Ticket re-design for the Colorado Rockies by Michael Maly
Narrative illustration (1/3) by Michael Maly
Narrative illustration (2/3) by Michael Maly
Narrative illustration (3/3) by Michael Maly
Branding identity for Super Saver grocery stores by Tony Nguyen
Digital illustration for Starbucks by Tony Nguyen
Olympics banner designs by Tony Nguyen
The Graphic Design program prepares students to enter the dynamic arena of digital communication design, leading to an expanding array of professions including working for a large design studio, a marketing firm, a small startup, or as a freelance designer. Designers often work creating visual products, but an art degree with an emphasis in Graphic Design can also lead to careers in art direction, web development, corporate communications, and advertising.
At the heart of Graphic Design is effective communication: while developing a personal aesthetic and design values, students are also asked to form cohesive ideas, write design briefs and project budgets, and give presentations on their work. We strive to create designers with lasting skills that make them valuable to clients and employers.
Students learn the visual and technical language of Graphic Design, utilizing cutting-edge technology along with traditional skills in typography, composition, and drawing to create posters, packaging, books, web and interactive design, and motion graphics. The courses focus on real-world projects, giving students experience modeled on professional practices.
The curriculum also includes an optional internship program, which allows advanced students to work at local design studios, advertising agencies, and organizations for real life career experience.
Commitment to Innovation
Graphic Designers increasingly work across disciplines: they develop brands, write copy, help clients create strategies, write code, and shoot video. To prepare students to be 21st century designers, we encourage them to take courses in a variety of studio areas to learn skills they can apply to their work:
- New Genres: students learn to shoot video, edit sound, craft 3d models, write software, and design electronics projects
- Photography: an essential skill for any creative person, students learn the fundamentals of camera operation, digital image management and preparation, printing, studio lighting, and alternative processes
- Digital Arts Initiative: open to students of any major, the Digital Arts Initiative offers courses in narrative video production, sound design and film scoring, digital drawing, and data visualization
- The new Digital Lab offers students access to high-end digital printing, rapid proofing, as well as pre- and post-production tools like scanners and paper trimmers. The Digital Lab is also home for equipment checkout for equipment like digital cameras and tripods.
Graphic Design Lab
The Graphic Design lab is equipped to train students on the most current digital practices, ensuring that the tools they encounter in the workplace are already familiar to them:
- 24 iMac computers with 24" displays
- Full Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection
- High-output laser printing
- Epson scanners
- Wacom tablets for digital drawing
- Access to the Department's new Digital Lab for high-quality inkjet printing, scanning, and other input/output
- Access to Department tools for 2d and 3d input/output including digital SLR cameras, lighting equipment, digital projectors, and 3d printing via the Digital Lab
Laptop and Software Requirement
While most Graphic Design courses are taught in a state-of-the-art lab, all incoming Art students are required to purchase a laptop. This allows students access to the tools of their craft in any location, meaning they can be flexible 21st-century makers. Please see this page for full details on the Department requirement or with questions.
For students interested in Graphic Design, New Genres, or other technically-focused areas, we suggest a laptop that meets the following:
- Mac or PC (all computers in Art Department are Apple Mac products)
- CPU: Intel Core i5 or i7 (dual or quad) or AMD X4; 2GHz or faster
- Display: 15 inches minimum (many designers use an second external display for larger workspace)
- RAM: 4GB minimum - more is better
- Video card: discreet video card with dedicated RAM (256GB minimum)
- Hard drive: 250GB minimum
- Wireless card
Most design processes are taught using the Adobe Creative Suite - more specialized software is noted with an asterix (*):
- After Effects*
American Institute of Graphic Arts
Our American Institute of Graphic Arts Students in Design group conducts professional seminars and promotes interaction with national professional graphic design communities. Membership in this group affords students affiliation with the national AIGA, giving them many benefits - such as entry into local and national student design competitions, scholarships, student and professional conferences and seminars, and exposure to the broader spectrum of design practice.
- GRPH 221: Beginning Graphic Design
GRPH 223: Basic Typography
- GRPH 323: Advanced Typography
GRPH 324: Publication Design
GRPH 327: Digital Book Design
- GRPH 421: Advanced Graphic Design
GRPH 422: Illustration Seminar
GRPH 426: Design Studio
ARTS 496: Independent Study
ARTP 495: Internship
- Students are encouraged to take courses in related disciplines that will be helpful to them as designers - below are popular courses for designers:
- ARTS 298: Intro to New Genres (covering the basics of video, sound, 3d modeling/printing, and programming)
- ARTS 398: Data Visualization and Infographics
- PHOT 261: Beginning Digital Photography