Graphic Design Degrees in Illinois (A-F)

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Many of the people currently working in the graphic design field earned their graphic design degrees in Illinois. When you enroll in one of the best schools in the states, you can join their ranks in as little as two years. While many people think of Chicago when they think of Illinois, you’ll find programs that let you live in the big city or in a more calmer and peaceful town. Whether you want to earn a Bachelor degree or an Associate degree, these programs will give you a better understanding of how to use different different computer programs and software, how to speak with clients and how to land a job in your dream field.

American Academy of Art

Frank Young was a man with a dream. He believed that as more companies moved to the Chicago area, those companies would need trained artists working by their sides. In 1923, Young opened the American Academy of Art as a way to train those artists. Kanye West and Alex Ross are just a few of the notable students who attended classes on this campus over the years. As its population never totaled more than 500 students, AAA keeps its class sizes down, which lets students form better working and professional relationships with their professors as they take courses on graphic and commercial arts.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

The American Academy of Arts is one of the few colleges in Chicago that offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Arts. Graduates of the program work in advertising, publishing, design and print fields, and the program stresses the importance of learning analytical skills in the program. Students learn how to speak with clients and find out what those clients need, and they learn how to create products that meet those needs. After graduation, students should know how to work on multiple projects at once, use materials to create products both online and offline, organize and understand different design elements and features and apply the skills they learn in the classroom into their work. This eight semester program requires several core courses on the fundamentals of art, design methodology, digital production and visual communications. Students complete a total of 122 credit hours, including courses on anatomy, film and package design.

Accreditation
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association

Contact
332 South Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 461-0600
info@aaart.edu
Website

Augustana College – Illinois

Founded in 1860, Augustana College is a small liberal arts school located in the beautiful city of Rock Island. Students draw inspiration from the Mississippi River, which runs near the campus, and other outdoor elements every day. Though the college originally started as a theology and seminary school, it later added a number of programs, but it still retains a connection to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This private college has a total population of more than 2,000 students, and more than 90 percent of its professors have a PhD or a terminal degree in a specific field.

Art and Graphic Design

The Arts and Graphic Design program at Augustana College focuses on the idea that graphic designers require a strong background in the arts. This program gives students a wide range of options. They can minor or major in graphic design, minor or major in studio art or choose an art education major. Most of the introductory courses have 20 or fewer students, which lets professors work closely with their students, and after you reach the higher level courses, you’ll notice that your classes become even smaller. Through its Kaleidoscope program, students have the chance to work closely with children of different ages, which is a good choice for students planning to work as teachers later. As a graphic design major, you can work with your adviser to select an internship that assists you with your future career goals. Some students work at local art museums, while others accept positions with marketing and advertising firms.

Accreditation
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association

Contact
639 38th St.
Rock Island, IL 61201
(800) 798-8100
admissions@augustana.edu
Website

Benedictine University

College of Liberal Arts

Benedictine University is one of the oldest Roman Catholic institutions of higher learning in Illinois. Located in Chicago, the university owes its foundation to a group of Benedictine monks who decided to open a new school in the city. Forbes ranked the university in the top 20 percent of all colleges in the United States, and other organizations ranked its arts programs quite highly. As a private university, BU maintains a low ratio of students to professors even as its enrollment continues growing. More than 3,00 undergraduate students enroll in the school’s programs and complete their degrees every year.

Major in Graphic Arts and Design

Benedictine University offered programs in Studio Art and Fine Art for several years before deciding to launch its Graphic Design program. The program, which is available through the College of Liberal Arts, focuses on teaching students the skills necessary for creating animation, 3-D representations, websites and other products that their clients will need. Students can later work as web designers, photography editors, layout designers, illustrators and in a wide range of other fields. Courses in graphic design include the history of graphic arts and design, typography and computer animation, but students also have the chance to take other art courses. If you want to hone your skills in drawing realistic human forms, learn more about art from the renaissance era, discover the history of ancient art or learn how to better appreciate art, now is your chance. Courses on special topics not otherwise covered by the program are also available every year.

Accreditation
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association

Contact
5700 College Rd.
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 829-6000
cgaddis@ben.edu
Website

Bradley University

Art Department

Lydia Moss Bradley was a local woman who came into a large amount of money after losing her entire family. Bradley purchased an existing school in Illinois, but in her will, she left behind a large sum of money to design and build a new school that would offer students the chance to take courses on home economics and industrial arts. That money led to the foundation of Bradley University, which was established in 1897. Graduates of the university worked on television and in films, as politicians, professional athletes and professors at BU and other colleges in the country.

