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Art + Design

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Ohio University > Fine Arts > Art > Academics > Programs > Graphic Design

Graphic Design


The area chair of Graphic Design is Mark Franz. Prospective students and others seeking further information about the program can reach Mark Franz via email at:

At Ohio University, the graphic design area places emphasis on sustainability and social impact, as well as developing a capacity for critical thinking, problem solving, and innovation. Courses offer students an opportunity to study the symbiotic nature of design and culture in local and global communities. In addition to taking graphic design studio courses that cover topics such as typography, visual systems, motion, and interaction design, students in the area have opportunities to explore printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, painting, and photography. This interdisciplinary approach encourages a comprehensive understanding of the role of design and its relationship to fine art. Studio classes inside and outside of the graphic design program, as well as liberal arts courses, prepare students for a range of design practices while also providing intellectual, personal, and creative growth. The final year of study culminates in a group exhibition in the Ohio University School of Art + Design Gallery.


Program Overview

All students enter the School of Art + Design as Bachelor of Arts (BA) majors and share common requirements in general academics, studio foundations, and art history. To become a studio art BFA major in graphic design, students must first complete the Foundations Program, take two 2000-level studio graphic design courses (ART 2510 and ART 2520) plus two studios outside of graphic design, and submit a portfolio of studio work for review at the end of the sophomore year. (See details below.)

For complete program requirements please see the Ohio University catalog:

BFA Graphic Design Course Requirement


Opportunities Upon Graduation

Many graphic design graduates secure positions with design firms nationally and internationally in areas such as corporate design, brand and identity design, package design, information design, interactive design, collateral design, publication design, book design, signage, environmental design and type design. Through the rigor of the academic studies as well as the development of practical skills, graduating designers are also prepared to enter advanced
degree programs.


* Students interested in design might also want to explore the design program offered through the School of Visual Communication in the Scripps College of Communication as well to ensure that they are selecting the program that best fits their goals.



Graphic design classes are held on the fourth floor of Seigfred Hall. The classrooms, on the north side, provide optimum lighting for color and studio activities. Because technology is inherent to graphic design, each student needs to maintain a personal computer as per the above specifications. Students are required to bring their computers with the recommended software and complete Graphic Design Font Library to all studio classes. The Vandercook letterpress room has an extensive and rare collection of metal and wood type for designing and printing. View work by OU Graphic Design students at

 Portfolio Review for entrance into Graphic Design
• Along with the portfolio, include:

Department Data Sheet
— Statement of Purpose (typed on 8.5 x 11 plain white paper, 9–11 pt type)
— The Application to Major Area Form (available in the SoA+D office)
— Current DARS report

• This list is subject to modification, however any changes will be announced before the review.
• Sign-in to register your portfolio with the monitor.
• WARNING: Do not miss this deadline. NO late portfolios accepted. Portfolios missing any of the documents will not be reviewed.

Portfolios are reviewed by all members of the graphic design faculty as well as the MFA Graphic Design students who participated in teaching the sophomore-level classes. The outcome of the review is based on the work that is presented and not on the grades received in the graphic design studio courses. This requires the student to be critical, selective and objective in order to show the very best of their work. The order and relationship of one piece to another effects how the work is viewed. Therefore, it is more than a gathering of good work, it is a design problem that considers color, form, texture, materials, scale, surprise, details and whole pieces that are sequenced with sensitivity to the rhythm within the whole. A well-considered portfolio, like a book, has a beginning, middle and end that highlights the work in the best possible way. The labels will be concise to enable the viewer to understand the project/to gather an overall impression without interfering with the designs.

The Application to Major Form, stating the results of the assessment, completed by all graphic design faculty, will include comments and recommendations. Please read this evaluation sheet carefully. Students denied acceptance into the graphic design program may continue on a path to secure their BA in Art by applying for entrance into other programs in the School of Art + Design. They must follow the portfolio requirements along with required forms of the individual disciplines.

Schedule for Junior Review for Graphic Design
Junior Review Form should be carefully filled out and brought to the interview along with a portfolio of recent selected work.


Junior Review Sheet 2014