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Graphic Design Schools

Graphic designers convey visual messages, which is why they are sometimes called communications designers. Their work appears in print and digital media such as magazines, brochures and video animation. Using computer software and the skills they can learn in graphic design school, graphic artists select, edit and lay out design elements such as images, text and decorative touches.

Attending a vocational or technical school to study graphic design can provide you with the basic technical training that is typically required to create materials for advertising and marketing or design work necessary to produce publications. As a trained graphic artist, you might focus on a specialty such as developing product packaging, corporate brand design or visuals for webpages used in online sales or marketing promotions.

Specializations for graphic design school students

Educational programs for graphic design careers teach conceptual and technical skills, but you need to have artistic talent to benefit from the training. Once you have learned and put into practice the basic concepts of graphic art, you can decide to specialize in areas such as these:

  • Environmental graphics, including signs and exhibit design
  • Editorial design for annual reports and publications
  • Advertising or promotional design
  • Logo/corporate identity design
  • Interactive Web design

Experienced graphic artists in advertising and marketing organizations may advance to positions as art directors. Some also choose to teach courses in a postsecondary graphic design program.

Certificate and degree programs in graphic design

Technical schools offering training in graphic design may offer some or all of these types of program options to their students:

  • Vocational certificate -- Students typically study the basics of illustration, Adobe Illustrator, graphic design, typography, color theory, logo design and Photoshop
  • Undergraduate certificate -- Similar to vocational certificate coursework plus drawing and design and composition
  • Associate degree -- Approximately two years of full-time training usually covers graphic design courses included in the certificate programs plus English composition, HTML and CSS programming, computer technology, art history, psychology, marketing, business and technical writing, Dreamweaver, layout, packaging, portfolio development and a capstone project
  • BA or BS in Graphic Design -- In addition to courses similar to those in the associate programs, a bachelor's degree in graphic design typically includes courses in motion graphics, digital and multimedia design
  • Master's degree -- Two-year graduate programs in graphic design involve studio work, research, readings and a final project to help experienced designers with a bachelor's degree reach the next career level with their master's degree

Salaries and employment growth projections for design careers

Employment growth for graphic designers is expected to be 7 percent nationwide from 2012 to 2022, a bit slower than average for that of other occupations as projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov). However, the following states are expected to have the highest growth rates for graphic designers during the same period, according to Projections Central:

  • Utah: 28.3 percent
  • Oregon: 19.4 percent
  • Arizona: 19 percent
  • Washington: 18.6 percent
  • Texas: 17.5 percent

Median salaries nationally for graphic designers as of May 2013 were $44,830 with the top-paying jobs in metropolitan areas like San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The top 10 percent tier made at least $79,260 and the lowest 10 percent made $26,690 or less. The median salary for art directors was $83,000 for the same period. States that currently employ the most graphic designers are California, New York and Florida.

Graphic artists are employed in a great many industries, not just in advertising and marketing agencies. Many medium to large companies have their own marketing departments, and an employee with graphic design skills can be a welcome addition even to a small business. If you are visually creative, willing to work hard to hone your skills and play well with others, you might be pleasantly surprised at how many opportunities there are for trained graphic designers.

Sources:

BA in Graphic Design, American University, http://www.american.edu/cas/graphic-design/BA-DSGN.cfm

Graduate Graphic Design, Otis College of Art and Design, http://www.otis.edu/graduate-graphic-design

Graphic Designers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/graphic-designers.htm

Graphic Design Certificate Programs, Sessions College for Professional Design, http://www.sessions.edu/graphic-design

Graphic Design, Undergraduate Programs, Fashion Institute of Technology, http://www.fitnyc.edu/2306.asp

Graphic Designers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271024.htm

Projections Central, State Occupational Projections, Long-term projections through 2022, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

Graphic Design Schools
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With an education from an Art Institutes school, imagine what you could create.

Programs : Graphic Design (AS), Design & Technical Graphics (BS), Web Design & Interactive Media (AS), and more..

Campus Locations :

Sunnyvale: 1120 Kifer Road Sunnyvale, CA 94086

San Bernardino: 674 East Brier Drive San Bernardino, CA 92408

Durham: 410 Blackwell St. Suite 200 Durham, NC 27701

Sacramento: 2850 Gateway Oaks Drive Suite 100 Sacramento, CA 95833

San Francisco: 1170 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94102

Austin: 101 W. Louis Henna Blvd. Suite 100 Austin, TX 78728

Draper: 121 West Election Road Suite 100 Draper, UT 84020

San Diego: 7650 Mission Valley Rd San Diego, CA 92108

Portland: 1122 N.W. Davis Street Portland, OR 97209

York: Formerly Bradley Academy for the Visual Arts 1409 Williams Road York, PA 17402

