Design is the very soul of human creation. It synthesizes the role of artist, inventor, mechanic, and evolutionary strategist. It heralds the future, interprets insights, creates order out of chaos, recognizes pattern within the creative flux, and couches the new in the familiar signs and symbols of a
society. Aptitude in design is the hallmark of future success.


In accord with the history of the applied arts with the Art Department, the Graphic Design program trains students to utilize their creative, cognitive and psychomotor skills towards the resolution of visual problems.

The Graphic Design program focuses on publishing—whether it be traditional print design or interactive media. The successful Graphic Design student will achieve facility in a number of Adobe Creative Suite applications, design and communication theory, artful discipline, creative problem solving, social responsibility, global awareness, and professional practices.


Artful discipline leads to successful product and design— Publications, portfolios, and/or user experiences are the final outcome of a designer’s process. Successful Graphic Design students will develop a strong foundation of studio skills that are integrated into their design production. Through a habit of exploratory journal/ sketchbooks students will investigate and document processes and production of their unique body of work or product. Their completed designs are the products for juried art shows, exhibitions, displays, contests, internships and/or clients.

Challenge-solving requires intellectual development – Students within the Graphic Design program develop the discipline to investigate intellectually challenging visual problems. They solve them both creatively and beautifully—defining “Beauty” as a “fully resolved work”— through the application of various brainstorming techniques, applying the elements & principles of art and design, technical facility, and social, cultural, aesthetic, semiotic, and historical perspectives and considering the assignment’s unique parameters that may include client or production constraints, budgetary concerns, deadlines, their own skill set, etc. Students will research, study, explore, and apply varying perspectives to the creation of great design resolutions (“The difference between good design and great design is intellect.”—Tibor Kalman)

Technical facility combines with theoretical knowledge —students must cultivate a high facility in computer software through secondary and intermediate courses (or 200 to 400 level courses) and regular practice and production. This skill is intrinsic to the professional practice of design. It is recommended that students allot 20-minutes a day to the development of a new skill beyond that demonstrated in class. Along with the development of a student’s technical abilities, their knowledge of communication theories results in more successful design resolutions. Ours is an interdisciplinary field made richer through the integration of theory, research, content integration, technical skills, semiotics, and zeitgeist.

Professional practice meets social responsibility – Graphic Designers are trained to create and mediate the powerful tools of “The Media.” Students are called upon to reflect on the impact of their professional actions and choices and make ethically sound decisions for the benefit of improving social discourse. As part of the discipline of Graphic Design, students are introduced to the standards and practices of the field and called upon to uphold the integrity of the industry. We value the process and products of design as conduits of social commentary assuming the role of globally responsible individuals and artists in service of a just world through the use of art and design as powerful healing and communication tools to the global community.



Cummings Gallery
Art Faculty Show

Dates: Aug 21-Sep 28, 2014

Location: Cummings Gallery

William Close and The Earth Harp Collective
William Close and The Earth Harp Collective

Dates: Sep 5

Location: Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center

Anais Mitchell
Anaïs Mitchell

Dates: Sep 30

Location: Erie Art Museum

MU Course Catalog