STATE-OF-THE-ART CONTEMPORARY PROGRAM
Our interactive undergraduate program in Graphic Design and Illustration is an intensive study of visual communication which prepares students for an ever-changing world of design challenges. Graphics Designers engage, plan, create, and evaluate solutions to communication problems. A study of design prepares students to implement design thinking strategies when facing real world design challenges. Students explore developing the ability to skillfully manipulate and combine elements such as type, shape, and image, to transmit meaning and value. At the core of this practice is the integration of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design within a design thinking framework for problem solving.
Core design studies curriculum throughout the 4 year program include:
- Conceptual thinking and design practice
- Communication theory
- Brand identity
- Illustration and narrative
- Motion graphics
- Ux/Ui & interactive design
- ScreenPrinting & Printmaking
- Info Graphics
The capstone year involves an intensive study of graphic design professional practice, professional portfolio development, design business practices, and capstone exhibition at the Memorial Union Gallery.
VISUAL COMMUNICATION & CLIENT-BASED DESIGN THINKING
The Graphic Design program educates students to plan and implement visual communication solutions based upon context and audiences needs via multiple output platforms. Graduates are prepared to:
- Understand client and audience needs by effectively understanding visual problems
- Critique and evaluate design solutions
- Ideate, be resourceful, and respond to cognitive, cultural and social factors that inform decisions
- Develop a distinctive voice that culminate in a cohesive body of work directed toward professional practice in a design or advertising firm, an independent studio practice and/or entrepreneurship
- Develop a professional portfolio
- Work with contemporary and historical tools and software including Adobe Creative Cloud, Letterpress, Screenprinting and Linocut
- Engage in internships with local and national design and advertising firms
- Submit work to the AAF-ND ADDY Awards and participate in the NDAC Competition Advertising Practicum
THE LARGEST DESIGN COMMUNITY IN THE REGION
The School of Design, Architecture, and Art is home to a thriving design community housed in the multi-million dollar, state of the art Renaissance Hall. Graphic Design offers undergraduate majors limitless opportunities to collaborate within and beyond the graphic design discipline. Internship opportunities in the Fargo-Moorhead professional design community, participation in the American Advertising Federation-North Dakota ADDY Awards, and cross-disciplinary mentorship with Visual Arts, Advertising, Interior Design, Apparel, Retail Merchandising & Design (ARMD) and Architecture & Landscape Architecture faculty and students all form a thriving creative environment that allows students opportunities to engage in meaningful dialogue about graphic communication within a design community.
AAF-ND ADDY AWARDS
SoDAA Graphic Design & Illustration students anually participate in and have received gold ADDY Awards in Illustration, Motion Design, and Integrated Brand Campaigns and have gone on to compete at the MidWest regional and national level.
Professional in the Field
Our program connect students with design professionals through internships, visiting designers, firm visits and a large alumni network.
Past design alumi have worked with:
- Office Sign Company
- Flint Group
- Spotlight Media
DEDICATED STUDIO SPACES, WACOM TABLETS, 3D PRINTING, LASER CUTTERS AND MORE!
Graphic Design majors work in dedicated studios in Renaissance, where they have access to a wide range of digital, photographic, and traditional printing resources. This includes access to a large digital studio with seating available for a class up to 30 individuals, studio space for advanced graphic design students, large and small Wacom digital drawing tablets, student breakout space/lounge, large flat files, large critique wall for discussion and evaluation, 3 large format printing room, 8 Epson P-800 small format printers, and photographic dark room.
LETTERPRESS, SCREEN-PRINTING, LITHOGRAPHY AND LAAVA LAB
Hybrid digital/printmaking space with access to multiple printing processes including letterpress, screenprinting, etching, intaglio, and lithography. Surface Studio desktop and Apple Imacs in addition to the LAAVA Lab maker space allow students to work with 3D printers, lasercutters, VR, and a range of digital technologies. Specialized facilities for papermaking, screenprinting, photographic lighting and documentation, and a woodshop allow students to realize their vision in both 2D and 3D formats.
Instruction and mentorship by faculty members offers challenging multidisciplinary project environments covering everything from designing packaging, logos and illustration to UX and websites, posters, film graphics, identities, and exhibits. Each year visiting designers, artists, and critics spend time complementing the talents of resident faculty and offering alternative design perspectives from around the world
The core curriculum in Graphic Design builds a foundation of design thinking including analytical, formal, sensory and technical design experiences in contemporary and historical methodology. Students explore visual design principles of form, image, color and typography. Conceptual thinking in areas such as communication theory, brand identity, packaging, illustration and narrative, motion graphics, ux/ui, printmaking, and information design, form the core design studies curriculum throughout the 4 year program. The capstone year involves an intensive study of graphic design professional practice, professional portfolio development, design business practices, an advertising practicum with entry into the NDAC National Competition and culminates in a capstone exhibition. In preparation into the professional world, students are encouraged to pursue an internship their junior or senior year.
The degree project is an independent project in graphic design subject to the department's approval, as the final requirement for graduation for the BFA Degree.
- Weekly critiques including all faculty and visiting critics
- Baccalaureate Research class allow students to gain a broad perspective on their work and development
- Baccalaureate Studio class for work production
- Professional practice including resume and grant writing
- Portfolio development
- Final exhibition is the culmination of four years of design development
- Book publication of research