Overview

Are you a creative person who likes to express yourself through type and images? A graphic design major will equip you with the skills you need to communicate visually.

With foundational courses in the studio arts, you will develop the skills to conceptualize, while also having the knowledge to bring ideas to life using industry-standard computer software. A gallery gives you an opportunity to display your work.

Why Major in Graphic Design?

With a constantly changing nature of graphic design in mind, SMWC offers a curriculum that not only teaches students the skills necessary for design, but also how to problem-solve and communicate their concept.

While graphic designers need to know how to use industry-standard computer software, the designer must also be proficient in other forms of art, as well. SMWC’s graphic design curriculum will provide a strong foundation in the visual arts in a manner that integrates and combines both art and design.

Students will leave SMWC with a portfolio of professional-quality work from their art and design classes. Students majoring in graphic design will be prepared for a variety of careers designing for both print and interactive fields, as well as conceptualize.

Major

In addition to Woods Core courses and electives, you need to complete at least 54 credit hours in graphic design and related courses. The graphic design major and minor are offered through the campus program only.

Required Courses

54 credit hours required; All courses listed.

AD 110 2D Foundations
Campus | 3 Credits
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Introduction to the basic elements and principles of design and a wide range of problem-solving strategies in a variety of mediums. Focuses on two-dimensional space organization, principles of visual perception, color and the application of the visual variables. Fall, every year. Course fee.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 111 3D Foundations
Campus | 3 Credits
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Introduction to the principles, techniques and materials of three-dimensional design. Focuses on the structural components of design in a variety of mediums, as well as with the conceptual and problem-solving exploration in the creation of sculptural forms. Spring, every year. Course fee.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 121 Drawing Foundations
Campus | 3 Credits
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Students learn basic drawing skills of perception and technical drawing skills of composition, foreshortening, sighting, use of grids and drawing in perspective. This class also covers techniques such as blending, shading and crosshatching. Spring, every year.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 157 Digital Imaging
Campus | 3 Credits
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Introduces students to industry-standard digital imaging software in order to develop the techniques and skills necessary to create, edit and composite images. Applications of these skills are made in subjective and applied projects. Fall, every year. Course fee.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 249 Art History I: Prehistoric to Renaissance
Campus | 3 Credits
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Surveys the history of art beginning with the Prehistoric period and covers all of the major movements up to the Renaissance period. The course concentrates on the artists, the philosophies and events of the time periods. Campus/ WOL: Fall, even years.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 250 Art History II: Renaissance to Contemporary
Campus | 3 Credits
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Surveys the history of art beginning with the Renaissance period and covers all of the major movements up to contemporary art. The course concentrates on the artists, the philosophies and events of the time periods. Campus/WOL: Spring, odd years.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 251 History of Design and Current Trends
Campus | 3 Credits
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Presents the origins of traditional and contemporary visual communication and design, along with related concepts and processes. Studies significant and current designers, their philosophies and problem solving strategies, how design has been affected and shaped by industrial technology, art movements and the age of information. Spring, even years. Prerequisite: AD 250 or consent of instructor.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 257 Digital Illustration and Design
Campus | 3 Credits
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Introduces students to industry-standard digital illustration software and layout and design software in order to develop the techniques and skills necessary for print production. Applications of these skills are made in subjective and applied projects. Spring, every year. Course fee.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 260 Visual Communication and Problem Solving
Campus | 3 Credits
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Studies a conceptual approach to the design process in which the problem is viewed as a set of relationships that exist between the complex environment of the design artifact, the human user and the encompassing environments. The emphasis is placed on the human being as a processor of visual information in a complex visual environment. Additional emphasis is placed on mental maps, visual shape and color coding, environmental way finding systems, corporate identity sign systems and advertising. Spring, every year. Prerequisite: A D 257 or consent of instructor.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 261 Visual Cognition
Campus | 3 Credits
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Studies the areas of human visual cognition relevant to the understanding of the parameters and constraints of the human visual information processing system, and necessary for the communication of effective visual designs. Study includes shape and symbol recognition, color memory, visual short term memory, visual long term memory, schema and past experience, culture and visual perception, and age as it relates to visual memory. Fall, odd years. Prerequisite: A D260.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 315 Photography
Campus | 3 Credits
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Introduces the principles and basic skills of shooting photographs using digital SLR cameras. Digital editing basics will also be introduced. Application of these skills are made in subjective and applied assignments. Fall, every year. Course fee.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 342 Sequential Art
Campus | 3 Credits
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Provides students with the background, techniques, and a general experience with sequential art to convey information. Graphic storytelling, comics and animation will all be explored. Fall, every year. Prerequisite: AD 257 or consent of instructor.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 350 Layout & Typography
Campus | 3 Credits
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Introduces the discipline, function, and tradition of typography as it relates to visual communication. Includes how and when to use type, how to use the problem solving process to solve visual problems, the basics of symbol/logo design, promotional graphics, typographic history and theory. Provides a general understanding of the field of design, including theory, practice, and technology. Fall, even years. Prerequisites: A D110 and A D121 or consent of instructor.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 351 Design Principles and Application
Campus | 3 Credits
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Furthers the understanding of principles of graphic design, including structure, typography, layout design and color. Pagination, organization, structure and grids for printed publications are also emphasized. Spring, odd years. Course fee. Prerequisites: AD 157, AD 257 and AD 350.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 357 Web Design
Campus | 3 Credits
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Introduces students to industry-standard web design software in order to develop the techniques and skills necessary to create functional and easily navigated websites. Applications of these skills are made in subjective and applied projects. Fall, every year. Course fee. Prerequisites: A D 157 and A D 257, or consent of instructor.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 450 Identity and Application
Campus | 3 Credits
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Through advanced study in graphic design, the student continues to apply the principles learned in previous courses to develop a total graphic product from concept to finish. Students use a variety of mediums to create promotional designs
for a fictitious company or product. Fall, odd years. Course fee. Prerequisite: A D 350.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 453 Senior Studio
Campus | 3 Credits
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In this capstone class, students will work independently under the guidance of the instructor, though some collaborative work with others enrolled in the course may be expected. Students will be expected to develop proposals and create self- directed projects and/or work with real clients. They will also create printed and digital portfolios and finalize resumes. As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: Senior standing.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 490 Internship
Campus | 1-6 Credit
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Work experience with firm or agency directly related to the student’s major area of study. The learning experience is structured within the College approved guidelines for the internship program. Through close supervision by the director of interns, faculty advisor and the worksite supervisor, the student works toward achieving goals outlined in the individual learning contract. Normally reserved for third and fourth year students. May be repeated with different topics.

