Bachelor of Fine Arts Graphic Design

The BFA in Graphic Design curriculum prepares students to communicate to diverse audiences through a wide range of interdisciplinary design practices. The program integrates contemporary media and technologies, including web and interaction design, branding, illustration, motion graphics, typography, package design, and programming. Students learn both history and theory, acquiring skills to research, develop concepts and prototypes, and develop professional portfolios. CDM encourages collaboration and provides internships and research opportunities with the range of studios and non-profits in Chicago.

Common careers for graduates of this degree include visual, production, and interactive design; art direction; book, publication, and web design; advertising; motion graphics; photography; and title design (for film/TV, and games).

Degree Requirements
Claire Rosas

Claire Rosas ('20)
Communications Designer, Bigtincan
Claire researches and writes about design ethics, fluid interfaces, and technology. While a student at DePaul, Claire was named a GDUSA Student to Watch, received a Communication Arts Typography Award of Excellence and a DePaul Women’s Network Woman of Spirit and Action Award, and exhibited at Typeforce 11.

"DePaul taught me to be well-rounded. II had plenty of multidisciplinary resources, the space to use them, and the confidence to ask for guidance. Above all, the most incredible resource was the professors who devoted countless hours to ensuring student success."

Will Wright

Will Wright ('19)
Art Director, 88 Brand Partners
Will is a Chicago-based graphic designer and illustrator. While studying at DePaul, he was active in our AIGA chapter, serving as co-president during his senior year. He received AIGA Chicago’s M.A.D. Award in 2019. That same year, one of Will’s class projects was selected as one of the best examples of typographic design by the STA 100, as curated by a board of judges including Ellen Lupton and Matthew Hoffman. He and two other DePaul alumni, Claire Rosas and Miguel Perez, were featured in Typeforce 11 for their collaborative design fiction class project. The project was guided by faculty, and explored alternative presents, speculative futures, and worlds beyond our own.

Gabriele Fitzpatrick

Gabriele Fitzpatrick ('19)
Designer and Brand Strategist, ElleVolution Design
Gabrielle Fitzpatrick is a professional graphic designer who specializes in both digital and print design. In 2019, she was selected a GDUSA Student to Watch. As a business owner and designer, she provides creative and innovative solutions for sports agencies, professional athletes, motivational speakers, non-profit organizations, and the film/music/food industries.

"Through my experience at DePaul, I built amazing relationships with the greatest professors and had the best advisor anyone could ever ask for. My in-depth training ranged from typography, design for client, user experience, digital fabrication, branding design, and visual identity systems. The vast range of courses gave me the opportunity to explore my design skills and helped propel my career."

  • Nathan Matteson

    Nathan has been teaching and working in Chicago since 1999. His work pointedly ignores commonly accepted boundaries amongst disciplines. Currently he is obsessed with computational methods of typeface generation and letterform modification. He is also a founding member of the product design collaboration Obstructures.

  • Shiro Akiyoshi

    Shiro has worked on various design projects for international corporations, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, art galleries, and artists. His current research projects involve digital imaging, illustration, and montage, combining digital and traditional Japanese image making processes.

  • Lee Zelenak

    Lee’s interests and background include typography and branding. Before coming to DePaul, he was an Associate Creative Director at VSA Partners in Chicago, working on the branding team for IBM. In 2012, he was a Senior Designer for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

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Faculty Creative Activity

CDM treats research and creative activity as integral to its delivery of first-class instruction to students. Our design faculty engage in innovative scholarly and creative work and offer collaborative research opportunities with students and partners.

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Tech & Design Career Community

The Technology & Design Career Community focuses on the implementation of skill-sets anchored in visual design, interactivity, user experience, visual communication and creativity. Career Communities are a student’s guide for exploring, making connections, and launching a career in a specific field of interest. Through these communities, students cultivate professional skills with guidance from career advisors, industry experts, alumni, faculty and employers in their chosen field of interest.

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School of Design Talks

The School of Design invites diverse speakers from across the globe who have created innovative responses to the personal, local, and global challenges of the 21st century to lead workshops and discussions. In 2021, SoD Talks was supported by a DePaul Diversity and Inclusion grant to fund speakers Tasheka Arceneaux-Sutton, Pierre Bowins, Silas Munro and Ian Lynam on missing histories of Black designers, W.E.B. DuBois Visualizing Portraits of Black America, Art Deco and Art Nouveau Global Ping Pong Between East and West, and Manga in Graphic Design.

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Study Abroad

Our faculty co-direct short-term, design-focused, study abroad programs including in Scandinavia and Japan. Students travel for 2-3 weeks and experience local history, arts, and culture while fulfilling experiential learning requirements. They visit several design studios and meet with a variety of industry practitioners.

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Top Graphic Design School

DePaul has been named a Top Design School by Graphic Design USA — the fourth consecutive year that the School of Design program has received the accolade. GDUSA also named two CDM students, Ellie Bradley and Tayvia Ridgeway, among "students to watch" in 2022.

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Graphic Design Capstone

The Graphic Design Capstone Showcase features student work integrating emerging media and contemporary technologies, including typography, digital/interaction design, branding, illustration, motion graphics, package design, programming, and digital fabrication. The self-directed project represents the culmination of student studies focusing on DePaul’s Vincentian mission of service and social good, integrated through themes of design ethics, community, accessibility, futures-thinking, and DEI.

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