Jun 21, 2024  
2021-2022 Academic Catalog 
2021-2022 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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Graphic Design

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Graphic Design Department Mission

The Graphic Design program focuses on human-centered design and aims to increase and combine design thinking, planning, and practice to best prepare students for dynamic business environments.

Graphic Design Program Description

Discovery, inspiration, creativity, ideas…used separately these are powerful words, but integrated into a process of critical thinking, research, observation, and innovation, they create new opportunities for design students at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. The Graphic Design program combines theory and practice, challenging students to discover their own individual design expression, and at the same time preparing them for today’s new business environment. With the development of new technologies and interactive media, the global marketplace is changing the role of the contemporary designer. RMCAD recognizes and embraces this enormous potential by combining these technologies with a classical art education founded in drawing, sociology, photography, theory, and form.

Graphic Design students learn to evaluate research and understand design problems by creating processes for design solutions that can be used throughout their careers. They will enter a profession that plans and executes the design of visual communication according to the needs of audiences by learning from the experiences that people have. Students use research methods drawn from sociology and anthropology, resulting in rich descriptions of people’s behavior, interactions, and environmental conditions. By integrating this research into the process of design and user needs, students create new insights, identify opportunities and design meaningful solutions to business problems. The goal is to educate future design professionals who leave the program with an in-depth understanding of visual Graphic theory and real-life practice through observing, questioning, synthesizing, and developing innovative but effective ideas.

Outside design professionals are brought in for workshops, presentations, and advanced teaching engagements throughout the program and deliver hands-on experiences with real projects. Presentation of concepts and ideas allows students to learn the importance of talking about the value of design and how it can be used in real business scenarios. Real deadlines and budgets are developed in order for students to learn how projects are managed from beginning to end. By partnering with nonprofit and business communities, students have the opportunity to interact with professionals and design final solutions that are targeted to meet the project needs. Annual award shows are used as class assignments and many graduates have been recognized with design excellence awards worldwide. International instructors and visiting faculty bring a broader exposure to students throughout their time at RMCAD.

Putting people at the center of everything we teach and practice is the mission of the Graphic Design Department at RMCAD. Through our rigorous curriculum, we instill an in-depth understanding of research, design methodologies, technologies, and visual Graphic theory. Using design strategy and intuition, our graduates discover their personal voice by developing solutions to human-centered problems in the global environment and enter the field with an intense commitment to creating success for human beings.

Program Outcomes

Graphic Design Program Learning Outcome Rubric 

  • Students demonstrate the ability to solve communication problems by refining effective concepts and developing effective visual form.  
  • Students demonstrate proficiency in research, analysis, and generation of alternative solutions. 
  • Students demonstrate the ability to prototype, test, and evaluate outcomes. 
  • Students demonstrate the ability to determine, react, and respond to market expectations that drive communication solutions recognizing physical, cognitive, emotional, cultural, and social human factors. 
  • Students demonstrate the ability to understand the principles of visual organization/composition, hierarchy and symbolic representation. 
  • Students demonstrate an understanding of the proper use of typography and its various applications. 
  • Students demonstrate an understanding of tools and technology used in the creation and distribution of visual messages.  
  • Students demonstrate an understanding of design history, theory, and criticism. 
  • Students demonstrate an understanding of basic business practices emphasizing organization and project collaboration.

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