NC State College of Design

Chastity Fabry

The work of graphic design is twofold: it gives shape to messages and information in the form of designed artifacts, and it facilitates people’s interaction with messages and information in the form of physical and digital interfaces. Graphic designers envision the artifacts and interfaces they create as part of larger systems, effectively representing and communicating networks of services, experiences, and products. The best graphic design meaningfully promotes, educates, directs, informs, exposes, clarifies, beautifies, and delights the people who engage with it.

Graphic designers:

  • Communicate information and messages through typography, images, symbols, physical materials, and digital platforms
  • Visualize, prototype, and produce artifacts and interactions such as books, magazines, identity systems, product packaging, signage, websites, applications, and data visualizations
  • Employ human-centered research methods to understand and inform design decisions
  • Develop strategies and systems for making services more accessible to users
  • Collaborate with other experts, such as ethnographers, software engineers, psychologists, and computer programmers

The Graphic Design faculty teach these skills as they encourage and help students develop and expand their creative abilities.

Collaborative Sponsored Studios

Program Information

undergraduate image

At NC State University, graphic design majors can:

  • Establish a strong design foundation through sequenced core studios and then move on to advanced studios in special topics like data visualization, branding, and accessible design.
  • Explore and become proficient in a wide range of media — print, web, mobile, virtual reality, augmented reality, and embedded technology.
  • Thrive in a creative culture rife with graphic designers, industrial designers, landscape architects, architects and artists.
  • Learn to think through making, using rapid prototyping techniques to test ideas early and often.
  • Practice visualization strategies such as mapping, diagramming, and storyboarding.
  • Apply appropriate research methods to more effectively put people at the center of design solutions.
  • Expand knowledge of the field by taking an advanced studio in another College of Design discipline (a swing studio).
  • Study abroad for a semester or summer at our NC State Prague Institute, https://pragueinstitute.ncsu.edu/, or take advantage of other study abroad options.
  • Gain valuable professional experience through paid internships within leading firms, and/or participate in sponsored studios as part of the graphic design curriculum.

Graphic design students study comparative ideas about, and methods for, creating a wide range of visual communications. Sequenced core studios supported by typography and image-making courses progressively introduce and develop the necessary skills, processes, and sensitivities across a range of media. Through project-based assignments, students acquire strong formal and conceptualization skills. They learn and practice graphic design strategies, such as mapping and diagramming, to understand design problems, audiences, contexts, and visualization techniques, including ideation and iteration, to explore and refine design possibilities and determine appropriateness.

In advanced courses during the junior and senior years, students develop a particular body of knowledge and skills, where they apply the concepts, methods, and techniques they have acquired to real-world contemporary design problems. Students interact with clients and organizations through upper level studios and internships to gain experience working with commissioners, communities, and end users. Upon completing the program, students have built a portfolio of professional work that prepares them for entry-level positions in the areas they will pursue as careers.

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