The Graphic Design Program at Mount Ida College is a multi-faceted program that promotes mastery of traditional skills, as well as new technological skills, through hands-on learning and exposure to a variety of computer programs and applications that integrate the latest technological systems. Small class sizes put the focus on student success by supporting and developing individual creativity, intellectual knowledge and professional abilities. The goal of this program is to educate students to be capable of integrating form and information for the purposes of effective visual communication. Computer technology and an on-campus gallery exhibiting professional design work ensure that students are industry-ready and are fully prepared to compete in the design field. Using the industry-preferred Macintosh platform, students learn the characteristics and usage of typefaces, grid systems, and the elements of digital production in a variety of applications from Adobe. Students have the opportunity to explore a variety of print media, interactive media, multimedia, and web design, and are given the extra facet of the business/marketing practices associated with the profession. We teach students how to become creative and critical thinkers - design thinkers and creative problem solvers. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the primary professional accrediting organization for design schools, has accredited our graphic design program. There is a student chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) on campus. Participation in chapter events also exposes students to the design profession.
Career and Graduate Study Options
Career opportunities include positions as graphic designer; print designer; package designer; publication designer; typographical designer; brand and identity designer; corporate communications designer; in-house graphic designer; communications director; web designer; and interactive media designer.
Students can pursue a Master of Fine Arts or a Masters of Art graduate degree in graphic design and digital and interactive media.
In addition to the skills and perspective of the All College Curriculum, graduates of the Graphic Design Program will demonstrate these abilities:
- To use the principles of organization, composition, color, hierarchy, balance, contrast, emphasis, depth, rhythm, symbolism and craft in execution to create a visual impact
- To be proficient with industry-standard software
- To be able to choose typographic solutions for a variety of applications
- To apply working knowledge of graphic design history
- To generate original concepts for an intended audience while maintaining a structured approach
- To produce quality professional pieces while paying attention to detail by showing the initiative necessary to work successfully within the confines of any given project
- To extend creative inquiries
- To solve communication problems with a focus on a positive ethical impact
- To distill information down to its core
- To work with diverse teams
- To embrace design as a vehicle for social change
- To recognize the importance of participating in events
Graduates of the Graphic Design Program will also:
- Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for graphic design.
- Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of graphic design.
- Solve creative problems within their field of graphic design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic and conceptual knowledge.
- Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on graphic design solutions.
- Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of graphic design principles.
- Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional criteria and terminology.
Policies, Conditions, and/or Fees
Progression in Program:
- Students are strongly encouraged to join AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts), the professional association for design.
- A minimum grade of C- (C minus) or higher is required for all program-specific required courses in this major (courses with a GD or AR prefix).
- An informal meeting with the Department Chair is required at the end of a student’s first year to review the work created in first-year classes to make sure the student is on track.
- The core Art Foundation (AR) courses including AR 102, AR 109, AR 112, AR 231, and AR 232 must be completed by the end of the sophomore year in order to continue with Graphic Design classes or students must have the Department Chair’s permission to progress.
- Before proceeding to the junior year, all students must demonstrate they possess the skill level necessary for advanced studio work by: (1) achieving a CGPA of 2.33 or higher for the first two years of course work in the program and (2) by receiving a passing evaluation by a portfolio review panel consisting of two Graphic Design faculty members, one senior level Graphic Design student and one invited guest from the graphic design field. Petitions from students whose CGPA falls below 2.33 but who are otherwise qualified for upper-division course work will on occasion be considered by the Department Chair and Graphic Design faculty.
- Students are strongly encouraged to take the Adobe Certification Exams that are recognized by employers in the industry.
External Design Competitions: All juniors and seniors are required to enter two (2) external design competitions each year for degree completion.
Note: Students are required initially to purchase a kit of materials and required computer/software. Yearly expenditures (excluding books and field trip fees) may total from $500 to $1000, depending on student work habits and program of study.
The School of Design reserves the right to retain work done in classes for possible inclusion in exhibitions. All final work must be submitted by the end of the term in original format plus PDF’s, to be used in exhibitions on the College website and to show accrediting agencies such as NEASC and NASAD. Detailed information regarding how to submit these large files will be provided at the time they are due. Mount Ida College cannot assume any responsibility for damaged or missing work.