Campus 1-6 Credit

Information about Course Requirements
We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog.  Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

 

Minor

A minor in graphic design requires 24 credit hours.

Required Courses

All courses listed.

AD 110 2D Foundations
Campus | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Introduction to the basic elements and principles of design and a wide range of problem-solving strategies in a variety of mediums. Focuses on two-dimensional space organization, principles of visual perception, color and the application of the visual variables. Fall, every year. Course fee.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 157 Digital Imaging
Campus | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Introduces students to industry-standard digital imaging software in order to develop the techniques and skills necessary to create, edit and composite images. Applications of these skills are made in subjective and applied projects. Fall, every year. Course fee.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 251 History of Design and Current Trends
Campus | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Presents the origins of traditional and contemporary visual communication and design, along with related concepts and processes. Studies significant and current designers, their philosophies and problem solving strategies, how design has been affected and shaped by industrial technology, art movements and the age of information. Spring, even years. Prerequisite: AD 250 or consent of instructor.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 257 Digital Illustration and Design
Campus | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Introduces students to industry-standard digital illustration software and layout and design software in order to develop the techniques and skills necessary for print production. Applications of these skills are made in subjective and applied projects. Spring, every year. Course fee.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 260 Visual Communication and Problem Solving
Campus | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Studies a conceptual approach to the design process in which the problem is viewed as a set of relationships that exist between the complex environment of the design artifact, the human user and the encompassing environments. The emphasis is placed on the human being as a processor of visual information in a complex visual environment. Additional emphasis is placed on mental maps, visual shape and color coding, environmental way finding systems, corporate identity sign systems and advertising. Spring, every year. Prerequisite: A D 257 or consent of instructor.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 350 Layout & Typography
Campus | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Introduces the discipline, function, and tradition of typography as it relates to visual communication. Includes how and when to use type, how to use the problem solving process to solve visual problems, the basics of symbol/logo design, promotional graphics, typographic history and theory. Provides a general understanding of the field of design, including theory, practice, and technology. Fall, even years. Prerequisites: A D110 and A D121 or consent of instructor.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 351 Design Principles and Application
Campus | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Furthers the understanding of principles of graphic design, including structure, typography, layout design and color. Pagination, organization, structure and grids for printed publications are also emphasized. Spring, odd years. Course fee. Prerequisites: AD 157, AD 257 and AD 350.

Campus 3 Credits
AD 357 Web Design
Campus | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Introduces students to industry-standard web design software in order to develop the techniques and skills necessary to create functional and easily navigated websites. Applications of these skills are made in subjective and applied projects. Fall, every year. Course fee. Prerequisites: A D 157 and A D 257, or consent of instructor.

Campus 3 Credits

Information about Course Requirements

We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog.  Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

Career Paths

Classes at SWMC will prepare you for a variety of graphic design careers including:

Art Director

In charge of the overall visual appearance of an art and design project, and how it communicates and appeals to the target audience. They are often responsible for unifying the direction of an art piece that multiple artists may develop, and decide what visual elements and artistic style should be used.

Brand Identity Designer

A graphic designer concerned with the visual aspects of a company's or organization's brand or identity. These are represented in terms of design through a logo or signage. This is then often integrated throughout all the elements of a company's materials.

Creative Designer

Oversees all aspects of art and design, making sure the end result fits in with the client's requirements. They do this by initiating and stimulating creative ideas for and from everyone involved in the creative process.

Design Director

Usually found in the advertising, media, and entertainment industries. Similar to a creative director, the design director ensures that new designs fit with the client's requirements. Unlike the creative director, though, a design director is not responsible for the quality of the final creative work, merely for the final quality of the design within a creative project.

Editorial Designer

A graphic designer that specializes in the layout and composition of printed media such as books, magazines or newspapers. These must be created while taking the printing and readers into consideration.

Environmental Wayfinding Designer

Wayfinding design helps people find their way every day through print and broadcast media, the Internet, and signage. Designers consult on and analyze all aspects of communication between a client and their visitors, in venues including hospitals, educational institutions, cities and towns, resort venues, and many others.

Freelance Graphic Designer

Contracted by private individuals or companies to create designs.

Illustrator

Often charged with enhancing writing by creating visual representations of the textual content. Illustrations are often used in advertisements, posters, books and magazines, greeting cards, and a variety of other media.

Information Designer

Specializes in preparing information for people to use efficiently and effectively. This is done through a visual representation which expresses complex data more clearly to the viewer.

Multimedia Designer

Learns about a variety of media, from sound to light, and then discovers how to package it together to create a product that works on multiple levels. Works with theatre, entertainment, advertising, and other groups to help create memorable experiences.

Surface Designer

Designs the patterns for both two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects, including fabric & textiles, paper goods, gift wrap, and many other products.

Web Designer

Designs and creates websites, and helps create the visual identity of a company. They work in a variety of work environments, from teams in agencies to individual freelance businesses.