Graphic Design

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Program Overview

In today's world, we are surrounded by graphic design. From billboards and soda cans to social media posts and political ads, graphic designers develop engaging material that communicates a pointed message and persuades an audience. The form of the communication can be physical or virtual and may include images, words, or graphic elements. The work can happen at any scale, from the design of a single postage stamp to a national postal signage system. It can also be for any purpose, whether commercial, educational, cultural, or political. However you define it, graphic design is ubiquitous.

Fairfield University’s interdisciplinary minor in graphic design asks students to learn, reflect, and act as designers, preparing them for work in the increasingly complex design world. The minor offers students the ability to develop design skills, explore different understandings of visual communication, enhance other fields of study, and prepare for a variety of careers. Students often combine this minor with a variety of majors, including studio art; marketing; theatre; English; journalism; communication; film, television, and media; and management.

Students seeking a minor in graphic design demonstrate proficiency in design principles, design process, theory, history and contemporary design practice. They develop an understanding of design process and problem solving methods and explore the effects graphic design has upon the human environment from social responsibility, sustainability, and interdisciplinary perspectives. Students also gain proficiency in identified technical skills and understand and apply basic principles in the process of creating, analyzing, and evaluating graphic design solutions in relation to specific end uses and consumer needs. They also develop proficiency in research, writing, communication, and presentation skills.

Student Learning Outcomes

The Graphic Design minor prepares students for a range of post-graduate opportunities, including work in the non-profit sector and graduate school.


Acquire, articulate, and apply specialized terminology and knowledge relevant to graphic design including relationships to other disciplines and to contemporary global issues.

Assess & Predict

Assess, predict, and articulate the influence and importance of graphic design issues within the human environment from social responsibility, sustainability and interdisciplinary perspectives.


Acquire and demonstrate competency in technical skills applicable to graphic design.


Demonstrate the ability to use design-thinking strategies in an iterative design process, as well as the ability to analyze, synthesize, and develop probable solutions.


Communicate concepts, design solutions, and arguments clearly and concisely through visual, verbal and written means.


Access information through traditional and new technologies, and synthesize this information for problem solving activities.


Critically analyze and evaluate information from multiple sources and diverse perspectives.


Understand the relationship of graphic design to other disciplines and to society.

Requirements & Curriculum

Required Courses

Two (2) courses that focus on learning to see and analyze visual art
Two (2) courses that focus on making art, keeping a sketchbook, and visual composition
Two (2) courses that focus on Graphic Design

A detailed list of course requirements, offerings, and more can be viewed in the University’s course catalog.

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