Communications Media | Graphic Design | Fitchburg State University
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Graphic Design Concentration

Graphic design is an ever-changing field and a fulfilling career with many diverse areas; book design, visual identity and branding, package design, website design, exhibition design, motion graphics, advertising, data visualization, environmental design, user experience design, and illustration. 

Graphic design projects for "Article 15", "Comrade Mono", and "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep"
Credits Left to Right: Mitch Severt, Diedre Turner, Aaron Hatch

This concentration focuses on the timeless design knowledge to ensure students gain an education that will provide a rich practice of long-term continual development and professional success. We offer a learning environment that fosters creative thinking and personal artistic development. The curriculum is carefully constructed to maintain a healthy balance between design thinking, design practice, and relevant technologies offering students a broad exposure to the graphic design discipline.

In the required course sequence students experience print, motion, web, and user experience design, and the electives allow students to deepen their interests and skills. We have Macintosh design studio and a graphic design workroom equipped with state-of-the-art technology, Adobe software, a Smart TV, design books, an expansive font library, binding equipment, and a printing lab.

A passport app on a smartphone, illuminated colorful geometric shapes, and an information booklet
Credits Left to Right: Abby Leclaire, Sam Laszlow, Jillian McNamara

The faculty dedicate considerable time to building teaching strategies that allow for effective student and faculty interaction. Assignments build sequentially and are tailored to develop conceptual thinking and perceptual ability while fostering individual creative growth. Experimentation is highly emphasized, and students are challenged to take risks in order to move beyond the comfort zone of “safe” design. Class critiques allow students to derive inspiration from each other, cultivate and share ideas, while learning to articulate aesthetic concepts.

Design project for "Transience", a space-themed collage, and book-themed playing cards
Credits Left to Right: Melanie DeSouza, Jillian McNamara

Design literacy is emphasized in courses that provide a strong foundation in both concept and practice. Students are encouraged to choose from many elective course offerings to explore emerging trends in the design field, as well as History of Graphic Design that will acquaint them with the evolution of visual communications. Intermediate and advanced design courses challenge students to push the envelope of design thinking and design practice with technology to develop a sophisticated and personalized approach to their area of interest. In the final semester, students participate in internships to gain professional experience in the graphic design profession. 

In addition to the graphic design concentration we also offer a minor. Learn more on the graphic design minor page.

The professors make the exceptional graphic design program at Fitchburg State extraordinary. Their direction and guidance led me to discover a passion for packaging and brand development. I will forever be grateful for their dedication to their students.
~ Caitlyn Houck

Requirements and Curriculum

Graphic Design Concentration

For more information, consult the Undergraduate Catalog.


Each year students are given the opportunity to submit original work to be juried and possibly selected for our honors art exhibition, VISIONS. This is a showcase of the year's best student work. VISIONS involves a gallery exhibition and a film/video screening.

Undergraduate Research

Students who have interest to develop a personal project and experience design research are encouraged to participate in the university Undergraduate Research Conference. This is often done in conjunction with a course, in an independent study with a graphic design faculty member, or as part of an Honors thesis. Many students find this experience to be a valuable opportunity to hone their own passion and find their voice as graphic designers.

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