At a glance: Graphic Design
"Since I am majoring in graphic design with a minor in public relations, I plan to work for a record company, designing brand identities, logos and album covers for bands."
Graphic design is about communicating ideas through the juxtaposition of typography and image. It is not only a profession but also a medium, an expression of the methodology of visual communication.
The graphic design program at Ohio Northern guides students through sequential instruction. Courses in visual communication, design theory, research, history and typography, and the techniques of production are all part of the core design curriculum. Intermediate courses focus on concentration and development: conceptual development, design thinking, systematic design and narratives. Advanced classes enable students to work with complex design projects with multiple elements and critical analysis. At this level, classes are structured to integrate theories and concepts into advanced problem solving. Classes also encourage students' preparation of portfolios and require a high level of professional execution of assignments. The program equips students to observe clearly, analyze carefully, and think critically and creatively. Students learn how to become successful visual communicators by applying the core principles of graphic design.
The Bachelor's of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design is a rigorous course of study in art and visual communication design. The student is expected to integrate design studies with a liberal arts curriculum. Students may elect some depth in a related communication discipline of their choice, such as public relations, marketing, or arts management. All BFA degree seeking students are required to complete a full-time internship in a graphic design setting, usually held during a summer term. Typical sites for students include museums, design firms, and public relation offices.
The Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Graphic Design allows the student a major study in design in addition to integrating a strong liberal arts program. Students gain some depth in a number of studio-related disciplines of their choice, but students are encouraged to minor or double major in another academic field. At Ohio Northern, students may select such programs as broadcasting, public relations, communication studies, marketing, entrepreneurship, museum studies, or arts management.
The mission of the graphic design program is to prepare undergraduate students to become socially and environmentally aware leaders in the field of visual communication. Focusing on development and mastery of conceptual and technical skills in graphic design, illustration, and advertising as well as studio electives, cross disciplinary courses and collaborative experiences prepare students for the convergence of the design fields and for positions as creative directors across a broad spectrum of increasingly media-based careers.
- Comprehensive curriculum gives students exposure to 2-D and 3-D form, theory and practices.
- Professors are dedicated artists, designers, teachers, scholars and mentors.
- In-house design studio offers real-world business and professional experiences.
- Opportunities abound for internships at graphic and advertising design firms, museums and many other businesses and organizations.
- Visiting artist program brings to campus accomplished artists and designers.
- Study Abroad programs in locations such as Italy, Ireland and France expose students to the exciting and wide world of culture and art.
- Students can gain hands-on experience designing University publications such as The Northern Review (student newspaper), Polar Droppings (department newsletter) and The Northern (University yearbook).
- Numerous talent awards and scholarships are granted to gifted students.
The Department of Art and Design is housed in the Wilson Art Center for the Visual Arts, providing students with updated equipment, resources, wireless capabilities and a stimulating environment in which to work. Most beginning courses meet in the drawing studio, which is well-equipped with drawing tables, group work stations, and storage space to meet the individual needs of students. The students also have access to the design computer studio. This space contains the latest Macintosh computers, scanners, color and black and white laser printers, digital cameras, updated software and a small periodical library. A design studio, located next to the computer studio, is well equipped with drafting tables, light board tables and group work stations. Most class presentations take place in the lecture room, located adjacent to the visual resource library. This department library contains thousands of slides to numerous videotapes, DVDs and books for instruction.
The students' senior capstone projects are displayed in the Elzay Gallery of Art. The gallery is connected to the classroom-studio building by a loggia and is used to display work of artists of invited exhibitions and student shows throughout the year. Other studio/classrooms located in the Wilson Art Center include a painting studio and a printmaking studio. A variety of gas electric, soda and raku kilns and furnaces are adjoined to the ceramics and sculpture studios.
AIGA/The Professional Association for Design: The ONU student chapter of AIGA is a pre-professional group for students interested in design. AIGA’s purpose is to further excellence in design as a strategic tool for business and a cultural force. AIGA is committed to stimulating thinking about design through the exchange of ideas and information, and encourage education and ethical practice. Student leaders have organized field trips to museums and galleries, sponsored gallery openings, software workshops, and resume and portfolio workshops, attended career fairs and conferences and coordinated guest speakers and design projects.
Other student organizations in the Department of Art and design include Kappa Pi National Art Honorary, National Art Education Association and the Student Art League.
The department of art and design is committed to teaching and learning through an intensive, structured and sequential program of design studies and liberal arts education. Our goal is to develop students as creative, productive and intellectually curious designers capable of historical and cultural insight, critical thinking and technical proficiency in an area of emphasis. The University and Department has programs in place to assist students with internship acquisition, career search upon graduation and student-employer networking opportunities. Some graduates have gone on to get advanced degrees.
Internships are an integral part of the educational program. They give students the opportunity to affirm career goals and gain experience in a chosen field while making invaluable connections in the profession.
All students in the BFA program are required to participate in the internship program. or design majors, students are required to complete 16 credit hours of an internship in a graphic or advertising design setting, either during a summer or regular academic term. Typical sites for students include design firms, public relations firms, advertising firms, museums and arts organizations.
Recent graduates have pursued graduate education in design at institutions such as George Washington University, University of Michigan, Kent State University and University of Cincinnati.
Design graduates can pursue many fulfilling career paths. Alumni have embarked on exciting careers at companies such as American Greetings and Art American in Cleveland, Ceramics Monthly magazine and the American Ceramics Society in Columbus, The New England Journal of Medicine in Massachusetts, Dr. Pepper in Texas, ABC Carpet and Home in New York City, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Walt Disney Company in Florida, Periscope (Mercury) Studio in Washington and the Smithsonian Institution and Winking Fish design studio in Washington, D.C.