Graphic design student wearing a white sweater works in the design lab

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Graphic Design Overview

A creative person who likes to express themselves through type and images make an ideal graphic design major. 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 artwork for students, faculty, staff and the Terre Haute community.

Major in Graphic Design

With the 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.

Graphic Design Career Paths

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

Art Director

An art director is 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 is a brand identity designer. 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 marketing materials.

Creative Designer

A 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

A design director is 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

An editorial designer is 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

A freelance graphic designer is self-employed and contracted by private individuals or companies to create artwork and graphic designs for a variety of projects. Becoming a freelance artist allows you to work on art projects that are enjoyable to you. Determining your strengths and carefully establishing your business and portfolio can lead to a rewarding career.


An illustrator is 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

An 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

A 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. A multimedia designer typically works with theatre, entertainment, advertising and other groups to help create memorable experiences.

Surface Designer

A surface designer designs the patterns for both two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects, including fabric and textiles, paper goods, gift wrap and many other products.

Web Designer

A web designer designs and creates websites and helps create the visual identity of a company. He or she works in a variety of work environments, from teams in agencies to individual freelance businesses.