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Jasmine McClure - Graphic Design

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Teada Ngin - Graphic Design

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Rachel Wadke - Graphic Design

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Jinyu He - Graphic Design

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Amy Strouse - Graphic Design

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Bretton Merrill - Graphic Design

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Seiarra Schrum - Graphic Design

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Jasmyne Schierbaum - Graphic Design

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Jessica Balcazar - Graphic Design

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Emily Baiers - Graphic Design

Graphic Design

About

The mission of KCAD’s Graphic Design program is to graduate innovative design thinkers and makers. Students will broadly and boldly apply their skills across established and emerging media. They will be educated in a hands-on, integrative, studio-based learning environment where they will learn to use design fundamentals and contemporary technology as tools for strategic communication, problem-solving, and personal expression. 

 The Graphic Design program promotes curiosity, exploration, and investigation through active engagement in process and making. Students are encouraged to view their world with awe, wonder, and an open mind, to examine and experiment, and to ask questions and seek answers.

 Through a comprehensive and rigorous education, graduates of the Graphic Design program will be prepared for further evolution within the professional field of graphic design and other design-related disciplines. 

In the Graphic Design program, you’ll be immersed in an integrative learning environment where traditional design fundamentals evolve into powerful tools for communication, problem-solving, and creative strategizing.

You’ll begin by exploring foundational design elements such imagery and visualization; typography and voice; the power of color, composition, and grid; and concept and content development; creating meaningful messages and bringing stories to life that challenge, educate, inspire, and entertain. With this solid foundation, you will be constantly learning and evolving as you keep pace with the ever-changing world of technology, culture, and media and immerse yourself in the people and problems associated with each project you take on. You’ll develop your own voice by learning how to make design decisions informed and supported by intensive design research and strategic thinking, thorough and iterative concepting and ideation, meaningful collaboration and critique, and the prototyping and testing of ideas before production.

You’ll also round your education out with a wide range of general education and art history courses that will stimulate your curiosity, broaden your perspective, and inspire new creative expressions. KCAD’s flexible General Education Pathways model empowers you to direct your learning by exploring subjects you find most engaging and relevant.

As a Graphic Design student, you’ll not only develop proficiency in the latest industry-standard software applications, but understand technology and its role in socio-cultural communication as well. You’ll heighten critical, analytical, and strategic thinking skills, increasing your creative, processual, and organizational ability as a designer.

As you begin to hone your personal design voice and grasp of visual language, you’ll also sharpen your verbal communication skills through collaborative projects and the critique and presentation of ideas and finished work. While you develop a strong portfolio of work that demonstrates your skills as a designer, you’ll also cultivate an understanding of how design can drive solutions to complex problems. Ultimately, you will learn to be a resourceful, self-sufficient leader who understands how to use communication and entrepreneurial skills to address both business and societal problems and create new opportunities.

KCAD’s Graphic Design program promotes curiosity, exploration, investigation, and making, preparing you for professional success while also giving you the freedom to pursue your personal voice as a designer. As you progress through the program, you’ll encounter intimate and personalized learning experiences combined with strong connections to and support from your faculty. The facilitation of a required professional experience such as an internship, study away experience, or course-driven professional project, will help you make a seamless transition into the field upon graduation.

KCAD’s Graphic Design program emphasizes both “making” and “thinking,” encouraging you to be broad and bold in the way you use your skills and passion to make a difference in the world around you. The program’s ordered and gradually intensifying curriculum structure offers a clear and progressive development and refinement of knowledge and skills, providing you a solid foundation on which to build and expand your process, experience, confidence, sensitivity, and sense of professionalism from semester to semester.

You’ll also benefit from the program’s integrative learning environment, where all media and modes of design communication are applied – including specialties like advertising design, user experience and web design, and environmental/retail design – and supplementary skills in photography, illustration/drawing, digital media, printmaking, and 3D and product design are encouraged.

As a graduate of the Graphic Design program, your invaluable and highly-marketable creative communication skills will open up a wide variety of employment opportunities. Some Graphic Design graduates work for firms that specialize in design, advertising, or branding; others work in-house for corporations or non-profits; and some work for themselves as freelancers or contract workers, while others launch their own successful businesses. Some work in highly specialized fields like UI/UX design, publishing, or packaging. You’ll also be well positioned to continue your education at the graduate level.

As a Graphic Design student, you’ll have access to a wealth of tools including scanners, small and large-format printers, saddle stitch and wire binders, stack cutters, monorail rotary trimmers, photography equipment including DSLR cameras and studio lighting equipment, Cintiq digital drawing tablets, and more. Open computer and resources labs ensure continual access of key resources outside of class time. You’ll also have access to The Dow Center FlexLab, KCAD’s state-of-the-art digital fabrication facility featuring 3D printers and scanners, laser cutting and vinyl cutting machines, wide format printers, and more; and the KCAD Library, which provides access to millions of books through the MeLCat shared library catalog as well as access to specialized research databases and subscriptions to scholarly journals.

The Graphic Design program’s strong ties to local chapters of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the American Advertising Federation (AAF), and the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) provide opportunities for you to immerse yourself in the vibrant design community of Grand Rapids as well as gain valuable perspective from leading contemporary designers who visit the region and the KCAD campus.

 

Information

View the 2021-2022 KCAD College Catalog for a list of current courses. 
 

Jason Alger M.F.A.

PROFESSOR

David Borrink B.F.A.

ADJUNCT FACULTY

Angela L. Dow M.Ed.

PROFESSOR, GRAPHIC DESIGN PROGRAM CHAIR

Jimmie Hanes, III

ADJUNCT FACULTY

Karen Johnson-Greiner

ADJUNCT FACULTY

Suzanne Jonkman M.Ed.

PROFESSOR

John Koziatek

ADJUNCT FACULTY

Gary Lepsch

ADJUNCT FACULTY

Erik Loehfelm

ADJUNCT FACULTY

Daniel Meyer

ADJUNCT FACULTY

Ronald Riksen M.A.

PROFESSOR

Joan Sechrist M.A.

PROFESSOR

Sarah Slattery

ADJUNCT FACULTY

Lydia Vanhoven

ADJUNCT FACULTY

As a graduate of the Graphic Design program, you’ll have vast options for employment, as you’ll possess one of the most valuable skills in business: the skill of communication.

You may work for firms that specialize in design, advertising, or branding; you may also work in-house for corporations or non-profits; or for yourself as a freelancer, contract designer, or business owner. You may also work in highly specialized fields like UI/UX design, publishing, or packaging. Finally, you may continue your education by attending graduate school.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CAREERS IN GRAPHIC DESIGN


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