North Hollywood: 5250 Lankershim Boulevard North Hollywood, CA 91601

Dallas: Two North Park East Dallas, TX 75231

Seattle: 2323 Elliott Avenue Seattle, WA 98121

Tucson: 5099 E. Grant Rd. Suite 100 Tucson, AZ 85712

Santa Ana: 3601 West Sunflower Avenue Santa Ana, CA 92704

San Antonio: 1000 IH - 10 West Suite 106 San Antonio, TX 78230

Santa Monica: 2900 31st Street Santa Monica, CA 90405

Tinley Park: 18670 Graphic Drive Tinley Park, IL 60477

Overland Park: 8208 Melrose Drive Overland Park, KS 66214

Milwaukee: 320 East Buffalo Street Suite 100 Milwaukee, WI 53202

Houston: 10740 North Gessner Drive, Suite 190 Houston, TX 77064

Phoenix: 2233 West Dunlap Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85021

Indianapolis: 3500 Depauw Blvd., Suite 1010 Indianapolis, IN 46268

Fort Lauderdale: 1799 S.E. 17th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Minneapolis: 15 South 9th Street Minneapolis, MN 55402

Cincinnati: 8845 Governors Hill Drive Suite 100 Cincinnati, OH 45249

Denver: 1200 Lincoln Street Denver, CO 80203

Sterling: 21000 Atlantic Blvd. Suite 100 Sterling, VA 20166

Fort Worth: 7000 Calmont Avenue Suite 150 Fort Worth, TX 76116

Henderson: 2350 Corporate Circle Henderson, NV 89074

Charleston: 24 North Market Street Charleston, SC 29401

Virginia Beach: 4500 Main Street Suite 100 Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Tampa: Parkside at Tampa Bay Park 4401 North Himes Avenue, Suite 150 Tampa, FL 33614

Nashville: 100 Centerview Dr. Suite 250 Nashville, TN 37214

At University of Phoenix, we believe everyone deserves access to higher education.

Programs : A.A. in Information Technology/Web Design, and more..

Campus Locations :

Online: Online, MN

Helping creative minds bring their ideas to life.

Programs : Graphic Design (BS), Graphic Design (AS), Web Design & Interactive Media (BS), and more..

Campus Locations :

Pittsburgh: 420 Boulevard of the Allies Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Westwood College is dedicated to preparing students with the knowledge, skills and training needed for meaningful employment. Through education, we create opportunities, change lives and impact futures.

Programs : Graphic Design (A), Graphic Design: Major in Visual Communications (B), and more..

Campus Locations :

Denver: 7350 North Broadway Denver, CO 80221

Atlanta: 2309 Parklake Drive NE Atlanta, GA 30345

Sanford-Brown can help prepare you for a rewarding career in health and dental care, business, paralegal, criminal justice, Design & Media Arts or information technology.

Programs : Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design, Associate of Science in Graphic Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications: Graphic Design, and more..

Campus Locations :

Tampa: 7702 Woodland Center Blvd., Suite 100 Tampa, FL 33614

Seattle: 625 Andover Park West Seattle, WA 98188

Saint Paul: 1345 Mendota Heights Rd. Saint Paul, MN 55120

Get hands-on training with Remington College.

Programs : AAA in Digital Graphic Arts, and more..

Campus Locations :

Fort Worth: 300 East Loop 820 Fort Worth, TX 76112

New England Institute of Technology is a private, non-profit, co-educational technical college offering over 30 Associate in Science, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree programs.

Programs : Bachelor of Science in Graphics, Multimedia and Web Design, and more..

Campus Locations :

East Greenwich: One New England Tech Boulevard East Greenwich, RI 02818

Career-focused education for real‐world results.

Programs : Associate - Web Graphic Design, Associate - Web Graphic Design, Bachelor's - Multimedia Design and Development, and more..

Campus Locations :

Chicago: Chicago, IL

Oxnard: 300 E. Esplanade Dr., Suite 100, Oxnard, CA 93036

Denver: 1870 W. 122nd Ave. Denver, CO 80234

Orlando: 4000 Millenia Blvd. Orlando, FL 32839

Lynnwood: Redstone Corporate Center, 19020 33rd Ave W, Ste Lynnwood, WA 98036

Paramus: 35 Plaza Professional Center 81 Rte. 4 W. Ste. 102 Paramus, NJ 07652

Jacksonville: 5200 Belfort Road Ste. 175 Jacksonville, FL 32256

Merrillville: 1000 East 80th Place Ste. 222 Mall Merrillville, IN 46410

Gurnee: 1075 Tri-State Pkwy. Ste. 800 Gurnee, IL 60031

Southfield: 26999 Central Park Blvd. Suite 125 Southfield, MI 48076

Colorado Springs: 1175 Kelly Johnson Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Philadelphia: 1800 JFK Blvd Suite 104 Philadelphia, PA 19103

Phoenix: 2149 W. Dunlap Phoenix, AZ 85021

Stockbridge: 675 Southcrest Parkway Stockbridge, GA 30281

San Antonio: 1919 NW Loop 410 Suite 150 San Antonio, TX 78213

Elgin: Randall Point 2250 Point Blvd. Suite 250 Elgin, IL 60123

Alpharetta: 2555 Northwinds Pkwy. Alpharetta, GA 30009

Columbus: 1350 Alum Creek Drive Columbus, OH 43209

Sandy: 9350 S. 150 E. Suite 420 Sandy, UT 84070

Milwaukee: 411 E. Wisconsin Ave. Ste 300 Milwaukee, WI 53202

Memphis: 6401 Poplar Ave Suite 600 Memphis, TN 38119

Tampa: 3030 North Rocky Point Drive West Suite 100 Tampa, FL 33607

Duluth: 3505 Koger Blvd. Suite 170 Duluth, GA 30096

Downers Grove: Highland Landmark V 3005 Highland Pkwy. Ste. 100 Downers Grove, IL 60515

