Study Graphic Design in Boston

Graphic designers influence the way people think by converting ideas, information, and emotions into visual symbols. Their work is behind the web sites you surf, the packaging of your favorite products, the signage that helps you navigate a space, and the book that you just can’t put down. Wherever you look, graphic design is embedded into the world, persuading and informing what you see and do every day.

Educating artists and designers is what we do best.

At Suffolk University, our NASAD accredited Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design gives you the intellectual and practical skills you’ll need to be successful in this diverse field. In your classes and through internship opportunities, you’ll gain exposure to (and experience in) the field before you even graduate. Our curriculum reflects new technologies and industry trends and blends them with typography, illustration, photography, and design history. While learning the latest software is important, to design well you'll need to develop skills in drawing, analysis, communication, and conceptual development.

Graphic Design BFA Requirements

Graphic Design BFA Requirements

The BFA in Graphic Design consists of 28 courses (88 credits) in the major field.

Courses numbered 200 and above have as a prerequisite the completion of the foundation program or its equivalent. Exceptions may be made only with the permission of the instructor and the graphic design program director. The letter “S” preceding the course number indicates a studio course.

First Year

Fall Semester (17 credits)

  • ADF-S101 Foundation Drawing I

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course concentrates on the traditional techniques of observational drawing. Fundamental principles and elements of drawing are introduced in structured lessons and exercises, which are supplemented by additional outside assignments. Foundation Drawing I stresses the development of visual skills as well as the broad use of drawing concepts, vocabulary, techniques and variety of materials.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADF-S166 2D/Color

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This is an introductory-level course in the basic concepts and practices of two-dimensional design and color theory. The study of color and design is supportive of all studio disciplines and is vital to the understanding of all visual media. This course features an intensive, hands-on approach to color and design as students create, modify and master the three dimensions of color (hue, value, and strength) plus the principles of design(line, shape, value, composition and image). This in-depth study is essential and underlies all of the visual arts as they are practiced today. An understanding of color and design influences all artists' decisions, affecting the look, meaning and use of visual phenomena.

  • ADF-S171 Integrated Studio 1

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This cross-disciplinary course will integrate the ideas and practices of two-dimensional design, color and drawing emphasis will be placed on understanding the creative process, exploring concepts and developing research skills. Students will undertake individual and collaborative projects in three spaces; the studio classroom, the digital world and the city at large.

  • ENG-101 Freshman English I

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This course studies persuasive and expository writing in the essay form through frequent writing assignments based on critical readings of class texts and discussions. Students will also compose a research paper and study the process of writing and revising for an academic audience. Offered every semester.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

Seminar for Freshmen

Spring Semester (16 credits)

  • ADF-S102 Foundation Drawing II

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S101

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course will refine the basic visual skills developed in Foundation Drawing I (ADF S101). The elements of color and mixed media are introduced to expand technical possibilities, while more intensive work with the human figure provides exposure to gesture, structure and complex form. As students begin to develop a more sophisticated and personal approach, issues of expression and interpretation will be investigated, focusing on personal style and expression.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADF-S156 Imaging

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S166

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Digital visual image generation and modification, especially when combined with traditional hand techniques, are essential skills for artists and designers of the 21st century. This course introduces techniques of image capture, manipulation and output. Weekly and longer-length assignments will address creative and innovative idea generation using these approaches.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADF-S152 3-Dimensional Design

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S151, ADF S551, ADF S166, or ADF S566

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course focuses on the fundamental elements of three-dimensional form. Line, plane and volume will be explored as students develop visual analysis and critical thinking skills in the round. The role of scale, proportion, structure, surface, light and display will be addressed, as students create forms that activate space and engage the viewer. The course will proceed from work with simple forms and techniques to more challenging and comprehensive problems addressing both additive and subtractive methods.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADF-S172 Integrated Studio 2

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S101

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course builds on the Integrated Studio 1 experience: synthesizing fundamental visual ideas. IS 2 investigates the construction, documentation, and transformation of volumetric form, environmental space, and time. Projects will explore narrative strategies and the creation of immersive experiences. Students will develop critical and analytical skills while employing a range of traditional and digital media-including video/sound capture and editing-as they explore the creative boundaries of the classroom studio, the city of Boston, and virtual space.

