There are many options for continued studies in graphic design. A strong foundation at San Diego City College will help prepare you for success. Our portfolio classes in Fall ARTG 148A Portfolio Preparation and and ARTG 148B Portfolio in Spring will help you build a book to get into the school of your choice. There is info and links here on both undergraduate and graduate programs at private schools then CSU programs in alphabetical order.
Private Art/Design Graphic Design Programs
Academy of Art: San Francisco, California
The Graphic Design program embraces the entire range of visual communication. It recognizes that design is a cultural force that spans the consumer, commerce and social causes. The program provides a robust curriculum of conceptual problem solving, innovation, critical thinking and formal design as well as branding and marketing strategies. A real world approach to design assures aesthetics, functionality, value and meaning to all student projects. Students graduating from this program are well prepared to meet the rigorous challenges within the field of graphic design and are working in many of the world’s most prestigious firms. The numerous awards bestowed on the students’ work demonstrate the excellent approach to design and audience-based marketing strategies.
The areas of study encompass typography, print and editorial design, branding and identity, information design, packaging as well as production and presentation skills. Green strategies are very much a part of the program and issues of sustainability are strongly considered.
Potential Careers: Graphic Designer, Typographic Designer, Print Designer, Package Designer, Publication Designer, Branding and Identity Designer, Corporate Communications Designer, Environmental and Retail Designer, In House Graphic Designer, Communications Director and Music Industry/Entertainment Designer.
BFA Program Learning Outcomes
School of Graphic Design
The graduate program in Graphic Design emphasizes mastery of the profession — including narrative abilities, presentation skills, strategic thinking, problem solving and the ability to develop innovative conceptual solutions. Areas of specialized training include typography, visual literacy, identity, and print publication. Students acquire the finely tuned design skills, self-discipline and professional expertise necessary to become advanced practitioners.
The graduate student’s final thesis project must integrate concept and content with technical prowess to make an original contribution to the field of graphic design. The thesis project is critically reviewed and approved by the graduate final review committee, then professionally exhibited to the industry and public.
Art Center: Pasadena, California
Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts
At Art Center, Graphic Design students learn to infuse words and images with life and meaning, whether they are creating motion graphics on the latest digital equipment, or setting type by hand in Art Center’s letterpress shop.
Our program begins with an accelerated education in the formal principles of design, aesthetics and craftsmanship, after which students may specialize in a single area of graphic design or explore the full scope of communication design.
This approach is consistently validated by the awards our students win in many of the nation’s top competitions, including the Adobe Design Achievement Awards and the Broadcast Designers Association awards.
Traditional manual skills, such as hand lettering and drawing, and sophisticated graphics software are part of the same spectrum of tools available to today’s graphic designers.
We challenge students to develop their design solutions while experimenting with a wide range of media, including product packaging, book and magazine layouts, interactive communication, 3D graphics, virtual environments and the creation of graphic identities and branded experiences.
Through Transdisciplinary Studios, often sponsored by corporate clients, and Designmatters projects sponsored on behalf of humanitarian organizations, our students apply their skills to commercial and nonprofit causes while collaborating with product designers, photographers, illustrators and students from other majors.
Their education is further supplemented with courses on design history, the language of the moving image, and design research.
By learning to create solutions that are innovative, coherent, beautiful and engaging, we prepare students to become leaders in communication design—whether they plan to join an established firm, or launch a studio of their own.
Find out more about our department at artcenter.edu/gpk.
Branding and Corporate Identity
Creative Direction in Motion Design
Digital Output Management
Film Title Design
Marketing and Communications Management
Publication Design (Magazines, Newspapers, Annual Reports)
Web Design and Development
Cal Arts: Valencia, California
The highly rigorous and structured BFA curriculum is centered around a core class covering all aspects of graphic design practice. Each year in residence builds on the experience of the previous as a sequence of additional classes explore imagemaking, typography and design history. This coursework is followed by more specialized classes in areas such as web design, motion graphics and type design.
The BFA program typically admits 15 students each year and all students are required to pass faculty reviews at the end of every academic year.
that graphic design is a visual practice and that ideas in graphic design are best expressed (and understood) through form, the interrelationship between words and pictures.
MFA Graphic Design
Many philosophies that motivate contemporary design are represented in the MFA curriculum, but one general philosophy – that graphic design is a visual practice and that ideas in graphic design are best expressed (and understood) through form, the interrelationship between words and pictures – underpins the structure of assigned projects, critique and the development of independent thesis work in the MFA program.
MFA Graphic Design (2-year)
The 2-year MFA curriculum focuses on the advanced exploration of form, methodology and practice, informed by a consciousness of the following contexts: contemporary practice, craft, audience, theory and history, and the constantly shifting media environment. Individual critique within a communal studio structure helps designers to develop a personal direction and agenda, intended to influence work beyond graduate school. The first-year curriculum consists of a sequence of weekly seminars in which research and studio projects are examined and discussed. The second year in residence is dedicated to developing and realizing a major thesis project that contributes to—and challenges—the graphic design community at large. In each of the two years, graduate students deepen and refine their work though a set of required and elective courses covering subjects such as type design, typography, motion graphics, design theory and design history. Visiting designers who lead short-term projects are another important aspect of the CalArts program, which consciously seeks to broaden the types of experiences offered to students within the focused studio environment.
