Graphic Design School Courses: Getting Technical about Art

Students interested in computer simulated and hand-crafted arts often turn to graphic design colleges to help them break into a career doing what they love. Visual communications majors (including web and graphic design) are taught how to take their natural passion for art and turn it into a lucrative career through instruction on all facets of communications. As a technical term, “visual communications” sounds, well – technical. That’s important because graphic designers must learn to be technical about their art – learning how people respond to a work of art, both emotionally and behaviorally.

The graphic design association, AIGA, does a great job of describing the role of a graphic designer:

Suppose you want to announce or sell something, amuse or persuade someone, explain a complicated system or demonstrate a process. In other words, you have a message you want to communicate. How do you “send” it? You could tell people one by one or broadcast by radio or loudspeaker. That’s verbal communication. But if you use any visual medium at all-if you make a poster; type a letter; create a business logo, a magazine ad, or an album cover; even make a computer printout-you are using a form of visual communication called graphic design. (More from AIGA.)

Well-known graphic design college at the Academy of Art describes the plethora of tasks and technical abilities found in a successful graphic designer these days. Graphic design schools typically offer the same lineup of courses, including:

  • Typography
  • Manual Typography
  • Type Typography
  • Web typography
  • Typography History
  • Poster Typography
  • Typography Design
  • Digital Typography
  • Experimental Typography
  • Typography Art
  • Branding
  • Corporate Branding
  • Identity
  • Information design
  • Print and editorial design
  • Packaging
  • Package Design
  • Logo Design
  • Cosmetic Package Design
  • Food Package Design
  • Product Package Design
  • Green Strategies
  • More from Academy of Art

Graphic Design Schools Teach People how to Shape Society’s Perceptions

Graphic designers play a huge role in society. Many successful designers are aware of the impact they have on society. Pierre Bernard of Grapus delivered a speech in the early 1990s about the implications that graphic design work has on the world at large, noting that modern graphic designers (and schools, by proxy) focus on commercial interests. He said:

 “Today, the production of visual communications consists essentially of advertising. Visual productions in advertising are hugely sophisticated and articulated in relation to gigantic mass-media networks. They transcend frontiers and cultural divides. Their basic critique has been developed by the Marxist critic John Berger in Ways of Seeing. He demonstrates that “glamour” is a modern invention in terms of images. It is the expression of the pursuit of individual happiness, considered as a universal right.” (Read Bernard’s entire lecture transcript here.)