  • ENG-102 Freshman English II

    Prerequisites:

    ENG 100 or ENG101 or ENG 103

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Further study of persuasive and expository writing through the study of literary form with emphasis placed on critical reading and the revision of academic writing.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

Second Year

Fall Semester (16 credits)

  • ADF-181 Ideas of Western Art I

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This course will survey the major concepts and issues of Western Art, from prehistoric to the Early Renaissance. Architecture, sculpture and paintings will be studied individually for their formal elements and visual importance, and also within their own aesthetic, historic and cultural context. Class discussion and visual analysis of works of art will encourage personal interpretation and critical thinking.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

Or

  • ARH-101 Art History I

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    A survey of the art of western civilization from prehistoric caves to the cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Works of painting, sculpture, and architecture are presented in their historical context. Course covers Egyptian, Ancient Near Eastern, Greek, Roman, early Islamic, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • ADG-S201 Basic Typography

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S151

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course will introduce students to the creative use of typography in the design process and will provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary to design with type.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

  • ADG-S204 Design Beyond Design

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This multidisciplinary, hybrid course will focus on contemporary trends within Graphic Design. Students will gain understanding though the study of communication and marketing theory case studies and how those theories can be connected to the contemporary issues and topics facing designers today

  • ADG-S206 Graphic Design I

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S151

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Emphasizing the creative process from thumbnail to comprehensive, the course will also introduce the student to the language, tools, and techniques of the professional graphic designer. Attention will be paid to conceptualization, production and presentation in solving design problems. This course will expose students to a series of assignments designed to show step-by-step problem solving from observation and research, to the incorporation of these findings into the design of communication vehicles.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

  • ADG-S219 Computer Applications in Design

    Prerequisites:

    Intended for majors only

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    In this course students will learn the major software applications used by graphic designers, such as Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Through a series of problems, students will learn how and when to use specific software to produce their solutions and prepare portfolio-quality design.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

Spring Semester (17 credits)

  • ADF-182 Ideas of Western Art II

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This course will survey the major concepts and issues of Western Art, from Renaissance to contemporary art. Architecture, sculpture and paintings will be studied individually for their formal elements and visual importance, and also within their own aesthetic, historic and cultural context. Class discussion and visual analysis of works of art will encourage personal interpretation and critical thinking.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

Or

  • ARH-102 Art History II

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    A survey of the art of Europe and America from the Renaissance to the present. Works of painting, sculpture, and architecture are presented in their historical context. Course covers the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop, and Post-Modernism.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • ADG-S354 Advanced Computer Applications

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S201, ADG S206, and ADG S219

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course is designed to further explore software applications for specific and experimental effects. It aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to choose the appropriate software application and to execute the desired design, focusing on the design itself rather than on the limitations of computer programs. The course also focuses on solving the technical and production problems of preparing artwork electronically for printing. Software applications include Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Normally offered fall and spring semesters.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

  • ADG-S207 Graphic Design II

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S206 and ADG S219

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    A continuation of the skills learned in Graphic Design I, involving projects that are broader in scope, more in-depth, and include societal issues.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

  • ADG-S202 Computer Typography

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S201 and ADG S219

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This advanced course focuses on the translation of the historical knowledge and hand skills leaned in Basic Typography into an electronic format. Students will learn how to produce quality type in electronic format as well as experiment with and explore type through electronic manipulation.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

Literature

Third Year

Fall Semester (17 credits)

Studio Elective
Natural Science

  • ADG-S213 Web Design I

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S219

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course will introduce basic web site design and creation skills to students in order to prepare them for more advanced study in Web Design II. The class will use a variety of industry standard software to design and create basic working websites. Students will learn HTML, XHTML and CSS. Javascript, Flash and Action Scripting will be discussed and presented as supplemental tools. Information architecture, wire frames, interface design, user experience and web page layouts will be explored. The history, societal context and future of new media will be discussed throughout the semester. Software: Dreamweaver and Photoshop.

  • ADG-224 History of Graphic Design

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    The first part of the course will focus on the history of graphic design from prehistoric times to the Industrial Revolution, including the origins of graphic communications in the ancient world, the development of the alphabet and early printing and typography. The second portion will concentrate on the period from the late 19th century to the present, and will include the Arts and Crafts Movement, the various isms and their influence on modern art, the Bauhaus and International Style, and contemporary visual systems and image making.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • ADG-S214 Illustration for Designers

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S102

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course introduces the skills necessary for meeting clients' illustration needs in a variety of media appropriate to their context. Emphasis will be placed on developing the ability to draw real objects and real people while advancing a personal style. Development of visual research and photo reference, thumbnailing and rendering skills for ones presentation of ideas and concepts while designing the proper environment for their illustration will be required.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

Spring Semester (14 credits)

Studio Elective
Ethical or Philosophical Inquiry
Natural Science

  • ADG-S340 Web Design II

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S213 or Instructors permission

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course is intended as a continuation of the experience gained in Web Design I. The objective of the course is the development of advanced conceptual skills such as prototyping, usability testing, interactive philosophy, accessibility, project and content management. Students will further develop their professional multimedia skills by working with HMTL, XHMTL, CSS and other industry-standard tools. JavaScript will be discussed and we will use Flash for animation and video. Current techniques for distributions on mobile devices will be explored. Software that will be used during the class will include Dreamweaver, Flash, and other professional level software tools.

