Do you get excited when you discover a new product with a brand that utilizes beautiful design? Do you obsess over a typeface, or take notice of a great advertising campaign? Do you wonder how your seemingly unrelated interests might be incorporated into a rewarding career? If so, you should consider a degree in graphic design.
Graphic design plays a critical role in our society. Designers partner and strategize with businesses, organizations, institutions, and agencies to create brand identity, and make information clear, understandable, accessible, and engaging across media. Design has the power to address social concern, change minds, influence behavior, and inspire action.
Majoring in graphic design at PLNU offers you a diverse education that prepares you to be a thoughtful designer with abilities to solve visual communication problems and work collaboratively in multidisciplinary environments. Students are exposed to design theory, business strategy, and new technologies, and use empathy to connect with stakeholders and end-users for innovative outcomes.
You will develop lifelong relationships with faculty, staff, administrators, and peers, and have the opportunity to create a wide professional network. You will also gain firsthand experience working on "real-world" projects for social good in interdisciplinary teams and producing exhibitions for public space, and may apply for many available on-campus paid graphic design jobs. Finally, the experiential learning continues with a required internship that will help hone your professional skills through practical application. When you graduate from the PLNU graphic design program, you will have a well-developed print and web portfolio, personal connections within the community, and the experience necessary for a vibrant career doing what you love.
For information about the courses required for the Graphic Design, B.A. program, view the PLNU Catalog.
Are you ready to take the next step to begin your PLNU journey? Whether you’re a high school senior, college transfer student, or international student, find out what we’re looking for in our applicants and how you can apply.
To view an example of the major requirements for a Graphic Design, B.A. with and interdisciplinary minor, check out our advising guide.
For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future.
At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.
With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.
The digital world presents a new opportunity for artistically inclined and motivated individuals. With the huge demand for individuals trained in the intersection of arts and marketing, the versatile set of skills you’ll develop by pursuing a degree in graphic design from PLNU will open doors and opportunities that are seemingly endless.
At PLNU, our graphic design program aims to set you up for success with three objectives:
Preparing you to be a thoughtful designer with abilities to solve visual communication problems
Working collaboratively in multidisciplinary environments
Gaining exposure to design theory, business strategy, and new technologies
Job outlook for graphic design careers
Employment in careers related to graphic design are projected to increase. For web developers and digital designers (one of the most common careers PLNU alumni pursue with this degree), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is projected to grow 8% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
What can you do with a graphic design degree?
Many graduates of the PLNU graphic design program have gone on to work in industries such as website development and design, marketing, photography, and the arts. Within these industries many graduates utilize their degrees in graphic design not only for visual arts, but also for audio and video production.
Some of the positions PLNU graduates currently hold:
2020 Median annual salary: $53,380
Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They often build up a portfolio that demonstrates their creativity and originality. They use a variety of design elements to achieve artistic or decorative effects desired by their clientele.
Necessary attributes and skills:
Open and clear communication with clients and/or art directors
Broad understanding and expertise of digital illustration and editing software (such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator etc.)
Meticulous and detailed
Ability to work with constructive feedback and ideas
Creative and arts oriented
Web Developers and Digital Designers
2020 Median annual salary: $77,200
Web developers and digital designers create, update, and monitor websites for a wide range of organizations and companies. Digital designers and developers create and test website and interface layout and users’ ease of navigation. Some developers and designers work in computer systems design and related industries while others are self-employed.
Necessary attributes and skills:
Write code for websites
Knowledge of programming languages such as HTML or XML
Knowledge of tactics to improve SEO and usability of websites
Ability to integrate graphics, audio, and video into websites
Create prototypes and mockups of websites or applications
Creative and innovative thinker
Audio and Video Technicians
2020 Median annual salary: $47,420
Audio and video technicians set up and operate the electrical equipment for media programs. They can utilize their skills for website, podcast, performance, or broadcast settings. These technicians operate equipment in schools, office buildings, performance buildings, radio and television stations, and many more settings.
Necessary attributes and skills:
Knowledge of how to convert video and audio recordings into digital formats
Experience using audio and editing programs for conversion to website
Operate, monitor, and adjust audio, video, sound, lighting, and broadcast equipment
Experience using complex software such as recording equipment or high technology computers
Unique ideas for creative shots or editing flourishes
Art and Creative Directors
2020 Median annual salary: $97,270
Art and creative directors are responsible for the visual design and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions. Most are self-employed, but others work for advertising and public relations firms, agencies, and publishing groups. Essentially, they determine how best to represent a concept, campaign, publication, or company visually.
Necessary attributes and skill:;
At least a bachelor’s degree and previous work experience
Open communication with clients about artistic approach and style
Maintaining and following budgets and timelines
Leadership to oversee the work of other designers and artists
Utilize your degree to innovate and create in the ever-evolving digital frontier of art, design, and programming
The robust set of skills you can develop by pursuing a degree in graphic design from PLNU will equip you for fields as varied as web development, marketing, journalism, and more. What remains at the core of graphic design, however, is preparing you to accomplish the vision and goals of the clients, companies, and organizations you interact with, while remaining true to your artistic flair and style.
Take the first step on your creative journey and apply to PLNU today or get connected with one of our counselors for additional support and to answer any questions you may have.
The Mystery and Power of the Creative Arts
When we create, and actively observe our neighbor's creative work, we are able to uncover the "hidden mysteries" of creation.