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Graphic Designers do so much more than just making stuff look pretty. A Graphic Designer’s real job is to put strategic and conceptual thought, contemporary and historical research, and artistic and technical skill together to solve a design problem. And when it all comes together, it’ll drop jaws in amazement.
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 Graphic Design student at the Creative Circus.
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
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.
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.
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.
Students concept and design for the web, apps, games, wearables, retail, embedded interfaces, IoT, and more.
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.
A graphic design student and copywriting student 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.
To graduate from The Creative Circus, a Graphic Design student’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.
During the final quarter, students meet with the Director of Career Services to discuss career goals and objectives. Graduating Graphic Design students 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.
Program Director, Design & Creative Technology