Fourth Year

Fall Semester (14 credits)

Studio Elective
Art History Elective 

  • ADG-S344 Graphic Design III

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S202, ADG S207, and ADG S219

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This continuation of Graphic Design I and II (ADG S206, 207) will concentrate on increasing sophistication in creative problem-solving abilities. Students will also develop an understanding of prepress terms and operations and the impact of technology on those operations. It will also provide the knowledge and skills necessary to enable students to make appropriate prepress decisions regarding more complex projects. Senior status preferred.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

  • ADG-337 Professional Practice

    Prerequisites:

    Senior BFA status

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This senior-year course is designed to provide final preparation for employment in the field of graphic design. In addition to helping each student develop a professional portfolio, the course will provide students with practical knowledge of the business aspects of graphic design, interviewing skills, and resume preparation.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

Spring Semester (13 credits)

  • ADG-S345 Graphic Design IV

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S344

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    A continuation of the concepts and skills developed in Graphic Design III and their application to more complex, multi-pieced, in-depth projects.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

  • ADG-400 Graphic Design Internship

    Prerequisites:

    Senior BFA status.

    Credits:

    3.00- 4.00

    Description:

    Seniors are required to pursue an internship with a local graphic design firm, whose work is directly related to that student's intended area of professional concentration, or complete a Thesis Studio (see below). Interns will observe and participate in all office procedures permitted by their place of internship and will be required to maintain a notebook of their observations. Required classroom seminars will reinforce new skills, share learning experiences and answer questions or concerns. Students with prior documented work experience in the field may be waived from the internship requirement, with the approval of the Graphic Design Program Director.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    Expanded Classroom Requirement

Or

ADG S410 Thesis Studio
Social Science
Math or Quantitative Reasoning

BFA PROGRAM TOTAL* 124 credits

    ADFA S315 Final Cut Post-Production (3)
    ADFA S325 Short Shared Video (3)

    • ADG-S312 Packaging Design

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S201 or ADG S601 AND ADG S206 or ADG S606 AND ADG S219 or ADG S619 OR Instructor Permission.

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Almost everything in our lives is packaged. Peas and automobile accessories, prescription medication, and pearls; virtually every product requires a wrapper, a skin, a form of transport, a package. What you see on store shelves is a result of a complex process, involving the collaborative efforts of graphic designers, package engineers, printers, stylists, photographers and merchandisers. Package design is a team endeavor because in an overcrowded marketplace, it is crucial to a product's success and ultimately to the client's bottom line. In this course, students will study the evolution and history of packaging design, discuss philosophies, learn industry terminology and examine contemporary designs. Using case studies, students will analyze the package design process from concept to production and over the course of the semester, develop a line of packaging and supporting marketing materials for one brand. Guest lectures and field trips will supplement readings and in-class discussions, which will address brand extension and consistency, packaging templates, professional procedures, product photography and printing.

      Term:

      Occasional

    • ADG-S317 Graphic Novel

      Prerequisites:

      ADF S101 and ADF S102 or portfolio review and instructor permission

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      An introduction to comics and the graphic novel as a means of visual narrative and personal expression. The course will identify and examine some of the key principles that make this art form work. A deeper, working understanding of these principles will be gained by applying them to a series of specific narrative projects with stated objectives. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with different visual styles and a variety of materials as they work to develop a personal artistic voice.

      Term:

      Occasional

    • ADG-S328 Designing for the Greater Good

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S207 and ADG S219

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Can designers who work for the greater good still make a good living? In a word, yes. In this class, students will study contemporary models of inspiring change through branding, systems design, and product design, and explore how design can have an impact in raising awareness and funding for social, environmental, political, and health issues. Students will work on three integrated design campaigns projects focused in social innovation, design of community, connected to health, and environmental impact to learn how to identify the opportunities to inspire change through design, and how to leverage print, social media, new fundraising tools, and online resources to create a successful effort. Students will also explore successful case studies in cause-related design, including the Obama campaign, FEED Projects, (RED), and Nike's Considered Program. Field trips are planned throughout the course, including a guided tour and talk at IDEO, one of the leading international design thinking companies.

      Term:

      Occasional

    • ADG-S330 Motion Graphics

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S219 OR instructor approval

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Enter the world of motion design and learn how to make movies that incorporate image, type and video. This class will focus on learning and using specific software to create moving graphics that are geared toward being broadcast on television, web or film. Students will create time-based works such as title sequences, ads, and videos that they art direct. In the very near future, motion design will be a necessary skill for designers to compete in the marketplace. Motion design can be applied to many areas of graphic design from on-screen presentation to environmental design. During the class, students will build their motion design portfolio that will give them an edge above conventional print and web designers.

