Graphic Design


Graphic Design is the art of visual communication. Course projects range in medium, content and collaborative opportunity, while enabling students to practice both traditional and digital ways of making. Students become knowledgeable in design thinking as a means to identify problems and create possible solutions.


Graphic Design Curriculum Map:


Graphic Design students select a variety of concentration courses all structured to address several career options within the discipline. Verbal, as well as visual communication skills are developed throughout the curriculum, to further support professional opportunities. Real-world experience is gained through internships, the client-initiated coursework of Design Center, and the AIGA (the professional association for design) student group. Inspiring lectures demonstrate the wide scope of the profession, as renowned designers are brought in as part of the annual Visiting Artist & Scholar Lecture Series. Recent lecturers include Massimo Vignelli, Martin Venezky, Ben Fry, Nancy Skolos & Tom Wedell, James Victore, Andrew Blauvelt, Jim Sherraden of Hatch Showprint, Stuart Bailey, Jan Wilker, Cheryl Towler Weese, Hans Allemann, and Karen Cheng. When awarded a degree in Graphic Design, graduates are prepared to enter a thriving and varied career in the field of Graphic Design.

Design Center

In addition to a degree in Graphic Design, MSU provides students the opportunity to gain real-world design experience by offering design services to the community. MSU’s Design Center in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design collaborates with on-campus and off-campus groups, both commercial and not-for-profit, to create client-based design solutions in a real-world agency-like environment culminating in high-volume, professionally produced visual communication.

From logos to packaging, and brochures to websites, Design Center has successfully produced a variety of projects, each specifically created with the individual client’s communication/marketing goals in mind.

Each year, undergraduate students who exemplify creativity, dedication, and professionalism in the Graphic Design Program at Michigan State University are selected to join the Design Center creative team. If you’re interested in discussing what Design Center can do for you, please contact Chris Corneal at


The Graphic Design Program benefits from handmade and mixed media influences, while providing contemporary digital technologies (regularly updated to remain consistent with the standards of the design profession). The Letterpress facility, available for student use in STA 491E during the Spring semester or on an individual basis, is equipped with several presses and full sets of type. Four computer labs supported by full-time technical staff house Apple computers, equipped with the newest versions of image-making software (page layout, photo manipulation, vector illustration, video editing, motion graphics, and web authoring). The digital facilities also contain multiple flatbed and slide/negative scanners. Inkjet and laser printers provide high quality output options, capable of large-scale printing. Digital still and video cameras, as well as digital drawing tablets, are available for student checkout. The design periodicals library offers an easily accessible resource for cutting-edge design issues and discussion.

Kresge Art Center also includes a visual resource library, wood shop, Form From Thought digital fabrication lab, two exhibition galleries, and two installation project spaces.

Watch the MSU AAHD Graphic Design Reel on MSU AAHD Vimeo!

All pathways in design-based degree disciplines begin with Foundations course work covering essential forms and concepts in visual art practice.

What can I do with Graphic Design?

Graduates in graphic design pursue careers in a range of industries, excelling in jobs that demand extensive knowledge of visual communication and design thinking in new and traditional media using leading-edge technologies. Graduates of the Graphic Design program in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design are prepared to contribute to the field via a variety of paths including but not limited to: continuing education in top-tier graduate programs, freelance, in-house, advertising agencies, design studios (often self-owned).

Alumni work at:

Leo Burnett

Campbell Ewald


Redhead Design Studio

The Late Show on CBS


NY Times

General Motors



Alumni work as:

Graphic Designers

Art Directors

User Experience Designers

Web Designers

Creative Directors

Media Managers

Product Designers

Package Designers


Account Managers

Motion Graphic Designers