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."

  • Heather Quinn

    Heather is a multidisciplinary designer who uses design fiction to question the ethics of emerging technology, challenge technocratic power, and imagine possible futures. Her augmented reality projects were recently featured in The Washington Post, Hyperallergic, and the Society of Typographic Arts.

  • Laura Rossi Garcia

    Laura is a Puerto Rican designer and educator whose practice intersects culture, theory, anthropology, and feminism. Her research examines the history, practice, and pedagogy of design and typography and has been recognized by the Society of Typographic Arts and AIGA.

  • 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

Research and creative activity are together integral to delivery of first-class instruction to students. Assistant Professor Heather Snyder Quinn’s augmented reality app, Mariah, is featured on the Apple App Store. Mariah is an augmented reality application that narrates stories of historical injustice through the backdrop of significant cultural institutions and the funding that has allowed them to exist. Mariah reveals memorials to those who have perished so that “philanthropists” could have their names carved into marble walls.

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Design Internship Program

Internships are an invaluable part of a graphic design education, preparing students for the rigors of the “real world” industry. Students are encouraged to pursue multiple internships, and work closely with the university's Career Center and dedicated internship advisors to ensure quality opportunities. They have the opportunity to receive credit for up to three internships in order to gain the experience to land the best job possible.

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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 is a 2021 Top Graphic Design School according to GDUSA. GDUSA also named two of our students, Jillian Nalezny and Zishuo Wang, among students to watch in 2021.

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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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