Sep 23, 2023  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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Graphic Design

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Graphic Design Department Mission

The Graphic Design program 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.

Students demonstrate research and information gathering, analysis, generation of alternative solutions.

Students demonstrate the ability to prototype, user test, and evaluate outcomes.

Students demonstrate the ability to describe and respond to the audiences and contexts, which communication solutions must address. Recognition of the physical, cognitive, cultural, and social human factors that shape design decisions.

Students demonstrate the ability to create and develop visual form in response to communication problems.

Students demonstrate the ability to understand symbolic representation.

Students demonstrate the ability to understand principles of visual organization/composition and information hierarchy.

Students demonstrate an understanding of the proper use of typography and its various applications.

Students demonstrate an understanding of tools and technology, including an understanding of creation, reproduction, and distribution of visual messages.

Students demonstrate an understanding of design history, theory, and criticism.

Students demonstrate an understanding of basic business practices, including the ability to organize design projects and to work productively as a member of teams.

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