience and digital interface design for online applications. And you’ll build a professional-quality portfolio of work that prepares you for immediate employment.

What’s in your mind’s eye? Graphic design gives you the power to show and tell.

Alumni

Our alumni work all over the world and in many different industries. They're super great.

Course and program highlights

This is an overview of the major design courses you will take in the BFA in Graphic Design program. See the complete requirements listing by clicking the link below.

Freshman year

ART 105: Foundations I

Initial offering of two-semester integrated studies sequence for freshman art and interior design majors; prepares students for work at the upper levels in art and design; provides experiences addressing the five major program goals (communication; formal exploration; creative visual problem solving; exploration of tools, materials, and techniques; and investigation of history, theory, and methodologies. This course has a studio component and meets a total of 6 hours per week.

3 Credit Hours

ART 120: Digital Tools

This course will explore layout composition, visual hierarchy, and problem solving through the use of industry standard software. The goal is to begin to build foundational knowledge of the primary computer applications used in the design industry. This course has a studio component and meets a total of 6 hours per week. 

Co-requisite: ART 105.

3 Credit Hours

ART 106: Foundations II

Continuation of topics/experiences in 105. This course has a studio component and meets a total of 6 hours per week.

Prerequisite: ART 105 or permission of instructor.

3 Credit Hours

Sophomore year

ART 221: Methods of Ideation

A broad introduction to the field of graphic design with special focus on methods of ideation. Ongoing class discussions are supplemented with readings and group critiques as students complete a series of projects. This course has a studio component and meets for a total of six hours per week.

Prerequisites: ART 106 and ART 120; co-requisite: ART 222.

3 Credit Hours

ART 222: Production I

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Prerequisites: ART 106 and ART 120; co-requisite: ART 221.

3 Credit Hours

ART 321: Typography

Study of the expressive and technical requirements of working with the letterform; topics include type composition systems, type spacing, recognition of type categories, copy fitting, type specification, and the expressive capabilities of particular typefaces in particular applications. This course has a studio component and meets a total of 6 hours per week.

Prerequisites: ART 221 and ART 222; co-requisite: ART 324.

3 Credit Hours

ART 324: Production II

Study of the creation, production, and management of digital environments. This course includes an introduction to web languages, and will cover topics such as beginning design for digital devices, file preparation, information architecture, content management, and typography for the screen. This course has a studio component and meets a total of 6 hours per week.

Prerequisites: ART 221 and ART 222; co-requisite: ART 321.

3 Credit Hours

Junior year

ART 328: History of Graphic Design

Study of the major movements in the history of graphic design from the Industrial Revolution to the present day. An emphasis is placed on experiential learning in a studio environment. This course has a studio component and meets a total of 6 hours per week.

Prerequisites: ART 321 and ART 324.

3 Credit Hours

ART 329: Special Topics in Graphic Design

This course is intended to offer the student a means of exploration within the realm of contemporary issues and practices in the field of Graphic Design. Topics may include, but are not limited to: Alternative Methodologies in Design, Ethics in Design, Screen printing, Illustration, Motion Graphics, or Animation. Since content will vary, the course may be taken up to three times for credit for a total of 9 credit hours. This course has a studio component and meets a total of 6 hours per week.

Prerequisites: ART 321 and ART 324.

3 Credit Hours

ART 323: Brand Identity Design

Explore the role of brand identity by way of extensive research, strategic thinking, design, and execution. Students will create a complete identity system for a company and implement it through the development of multiple digital and print touchpoints. The course culminates with the creation of a cohesive brand standards manual. This course has a studio component and meets for a total of six hours per week.

Prerequisite: ART 328; co-requisite: ART 325.

3 Credit Hours

ART 325: User Experience and Interactive Design

Study of the processes required for designing a user-centric digital experience. This course covers topics such as design for digital devices, UX research, digital advertising, digital product design, mobile application design, and the ethical implications and responsibilities to consider when designing for digital environments. This course has a studio component and meets a total of 6 hours per week.

Prerequisite: ART 328; co-requisite: ART 323.

3 Credit Hours

Junior year (summer)

ART 495: Graphic Design Internship

An experiential learning course serving as a transitional step for the advanced student. Students are required to secure an internship and complete a minimum of 120 hours of supervised work in an approved professional setting.

Prerequisites: ART 323, ART 325, and professor approval of internship provider.

3 Credit Hours

Senior year

ART 421: Advanced Design Studio I

This course will emphasize a professional approach to creative problem solving. Students will develop an accomplished, consummate body of work intended to demonstrate their cumulative mastery of skills. Students will work to produce finely crafted, refined executions that will serve as polished, industry-level work expressly to bolster their portfolio. This course has a studio component and meets a total of 6 hours per week.

Prerequisites: ART 323 and ART 325; co-requisite: ART 422.

3 Credit Hours

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The server encountered an internal error and was unable to complete your request. Either the server is overloaded or there is an error in the application.

Prerequisites: ART 323 and ART 325; co-requisite: ART 421.

3 Credit Hours

ART 493: Senior Seminar

Capstone course during which students create all materials necessary for the professional job search. The course culminates in an individual Senior Review before Art + Design faculty, and a Senior Exhibition for which students design and produce all digital and print promotional materials. This course has a studio component and meets for a total of six hours per week.

Prerequisites: ART 421 and ART 422; co-requisite: ART 423.

3 Credit Hours

ART 423: Beyond the Portfolio

Intended solely for students in the final semester of the BFA in Graphic Design program. The course addresses a range of topics intended to help prepare graduates to successfully navigate the transition from student to professional designer. Ongoing class discussions are supplemented with readings, agency/studio tours, mock interviews, practical exercises, professional guest lecturers, and more. This course does not have a studio component and meets for two, 75-minute sessions per week.

Prerequisites: ART 422; co-requisite: ART 493.

3 Credit Hours

Faculty

Our faculty share a commitment to teaching and are dedicated to student success.

Jane Dorn

Associate Professor of Art | Graphic Design

Nathan Spainhour

Instructor of Art | Graphic Design

Tim Speaker

Associate Professor of Art | Graphic Design

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