      Term:

      Offered Spring Term

    • ADG-S334 Electronic Publication Design

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S202 and ADG S207 and ADG S219.

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course will focus on the skills necessary to create publications such as books, magazines, annual reports and catalogs. The goal of this course is three-fold: to further enhance the understanding of typography in regard to publications, to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to design publications in an electronic environment, and to integrate the students' own art and/or photography in their work.

      Term:

      Offered Fall Term

    • ADG-S343 Advanced Topics in Interactive Design

      Prerequisites:

      ADG-S340;

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course is designed to follow Web II (ADG S340/ADG S740) and will prepare you for the real-world experiences designers often encounter in the field of interactive media. You will continue your exploration of interactive design and choose a final project direction that furthers your understanding of interactive media. These topics include designing for and implementing Content Management Systems, designing and production for mobile computing platform uses, cross platform compatibility and concepts of information architecture, and designing with an emphasis on market needs for multimedia.

      Term:

      Occasional

    • ADG-S348 Advanced Illustration for Designers

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S214

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course focuses on the preparation of illustration for specific markets within the graphic design product development and publishing fields. Independent development and proficiency in a variety of media and the learning of different methods of preparing artwork for reproduction in traditional printed and/or digital environments will be covered. The continuation of the development of a personal sketchbook, photo reference, and the shooting of photographs for research will be further explored.

    • ADG-S360 Corporate Design

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S202 and ADG S207

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course explores the issues of contemporary branding used to identify, establish and promote the business community. Specific emphasis will be placed on the analysis and development of corporate identity systems including the development of logotypes, stationery, signage systems, marketing collateral/advertising/direct mail campaign development, environmental graphics and websites.

      Term:

      Offered Fall Term

    • ADG-S365 Digital Photography

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Often mixed with other media, photography has evolved into a major tool for use by the contemporary artist and designer. This course offers students the experience of creating digital and film photographs while studying concepts of art direction and techniques that can enhance their compositions. The primary objective is to generate professional still and motion images for digital media, including the Web. Students will manipulate their photographic images using Photoshop rather than the traditional darkroom. Students will also learn how to photograph their own artwork and use a digital camera. Advanced students will be encouraged to explore independent tracks of study.

      Term:

      Offered Both Fall and Spring

    • ADG-S366 Environmental Graphic Design

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S202, ADG S207 and ADG S219

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      A cross disciplinary course bringing together interior design students and graphic design students to collaborate on problem solving in the visual and built environments. In the studio, students will be exposed to design issues and problems, both experiential and graphic. Students will be working in teams bringing new insight to solutions for a variety of client/project types. Field trips to fabricators, professional firms and EGD sites will be included. This is a survey class designed to introduce students to ways of producing three dimensional graphic design projects within the built environment.

      Term:

      Offered Fall Term

    • ADG-S370 Artists' Books

      Prerequisites:

      Take ADG-S202 ADG-S207 ADF-S152; or Instructor's permission.

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Books are vessels of information. They can present your graphic design, photography or fine art, house a cherished collection, and even express non-linear thought. This class will cover traditional book design and construction techniques, as well as contemporary, non-traditional methods. You will learn to blend design, craftsmanship and content to create books that are themselves works of art. This is a hands-on studio course intended for graphic design and fine arts majors.

      Term:

      Occasional

    • ADG-S302 Italian Journal: Painting and Drawing On Paper

      Prerequisites:

      Instructors Consent

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course introduces the skills necessary for meeting clients' illustration needs in a variety of media appropriate to context. Florence, Italy and it's environs will serve as the subject matter and catalyst in developing the ability to draw objects, i.e. Architecture, people and landscape while advancing a personal style. Study will begin with a pre-departure journal/book binding workshop at Suffolk University and then outdoors in and around Florence, Italy, Tuscan hill towns and the Veneto exploring basic illustration styles, methods and techniques. This course satisfies the expanded classroom requirement.

      Type:

      Expanded Classroom Requirement

    • ADFA-S251 Printmaking Studio

      Prerequisites:

      ADF S102

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course is designed to familiarize students with the printmaking studio and various techniques. Students will gain exposure to a number of techniques including non-toxic processes. Over the course of the semester, students will be expected to develop a portfolio of prints while working in class and independently. Open to NESADSU majors only.

      Term:

      Offered Fall Term

    Graphic Design Minor Requirements for BFA or BA/BS Students

    Studio art minor: graphic design (6 courses, 18 credits)

    Required Foundation Course:

    • ADF-S166 2D/Color

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This is an introductory-level course in the basic concepts and practices of two-dimensional design and color theory. The study of color and design is supportive of all studio disciplines and is vital to the understanding of all visual media. This course features an intensive, hands-on approach to color and design as students create, modify and master the three dimensions of color (hue, value, and strength) plus the principles of design(line, shape, value, composition and image). This in-depth study is essential and underlies all of the visual arts as they are practiced today. An understanding of color and design influences all artists' decisions, affecting the look, meaning and use of visual phenomena.

