Graphic Design Minor

In today's world, we are literally surrounded by graphic design, from billboards to soda cans, from social media posts to political ads. The graphic designer develops engaging material that communicates a pointed message and persuades an audience. The form of the communication can be physical or virtual, and may include images, words, or graphic forms. The work can happen at any scale, from the design of a single postage stamp to a national postal signage system. It can also be for any purpose, whether commercial, educational, cultural, or political. However you define it, graphic design is ubiquitous.

The interdisciplinary minor in Graphic Design asks students to learn, reflect, and act as designers, preparing students for work in the increasingly complex role of design in virtually all facets of business, in both for-profit and not-for-profit fields. The minor complements students’ other fields of study, with the concepts, theories and competencies of design.

Part of being a graphic designer is using Adobe digital graphics software, which is upgraded frequently. Hence, designers also must keep up with the changes in the software. The graphic design courses feature a few software tutorials, but students are expected to train themselves in the digital graphics software. Numerous tutorials for the Adobe software are available through LinkedIn Learning.

Goals and Learning Outcomes

Students seeking a minor in Graphic Design demonstrate proficiency in design principles, design process, theory, history and contemporary design practice. Students develop an understanding of design process and problem solving methods and explore the effect graphic design has upon the human environment from social responsibility, sustainability and interdisciplinary perspectives. Students demonstrate proficiency in identified technical skills, understand and apply basic principles in the process of creating, analyzing, and evaluating graphic design solutions in relation to specific end uses and consumer needs. Students demonstrate proficiency in research, writing, communication and presentation skills.

Graphic Design students demonstrate the following knowledge and skills:

  • Acquire, articulate, and apply specialized terminology and knowledge relevant to graphic design including relationships to other disciplines and to contemporary global issues.
  • Assess, predict, and articulate the influence and importance of graphic design issues within the human environment from social responsibility, sustainability and interdisciplinary perspectives.
  • Acquire and demonstrate competency in technical skills applicable to graphic design.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use design thinking strategies in an iterative design process.
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze, synthesize, and develop probable solutions.

The Graphic Design minor prepares students for a range of post-graduate opportunities, including in the non-profit sector and graduate school.