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Department of Art and Art History

Wilson Hall, Room 310
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-3375
fax: (248) 370-3377

Department of Art and Art History

Wilson Hall, Room 310
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-3375
fax: (248) 370-3377

woman seated at a desk with pen and paper, smiling at the camera

Graphic Design

Design is omnipresent, vital, and, intrinsic to our daily lives. Centered in visual culture and problem solving, our graphic design degree prepares students to inspire and activate consumers. Our students, grounded in the relationship between image, typography, and visual communication, develop professional transferable skills preparing them for a wide variety of opportunities in the design field. Under expert direction, our graduates develop dynamic, engaging portfolios and the attuned business acumen to succeed. The degree covers design theory and history, materials and processes, and graphic design studio/professional industry standards and practices. 

Admittance into the Graphic Design Program is based on Oakland University GPA admittance policy. There are no current portfolio requirements. Incoming freshman should declare a Pre-major Graphic Design status.  DES 1130 - Foundations of Graphic Design will be your first graphic design course. Students must earn a minimum of a 2.8 in both Foundation courses (ART 1002 and ART 1004) in order to be admitted into DES 1130.  

Community Design
Juniors and seniors work in graphic design studio pitching ideas, developing designs and following projects through to production for local non-profit organizations. The class, Community Design, gives students professional experience. Please visit goodcommunitydesign.com to learn more.

Senior Thesis
All graphic design majors complete a senior thesis, a directed individual study requiring development of a coherent package of advanced graphic design work, culminating in a thesis paper and juried a thesis exhibition.

Gallery Events
All students are required to attend at least one lecture or event at the Oakland University Art Gallery (OUAG) sponsored either by the OUAG or Department of Art and Art History. Check with your instructor for details.

Major RequirementsMinor Requirements

Transcript
Graphic Design to me is definitely the design of communication. Ya know, usually design is more business driven. So it’s not necessarily emotional in the way that a fine artist is. There’s definitely some kind of brief or project that at the end there’s a necessary solution. Graphic designers are visually organizing space with type and image. Oakland’s Graphic Design faculty has worked in the field so they have professional experience um and they also teach you the critical theory behind design. Conceptual thinking is valuable in any type of design or art making because that’s what gives you some kind of context or interest to the work. Graphic design or any type of work that deals with that it’s not just about making things beautiful, it’s about making them function. So you have to be able to think conceptually to understand why you’re making decisions. Graphic design spans across a lot of mediums. I’ve had a web design class where we were learning to code. I’ve had a motions graphics class where we were working within After Effects to create film title sequences and I’ve also had a design illustration class where we studied the process of artists. You’re getting a broad education so you have art history courses where you’re able to look at art and analyze them and then you can come into the graphic design classroom and you get to look at the work of your peers and your own and do that same kind of thinking process. Class critics are the most important part of graphic design class. It’s what I look forward to and it helps you to be a better designer in the end. It really helps you in the long run. Design is really a collaborative process. Design doesn’t just have to work for you, it has to work for everybody. Outside of what you do teaching, part of your responsibility is to be professional and do your own research so everyone has a specific thing they’re interested in um and so it varies person to person but I think that that’s the great thing about OU is that if you are interested in a variety oftopics there is usually a faculty member that can talk you through that. Throughout the design program, you’re kinda learning the fundamentals along with shaping your own style and your own process. Our goal at the end of the day is to help you figure out how you’re going to use this degree when you leave and having student involvement in kinda forming the curriculum obviously gives you a feeling of community here.