At Western, the Graphic Design student acquires a visual language and the means to communicate with it effectively—integrating typography, image development, and the use of design software and photography.
Through a mixture of training and experience, the program develops students’ creative and problem-solving capabilities, while expanding technical and visual skill sets across industry-relevant media and materials. Encouraging and reinforcing the development of that role, faculty guide students in heightening their awareness, expanding their conceptual and organizational abilities, and improving their personal communication and presentation skills.
Faculty encourage cross-disciplinary studies either as paired electives or independent projects. Beyond the course listings, students find directed study courses particularly viable choices for developing individual interests in print production, illustration, type or package or web design, and other creative or experimental directions. Other naturally allied areas are printmaking, photography, drawing and painting.
Juniors and seniors often work on design projects for local and regional nonprofit organizations. Involvement on the Pathfinder Magazine production staff allows students another avenue for incorporating classroom skills into a "real world product"—the creation of both an online and a full-color glossy magazine.
Facilities include a newly equipped, extensive Macintosh computer lab with color scanners and wide format color printers. Students work with industry-standard software.
With the help of the department's network among professionals in the field, seniors and graduates have found professional internships, careers and success.