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Business Information Management
Graphic Design Degree - Bachelor of Arts
Click here for degree requirements if your class started prior to May 5, 2014.
Graphic Design is a multidisciplinary program in which you gain a solid understanding of the fundamentals of design and develop creative visualization, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. Using industry standard software and hardware, you will build diverse portfolios with a wide range of print and web projects. Explore the global, social, and ethical issues of graphic design at each stage of the program.
- Mac: Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support / PC: Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor
- Mac OS X 10.6.8 or 10.7 / Windows® XP or Windows 7
- 4GB of RAM (minimum), 8GB of RAM (recommended
- 1024x768 display (1280x800 recommended) with 16-bit color and 256MB of VRAM
- OpenGL 2.0 capable system
- DVD-ROM drive compatible with dual-layer DVDs
- 500GB hard drive (7GB for Mac OS / 8.5GB for Windows for software install)
- Pointing device (mouse, trackball)
- Color printer (or access to one) for proofing and mocking up work
- Digital camera (minimum 8 megapixel) or scanner
- Broadband Internet access
- Current version of Adobe Creative Suite software
- Supplies such as: X-Acto knife, straight edge, spray mount, rubber cement, paper, etc., as per project needs.
Major Requirements (42 credit hours)
(Click a course name below to view course details)
What is design really? The fundamentals, problem solving, and history of Graphic Design-Course Cluster (9 credits hours)
GD 116 Problem-solving and Idea Generation
This course explores methods for generating original solutions to the creative problems faced in graphic design. The importance of research and research methods will also be emphasized.
GD 210 Design Basics
This course analyzes fundamental elements and principles of design necessary to solve graphic design problems. Topics including grids, hierarchy, contrast, balance, and color will be applied to print- and web-based projects. Problem solving and critical thinking skills will be further developed.
GD 215 History of Contemporary Graphic Design
This course examines the history of contemporary graphic design. Students evaluate and discuss contemporary design issues with emphases on the evolution of visual communication and its impact on contemporary design.
Other Required Courses (33 credit hours)
GD 220 Fundamentals of Print Design
This course examines the basic fundamentals specific to print design. The topics explored include typography, grid implementation, layout, white space, and color. Students will learn how a project goes from an initial idea to a final printed product.
GD 230 Fundamentals of Web Design
This course provides a theoretical overview of issues relating to web design. Topics include web standards, design problems, accessibility/usability, and hosting. Projects are based on research and presentations rather than technical applications.
GD 260 Typography
This course analyzes how typography is used properly and effectively in graphic design. Students gain skill with typographic terminology as the typographic relationship among graphic elements in symbolic communication is explored with various print- and web-based projects. Prerequisite: GD 116, GD 210 and GD 215, AND proficiency in current version of Adobe Creative Suite software
GD 320 Single Page Design
This course applies the fundamental concepts of graphic design through the creation of projects ranging from posters to business stationery and from one-color to multiple color projects with real-world specifications and issues. The use of project appropriate software will be established. Prerequisites: GD 220 and GD 260
GD 332 Interactivity Basics
This course provides and in-depth study of interactivity, including the elements of user experience and methods for designing and developing effective interactive interfaces. The fundamentals of design as related to interactivity and user experience will also be covered. Prerequisite: Proficiency in current Adobe Creative Suite Software and GD 230
GD 350 Branding
This course focuses on brand identity. Processes will be explored by designing print- and web-based projects related to brand strategy development and implementation. Research methods specific to design problem solving will be utilized. Presentation techniques are stressed and developed. Prerequisite: GD 260
GD 355 Identity Design
This course will focus on the creation of effective identity solutions (logos, logotypes and marks), typographic sets, and color palettes. Research of the client’s needs, the stakeholders and the audience will be utilized to establish solutions. Prerequisite: GD 350
GD 420 Publication Design
This course explores advanced methods and techniques with a focus on page layout and publication design. The full range of industry standard hardware and software will be utilized. Projects ranging from brochure to book design and layout will enable students to further develop their problem-solving skills and critical thinking abilities. Prerequisite: GD 320
GD 430 Web Page Design
This course covers the specific design needs and issues found in web design, such as color, contrast, placement and navigation. Prerequisite: GD 260 and GD 332
GD 435 Website Development
This course covers the skills and project-based experience needed for entry into web design and development careers. Prerequisite: GD 430
GD 490 Portfolio
This is the capstone course for Graphic Design majors. Preparation for future employment or graduate study through a finished portfolio (both print- and web- based) of work for potential employment in the graphic design industry is emphasized. Resume development and self-promotion is also covered. Prerequisite: This course should be taken after all other major course work has been completed.
If you do not have a proficient understanding of print and/or web software, you should begin the major by taking Graphic Design Applications.
GD 102 Graphic Design Applications
This course will provide the skills necessary to utilize the software commonly found in graphic design. Prerequisite: Basic computer literacy
Students applying for professional license or certification should verify the University’s offerings meet the requirements with the professional organization.
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