Digital Graphic Design Major

The digital graphic design major at Saint Mary’s is intended for students wishing to pursue a career in visual communications, graphic design, publishing, web design, and motion design.

Since most of the information we receive today is visual in nature, the digital graphic design student is trained to communicate effectively in the visual world.

Areas of study for the digital graphic design major include typography, photo processes, illustration, web design, motion design, and all of the computer applications necessary to realize these areas such as Adobe Illustrator, Acrobat, Photoshop, InDesign, and Dreamweaver.

Career Options

Advertising, marketing, and public relations managers; art directors; graphic designers; illustrators; photographers; web designers

High School Preparation

Art History; Studio Art; Computer/Graphic Arts; Drafting; Photography; Website Design

Enhance Your Experience 

Students who major in digital graphic design oftentimes pursue a double major or minor in digital media and journalism, entrepreneurship, or marketing

Degree Requirements

A. All of the following:

AR103 Art Foundations I (3 cr.)

Art Foundations I is a study of the principles and elements of two- and three-dimensional design. It is also an introduction to drawing, color theory, and painting for the professional. The course is conducted in a studio-lecture format.

AR122 Drawing I (3 cr.)

Drawing I requires no art background. Studio assignments include a variety of subject matter, media and techniques with emphasis on visual perception and awareness.

AR222 Drawing II (3 cr.)

Drawing II builds on the skills learned in AR122 Drawing I with an emphasis on developing personal mark making. A variety of media are used – pencil, charcoal, conté, ink, pastels, etc.

AR331 Painting I (3 cr.)

Painting I is an introduction to the techniques of painting using acrylic.

AR341 Printmaking I (3 cr.)

Printmaking explores a variety of graphic media such as lithography, woodcuts, linoleum cuts, calligraphy, silkscreen, and intaglio.

AR360 Art History (4 cr.)

Art History surveys the history of Western Art from the Classical Antiquity period to contemporary times. It includes the study of painting, sculpture, architecture, and minor arts. The course is designed to assist students to gain an overview of the major stylistic periods and artists of the Western visual tradition, explore how visual art relates culturally, sociologically and philosophically to the societies within which it arises, learn the basic vocabulary of art philosophy, style and method, and carry out basic art historical research.

AR461 Art Seminar I (2 cr.)

These seminars involve the production of independent works in the art major's primary area of concentration. The seminars also focus on professional practices, ethics, and contemporary trends in the arts. The hanging of a graduation exhibit in the senior year is required of all art and design majors. AR461 offered fall semester, AR462 offered spring semester. Art Seminar I fulfills the Upper Division Writing Requirement.

AR462 Art Seminar II (1 cr.)

These seminars involve the production of independent works in the art major's primary area of concentration. The seminars also focus on professional practices, ethics, and contemporary trends in the arts. The hanging of a graduation exhibit in the senior year is required of all art and design majors. AR461 offered fall semester; AR462 offered spring semester.

B. All of the following:

AR203 Graphic Design I (3 cr.)

Graphic Design I offers an introductory study of the principles, tools, and techniques of design for publishing and advertising. It includes a study of typography, designer and printer's vocabulary, and the aesthetics of graphic design. This course is taught on the computer using the most widely used software applications in publishing and printing.

AR288 Web Design I (3 cr.)

Web Design I is a course covering a range of web and interactive technologies in both technical and design areas. Students learn HTML, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), Adobe Dreamweaver and InDesign DPS tools, as well as basic JavaScript and jQuery. Image editing for the web and image manipulation in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are also covered, as well as user interface theory and usability. Students learn how to create image galleries, design, and organize information for ease of navigation, and learn what makes a website into an effective communication or marketing tool.  Students create two major projects including a website and a mobile app.

AR304 Typography (3 cr.)

Typography is a study of the design and intelligent use and layout of the characters of our alphabet. The course covers the design principles governing the organization of type for readability and legibility. Students acquire this knowledge by completing a series of typographic projects using the computer applications Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign.

AR315 Graphic Design II (3 cr.)

Graphic Design II provides more defined and specific graphic design problems. Emphasis is placed on working with computer applications, branding, packaging design, and the creation of a personal portfolio.

AR326 Illustration (3 cr.)

Illustration explores the communication of ideas through practical problems encountered in advertising, posters, books, packaging, and digital media.

AR350 Photo Processes (3 cr.)

Photo Processes explores the use of traditional film as well as digital cameras and the images that are produced by each process. Students will develop light sensitive film in a darkroom setting, create negatives and prints from them. Those skills will then be brought into the computer setting where images are pixels that the student manipulates using imaging software. The relationship between traditional and digital photography is examined with emphasis on understanding each media's strengths and weaknesses. The use and function of the camera is stressed with emphasis on a personal style and photographic aesthetics.

AR410 Web Design II (3 cr.)

Web Design II is an advanced course focusing on responsive and mobile design, as well as continued development of HTML, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), JavaScript, jQuery, HTML forms, and software skills. Students learn a range of tools including CSS column based responsive design, responsive frameworks, CMS systems, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Several websites will be created by students during the course using different techniques with a focus on UI design and effective integration of multiple technologies.

AR412 Digital Printing Processes (3 cr.)

Digital Printing Processes is an advanced course in which state of the art computer software is integrated with the fundamentals of publishing. Preparing computer files for printing as well as digital platforms.

AR452 Motion Design (3 cr.)

This course utilizes sound, time, and motion for creation of a visual expression relating to the field of graphic design. Students will explore current modes of moving image creation such as stop motion animation and kinetic typography for film. Students will work in studio on projects exploring technologies in current practice (digital video and computer generated motion graphics). Students will also learn the history of moving graphics in advertising, entertainment, and other cultural forms.

Please Note:

An internship is strongly recommended but not required.