BFA: Graphic Design

Since the making of images is an intellectual process, the education of the artist should go considerably beyond instruction of technique and media. The artistic process, at its best, is creative intuitive, analytical and highly sophisticated. It requires all the knowledge, discipline, sensitivity and awareness of liberally educated intelligence. Students in the program will gain the technical and intellectual preparation necessary for the development of their own personal creative solutions and the means to make better-informed career decisions.
This program will prepare students to:
Demonstrate mastery of technical skills

  • Demonstrate the ability to draw, author text in word-processing programs, render graphic images on the computer, digitally manipulate imagery, produce production ready page layouts, understand issues related to output and electronic pre-press, and choose the appropriate technology to specific design related tasks.
  • Master an intermediate or better understanding of information architecture and interface design (web and interactive media) and 2D animation (motion and broadcast design).
  • Demonstrate competencies in storyboarding, relevant computer scripts/code, sound editing, image sequencing, and motion/digital typography.
  • Evaluate production requirements of a given project, choose the best implementation, and utilize the correct craft techniques to produce high quality mock-ups of projects for inclusion in online and print portfolios.
  • Continue to develop technical and conceptual skills as the technology and scope of the discipline evolves and  to acquire new skills as varied professional settings may demand.
Demonstrate knowledge of graphic design’s visual history
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the history of the visual communication arts.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the history of graphic design, recognizing and naming historical figures in design and making connections between the historical artifact and contemporary issues and design.
Master formal skills:
  • Illustrate mastery of working with formal elements such as line, shade, texture, hierarchy, contrast, composition and color.
  • Define and demonstrate knowledge of the importance of these terms and use these skill sets appropriately in visual design problem solving.
  • Master both intermediate and advanced typographic skills, demonstrating a working knowledge of font styles, systems of measurement and formatting and an ability to make appropriate, project specific, typographic choices.
Demonstrate field-specific critical thinking skills
  • Apply critical thinking skills in the application of techniques learned.
  • Demonstrate the ability to solve visual problems with clearly articulated processes, including problem identification, research and information gathering, generating and editing alternate solutions, implementing final solutions and evaluating a project against the original goals and expectations.
  • Demonstrate design fluency in verbal and visual vocabulary and the ability to analyze, discuss and critique graphic design problems and solutions, considering technical, aesthetic and conceptual applications.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of graphic design’s place in the field of visual communication.
Apply graphic design skills:
  • Demonstrate acquisition of fluency in various graphic design disciplines, including, but not limited to: editorial design, book jacket, poster and CD packaging design, branding and logo design, information design, web and interactive design, and motion graphics, depending on course of study.
Apply values and ethics to graphic design practice:
  • Demonstrate ethical responsibility in both typographic and image based design solutions. 
  • Examine individual situations, act ethically, and reflect upon the consequences of images and the power of visual communications media in society at large.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the impact that visual culture has had throughout history and reflect on graphic design’s potential to inspire change in our global society.
Demonstrate enhanced knowledge, skills and values consistent with the Core Curriculum:
  • Demonstrate information literacy and the ability to use  computers and other technology for a variety of purposes.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills in a variety of formats and proficiency in the visual, verbal and written vocabularies
    of design.
  • Demonstrate recognition, understanding, and respect of the complexity of socio-cultural and international diversity.
  • Develop insight, self-reflection, and growth, as well as becoming resourceful in finding effective strategies for self-management
    and self-improvement.
Illustrate realistic ideas to implement knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.
  • Formulate portfolios, which will provide direction toward specific career goals or towards the pursuit of a graduate degree in the visual arts.
  • Demonstrate understanding of basic business practices in the discipline, including the expectations of a professional designer, the workings of a design office, the varied job settings that a graphic designer might be employed in, proper interpersonal relations within an office, an understanding of both subordinate and leadership roles within a professional structure, appropriate attire for business, client’s expectation of freelancers and pricing/payment structures.