Graphic Design

Hardware and software requirements

The goal of effective communication continues to be a major concern among the diverse business, social and individual interests of a complex society.

Educated as both an artist and a communicator, the graphic designer must develop a high level of proficiency in traditional artistic skills and in advanced digital skills in order to transform artistic decisions into effective digital graphics for sophisticated audiences.

Instead of self-expression being the primary aim of his/her work, the designers’ visual solutions are prioritized toward reaching an audience with the purpose of communicating a specific idea with a personal vision.

Graphic Design is the largest area of enrollment within the Department of Art and Design. The four full-time graphic design faculty are designers from diverse areas of professional practice who combine knowledge of the business of design with the importance of the individual as a designer. Instruction is supported by art studio and academic courses related to the design profession. Classroom experiences may be broadened through job internships in design firms, advertising agencies or corporate design studios. Numerous field trips, visiting artist presentations and work on actual, real world projects also expand the classroom experience.

Within the Graphic Design program, course work focuses on visual literacy; development of conceptual, aesthetic, and visualization skills; and creative problem-solving. Students gain proficiency in traditional and computer design skills. Two Macintosh computer labs are available to meet the specific needs of the curriculum. In beginning graphic design courses, students are exposed to design theory, methodologies, and tools of visual communication. Conceptual, technical and presentation skills, based on commercial expectations and professional practices, are developed. Later course work emphasizes communication skills, technical and production skills, and the understanding of marketing and promotion.

Students will learn Graphic Design skills and principles for identity design, type design, collateral design, editorial design, package design, poster design, information design, storyboarding, advertising design, and, interactive (web) design.

At the completion of the senior year, students produce an extensive senior project, combining an area of personal vision with their professional goals. Successful completion of the program provides a professional portfolio and the skills necessary to enter the field. The program enjoys an exceptional placement rate, with graduates working in corporate art studios, advertising agencies, design studios, printing and publishing firms, and the expanding electronic publishing and digital art fields throughout the United States. 

Sample degree plan: 2012-13_graphicdesign_degreeplan.pdf

For more information, please contact:

Department of Art and Design
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive #5033
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
Phone: 601.266.4972
Fax: 601.266.6379
E-mail: visual.arts@usm.edu

Located in the Fine Arts Building, Room 108