BFA in Graphic Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Graphic Design

Offering an exciting new Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree, the graphic design program is focused on design thinking, research and making.

Quick Info


Degrees Offered
Bachelor of Fine Arts


Student Organizations
AIGA Student Group


Design Faculty
Tom Hapgood, program head, associate professor
Marty Maxwell Lane, assistant professor
David Charles Chioffi, associate professor


Contact Us
(479) 575-5202
Email the design faculty.


Location
Fine Arts Center, School of Art
340 N. Garland
Fayetteville, AR 72701

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OVERVIEW

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.


APPLICATION

All incoming undergraduate students apply through general admission to the BA program. After completing intensive Freshman Foundations courses their freshman year, students are encouraged to apply to the BFA program.

BFA Admission Requirements
Apply to the U of A

STUDIO CULTURE

The graphic design studio was recently redesigned as an open and collaborative working environment.


STUDENT WORK

Here are a few examples of work produced by undergraduate students in the graphic design track.

Livvi Pierce_1
Broadside by Mattie Claire Carranza
Livvi Pierce_3 AFIC website by Kat Stovall Editorial by Aricka Lewis Editorial by Aricka Lewis Editorial by Aricka Lewis iPad Mockup by Karen Hessing
Livvi Pierce_2 Digital Tools & Concepts Vote by Lauren Tumbleson
Sustainability Poster by Charlie Hilger Shifting Emphasis by Farzaneh Abolbashari Shifting Emphasis by Shelby Osbourn
Topo Typography by Alison Hill

ALUMNI

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.

Aricka Lewis
Aricka Lewis // arickal.com
Ariel Romero
Ariel Romero // ajromerodesign.com
Ellis Gregory
Ellis Gregory // egregorygraphics.com
Rebecca Black
Rebecca Black // rebeccablackdesign.com
Jason Wilkins
Jason Wilkins // jasonwilkins.design
Livvy Pierce
Livvy Pierce // livvypierce.com
Lily Hay
Lily Hay // lillianvictoria.com
Kate Stovall
Kat Stovall // katstovall.com

AIGA STUDENT GROUP

AIGA University of Arkansas Student Group For Design

collaborate. create. learn.

The mission of AIGA UARK Student Group is to advance design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force.

AIGA.uark@gmail.com // @aiga.uark on instagram


COURSES

View the Catalog of Studies for the BFA in Graphic Design ]

These courses are taken sequentially/in order by students accepted into the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree.

ARTS 1313 Introduction to Typography
In this foundational typography course, students will examine letterform construction, including anatomy and architecture. Analysis will take place through a historical lens, exploring technological and cultural contexts. Students will begin to understand typographic nuance and connotation. The grid will be introduced as a means to understand layout and organize typography. Prerequisites: ARTS 1919, ARTS 1929 Foundations 

ARTS 2313 Digital Tools and Concepts
Digital Tools and Concepts introduces students to design concepts, with a concentration on professional industry tools. The course emphasizes development of visual problem solving while creating well-crafted solutions and will focus on the manual, digital, and creative thinking skills necessary to produce clear, thoughtful, and communicative designs with the mainstream graphic design software. It will also introduce design and its processes and methodologies, semiotics, and reinforce composition and its relationship to content. Prerequisites: ARTS 1919, ARTS 1929 Foundations 

ARTS 3323 Typographic Systems
Typographic Systems will introduce the complexity of adding imagery, both photographic and illustrative, into typographic layout. Students will learn to manage hierarchy in a more advanced way through the use of the grid. Artifacts will span print to web, exploring how typography must always adapt to new contexts and audiences. Prerequisites: ARTS 2313 Digital Tools and Concepts, ARTS 3313 Introduction to Typography

ARTS 3333 User Experience
User Experience will prepare students to design with usability and function at the forefront of their decision making. Conducting research, creating personas and user scenarios, students will learn to create clear user flows, requirements lists, and wireframes that guide the design process. Students will explore the field of information architecture and how to clearly structure information and experiences for users. Prerequisites: ARTS 3323 Typographic Systems 

ARTS 3343 Identity Design
In this beginning identity design course, students will learn and apply theory of semiotics, through the creation of icon sets and small scale applications. Emphasis will be placed on connotation, creating messaging and formal development. Prerequisites: ARTS 3323 Typographic Systems 

ARTS 4313 Professional Development & Seminar
This course will prepare students for professional practice and job seeking. Students will develop an online and print portfolio along with other collateral. Students will learn about the contemporary design practice through discussions, reading, writing, guest speakers and studio visits. An emphasis will be placed on assisting each student in preparing for their unique future. Prerequisites: ARTS 3333 User Experience, ARTS 3343 Identity Design 

ARTS 4323 Interactive Language
In this advanced course, students will utilize interactive language to create responsive experiences for the web. Students will explore the intersection of linear and non­linear design experiences in website design. Prerequisites: ARTS 3333 User Experience, ARTS 3343 Identity Design 

ARTS 4333 Technology in Context
This advanced course will focus 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. Students will be expected to apply their knowledge about proper workflow and execution in an advanced way. Prerequisites: ARTS 4323 Interactive Language, ARTS 4313 Professional Development & Seminar. 

ARTS 4343 Identity Systems
In this advanced identity design course emphasis will be placed on creating cohesive messaging systems that cover a wide range of media. Students will create identity systems that are based on research and appropriate to content, context and audience. Media may span environmental, motion, print, web and packaging. Prerequisites: ARTS 4323 Interactive Language, ARTS 4313 Professional Development & Seminar. 

ARTS 4353 Human Centered Design
This research based studio will introduce students to design methods that focus on an audience centric process. Students will be exposed to communication theory, modes of persuasion, sustainability, how to design for niche audiences, etc. Prerequisites: ARTS 4323 Interactive Language, ARTS 4313 Professional Development & Seminar. 

ARTS 4363 Co­op/ Design for Good
With the focus shifting between design for good initiatives, a collaboration with a business, or design firm, students will have the opportunity to address problems existing outside of the classroom. Collaboration, research, problem seeking and solving will be addressed. Prerequisites: ARTS 4333 Technology in Context, ARTS 4343 Identity Systems, ARTS 4353 Human Centered Design.

ARTS 4373 Advanced Typography
In the culminating typography course, students will explore typography at an advanced level through a variety of projects. Projects may range from type design to type in motion to complex publication design. Students will be expected to exhibit the utmost of professional ideation, process, execution and craft. Prerequisites: ARTS 4333 Technology in Context, ARTS 4343 Identity Systems, ARTS 4353 Human Centered Design.

ARTS 4383 Degree Project
In this capstone course, students will compete a self­directed project through in depth research , writing and making. The projects offer students an opportunity to specialize prior to entering the job market. Prerequisites: ARTS 4333 Technology in Context, ARTS 4343 Identity Systems, ARTS 4353 Human Centered Design.