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Graphic Design.

“This is SO MIND-BLOWINGLY COOL!” is the best reaction a designer can get. Design school can kick your butt, but that’s proof that the magic worked. So what’s the magic all about you ask? It’s called manipulation. Not the manipulation that offends, rather the kind that drops jaws in amazement. Designers create things by manipulating any media, any dimension or materials necessary. It’s taking a thought and, by using divination, desperation, resourcefulness, perspiration and enchantment, making it real — and with the right magic, really freaking cool.

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Program Description

The Graphic Design curriculum at The Creative Circus prepares students by providing design principles and creative methods for solving real business problems.

We begin with foundation level courses in design, typography, color theory, and of course the computer skills that are required these days. Later, students learn how to determine a visual voice and an appropriate form – print collateral, stationery system, posters, catalog, publication, packaging, signage, websites, apps, games, digital signage, motion graphics, you name it– whatever medium is for best connecting a brand to its audience.

Because most classes are taught by working professionals, student work is judged by professionally rigorous standards of success regarding deadlines, budgets, aesthetics, and concepts.


Here’s a small sample of the classes you’ll take as a Designer.

Creative Thinking
Techniques address the daily necessity for original thinking, facing the blank page, creative diversity, productivity and overcoming rejection.

Intro to Graphic Design
Develop a basic understanding of design principles and vocabulary for creative visual thinking

Type 1
Introduction to type as symbols, individual letter forms, shape and space

Students learn that a logo is a simple visual representation (a symbol!) of a brand and it’s personality – and it’s not as easy as it looks, even in black-and-white. Brands vary, some deadlines are weekly, others longer, but the clarity and development of the idea is most important – not the execution.

Design Concepts
This class addresses the strategy/concept/design process by assigning a variety of creative problems. Strategy, concepting, new media, logos, 3-D, type, color and layout are addressed to create a clear, cohesive, communicative, original end product.

User Experience
Incorporates principles from Information Architecture and focuses on how the design and design principles affect the user’s ability to experience interactive content and projects.

Products still come in packages, so students will develop skills to create and design for a variety of 3D problems.

Interactive Design
Students concept and design for the web, apps, games, wearables, retail, embedded interfaces, IoT, and more.

Motion Graphics
Students learn the fundamentals of using After Effects for motion graphics.

Students create and design a publication (print and digital) that speaks about a subject with a clearly defined visual tone and personality. It’s like Creative Thinking and Type 3 had a baby.

Board Games
A designer and copywriter partner to create and develop a board game (associated with an existing brand). Throughout the process, the team works on game-play, packaging, all the pieces necessary, advertising and a digital component.

Projects are diverse and, as in real life, deadlines are short – usually weekly. So students must learn to think and work quickly. There may be some situations where the weekly assignment involves a teammate – usually a writer who needs help. The work is judged weekly, which determines the grades for the class.

Open House – December 4th

Are you curious about what Graphic Designers actually do? What exactly goes on at portfolio school? And why is The Creative Circus named that and will your family and friends think you’re in clown school? Answers to these burning questions and more await. Join us on December 4th at 10 AM for an Open House event.


Graduation Requirements

To graduate from The Creative Circus, a Designer’s portfolio must show proficiency in strategic thinking, conceptual interpretation, and creative execution. The work in the portfolio should also show a range of creative solutions, audiences, types of media, and voices. Prior to graduation, every student creates a personal identity package, a resumé, mini-books, and a web site.

Career Services

During the final quarter, students meet with the Director of Career Services to discuss career goals and objectives. Graduating Designers also work with an industry professional on personal presentation skills that will benefit them during interviews or presentations to a client. Graduates have access to our alumni listings, agency contacts, portfolio reviews and direct personal assistance from the Director of Career Services, whose services alumni can continue to use the throughout their career. *Department of Education Program Disclosure


Student Work

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