Colton: 1090 E Washington St Colton, CA 92324

Independence: 6000 Lombardo Center Suite 200 Independence, OH 44131

Fresno: 7575 North Fresno St. Suite 575 Fresno, CA 93720

Anaheim: 1900 S. State College Blvd. Suite 150 Anaheim, CA 92806

Atlanta: 100 Galleria Parkway SE Suite 100 Atlanta, GA 30339

Houston: 11125 Equity Drive Houston, TX 77041

Nashville: 3343 Perimeter Hill Drive Suite 200 Nashville, TN 37211

Fremont: 6600 Dumbarton Circle Fremont, CA 94555

Palmdale: One 39115 Trade Center Dr. Ste. 100 Palmdale, CA 93551

New York: 180 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10016

Hollywood: 14700 Caribbean Way Hollywood, FL 33027

Manassas: 10432 Balls Ford Road Suite 150 Manassas, VA 20109

Cherry Hill: 921 Haddonfield Road Ste. D Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Bakersfield: 3000 Ming Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93304

Saint Louis: 11830 Westline Industrial Dr. Suite 550 Saint Louis, MO 63146

Portland: 9755 SW Barnes Road Peterkort Center II Portland, OR 97225

Tinley Park: 18624 West Creek Drive Tinley Park, IL 60477

Indianapolis: 9100 Keystone Crossing Suite 300 Indianapolis, IN 46240

Henderson: 2490 Paseo Verde Parkway Suite 150 Henderson, NV 89074

Louisville: 10172 Linn Station Rd. Ste. 300 Louisville, KY 40223

Alhambra: 1000 S. Fremont Ave. Alhambra, CA 91803

Addison: 1221 North Swift Road Addison, IL 60101

Irving: 4800 Regent Blvd. Irving, TX 75063

Auburn: 3600 S 344th Way 0 Auburn, WA 98001

Decatur: One West Court Square Ste 100 Decatur, GA 30030

Austin: 11044 Research Blvd Suite B100 Austin, TX 78759

Fort Washington: 1140 Virginia Dr. Fort Washington, PA 19034

Charlotte: 2015 Ayrsley Town Blvd. Suite 109 Charlotte, NC 28273

Chesapeake: 1317 Executive Blvd. Suite 100 Chesapeake, VA 23320

Englewood: 6312 S. Fiddlers Green Cr. Suite 150E Englewood, CO 80111

Oklahoma City: 4013 Northwest Expressway Suite 100 Oklahoma City, OK 73116

Morrisville: 1600 Perimeter Park Drive Suite 100 Morrisville, NC 27560

King of Prussia: 150 Allendale Road Suite 3250 King of Prussia, PA 19406

San Jose: 2160 Lundy Ave. Suite 250 San Jose, CA 95131

Fort Lauderdale: 600 Corporate Dr. Suite 200 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

Kansas City: 11224 Holmes Rd. Kansas City, MO 64131

Minneapolis: 7700 France Ave. S. Ste. 575 Minneapolis, MN 55435

Dayton: 3610 Pentagon Blvd. Ste. 100 Dayton, OH 45431

Pittsburgh: 210 Sixth Ave. Ste. 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Cincinnati: 8800 Governor's Hill Drive Cincinnati, OH 45249

Sherman Oaks: 15301 Ventura Blvd B-100 Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Naperville: 2056 Westings Ave. Suite 40 Naperville, IL 60563

Glendale: 6751 N. Sunset Blvd. Ste. 104 Glendale, AZ 85305

Pomona: 901 Corporate Center Dr. Pomona, CA 91768

Rego Park: 99-21 Queens Blvd. Rego Park, NY 11374

San Diego: 2655 Camino Del Rio North Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92108

Arlington: 2405 Crystal City Dr. Arlington, VA 22202

Fort Worth: City Center Tower II, 301 Commerce Street Suite 2000 Fort Worth, TX 76102

Mesa: 1201 South Alma School Road Suite 5450 Mesa, AZ 85210

North Brunswick: 630 US Highway One North Brunswick, NJ 08902

Long Beach: 3880 Kilroy Airport Way Long Beach, CA 90806

Oakland: 505 14th St. Oakland, CA 94612

At Fortis Institute, you may get the skills and training you need to prepare for a career. * Programs vary by location * Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information

Programs : Digital Graphics & Multimedia Design, and more..

Campus Locations :

Erie: 5757 West 26th Street Erie, PA 16506

The Berkeley Advantage®is part of a proven approach to career-focused education that can help students prepare for success.

Programs : BFA, Graphic Design, and more..

Campus Locations :

Little Falls: 44 Rifle Camp Road Little Falls, NJ 07424

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