Details of 2-Year MFA Graphic Design
MFA Graphic Design (3-year)
The Program in Graphic Design also offers a three-year MFA for talented students who have a background in visual work but only limited experience in graphic design. The first year of this program is an intensive educational experience in form-making and conceptual skills, designed to prepare students to move on to the two-year curriculum described above.
Details of 3-Year MFA Graphic Design
Each year, the MFA program accepts approximately eight students for the two-year program and five students for the three-year program. Selected MFA applicants are invited to CalArts to interview with faculty and meet with their prospective peer group. Applicants from outside the United States and those who cannot travel for an interview may be interviewed by telephone.
RISD: Providence, Rhode Island
The graphic design department at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) offers several degree programs: a four-year undergraduate BFA degree, a five-year bachelor of graphic design degree (BGD), a two year MFA degree, and a three-year MFA degree. Our mission is to educate students in the ever-expanding realm of visual communication design in a number of areas including: typography, book arts, digital and interactive media, strategic thinking, information design, and visual narrative. RISD’s graduate program in Graphic Design prepares students for professional practice by emphasizing the role of social context, media and aesthetics in the production of visible language systems. Like the discipline itself, it requires a nimble and intelligent response to constant change and burgeoning technology, while building a strong foundation of formal, aesthetic and analytical knowledge.
RISD’s graduate program in Graphic Design prepares students for professional practice by emphasizing the role of social context, media and aesthetics in the production of visible language systems. Like the discipline itself, it requires a nimble and intelligent response to constant change and burgeoning technology, while building a strong foundation of formal, aesthetic and analytical knowledge.
The department’s accomplished professors extend the energy and ideas graduate students bring to the studio and encourage generative thinking and making. In addition, visiting designers offer varied models for practice and introduce students to resources in the larger design world.
34 grad students/ 191 undergrads
Savannah College of Art and Design: Savannah & Atlanta, Georgia
As a communications link between supplier and consumer, the graphic designer conceives and executes concepts to inform, motivate, educate or sell.
At the core of graphic design at SCAD is conceptual thinking. Students are encouraged to view differently, shift focus, look from multiple perspectives, and to understand how perception influences meaning. At SCAD, graphic design is about more than problem-solving, as students explore the creative challenge of determining what the problems are, and what opportunities exist to explore new solutions.
At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, coursework parallels professional practice. Print and digital portfolios display professionally competitive design projects and demonstrate knowledgeable use of both print and time-based communication media.
Student projects may include promotional campaigns, logos and visual identities, multimedia/interactive projects and presentations, packaging, posters, publications, information design solutions, Internet pages, brand design, social media exchanges and more. Students also learn appropriate production techniques and methodologies.
Facilities include state-of-the-art Mac labs and presentation equipment. Students use industry-standard software applications such as the full Adobe Master Collection package.
School of Visual Arts New York: New York City http://www.schoolofvisualarts.edu/ug/index.jsp?sid0=1&sid1=34
SVA is a graphic design school in New York City whose mission is to educate designers who aspire to be professional artists. The renowned faculty at SVA?s design school consists of more than 100 working professionals at the top of their fields who work closely with students to help them gain an in-depth understanding of scale, texture, symmetry, tension, line, color, tone, balance, contrast, pattern and the principles of perspective. Request information at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the graphic design school at SVA.
Like busy wallpaper, images and messages surround us in our everyday lives, each visual communication demanding our attention. The competition is fierce.
Now more than ever, great design matters. It has to stand out in the avalanche of posters, ads, flyers, direct mail pieces, books, magazines, Web sites, etc., or else disappear from sight.
At SVA, you become a graphic designer who matters by developing a personal visual vocabulary that is strong in the formal principles of design and solves problems through the process of clear conceptual thought.
You start with the basics. What’s mandatory is an in-depth understanding of scale, texture, symmetry, tension, line, color, tone, balance, contrast, pattern and the principles of perspective. These, in a sense, are the alphabet of your visual vocabulary. Typographic design skills are essential, and you will develop not only fluency in the range and uses of available typefaces, but insight into how people perceive textual communication. You’ll know the “why” along with the “what.”
The newest, most sophisticated tools help cut through the media clutter. Digital video is a discipline that has growing value in the commercial market. Learning to add sound and movement to your message will involve a skill set that encompasses the latest generation of software, as well as hands-on familiarity with our state-of-the-art editing facilities.
Another rich career area is 3D graphic design. Mastering crafts like woodworking and welding, with materials from fiberglass to Bondo, can lead to jobs in industrial design, model making, toy design, packaging and product design, to name a few.
Industry access is no farther than your nearest faculty member. Every one of our more than 100 instructors – the biggest faculty of its kind – is a working professional at the top of his or her field, from typography innovator Carin Goldberg to the dean of graphic designers, Milton Glaser, who has been teaching at SVA since 1961.
If you graduate from SVA with just the best graphic design skills, we will have failed. Our mission is to plant you in soil where you can grow as a thinker. The power of your visual communication is concept-driven; all the rest is execution. We want to turn you on to the wonder of problem solving that fulfills not just the client’s needs, but yours as creator.
Once you’ve cultivated independent thought, you’ll find your point of view. From there an individual style; from there a rewarding career.
CSU Graphic Design Programs:
California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo
Long Beach State
San Diego State