As a graphic design major at ONU, you’ll learn how to combine typography and images to communicate ideas. Our program blends artistic concepts – like design theory – with the technical know-how needed for production. You’ll also learn how to research, work on a team, and think critically and creatively. These skills will set you apart in the marketplace.
Large institutions just can’t provide the individualized attention and opportunities you’ll find here. You’ll learn just as much outside the classroom as you do inside. You’ll participate in juried art shows and portfolio critiques in major cities. You’ll go on field trips, participate in group problem-solving sessions, design campus publications, produce art for fundraisers and interact with visiting artists and designers. You’ll take intensive, lab-based courses in design and work on real-world projects for actual clients.
Here, you’ll join a close-knit family of designers. From the time you arrive on campus until you graduate, you’ll be guided by the same faculty advisor. You’ll enjoy small class sizes and amazing friendships with your fellow art and design students. Our dedicated professors will get to know you. They will go above and beyond to develop you as a designer and professional.
Upon graduation, you’ll have a portfolio of professional work that will help you land a great job right away!
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO
Imagine traveling to New York, San Francisco or Chicago – all expenses paid – with your design professors and peers to attend a professional conference. Or spending the summer in Europe visiting famous museums. Or having your portfolio reviewed by designers in Ann Arbor, Cincinnati or Columbus. We believe a well-rounded education includes opportunities to travel, experience new places and meet new people, and stretch your comfort zone. These opportunities are here for you to grab.
Join a professional organization, and you’ll learn about opportunities in your field and meet new people. Students in AIGA/The Professional Association for Design, for example, plan social gatherings, visit studios and museums, travel to national design conferences, and attend career fairs. There are dozens of student organizations and honorary societies – geared toward many different interests – active on campus. You’re sure to find one or more that fit you.
We encourage graphic design majors to engage in internships. And we help you land strategic internships aligned toward your dream career. Our students intern at design agencies, museums, businesses and nonprofit organizations. In addition, our in-house design studio offers the chance for students to gain experience working on real projects for real clients.
ANDREW ADAMS BFA IN GRAPHIC DESIGN ’12
At ONU, I didn’t just learn proficiency in software programs; I learned a way to address the problem at hand and find a solution. I took a broad range of classes, including photography, PR writing, figure drawing, web development and more. This great opportunity for skill diversification was very accessible at Northern.
Andrew Adams has loved drawing and photography since he was a toddler. He majored in graphic design so he could pursue a career he would enjoy day in and day out. On campus, he took advantage of many opportunities to get involved. He played in the jazz band and wind ensemble. He was active in AIGA (the professional association for design) and Kappa Pi (national art honorary). He also played rugby and many other intramurals. Today, he’s the senior graphic designer at tree tree agency in Columbus, Ohio He loves the fact that each day brings new design challenges.
OUTCOMES AND COURSES
- Alumni of our program are successful design practitioners in their chosen discipline as evident from recent awards and recognition:
- American Graphic Design awards
- AIGA ReDesign Award
- American Advertising Federation ADDY awards
- Bluetooth Breakthrough Award finalist
- Local leadership in AIGA/Professional Association chapters
- During the past five years, an average of 94% of our graphic design majors were employed full-time or accepted into graduate school within six months of graduation.
- Our students have been accepted to competitive internships, won the Student Excellence Award from the NAC&U, and won AICUO Excellence in the Visual Arts award.
You’ll need 120 credit hours to earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design. We encourage you to pursue a minor in marketing, public relations, digital media production, or social media that will align with your career interests and passions.
Here are some courses you’ll take as a graphic design major:
- Graphic design
- Identity/branding design
- Package design
- Web design
- Research methods
- Art & design history
WHERE COULD YOU END UP?
- Communication designers
- Publication designers
- Visual identity designers
- Web/computer interface designers
- Advertising designers
- Package designers
- Point of purchase designers
- Exhibit designers
- Broadcast designers
- Environmental designers
- Wayfinding designers
- Design/art director
Check out where some of our recent graphic design graduates have ended up: American Greetings and Art American in Cleveland; Ceramics Monthly magazine and Orange Barrel Media in Columbus; The New England Journal of Medicine in Massachusetts; Dr. Pepper in Texas; ABC Carpet and Home in New York City; Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.; University of Michigan; Maryland Institute College of Art; University of Cincinnati, Kent State University
Wilson Art Building
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
Tuesday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.