With both digital and traditional print media coursework, students have the options to focus in three major areas: i) Visuality; ii) Interactivity and iii) Marketability. Each area emphasizes the role of our students as design strategist focused on results. In Visuality, the most common foci are print-based and structural forms of design such as packaging design, collateral design, layout design, typeface design, graphical arts, design activism and environmental graphics. Unlike print-based, Interactivity deals with designs for desktops or mobile devices and other screen-based or tactile platforms such as web design, programming, email marketing, user experience design and more. With a lot of crossover with advertising design, students in Marketability develop strategies to shape how a brand/image is perceived by the public leading to possible career paths as design entrepreneurs, creative services managers, art directors, layout artists as well as freelancers.
The Graphic Design studio, aptly named the “Design Center” is a 967 square foot space equipped with iMacs, MacBooks, Epson color printers, scanners, cameras, and other photographic equipment. The Design Center offers services such as branding, web services and development, print-based and digital layout services such as books, magazines, and posters. We also offer video capture, editing and presentation and promotion and advertising services. There are two other Mac labs that also double as instructional studios with overhead projection systems, adding almost an additional 2,000 square foot of space for our Fine Arts students to access. In addition, there are printing supplies, modular tables, large cutting surfaces, and allocated storage slots for students at the Design Center. Studio fees help to support the purchase of printing supplies, hardware updates, and lab maintenance.
Through the Design Center, dedicated to advancing the applications of theory into knowledge via client-based engagements, our students gain both practical and conceptual skills to generate innovative solutions. They integrate the field’s visual-driven culture with digital and manual techniques within ever-changing trends in social, commercial, cultural and political landscapes. It is through our collaborative approaches with industry, collegiate partners, applied research and creative activities in classroom projects that our students develop the courage to explore ideas as thinkers who propose solutions that are developed from critical thinking, enhanced by their analytical and pragmatic frameworks. Some of our clients include: the Mid-America Print Council, Women in Recovery (WIR), Indiana University Southeast’s School of Arts and Letters, Business, School of Education, School of Music, the Undergraduate Research Journal, and more. Upon graduation, our students are prepared to enter their respective fields as solution provides that are human-centered, socially and environmentally focused designers.