Graphic Design Major

Graphic design, also known as communication design or visual communications, is an ever-widening and  highly versatile field that ultimately involves the art and practice of using text, signs and image to communicate a message, ideas and and/or experiences for commercial, cultural, educational or political uses  and in a multitude of graphic communication forms.  In our sequenced Graphic Design courses, students develop critical design thinking and creative problem solving in print, web and other digital media forms, and are aided by the design mechanics, design history, color theory, drawing and idea development they will have gained through the Core Courses.  Finally, students will undertake a semester-long internship where they will get invaluable hands-on job experience that they will carry into any graphic design profession.

Reasons to join us

  • Experienced and committed faculty who are also active professionally in their respective fields
  • Small class sizes that ensure intensive, individualized guidance in your artistic and academic development
  • Exceptional facilities to learn and work.
  • Professional experience gained through internships.
  • Travel to some of the most renowned museums and galleries in the United States.
  • Opportunities to exhibit your work on campus in one of the many student gallery locations.
  • Apply your skills by getting involved in organizations on and off campus.
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Recent Jobs & Internships

Graphic Design Majors at Simpson have gained internships and regular employment in a variety of places including Lessing-Flynn Advertising, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa, The Des Moines Register, Runner’s World magazine, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines Civic Center, Iowa Energy (D-League sports organization).

Career Paths

  • Graphic Designer
  • Art Director
  • Creative Director
  • Industrial/Product Designer
  • Drafter (Architecture and Engineering)
  • Film and Video Editor
  • Multimedia Artist/Animator
  • User Interface Designer (UI)
  • User Experience Designer (UE)
  • Front End Designer
  • Advertising, Promotions, Marketing Manager
  • Content Marketing Manager
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Social Media Manager

Course Requirements:

  • Art 001 Gallery Event and Museum Attendance (each year)
  • Art 0XX Junior Art Portfolio (must complete by end of third year)
  •  Art 121 Basic Drawing
  •  Art 131 Foundations of Design I – 2D
  •  Art 310 Advanced Studio: Idea development (must complete by end of third year)
Art History
  • Art 206 History of Design
Take one courses from the following:
  • Art 201 Prehistoric to Renaissance
  • Art 202 Renaissance to 19th Century Art 203 Modern Art
  • Art 204 Non-Western Art
  • Art 205 Art since 1940
Studio Courses
Complete the following three courses
  • Art 136 Graphic Design I
  •  Art 236 Graphic DesignII
  • Art 336 Graphic Design III
Take two additional courses from the following:
  • Art 122 Drawing I
  • Art 222 Drawing II
  • Art 322 Drawing III
  • Art 175 Painting I
  • Art 275 Painting II
  • Art 375 Painting III
  • Art 155 Photography I
  • Art 255 Photography II
  • Art 355 Photography III
Graphic Design Major may only complete a total of three Graphic Design
  • Art 319 Internship in Art
  • Art 385 Senior Seminar Art
  • 0XY Senior Exhibition