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School of Graphic Design

BFA Program Learning Outcomes

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.

BFA graduates of the School of Graphic Design will meet the following student performance criteria:

  • Critical & Creative Thinking

    • Identify appropriate audiences for defined problems
    • Demonstrate the resourcefulness and flexibility necessary to conceive appropriate design solutions
  • Conceptual Skills

    • Develop and prototype potential design solutions for specific problems
    • Create visual communications that are audience appropriate
    • Develop design solutions that function within a defined context recognizing physical, cognitive, cultural and social human factors
  • Formal Skills

    • Create visual communications demonstrating competent formal design skills based in design principles: composition, balance, hierarchy, harmony, and contrast
    • Create visual communications demonstrating competent formal design skills based in aesthetics: appropriate typography, composition and construction of meaningful imagery
    • Utilize the appropriate media, materials, tools, technology, platforms, and techniques to create visual communications
  • Professional Readiness

    • Effectively present and communicate ideas
    • Demonstrate the skills necessary for chosen career path through the presentation of a satisfactory body of work

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.
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