    Required Graphic Design Courses:

    • ADG-S219 Computer Applications in Design

      Prerequisites:

      Intended for majors only

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      In this course students will learn the major software applications used by graphic designers, such as Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Through a series of problems, students will learn how and when to use specific software to produce their solutions and prepare portfolio-quality design.

      Term:

      Offered Fall Term

    • ADG-S201 Basic Typography

      Prerequisites:

      ADF S151

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course will introduce students to the creative use of typography in the design process and will provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary to design with type.

      Term:

      Offered Fall Term

    • ADG-S202 Computer Typography

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S201 and ADG S219

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This advanced course focuses on the translation of the historical knowledge and hand skills leaned in Basic Typography into an electronic format. Students will learn how to produce quality type in electronic format as well as experiment with and explore type through electronic manipulation.

      Term:

      Offered Spring Term

    • ADG-S206 Graphic Design I

      Prerequisites:

      ADF S151

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Emphasizing the creative process from thumbnail to comprehensive, the course will also introduce the student to the language, tools, and techniques of the professional graphic designer. Attention will be paid to conceptualization, production and presentation in solving design problems. This course will expose students to a series of assignments designed to show step-by-step problem solving from observation and research, to the incorporation of these findings into the design of communication vehicles.

      Term:

      Offered Fall Term

    • ADG-S207 Graphic Design II

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S206 and ADG S219

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      A continuation of the skills learned in Graphic Design I, involving projects that are broader in scope, more in-depth, and include societal issues.

      Term:

      Offered Spring Term

    Careers

    Your Success is Important to Us

    For over 85 years, the New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University has prepared its graduates for success as professional artists and designers. Our alumni have worked around the globe in an impressive array of roles– exhibiting work in New York galleries, hosting design shows for HGTV, illustrating books or designing for the NBA and the NHL. We’re proud of what our alumni have achieved, and what they continue to accomplish as members of the Suffolk community. And most would agree that it’s the training that began early on in their academic careers that has fueled their professional success.

    In your very first semester as an art and design major, you’ll be immersed in class critiques and portfolio reviews where you’ll learn how to defend your ideas, build your public speaking skills, think critically and problem solve. A mastery of these skills is important no matter what profession you choose, and it’s a big part of why our graduates are in demand.

    To prepare you for the work world, we offer courses in best business practices and portfolio development. Internships are available in every program, and we maintain lists of current employment opportunities. In today’s job market, the connections that you build at Suffolk are essential. Throughout your studies our faculty will serve as your mentors, and when you join our robust alumni community they’ll become your peers, further expanding your professional network.

    Our graphic design graduates work across all media and around the globe. Whether your studies lead you to become a web designer, a creative director, work in television or run your own studio, graphic design is a diverse and growing field. Our grads have held design positions at many notable companies, including the Boston Red Sox, Walt Disney, Reebok International, Arnold World Wide, HBO and the White House (yes that White House), just to name a few.

    Admission

    The New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University welcomes applicants with strong academic and visual arts backgrounds. As a visual arts department within a major university, our goal is to produce well-rounded artists and designers who will be equipped with the design, communication and business skills necessary to be competitive in their respective fields.

    All application materials should be submitted directly to Suffolk University's Office of Undergraduate Admission. Please note there are additional admission criteria for applicants to The School of Art & Design.

     

     

    Graphic Design Course Descriptions

    • ADG-100 Fundamentals of Graphic Design

      Credits:

      2.00

      Description:

      This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of communication problem-solving, such as research, typography, concept and design development, and will expose students to the basic concepts of graphic design, including such specialties as advertising, corporate design and packaging. The primary purpose of the course is to aid students in deciding whether to pursue a career in graphic design. This course is a prerequisite for admission into the Electronic Graphic Design Certificate Program. A grade of B or better in this course will waive the standard portfolio requirement.

      Term:

      Offered Both Fall and Spring

    • ADG-224 History of Graphic Design

      Credits:

      4.00

      Description:

      The first part of the course will focus on the history of graphic design from prehistoric times to the Industrial Revolution, including the origins of graphic communications in the ancient world, the development of the alphabet and early printing and typography. The second portion will concentrate on the period from the late 19th century to the present, and will include the Arts and Crafts Movement, the various isms and their influence on modern art, the Bauhaus and International Style, and contemporary visual systems and image making.

      Term:

      Offered Both Fall and Spring

      Type:

      Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

    • ADG-337 Professional Practice

      Prerequisites:

      Senior BFA status

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This senior-year course is designed to provide final preparation for employment in the field of graphic design. In addition to helping each student develop a professional portfolio, the course will provide students with practical knowledge of the business aspects of graphic design, interviewing skills, and resume preparation.

