Graphic Design (BA)
Build the skills, connections, and portfolio to launch your career.
- Available as
- Bachelor of Arts
- 4 years
- Fort Wayne
Why Study Graphic Design?
Brand storytelling, digital design and marketing, and audience engagement continue to evolve. Emerging platforms and technology challenge us to reach customers in new ways. It’s an exciting time for visual artists — and content creators of all kinds — to enter the workforce. Pursuing a degree in graphic design is excellent preparation, whether you want to develop ad campaigns, create catchy packaging, become a website designer or land another creative dream job.
Median salary for graphic designers
Median salary for art directors
Number of new jobs for graphic designers expected between 2022 and 2023
Why Saint Francis for Graphic Design?
From your first graphic design course to your final project, you’ll grow creatively, professionally, and spiritually at Saint Francis. You’ll learn from an exceptional faculty — working artists and graphic designers — who will inspire, support, and prepare you for career success.
Our curriculum will give you a foundation in drawing, 2D and 3D composition, photography and the fine arts; and then you’ll choose a concentration area that matches your professional goals:
If your ultimate goal is to become a website designer, either in-house at a company or for an advertising or marketing firm, this concentration will help you develop expertise with various operating systems, devices, UI/UX, and interactive design principles. These additional skill sets will enhance your graphic design degree and add to your marketability.
Graphic design requires a strong visual eye, and photography can assist you in perfecting that skill set. Take your own photos and integrate them into your graphic design projects. In addition, you may find yourself drawn to a career in commercial and fine art photography. This concentration includes the options of alternative photographic processes, digital technology, studio lighting, and other practices you’d expect from a traditional photography degree program. With the addition of another class or two, it can become a minor.
Develop your artistic vision and style while gaining foundational skills in traditional and digital illustration. You’ll work in mediums from pen to paint and cover cartooning, advertising, and publishing — including children’s books.
Project-based learning is an important part of our program; in more than one graphic design course you’ll collaborate with classmates — and even students in other majors — to develop creative solutions for real clients. (Visit our graphic design gallery to see what our students have been working on.)
Finally, we know inspiration can strike at any time, so you’ll have 24-hour safe and secure access to our computer labs and design studios.
Design in Action: Hands-On Learning
By design, our major is hands-on. Beyond building software skills and honing techniques in a graphic design course, you’ll gain real-world experience through:
Graphic Design Internships
We’ll help you find the perfect internship to match your interests and career goals. These professional experiences may even lead to full-time jobs. For instance, Aaron Jentgen ’23 was offered a position at his internship site, Fort Wayne Marketing, even before he graduated. Students may also pursue internships that focus in their concentrations/minor areas. Zak Kittaka ’16 was also offered a position at his internship site, BFA Commercial Photography, before he graduated.
Saint Francis students attend the local ADDY Awards, where they get to see firsthand the top design work in the industry. And they compete — and often win! — in the Student American Advertising Awards Competition. Saint Francis students have won more awards than any other institution in the region over the years.
Professional Portfolio Assessment
Get feedback directly from the pros. Each spring, professional designers visit campus to assess and evaluate junior and senior student portfolios.
Hear from advertising and design professionals at networking luncheons hosted by the Advertising Federation of Fort Wayne. Plus, meet other industry experts when they visit campus as guest speakers.
“The community here is awesome. The faculty and students are passionate about design. The faculty helps you find your internship and connects you where you have the potential to be hired after graduation. They connect you with incredible opportunities.”Aaron Jentgen ’23 Graphic Designer, Fort Wayne Marketing
“The graphic design program at Saint Francis introduces you to so many opportunities and allows you to truly personalize your education. The faculty are so supportive and encourage you to become the best creative professional you can be. The variety of skills you learn through your classes prepares you for success!”Hannah Fowerbaugh ’19 Social Media Specialist, University of Saint Francis
“Getting a job in my field before graduation was a great feeling and it relieved me of a lot of stress. I always dreamed of working for a sports team and now I’m doing it! Saint Francis gave me the confidence, plus the skills, to get hired.”Ryan Nix ’17 Senior Designer at Section 127
“Saint Francis graduates from the graphic design program have always stood out in Fort Wayne, and taking my knowledge to Traverse City, Michigan, I’ve noticed how important that knowledge is. Saint Francis is the place to go if you want to study graphic design.”Leah Hall ’23 Graphic Designer at TentCraft in Traverse City, Michigan
“Saint Francis taught me to think like an artist. In addition to all the software and design tools, I learned ways to create from the concept and how to work with other content creators on a team. The small classes encourage us to bounce ideas off each other and work together. It’s very much like the real world.”Malia Ross ’19 Freelance designer
Outdoor, Digital Design
Children’s Book, Illustration and Cover Design
Album Cover, Illustration and Design
Magazine Advertising, Photography and Design
Campus and Community Involvement
Talk design with your peers and network with local graphic designers through Saint Francis’s graphic design club, Insignia Advertising, our official college chapter of the American Advertising Federation, the industry’s premier professional organization.
Home to many majors and programs with a creative focus, the Saint Francis campus is teeming with creators! You can enjoy showcases and performances or get involved with other arts-focused clubs, such as:
- Artists in Action
- f/8 Photo Club
- Film Club
- Pencil Pusher Sketch Club
- Dead Artists Society
What You Can Do With a Degree in Graphic Design
Visual messaging is everywhere, from brilliant billboards to enticing in-app ads. When you graduate from Saint Francis, you can become a website designer, book illustrator, or studio photographer — the range of opportunities is seemingly endless because every company in every industry has a story to share and an audience to reach.
“Graphic designer” or “designer” is a common job title that can encompass many roles and duties, and at junior through senior level. Here are just a few other types of positions you could pursue with a photography, design, or illustration background:
- Publication designer/layout artist
- Production designer
- Communication designer
- Multimedia designer/content producer
- UX designer (user experience)
- Visual information specialist
- Instructional designer
- Brand storyteller
- Web project manager
- Brand strategist
- Photo editor
- Product photographer
- Retouch artist
- Technical illustrator
The graphic design field offers room for advancement, too. Advertising firms and marketing agencies rely on art directors, production managers and other creative leaders to keep things running smoothly.
Where You’ll Find Our Graduates
Saint Francis graduates take what they’ve learned in their graphic design — and art, illustration, and photography — degree program to all sorts of brands, businesses, and organizations. A few examples of where alumni have been hired:
- Asher Agency
- BFA Commercial Photography
- Boyden & Youngblutt
- Britton Marketing and Design Group
- Business People Magazine
- DeKalb Health
- Do It Best Corp
- Excell Color Graphics
- Ferguson Advertising
- Fort Wayne Metals
- Fort Wayne Museum of Art Marketing
- Indianapolis Colts
- Labov Marketing and Communications
- Ogilvy & Matherr, Chicago
- One Lucky Guitar
- Parkview Hospital Marketing
- Partners 1st Federal Credit Union
- Saatchi and Saatchi LA
- Sound Ideas
- T-Max Graphics, Inc
- University of Notre Dame
- VaynerMedia, LA
- Vera Bradley
- Warsaw Community Church
- William & Wagner Advertising
Graphite and Prismacolor Illustration
Museum Exhibition Invitation