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Graphic Design BFA

Bachelor of Fine Arts


This intensive 80 credit program is designed to prepare students at the highest level for creative professions like graphic design and other communications-related fields that rely on visual imagery. Students will gain an understanding of design theories and practices related to production in all areas of graphic design for traditional and emerging digital formats. The addition of substantial advanced studio, theory, and contextual work beyond the BA means that upon completion of the program students will understand professional level craft, theory, process, and technical skills, and an ability to produce thoughtful and informed work in such areas as institutional branding and identity, new media, web development and interactivity, package design, publication design, advertising, illustration, signage and exhibition design, sustainability, spirituality, and social change.


Course Length

80 Credit Hours


On Campus

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Career Introduction

The traditional role of design has been to improve the visual appearance and function of messages and information. The publishing industry relies on designers for printed and online books, magazines, and newspapers that inform, delight, and support the interests of readers. Designers distinguish businesses from their competitors in the marketplace through innovative approaches to branding, the comprehensive design of messages, products, and services that express the character of a company and define its relationships with consumers. Advertising design promotes the marketable qualities of commercial products and services through a variety of communication media. And information designers translate complicated numerical and textual explanations into visual forms that help people see patterns in data and relationships among the components of complicated ideas. In all these practices, designers use typography, photographs, illustrations, and graphic elements to construct messages that attract attention, cause us to think about their meaning, and stay in our memories over time.

Concordia graphic design majors offers a unique emphasis on the art and craft of typography and applied graphic design practice. Interwoven throughout these programs are communication and interactive studies and the practices of new and emerging digital media.

Whether engaging traditional or new media, the design principles you acquire through training and practice remain the same. Early sequential courses are structured to stress advanced craft, theory, process, and technical skills to ensure refined success in your later project work. Advanced courses and the senior project capstone experience can be customized to reflect individual interests.

What is Design?
AIGA–professional association for design defines “design” here


Student Outcomes

Creative professions like graphic design provide satisfying and rewarding careers for talented and strategic-minded visual artists and communicators.

Bert Lee

Art Director, Geometry North America

Cornel Beard

Associate Designer, 10 Thousand Design

KJ Eikom

Art Director, The Refinery Creative

51 %

of B2B marketers mark creating visual content as a priority.

43 %

of digital marketers acknowledged that creating engaging content is their biggest struggle

$ 15

billion market size in the graphic design industry in the U.S. alone

Career Opportunities

Art Director $ 94,201

Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions.

Graphic Designer $ 52,110

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers.

Multimedia Artist and Animator $ 75,270

Multimedia artists and animators create images that appear to move and visual effects for various forms of media and entertainment.

Additional Roles

Packaging Designer

Web Designer

Advertising Designer

Additional Roles

Multimedia Designer

Publication Designer

User Experience Designer

Third Party Data Validation

Salary data pulled from

Additional resources include:


Program Outcomes

Develop an understanding of the discipline and processes utilized in creative problem-solving.

Prepare students for participation in the greater dialogue of design criticism.

Involve students in the established community of professional designers who share the program’s emphasis on excellence, integrity, and quality.

Equip students with the theories, tools, and methods necessary to produce work competitive with other recognized programs.

Promote an understanding of and appreciation for passionate lifetime learning, involvement, and productivity.

Provide a program that is at once contemporary and aware of its historical tradition.


Institutional Branding and Design, Illustration, Information Architecture, Signage and Exhibition (Environmental) Design.


Graphic Designer Kalika Yamada

Check out the portfolio of one of CSPs design Graduates

Career Support

Throughout the graphic design curriculum, students explore professional opportunities and career options. They network and participate in the thriving Twin Cities creative community. Course projects and student portfolios answer to the highest expectations of an extremely competitive profession.

Meet our Faculty

As a graphic design major, you will be taught by an experienced faculty of active professionals with close ties to the vibrant Twin Cities creative community. You will have access to a state-of-the art Macintosh computer lab with the latest software and large format digital printing, plus direct exposure to some of the most recognized graphic designers and design firms in the country.

John DuFresne

Chair, Department of Art & Design, Professor of Practice, Art & Design

Cate Vermeland

Professor of Practice, Art & Design

Keith Williams

Professor of Art and Art History