      Term:

      Offered Spring Term

    • ADG-400 Graphic Design Internship

      Prerequisites:

      Senior BFA status.

      Credits:

      3.00- 4.00

      Description:

      Seniors are required to pursue an internship with a local graphic design firm, whose work is directly related to that student's intended area of professional concentration, or complete a Thesis Studio (see below). Interns will observe and participate in all office procedures permitted by their place of internship and will be required to maintain a notebook of their observations. Required classroom seminars will reinforce new skills, share learning experiences and answer questions or concerns. Students with prior documented work experience in the field may be waived from the internship requirement, with the approval of the Graphic Design Program Director.

      Term:

      Offered Both Fall and Spring

      Type:

      Expanded Classroom Requirement

    • ADG-500 Graphic Design Directed Study

      Prerequisites:

      Consent of Program Director required

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      The student completes a directed study project, either studio (ADG S500) or non-studio (ADG 500), under the supervision of a graphic design faculty member. All Directed Study request forms must be accompanied by a written proposal and schedule and must be approved by the individual faculty member, the Graphic Design Program Director, and the NESADSU Chairman. Available every semester.

    • ADG-510 Graphic Design Undergraduate Independent Study

      Prerequisites:

      An independent study form must be submitted to the CAS Dean's Office.

      Credits:

      1.00- 6.00

      Description:

      An Independent Study provides the student with the opportunity to examine an issue of interest that falls outside the parameters of the existing curricula. The student will work on a one-on-one basis with a full time faculty member to realize a particular and well-defined goal. All proposals for Independent Study must be approved by the Dean's Office in advance of the beginning of the semester during which the work will be completed.

    • ADG-S201 Basic Typography

      Prerequisites:

      ADF S151

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course will introduce students to the creative use of typography in the design process and will provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary to design with type.

      Term:

      Offered Fall Term

    • ADG-S202 Computer Typography

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S201 and ADG S219

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This advanced course focuses on the translation of the historical knowledge and hand skills leaned in Basic Typography into an electronic format. Students will learn how to produce quality type in electronic format as well as experiment with and explore type through electronic manipulation.

      Term:

      Offered Spring Term

    • ADG-S204 Design Beyond Design

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This multidisciplinary, hybrid course will focus on contemporary trends within Graphic Design. Students will gain understanding though the study of communication and marketing theory case studies and how those theories can be connected to the contemporary issues and topics facing designers today

    • ADG-S206 Graphic Design I

      Prerequisites:

      ADF S151

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Emphasizing the creative process from thumbnail to comprehensive, the course will also introduce the student to the language, tools, and techniques of the professional graphic designer. Attention will be paid to conceptualization, production and presentation in solving design problems. This course will expose students to a series of assignments designed to show step-by-step problem solving from observation and research, to the incorporation of these findings into the design of communication vehicles.

      Term:

      Offered Fall Term

    • ADG-S207 Graphic Design II

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S206 and ADG S219

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      A continuation of the skills learned in Graphic Design I, involving projects that are broader in scope, more in-depth, and include societal issues.

      Term:

      Offered Spring Term

    • ADG-S213 Web Design I

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S219

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course will introduce basic web site design and creation skills to students in order to prepare them for more advanced study in Web Design II. The class will use a variety of industry standard software to design and create basic working websites. Students will learn HTML, XHTML and CSS. Javascript, Flash and Action Scripting will be discussed and presented as supplemental tools. Information architecture, wire frames, interface design, user experience and web page layouts will be explored. The history, societal context and future of new media will be discussed throughout the semester. Software: Dreamweaver and Photoshop.

    • ADG-S214 Illustration for Designers

      Prerequisites:

      ADF S102

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course introduces the skills necessary for meeting clients' illustration needs in a variety of media appropriate to their context. Emphasis will be placed on developing the ability to draw real objects and real people while advancing a personal style. Development of visual research and photo reference, thumbnailing and rendering skills for ones presentation of ideas and concepts while designing the proper environment for their illustration will be required.

      Term:

      Offered Both Fall and Spring

    • ADG-S219 Computer Applications in Design

      Prerequisites:

      Intended for majors only

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      In this course students will learn the major software applications used by graphic designers, such as Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Through a series of problems, students will learn how and when to use specific software to produce their solutions and prepare portfolio-quality design.

      Term:

      Offered Fall Term

    • ADG-S250 Graphic Design I-II

      Prerequisites:

      Open to MAGD Accelerated Program Students only.

