GRAPHIC DESIGN
BACHELOR OF ARTS

Imaginations powered by innovation.

A state-of-the-art, private graphics lab, iMac computers, Adobe editing software, GoPro cameras and 3D printing —all the tools and high-tech gadgets our majors need to produce high-quality work to attract the attention of leading employers in the industry. It doesn’t hurt that our comprehensive curriculum integrates web and print design, which fosters versatile graduates. When students get to apply that knowledge in consultations with actual clients, they’re not only providing a tangible service within the community, but they’re also building robust professional portfolios. There’s no question — our graduates are well prepared for the workforce. This is evident in the number of jobs our graduates snag with high-profile corporate companies, such as Wegmans, Dick’s Sporting Goods and NASCAR.

Fast Facts

  • Mercyhurst's graphic design program was ranked #4 nationwide by College Choice for 2020

  • What better way to learn about art than to experience it firsthand? That’s why graphic design majors regularly design for real clients such as Erie Food Tours, the Barber National Institute, and the Icebreaker Tournament

  • The art department purchased its first 3D MakerBot printer in 2016. Several courses incorporate 3D printing to bring student sketches and designs to life

  • AdPro is a student-run, social organization that helps students better understand advertising, while practicing professionalism

ILLUSTRATION TOOLS

This class expands student’s command of Adobe Illustrator by exploring a combination of vector skills, traditional media and techniques used to create spot and editorial illustration.

DIGITAL VIDEO EDITING

This course is an introduction to digital video editing. Students will be working in the style of non-linear video editing.

ADDY AWARD WINNERS

District Two American Advertising Federation (AAF) Ad Club Awards (Addys) Winners: Gold: Angela Zanaglio - Forgotten Fog Silver: Anna Cooney - Western PA Undergrad Psychology Conference Collateral

ART 128 BASIC COMPUTER DESIGN (3 credits)
This entry-level course introduces the student to the basics of Graphic Design. Through various exercises, students will experience three of the basic publishing tools used by designers - Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

ART 220 INTRODUCTION TO GRAPHIC DESIGN (3 credits) 
This entry-level course introduces students to basic design theories and skills. Students create a variety of exercises and a sample file of professional works to better understand design. Theoretical exercises, typography projects and readings introduce students to lifelong design issues and tasks. Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop are utilized in this course. Prerequisites: ART 100, ART 125. 

ART 221 DIGITAL IMAGERY (3 credits)
Photoshop image creation and manipulation is explored. Emphasis, in this term, is proper file creation, learning and utilizing specialized tools, applying proper design theories to computer generated art, and tutorials for special effects. Projects focus on various kinds of photo collage and retouching as it relates to a variety of clients. Prerequisite: ART 220. 

ART 231 DIGITAL VIDEO EDITING (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to digital video editing. Students will be working in the style of non-linear video editing. The tool of choice will be Final Cut Pro X / MAC OS platform. Projects will follow a workflow of idea generation, scripting, storyboarding, media collection, media organization, storyline building, addition of text / titles, stills, audio and finally export / publishing. Final projects will be uploaded and published via website and YouTube (DVD publish optional). Furthermore students will create projects that utilize basic camera shots and angles. Video shooting will incorporate foundational cinematography techniques. Mini projects will demonstrate movie-making techniques of Alfred Hitchcock, Pudovkin and other classic movie makers. As a camera operator students will properly setup an interview, frame a shot and conduct an interview. Project concepts will include, but not be limited to documentary, Ken Burns, Time-lapse, Lyric video, different video with song, Procedural, Mercyhurst PSA and Commercials.

ART 225 COMPUTER ILLUSTRATION TECHNIQUES (3 credits)
This class expands student’s command of Adobe Illustrator by exploring a combination of vector skills, traditional media and techniques used to create spot and editorial illustration. Assignments may include: children’s book illustration, card and gift design, editorial illustration, portraiture and icon systems. Prerequisite: ART 220. 

ART 230 GRAPHIC DESIGN HISTORY (3 credits)
Beginning with the Industrial Revolution, this course will chart the development of what we contemporarily refer to as Graphic Design and Advertising. Students will survey the designers, works, technologies, and philosophies of the major design movements and create work exploring these areas. Emphasis will be placed on the connection of design to art and popular culture, as well as the cyclical nature of design. Students create various pieces reflecting the work of the movements being studied. Prerequisite: ART 220.

ART 320 TYPE & PUBLICATION DESIGN (3 credits)
Multi-page layout is the emphasis in this class. Students learn how to handle text, integrate images into layout, and develop a keener sense of typography. Projects may include: magazine layout, cook book layout, CD design, brochure design and book jacket design. Students will learn how to use Adobe InDesign and the digital publishing suite. Prerequisite: ART 221.

ART 321 INTRODUCTION TO WEBSITE DESIGN (3 credits)
This class introduces students to design for the World Wide Web. Students add Dreamweaver to their software arsenal. An emphasis on a design ideology using HTML and CSS to solve visual problems is used in order to create sites based on industry standard practices. Current issues specific to the World Wide Web are introduced. Sites are mapped. A selection of pages are created and uploaded to remote servers. Prerequisite: ART 221. 

ART 322 CORPORATE IDENTITY AND BRANDING (3 credits)
The most intensive of all the design courses, students in this course create and design for two companies - an imaginary company of their own choosing and a local small business through the Small Business Development Center. Logotypes are designed. Brand sensing is applied. Advertising is focused. Packaging and Graphic Design Standards are developed. Prerequisite: ART 320.

ART 323 PORTFOLIO DEVELOPMENT (3 credits)
The culmination of a student’s graphic design efforts, this course seeks to refine a student’s style and to display it in the most advantageous form. Students create a traditional and online portfolio. Students are required to commit to a geographical area and discipline focus. With this decision made, research is performed, cover letters generated, resumes refined, and the job hunt begins. Prerequisites: 6 approved graphic design courses. 

ART 325 INTERMEDIATE WEBSITE DESIGN (3 credits)
This course builds upon the HTML5 / CSS3 skills from previous courses. Students add to their base of skills to take the presentation of the web page to the world of responsive frameworks. Using industry accepted responsive frameworks web pages will properly display on mobile, tablet and desktop devices.  CSS skills are also honed to give better color, type, layout and interactivity to the produced websites. Prerequisite: ART 321.

ART 326 ADVANCED WEBSITE DESIGN (3 credits)
This course will take students to advanced levels of experience with current CMS (content management systems). The CMS experience will take the designer from start to final delivery of a professional grade CMS solution. These steps include: server side software installation, configuration, user control, theme and plug-in application, page and post creation and finally theme development. The final CMS skill will be the application and testing of an e-commerce module with a working payment gateway. Prerequisite: ART325.

Additional Required Art Courses:

  • ART 100 Drawing I (foundation year)

  • ART 125 2-Dimensional Design (foundation year)
  • ART 126 3-Dimensional Design (foundation year)
  • ART 106 Photography I
  • ART 122 or 123 Art History
  • Two Approved Studio Offerings

Contact Us

Peter Stadtmueller, MSIS
Program Director, Graphic Design
Office: Hirt 100A
Phone: 814-824-3346
Email: pstadtmueller@mercyhurst.edu