Art Center College of Design | Pasadena, California | Learn to Create. Influence Change.

Graphic Design

“Graphic Design has become more than ink on paper; it has left the page to conquer space, motion and interaction.”

Nik Hafermaas, Chair

Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts

Art Center’s 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 specialize in a single area of graphic design or continue to explore the full scope of communication design. The awards our students win in many of the nation’s top competitions consistently validate this approach.

Traditional manual skills such as hand lettering and drawing, and sophisticated graphics software are part of the spectrum of tools available to today’s graphic designers. Our students are challenged to develop 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 on behalf of humanitarian organizations, our students apply their skills to commercial and nonprofit causes while collaborating with students from other majors. For example, our students recently designed new ways for NASA to engage the millennial generation through movies, print campaigns, environmental “interventions” and interactive solutions.

An Art Center Graphic Design education is supplemented with courses on design history and pop culture, the language of the moving image and design research. By learning to create solutions that are innovative, coherent, artistic and engaging, we prepare our 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.

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