Graphic Design

What Is It?:

Graphic Design centers on the methodologies, theories, and processes used for design communication in the contemporary world. It respects the traditions of the design profession while engaging with the new technologies used in the industry. The curriculum prepares the student for entrance into the professional practice of design communications. Studio work encompasses conceptual ideation, visual organization, typography, image-making, sequential design, production techniques, and the process of communication planning.

For more information, please visit the School of Art and Design.

Courses That Introduce the Major:

  • ARTF 101—Contemporary Issues in Art
  • ARTF 102—Drawing I
  • ARTF 104—Drawing II
  • ARTH 111—Ancient to Medieval Art
  • ARTH 112—Renaissance to Modern Art
  • ARTH 113—Introduction to African Art
  • ARTH 114—Introduction to East Asian Art
  • ARTH 115—Art in a Global Context

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period.

Possible Career Opportunities:

  • Advertising Agency
  • Book Publishing
  • Corporate Setting
  • Graphic Design Firm
  • Higher Education
  • Museum

Common Career Titles Related to this Major:

(Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree)

  • Art Director
  • Communications Specialist
  • Graphic Designer
  • Multimedia Designer
  • Publications Designer
  • Web Designer

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • Graphic Design Students at Illinois: provides an opportunity for students to achieve further excellence in design by focusing on understanding the ideation process and the innovation of concepts and theory
    • Special Interest Group for Computer Graphics: focuses on the development of computer animation & visual effects, video games, graphics research, multimedia, and software relating to graphics

Related Skills:

  • Adapt techniques, tools and materials to different printing processes, plan step-by-step procedures to attain desired visual effects
  • Create new ideas and communicate them graphically
  • Interpret rough sketches, data, or verbal instructions to produce creative art work
  • Use pictures, typography and arrangement to enhance written messages and promote the sale of goods, services and ideas
  • Visualize and evaluate finished products before completion; weigh aesthetic alternatives and make choices

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in Graphic Design, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major.

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Graphic Design.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Graphic Design.  These organizations include American Institute of Graphic Arts and Graphic Artists Guild.

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in Graphic Design, visit Undergraduate Programs.