The JWU Advantage: Graphic Design

Graphic designers see the world differently than others. The world is their canvas and messages are their muse. Think about the last flyer you looked at, advertisement you saw, or poster that caught your eye. All of those things, everything down to the most intricate details, are likely the workings of a graphic designer.

But how do they decide on which image to use, which style of font works best, or how to space their designs?

Many graphic designers will tell you that they naturally have an eye for this kind of thing, but they’ll also tell you that along with an eye for design, they’ve trained hard at honing their craft and learning the fundamentals. That’s why Johnson & Wales has created a graphic design program that combines a student’s natural talent with rigorous project-based and student-centered courses to give them the JWU advantage.

What makes JWU’S graphic design program stand out?

  • Faculty: “JWU’s program is unique in the fact that students learn from faculty who have been in the field and still work in the field and have the experience to introduce projects that they will be creating in their careers,” said Deana Marzocchi, associate professor and chairperson of the department of design at Johnson & Wales.
  • Curriculum: JWU’s courses are designed to get students thinking about the real-world experiences they’ll encounter in their careers. Marzocchi explained this saying “our courses provide students with an authentic experience working on teams, working with clients, and developing projects that will be executed for use by these client organi­zations.” She goes on to explain that this results in our students learning key parts of a working relationship with clients in the real-world. “It allows students to meet with clients, conduct concept presen­tation meetings, learn to work brought design iterations and feedback from clients, and develop results.”
  • Facilities: In order to keep up with the curve of graphic design, it’s imperative to give our graphic design students the tools and space to do so. Take a look for yourself at what one of our labs looks like:

What do graphic design students study?

Graphic design projects

Graphic design students at JWU focus on design production and execution for both print and web. By keeping the curriculum project-based with the students experience and development at the forefront, students work through all the phases of design until the process is fully developed for each project. Students are also encouraged to think creatively, and there are no drag-and-drop elements. Instead Marzocchi explained that “all illustration and photography must be original, so there is an emphasis on authenticity.”

Knowing that the demand for graphic designers is in almost every field in some capacity, JWU’s Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design program prepares students for success in whichever industry they find themselves working in. “Our middle name is interdisciplinary,” explained Marzocchi. “Design students, as in the field, provide customer service and need to learn and know and work with all different types of individuals and disciplines.”

Students are tasked with collaborating with clubs and organizations from all around JWU from culinary, advertising, marketing, media communications, counseling, and physician assistant studies to name just a few. “These projects are the most enriching and pro­vide opportunities for design students to expand and grow their design portfolios and work with other students,” said Marzocchi.

Learn more about how JWU’s graphic design students work with students in other programs!

Students with a professor looking at a project

How does JWU’s program stay ahead of the curve in graphic design?

According to Marzocchi the answer to this question is a simple one, “We can’t be still.” In fact, she even goes on to explain that being still isn’t even in the blood of a graphic designer. “We are designers after all,” she said. “Our faculty are bringing the latest innovations into the classroom through lecture, prototyping, technology, and bringing guest lecturers in to speak and maintain the pulse of the industry.”Graphic Design students in a lab

This coupled with the emphasis on preparing students for their careers through real-world based projects is JWU’s secret to success. Marzocchi said, “We have heard repeatedly from internship site supervisors such as Hasbro, AS220, BHLink, IGT, and more that JWU design students are the most successful. This program pre­pares students to be designers. JWU Design students are ready to go when they graduate.”

Want to learn more?

Learn more about earning your bachelor’s degree in graphic design today at Johnson & Wales.