Bachelor of Fine Arts Graphic Design

The BFA in Graphic Design curriculum prepares students to communicate to diverse audiences through design. The program integrates a wide range of media and technologies, including web and interaction design, branding, illustration, motion graphics, typography, package design, and programming. Through coursework, students learn both history and theory and develop skills to research, concept, prototype, design and document their work. CDM encourages interdisciplinary collaboration and provides internships and research opportunities across both non-profits and various studios in Chicago.

Common career areas for graduates of this degree include advertising, art design, book and web design, motion graphics, photography, title design (for film/TV, games, interactive media), and visual design.

Maggie Acker

Maggie Acker (BFA '12) | Designer @ Sandbox Agency

Upon graduating, Maggie began her career as an Advertising and Production Designer in a small publication house. Now a Designer at an ad agency, she’s held positions as a Presentation Designer, Digital Image Editor, and Marketing Coordinator.

"The wide range of curriculum from traditional design courses to web design, animation, motion graphics, and user experience helped me build and develop a versatile skill set and gave me an advantage in my career path. Learning about motion graphics and video editing helped develop a passion to use both skills in my design work."

Jules Simplicio

Jules Simplicio (BFA '14) | Product Designer @ dscout

Jules (pronouns they/them) is a Product and Front-End Designer with a graphic design background. Jules is currently based in Chicago, but was raised in São Paulo, Brazil. They started their product career at Basecamp and continued it at Threadless. Today, they are shaping the research field through their work at dscout, a leading mobile research platform.

  • Dolores Wilber

    Dolores’s multidisciplinary approach embraces print, installation, video, performance and radio. Her work has been exhibited widely in Chicago, Cleveland, Ann Arbor, London, Estonia, Portugal, Germany, and China.

  • 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.

  • Nate Matteson

    Nathan’s current areas of interest include computational methods of typeface generation and letterform modification. He is on the Advisory Committee of Studio χ, a DePaul Center that fosters and supports faculty research and student learning at the interface between humanities and computing.

  • 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.

DePaul AIGA  

AIGA DePaul

The American Institute for Graphic Arts (AIGA) is the largest and oldest professional organization for graphic design in the country. The DePaul chapter of AIGA, a pre-professional club, helps plan speaking engagements, studio tours (at local agencies like VSA Partners, Ogilvy, Digital Kitchen, Gravitytank, and more), social mixers, and workshops to promote education and involvement among both the student body and Chicago design community.

student posing infront of a wall of design pieces  

Exhibition and Presentation Spaces

The School of Design offers dedicated spaces that allow students and faculty to focus on classroom feedback and dialogue—and also allow their work to reach larger audiences throughout the university and beyond. CDM houses a student gallery in the heart of downtown Chicago, and there are student exhibition/critique spaces in common areas of the Loop campus, affording students the opportunity to both receive and give feedback on their work.

students sketching  

Graphic Design Minor

The minor in graphic design offers opportunities to students wishing to explore the world of visual communication and design while focusing on a separate major area of study. It covers a range of topics from typography and illustration to web design and interaction. The minor is intended to give students a useful overview of the field and a solid footing in design theory and practice.

students ina radio station  

Student Organizations

DePaul has over 350 student organizations — several of which are housed at CDM — dedicated to community service, student government, professional development, recreational sports, and more.

exhibit space  

Internships

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.

 

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.