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Emphasizing the creative process from thumbnail to comprehensive, this course will also introduce the student to language, tools and techniques of the professional graphic designer. Attention will be paid to the conception, production, and presentation in solving design problems. This course will expose students to a series of exercises designed to show how to get from observation and research, to the incorporation of these findings into the design of communication vehicles (logos, brochures, posters, ads, etc.) on a variety of scales. As a survey of graphic design, the goal of this course is to deal with typical problems faced by graphic designers in their profession.

    • ADG-S302 Italian Journal: Painting and Drawing On Paper

      Prerequisites:

      Instructors Consent

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course introduces the skills necessary for meeting clients' illustration needs in a variety of media appropriate to context. Florence, Italy and it's environs will serve as the subject matter and catalyst in developing the ability to draw objects, i.e. Architecture, people and landscape while advancing a personal style. Study will begin with a pre-departure journal/book binding workshop at Suffolk University and then outdoors in and around Florence, Italy, Tuscan hill towns and the Veneto exploring basic illustration styles, methods and techniques. This course satisfies the expanded classroom requirement.

      Type:

      Expanded Classroom Requirement

    • ADG-S305 Conceptual Typography

      Prerequisites:

      Take ADG-S202

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course is designed to build on core typography knowledge and further your understanding of the conceptual possibilities of using type in design. Advanced typographic problems requiring the implementation of both traditional and alternative methods will facilitate a deeper exploration of modern communication issues including layered hierarchies, type in motion, typographic voice and illustration.

    • ADG-S312 Packaging Design

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S201 or ADG S601 AND ADG S206 or ADG S606 AND ADG S219 or ADG S619 OR Instructor Permission.

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Almost everything in our lives is packaged. Peas and automobile accessories, prescription medication, and pearls; virtually every product requires a wrapper, a skin, a form of transport, a package. What you see on store shelves is a result of a complex process, involving the collaborative efforts of graphic designers, package engineers, printers, stylists, photographers and merchandisers. Package design is a team endeavor because in an overcrowded marketplace, it is crucial to a product's success and ultimately to the client's bottom line. In this course, students will study the evolution and history of packaging design, discuss philosophies, learn industry terminology and examine contemporary designs. Using case studies, students will analyze the package design process from concept to production and over the course of the semester, develop a line of packaging and supporting marketing materials for one brand. Guest lectures and field trips will supplement readings and in-class discussions, which will address brand extension and consistency, packaging templates, professional procedures, product photography and printing.

      Term:

      Occasional

    • ADG-S317 Graphic Novel

      Prerequisites:

      ADF S101 and ADF S102 or portfolio review and instructor permission

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      An introduction to comics and the graphic novel as a means of visual narrative and personal expression. The course will identify and examine some of the key principles that make this art form work. A deeper, working understanding of these principles will be gained by applying them to a series of specific narrative projects with stated objectives. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with different visual styles and a variety of materials as they work to develop a personal artistic voice.

      Term:

      Occasional

    • ADG-S328 Designing for the Greater Good

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S207 and ADG S219

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Can designers who work for the greater good still make a good living? In a word, yes. In this class, students will study contemporary models of inspiring change through branding, systems design, and product design, and explore how design can have an impact in raising awareness and funding for social, environmental, political, and health issues. Students will work on three integrated design campaigns projects focused in social innovation, design of community, connected to health, and environmental impact to learn how to identify the opportunities to inspire change through design, and how to leverage print, social media, new fundraising tools, and online resources to create a successful effort. Students will also explore successful case studies in cause-related design, including the Obama campaign, FEED Projects, (RED), and Nike's Considered Program. Field trips are planned throughout the course, including a guided tour and talk at IDEO, one of the leading international design thinking companies.

      Term:

      Occasional

    • ADG-S330 Motion Graphics

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S219 OR instructor approval

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Enter the world of motion design and learn how to make movies that incorporate image, type and video. This class will focus on learning and using specific software to create moving graphics that are geared toward being broadcast on television, web or film. Students will create time-based works such as title sequences, ads, and videos that they art direct. In the very near future, motion design will be a necessary skill for designers to compete in the marketplace. Motion design can be applied to many areas of graphic design from on-screen presentation to environmental design. During the class, students will build their motion design portfolio that will give them an edge above conventional print and web designers.

      Term:

      Offered Spring Term

    • ADG-S334 Electronic Publication Design

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S202 and ADG S207 and ADG S219.

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course will focus on the skills necessary to create publications such as books, magazines, annual reports and catalogs. The goal of this course is three-fold: to further enhance the understanding of typography in regard to publications, to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to design publications in an electronic environment, and to integrate the students' own art and/or photography in their work.

