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Q&A - Graphic Design Programs

What other areas of study are related to my graphic design program?

There are many complementary areas of study related to graphic design programs. The curriculum of the best graphic design programs will expose you to all of these areas of study and provide opportunities to build additional skill sets.

Web development is perhaps the most complementary skill set a graphic designer can study and acquire. This includes the study of coding languages, such as HTML and CSS as well as web standards and user experience strategies. Graphic designers with web development skills can also build websites and other digital media to create a public face for any kind of a business, organization or individual.

Graphic designers can also benefit from studying animation. Graphic designers who know how to create 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional models can create visual effects for television, movies, video games and other media.

Interactive marketing is also a rapidly growing field of study. Interactive marketing combines graphic design skills with marketing, web design and analytics. Graphic designers who are able adapt their skill set to the world of online marketing will be the strongest candidates in a competitive job market.

What internships should I pursue during my on-campus or online graphic design degree program?

Many organizations look for graphic design interns to help on a variety of projects. Whether completing your training in a traditional on-campus program or through a graphic design program online, an internship is a valuable part of your career preparation.

An internship is an opportunity to apply design skills acquired in school to real world projects and gain insight into the professional world of design. You may find opportunities to intern in creative agencies, marketing firms, large corporations, or nonprofits. Graphic design internships may be paid or unpaid.

Postings for internship opportunities can be found through online job boards or also through professional organizations, such as the AIGA internship job board. Other job boards like Behance and Smashing Magazine let you filter opportunities by related areas such as interactive design, programming or branding.
Any student from a brick-and-mortar or online graphic design program is eligible to apply for internship opportunities through the AIGA or internships posted on general job boards.

Your school’s alumni network can act as a great resource for finding quality graphic design internships. Opportunities through your school may only be open to students enrolled in your program. For example, Northeastern University runs a co-op program for students enrolled in its bachelors or science graphic design program. If you are enrolled in 1 of the top graphic design programs, you should be able to find a quality internship.

Are there any movies or TV shows that I might enjoy during my graphic design degree program?

Graphic design appears in many TV shows and movies. As pieces of media, TV shows and movies can act as inspiration and educational tools to learn more about the field or showcases of innovative work.

Fantastic examples of documentary films about design include the works by director Gary Hustwit titled Helvetica and Objectified. Helvetica is a documentary about typography, graphic design and global visual culture while Objectified continues HustwitĂ­s exploration of design and examines product design.

Directed by the famous street artist, Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop is the story of an amateur filmmaker turned graffiti artist. The film has a surprising story line that makes you rethink the value of art and design. It also contains footage of Banksy, Shephard Fairey and many of the world’s most infamous graffiti artists at work.

In other fields related to graphic design, the selection of relevant films and television shows are endless. The blockbuster movie Avatar featured cutting edge animation that wowed the world and won the film an impressive number of awards.

In the marketing and advertising world, the hit series Mad Men tells the story of a Madison Avenue ad agency during the 1960s. Many of the characters speak of design and how it relates to advertising.

Are there any accelerated campus-based or online graphic design programs to help me finish my degree faster?

There are many accredited online graphic design programs with accelerated study options for students pursuing a second major in graphic design. Several graphic design programs online and on-campus programs offer an accelerated option for a graphic design bachelor degree or associates degree. There are also additional options available if you already have a degree in a different subject.

Westwood College offers an accelerated program available online or on-campus. This program allows you to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 3 years. Full Sail University’s online bachelors degree can also be completed in under 3 years.

Accelerated associates degree programs are available online and through on-campus programs. For example, Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy is now offering accelerated 15-month graphic design online programs designed specifically for those with prior college experience. Westwood College also offers an accelerated 17-month associates program.

Parsons the New School for Design, 1 of the best online graphic design programs in the country, offers a flexible graphic design online program as well as on-campus or hybrid options. The on-campus curriculum can be completed in 2 years, or following the accelerated fast track schedule, in 2 semesters.