As you all know, I recently graduated from college and majored in Graphic Design. Many people enter their field of study after college and others take a different route. In today’s post I want to spill all the tea about my major, what it was like, what exactly I studied, and how I’m feeling about it now. Do I regret majoring in Graphic Design? My answer: absolutely not, Graphic Design was an excellent choice for me! Below is tons of information you should know if you’re thinking of majoring in Graphic Design and what my perspective was like. I will also mention that I had an Interdisciplinary concentration (basically both Art and Design). I will scatter some examples of my work throughout this post, but if you’d like to check out my full Graphic Design online portfolio, please click here!
Required classes: Throughout my four years at my university, I was required to take a specific amount of units that were special to my major. The classes started with very basic concepts and built on themselves at projects got more difficult and longer term. As a freshman/sophomore I began with 2D Design, 3D Design, Art History I and II, Design History, Drawing I, Web Design I, Introduction to Computer Graphics, Painting I, Graphic Design I and Typography. As a junior/senior, I took Digital Photography, Ceramics, Interactive Web Design, Branding, Life Drawing, Illustration, Graphic Design Portfolio Preparation, and Graphic Design Portfolio Review. My Contemporary Art requirement I completed in Europe through my school’s Euroterm program. Lastly, my major required 1-3 units of internship, which I completed last summer at an environmental Graphic Design firm.
Study Abroad Opportunities: I was so blessed that my school offered a summer term in Europe! As I mentioned above, I completed the Contemporary Art class and travelled to five different countries in three and a half weeks. We started in London, went to Germany, Paris, Italy, and Greece last. Everyday during our travels, we went to various contemporary art museums and had a lecture every morning. It was so thrilling to learn about pieces of art in the morning and go see them in person that same afternoon. If your university offers a study abroad program (especially in the Art and Design majors) I would really recommend going if you have the means to do so! It honestly enriched my education so much and my time in school would not have been the same. Even if you’re a little nervous to travel, the best things in life make you the most uncomfortable!
Workload & Critiques: When it comes to Graphic Design, I’m not sure many people understand just how much work goes into this major. I’m not saying that to scare anybody, because I really enjoyed working on all my assignments! While Biology, Chemistry, Accounting, and various other majors spend hours in the library or in a lab, I was spending hours in the Mac Lab or in my dorm making sketches/illustrations for my designs. I absolutely love the process that comes with Graphic Design, so I never minded spending so much time on campus. Nothing felt better than putting all your energy into a piece and getting positive reviews of it during a critique.
Speaking of critiques, what are they? My professors would give us a few weeks at least to finish an assignment. During class time, my professors would come to each student and discuss their progress one on one. After this period of experimentation and quick reviews, we would have critiques that involved the entire class. One by one we went through everyone’s work, discussing composition, design elements, the reason for creating something on the page, and what could be improved. I really loved critique days (they normally lasted about two and a half hours) but they were definitely exhausting! I usually received positive feedback and great advice on what to tweak or change.
Looking Back on my Experience: Overall, I love that I majored in Graphic Design. I wasn’t someone that wanted to sit in a studio all day and create art. It definitely is a passion of mine, but I wanted something more to aspire to than gallery shows. Graphic Design is a perfect mix of hands on art making and modern design techniques (by this, I mean using the computer). I love creating a sketch, scanning it into Illustrator, and turning it into a virtual piece of art that can be used for posters, cards, books, or logos. Even if you do not end up as a full time Graphic Designer, the design principles and skills you learn in this major will be beneficial to any creative career. Being able to draw or work with the Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, etc.) will give you that extra edge compared to other job applicants. Understand that if you are in fact applying for a Graphic Design position, you will absolutely need to know how to use these systems. As a Graphic Design major, I ended up graduating with a print portfolio, web portfolio, and a personal brand that consisted of business cards, postcards, a letterhead and more. Totally worth it in my opinion!
Alright, I know this post was super wordy, but I hope it was helpful to some of you! These are some things I wish I would have known going into this major. To be honest, I switched from Visual Arts to Graphic Design my freshman year without knowing quite what it was, lol. However, I’m so glad I took the leap and went into this major. I met so many motivated people that became my close friends and I received tons of support from my family to go into this field. If you’re considering Graphic Design and you’re passionate about art, I say go for it!! See you guys in the next post!