      Term:

      Offered Fall Term

    • ADG-S340 Web Design II

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S213 or Instructors permission

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course is intended as a continuation of the experience gained in Web Design I. The objective of the course is the development of advanced conceptual skills such as prototyping, usability testing, interactive philosophy, accessibility, project and content management. Students will further develop their professional multimedia skills by working with HMTL, XHMTL, CSS and other industry-standard tools. JavaScript will be discussed and we will use Flash for animation and video. Current techniques for distributions on mobile devices will be explored. Software that will be used during the class will include Dreamweaver, Flash, and other professional level software tools.

    • ADG-S343 Advanced Topics in Interactive Design

      Prerequisites:

      ADG-S340;

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course is designed to follow Web II (ADG S340/ADG S740) and will prepare you for the real-world experiences designers often encounter in the field of interactive media. You will continue your exploration of interactive design and choose a final project direction that furthers your understanding of interactive media. These topics include designing for and implementing Content Management Systems, designing and production for mobile computing platform uses, cross platform compatibility and concepts of information architecture, and designing with an emphasis on market needs for multimedia.

      Term:

      Occasional

    • ADG-S344 Graphic Design III

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S202, ADG S207, and ADG S219

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This continuation of Graphic Design I and II (ADG S206, 207) will concentrate on increasing sophistication in creative problem-solving abilities. Students will also develop an understanding of prepress terms and operations and the impact of technology on those operations. It will also provide the knowledge and skills necessary to enable students to make appropriate prepress decisions regarding more complex projects. Senior status preferred.

      Term:

      Offered Fall Term

    • ADG-S345 Graphic Design IV

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S344

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      A continuation of the concepts and skills developed in Graphic Design III and their application to more complex, multi-pieced, in-depth projects.

      Term:

      Offered Spring Term

    • ADG-S348 Advanced Illustration for Designers

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S214

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course focuses on the preparation of illustration for specific markets within the graphic design product development and publishing fields. Independent development and proficiency in a variety of media and the learning of different methods of preparing artwork for reproduction in traditional printed and/or digital environments will be covered. The continuation of the development of a personal sketchbook, photo reference, and the shooting of photographs for research will be further explored.

    • ADG-S354 Advanced Computer Applications

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S201, ADG S206, and ADG S219

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course is designed to further explore software applications for specific and experimental effects. It aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to choose the appropriate software application and to execute the desired design, focusing on the design itself rather than on the limitations of computer programs. The course also focuses on solving the technical and production problems of preparing artwork electronically for printing. Software applications include Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Normally offered fall and spring semesters.

      Term:

      Offered Spring Term

    • ADG-S360 Corporate Design

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S202 and ADG S207

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course explores the issues of contemporary branding used to identify, establish and promote the business community. Specific emphasis will be placed on the analysis and development of corporate identity systems including the development of logotypes, stationery, signage systems, marketing collateral/advertising/direct mail campaign development, environmental graphics and websites.

      Term:

      Offered Fall Term

    • ADG-S365 Digital Photography

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Often mixed with other media, photography has evolved into a major tool for use by the contemporary artist and designer. This course offers students the experience of creating digital and film photographs while studying concepts of art direction and techniques that can enhance their compositions. The primary objective is to generate professional still and motion images for digital media, including the Web. Students will manipulate their photographic images using Photoshop rather than the traditional darkroom. Students will also learn how to photograph their own artwork and use a digital camera. Advanced students will be encouraged to explore independent tracks of study.

      Term:

      Offered Both Fall and Spring

    • ADG-S366 Environmental Graphic Design

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S202, ADG S207 and ADG S219

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      A cross disciplinary course bringing together interior design students and graphic design students to collaborate on problem solving in the visual and built environments. In the studio, students will be exposed to design issues and problems, both experiential and graphic. Students will be working in teams bringing new insight to solutions for a variety of client/project types. Field trips to fabricators, professional firms and EGD sites will be included. This is a survey class designed to introduce students to ways of producing three dimensional graphic design projects within the built environment.

      Term:

      Offered Fall Term

    • ADG-S370 Artists' Books

      Prerequisites:

      Take ADG-S202 ADG-S207 ADF-S152; or Instructor's permission.

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Books are vessels of information. They can present your graphic design, photography or fine art, house a cherished collection, and even express non-linear thought. This class will cover traditional book design and construction techniques, as well as contemporary, non-traditional methods. You will learn to blend design, craftsmanship and content to create books that are themselves works of art. This is a hands-on studio course intended for graphic design and fine arts majors.

      Term:

      Occasional

    • ADG-S500 Graphic Design Directed Studio

      Prerequisites:

      Consent of Program Director required.

      Credits:

      1.00- 6.00

      Description:

      The student completes a directed study project, either studio (ADG S500) or non-studio (ADG 500), under the supervision of a graphic design faculty member. All Directed Studio request forms must be accompanied by a written proposal and schedule and must be approved by the individual faculty member, the Graphic Design Program Director, and the NESADSU Chairman. Available every semester.