Graphic Design

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About the Graphic Design Major

Think back to the last advertisement you saw or product package you opened. How did you react? Is there a style you come to consistently expect from a certain brand? Behind the scenes, a graphic designer made visual decisions that affected your feelings toward that product and brand. 

In graphic design programs, students learn to effectively use images, colors, typefaces, and words to convey meanings to consumers through electronic, print, and film media. This includes the design of logos, advertisements, TV commercials, product packaging, publications, multimedia, and websites, among various other visual communications. They explore various methods and aspects of art and design, including printmaking, sketching, color theory, still and life modeling, and imaging. Graduates of graphic design programs find work at design firms, in-house creative offices, private corporations, and public institutions.

There's good design and there's bad design. Graphic design majors will learn the difference and use their conceptual and technical design skills to solve problems in visual communications. Graphic design classes usually consist of a lecture with a lab or studio component. Some schools might also offer field trips to design and advertising agencies. Introductory courses emphasize basic design concepts and tools, including software training in programs such as Adobe Creative Suite. After developing a foundation in principles of design, history of art, drawing and illustration, and photography, students continue their studies up to advanced courses in typography, layout, information design, and package design.   

Most programs require students to develop a professional portfolio before graduation. Aware of the competitive market, department advisors encourage students to gain hands-on experience with internships. These are available at design and advertising agencies, private and public companies, and nonprofit organizations.
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