The Graphic Design degree program has as its philosophy the understanding that education precedes design. Therefore a bachelor’s degree with the general studies component is essential to a broad understanding of other disciplines as well as professional support courses. The Graphic Design degree curriculum prepares students for employment opportunities in the rapidly changing design field by nourishing their abilities and creativity to become visual explorers. In addition, the Graphic Design curriculum gives students a good foundation in traditional image making as well as digital technology.
Graphic design is an interdisciplinary, problem-solving activity that combines visual sensitivity with skill and knowledge in areas of communications, technology, and business. The graphic design profession specializes in the structuring of visual information to aid communication and orientation. In addition, the department seeks to encourage freedom of expression and creativity, to instill the spirit of fine craftsmanship, to develop skills and competencies in the various art media and techniques, to help the student become conversant with the philosophy and psychology of both historical and contemporary art forms, and to provide elective art courses for those students interested in art either for enrichment or vocational purposes.
Graphic Design Program Goals
- Develop and implement solutions to problems encountered in all phases of the graphic design process.
- Create visual communications through the application of design theories and principles to develop effective design solutions.
- Apply typographic skills and knowledge to create effective visual communications.
- Effective use of technologies to create and manipulate design elements in producing a final product.
- Communicate effectively, credibly, and accurately with clients, supervisors, and target audiences by using a variety of media.
- Apply effective business practices and project management skills appropriate to his/her position in the graphic design field.
Special facilities for this program include a graphic design classroom with fifteen Macintosh computers, with Internet access, projection system, storage area, and a professional quality laser printer. The Art Program also makes use of a painting/drawing studio, sculpture studio, twenty five-seat lecture room, ceramics studio (located in the Annex building across campus), The Nutting Art Gallery and a printmaking lab. Digital Media Design majors also have access to a Midi lab, state of the art sound recording studio, state of the art television studio and Media Arts classrooms. We are in the process of building a photography studio and darkroom on the second floor of the Student Union. These new facilities will be used for the Photography courses, 3-D Graphic Design, Graphic Design III, Animation courses and the WLU Photography Club.
Another strength of the WLU Art program is accessibility to many possible internships. As part of the required practicum in their upper level Graphic Design III course all students work with real world clients. Recent clients include:
- Brooke Hancock Family Resource Network
- 4-H Foundation of Hancock County
- YOUTH SERVICES SYSTEM, INC. – Wheeling
- WLU Protestant Campus Ministry
- WLU Center for Student Success
- WLU International Students Web Page
- WV Arts and Crafts Guild Biennial Website
- Grand Vue Park and Recreation Center
- The John Fowles Society –identity system, website, posters, etc.
- ANXIETY AND PANIC DISORDERS PROGRAM – Wheeling Hospital
- Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Wheeling
- The Ohio Valley Museum Consortium
- The Strand Theatre Preservation Society
- St. Vincent de Paul Parish – Wheeling
- WLU Division of Music website
- Echo International
- Pittsburgh Chapter of the AIGA
Internships are not required but are strongly encouraged and easily coordinated with the Graphic Design faculty. Some of these internships include:
- The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars
- Design and Image Studio
- Center for Educational Technologies
- Challenger Space Center
- Oglebay Institute
- Action Images
- WLU IT Department
- Lamar Advertising