The Department of Graphic Design champions agency through the competencies of collaboration, research, making and cultural literacy. The department believes in responding to the reality of our time and that design is activated by content, condition and impact. Further, that design exists in a continuum: The study of the historical past as it informs the now strengthens design’s ability to strategically speculate on future forms, languages and systems.
The department provides an education that values the inclusion of diverse backgrounds, skill sets and experiences. Students develop acuities to communicate effectively through visual and verbal representation, and are prepared — as individuals and collaborators — to be practitioners not limited by the confines of current professional practices.
Learn about Graphic Design
Trinity Choice (BFA ’20), Rachel Azzinaro (BFA ’20), and Colleen Connolly (BFA ’20) discuss their experiences as students in the Department of Graphic Design.
The department encourages the exploration of diverse problem-solving methodologies, innovative investigations, and creative research in all forms of communication. It is dedicated to excellence in teaching, scholarship, research, and disciplinary practice.
The Graphic Design Program offers a 122-credit Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design. After completing the Art Foundation Program, students take a series of related Studio and Seminar courses in sequential order that moves them through the curriculum. The primary goal is to educate students to be capable of acting with agency integrating form and information with intention for the purposes of effective and evocative visual communication.
The Graphic Design Program offers a 60-credit Master of Fine Arts degree in Design/Visual Communications. It prepares graduate students to assume a leadership role in a complex and expanding discipline. To this end, the program develops the philosophy and personal direction of each student and focuses their resources on functional and expressive visual communications. Students concentrate on the philosophical, communicative, and aesthetic relationships of visual problem solving and the interacting skills leading to the effective articulation of concepts.
The Department of Graphic Design provides several hands-on resources for students, from a print production lab to a collaborative design studio.
The GOlab is a staff and student-operated lab that provides print production services and educational opportunities to all faculty, staff, and students of VCU. Located in the Pollak Building on VCU’s campus, we provide exemplary, accessible services with specializations in large-format printing and book finishing. In the effort to encourage participation and learning, we also provide instruction on production techniques through demos, self-service machines, and workshops.
middle Of broad is an experimental design lab uniting the departments of Graphic Design, Fashion Design and Interior Design to create a hotspot for the school’s up-and-coming designers. Together, you and faculty mentors can work on projects from across the state. mOb provides you with opportunities to participate more fully in your environment, interact with government and deepen cultural connections through community arts projects. Some of these projects include developing bridge concepts for Interstate 95, signage for the James River Park System, a conceptually reimagined Monument Avenue in Richmond and more.
Learn more about student outcomes at the undergraduate and graduate levels of our program, and check out the MFA Handbook. Each class in the curriculum is designed to develop a range of skills, from communication and ethics to considering historical perspectives and addressing client needs.