In fall 2016, the School of Art introduced the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design offering students an enchanced focus on human-centered and interaction design, typography, branding and design research. The area provides coursework in print, web and motion design, with a focus on the traditional design process as well as the latest software techniques.
Bachelor of Fine Arts
AIGA Student Group
Tom Hapgood, program director and associate professor
Ali Place, interim program director and assistant professor Marty Maxwell Lane, School of Art associate director and associate professor
David Charles Chioffi, professor Bree McMahon, assistant professor Ryan Slone, senior instructor
Email the design faculty.
Fine Arts Center, School of Art
340 N. Garland
Fayetteville, AR 72701
The degree prepares students to be proficient makers and thoughtful problem seekers and solvers. Students will work seamlessly across a range of media, working to identify appropriate solutions for audience and context. Students will be exposed to a rigorous curriculum covering research, theory, critical thinking, professional practices, conceptual idea-making and formal experimentation.
In addition to core requirements, students will complete 30 hours of Arts Electives (including Foundations), 15 hours of Art History (including Graphic Design History), and 39 hours of Graphic Design studios.
Check out our "Top 10 Exciting Developments in Design at the University of Arkansas" article.
The graphic design studio was recently redesigned as an open and collaborative working environment.
Here are a few examples of work produced by undergraduate students in the graphic design track.
Our graduates participate in competitive internships and leave the program ready for positions at top design firms. Our students have interned or worked at:
DOXA / Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art / Walmart Corporate / Saatchi & Saatchi X, Olivet / Archetype, Collective Bias / BLKBox Labs / RevUnit / Elkins Design / Rockfish / Menguin / Collective Bias / Acumen Brands / Hayseed Ventures / Mitchell / Barkley / J.B. Hunt / Sam's Club corporate / Field Agent and many more.
These courses are taken sequentially/in order by students accepted into the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree.
GDES 2313 Digital Tools and Concepts
Introduces Visual Design students to design concepts with a concentration on professional industry tools. Emphasizes development of visual problem solving while creating well-crafted solutions. Prerequisite: ARTS 1919C and ARTS 1929C. (Typically offered: Fall and Spring)
GDES 3313 Introduction to Typography
Examination of letterform construction, including anatomy and architecture. Analysis through a historical lens, exploring technological and cultural contexts. Typographic nuance and connotation. Introduction of the grid as a means to understand layout and organize typography. Prerequisite: ARTS 1919C and ARTS 1929C and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design majors only. (Typically offered: Fall)
GDES 3323 Typographic Systems
Will introduce the complexity of adding imagery, both photographic and illustrative, into typographic layout. Management of hierarchy in a more advanced way through grid usage. Artifacts will span print to web, exploring how typography must always adapt to new contexts and audiences. Prerequisite: GDES 2313 and GDES 3313 and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design majors only. (Typically offered: Spring)
GDES 3383 User Experience
Prepare students to design with usability and function at the forefront of their decision making. Personas, user scenarios and research to guide the design process. Exploration of the field of information architecture in order to clearly structure information and experience. Introduction to HTML, CSS, and other interactive languages. Prerequisite: GDES 3323 and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design majors only. (Typically offered: Fall)
GDES 4343 Identity Systems
Advanced identity design course emphasizing creating cohesive messaging systems that cover a wide range of media. Creation of identity systems that are based on research and appropriate to content, context and audience. Media may span environmental, motion, print, web and packaging. Prerequisite: GDES 4303 and GDES 4313 and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design majors only. (Typically offered: Fall)
GDES 4303 Professional Development & Seminar
Preparation of students for professional practice and job seeking. Development of online and print portfolio and other collateral. Contemporary design practice through discussions, reading, writing, guest speakers and studio visits. Emphasis on assisting each student in preparing for their unique future. Prerequisite: GDES 3383 and GDES 3393 and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design majors only. (Typically offered: Spring)
GDES 4313 Interactive Language
Advanced course utilizing interactive languages to create responsive experiences for the web, touch screens. Exploration of the intersection of linear and non-linear design experiences in the application of motion to web. Prerequisite: GDES 3383 and GDES 3393 and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design majors only. (Typically offered: Spring)
GDES 4323 Technology in Context
Advanced course focusing on speculative explorations in the world of interaction design. Much of the work will be touch and gesture based and dealing with the built environment. Application of knowledge about proper workflow and execution in an advanced way. Prerequisite: GDES 4303 and GDES 4313 and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design majors only. (Typically offered: Fall)
GDES 4353 Human Centered Design
Research-based studio introducing design methods that focus on an audience centric process. Exposure to communication theory, modes of persuasion, sustainability, how to design for niche audiences. Prerequisite: GDES 4303 and GDES 4313 and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design majors only. (Typically offered: Fall)
GDES 4363 Design Co-op
Collaboration with an organization, or design firm, providing opportunity to address problems existing outside of the classroom with the focus shifting between design for good initiatives. Collaboration, research, problem seeking and solving will be addressed. Prerequisite: GDES 4323, GDES 4343, GDES 4353, and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design majors only. (Typically offered: Fall and Spring)
GDES 4373 Advanced Typography
Culminating typography course, exploration of typography at an advanced level through a variety of projects. Projects may range from type design to type in motion to complex publication design. Exhibition of the utmost professional ideation, process, execution and craft expected. Prerequisite: GDES 4323, GDES 4343, GDES 4353, and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design majors only. (Typically offered: Spring)
GDES 4383 Degree Project
Capstone course requiring completion of a self-directed project through in-depth research, writing and making, offering an opportunity to specialize prior to entering the job market. Prerequisite: GDES 4323, GDES 4343, GDES 4353, and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design majors only. (Typically offered: Spring)