Graphic Design

Bradley University started its Graphic Design program after noticing that the programs offered by other colleges lacked certain fundamentals. Those programs often highlighted a specific area of graphic design and glossed over the other areas. This unique program provides students with the strong foundations that they need to obtain a graduate degree or work in a wide range of fields, including publishing, computer animation, advertising, electronic design or print media. The university encourages its students to gain a better understanding of art with a minor in art history or studio art. Art history courses teach you more about different types of art and how to understand what the artists intended, while studio art lets you create pieces of your own. After taking courses on typography, editorial design, graphic information systems and corporate standards and branding, you must complete a final project or portfolio. The university expects you to work on that project throughout your senior year.

Accreditation
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association

Contact
1501 W Bradley Ave
Peoria, IL 61625
(309) 676-7611
Website

Columbia College Chicago

After graduating from the same college, two women decided to open a new school in Chicago that would focus on the arts. Then known as the Columbia School or Oratory, the school later became the Columbia College of Expression and launched a new program designed for students interested in working as teachers. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the school received accreditation for its programs, and it didn’t adopt its current name until the 1990s. The college now has one campus in the South Loop area of Chicago, but it also owns its own theater and dance center in the city.

Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design

Over the years, Columbia College Chicago added new arts programs as the needs and wants of its student body changed. Its Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design came about after the school noted the number of companies in the Chicago area looking for qualified designers. This program focuses on hands on learning and asks students to complete a variety of projects in each of their courses. Those courses include introduction to visual culture, foundations of photography, applied drawing and website design. In addition to majoring in graphic design, you can choose a concentration in publication design or web design. Publication design looks at how artists create covers for books, magazines and other publications, while web design focuses on creating websites that provide a service for viewers. The concentration that you choose depends on the field you hope to enter after completing your degree through the college and your career goals.

Accreditation
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association

Contact
600 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 369-7380
Website

DePaul University

DePaul University is one of the largest colleges in Illinois. Established in 1898, it opened as St. Vincent’s College and quickly became one of the most popular campuses in Chicago. Though it opened with just 70 students, it now has a total population of more than 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students. Both U.S. News & World Report and Washington Monthly chose DePaul as one of the top 121 colleges in the country, and Forbes ranked the school at number 312 on its own list. Its liberal arts and graphic art program also rank highly when compared to other programs in the country.

Bachelor – Graphic Design

The Graphic Design program at DePaul University is one of the longest programs of its type in the state. While other programs require 120 credit hours of work, DePaul requires that its students complete a minimum of 208 credit hours of work, which equates to 54 courses. Graphic design students must keep their grade point average at 2.0 or higher, and they must receive a grade of C or higher in some of their introductory and beginning courses. Students can complete internships with companies that include Studio One Eleven and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, but students also have the option of arranging an internship with another company through the school. Required courses in the program cover topics on animation, graphic design and interactive and social media. Some of the courses available to you include animation, visual design, digital illustration, web design for commercial projects, trends in contemporary graphic design and advanced typography.

Accreditation
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association

Contact
1 E. Jackson
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 362-8000
admission@depaul.edu
Website

Elgin Community College

Elgin Community College is a large junior college located in Elgin, Illinois. Students taking classes at this college come from Cook County, DeKalb County and other counties located within driving distance of the campus. Established in 1949, the college originally opened without a campus of its own and required that students take classes at a local high school after its students left for the day. After the Elgin State Hospital closed its doors, ECC took over its former site and added new buildings for its students. As one of the state’s largest community colleges, it has an enrollment of more than 18,000 students.

Graphic Design

Elgin Community College wants to prepare its students for the hardships that they might face through its Graphic Design program. The founders of the program knew that with so many designers working on a freelance basis that students needed to know how to seek out clients and form lasting relationships with those clients. The program offers courses in four key areas: print design, three-dimensional design, electronic media and advertising. Advertising courses stress the importance of sticking to a budget and a deadline, understanding how to use and create different types of media and working with companies of different sizes, while the electronic media courses look at how to use computer software and how to create functioning websites. Other courses prepare students for creating layouts for newspapers and developing three-dimensional models. All graphic design students can do internships at the on campus newspaper, local magazines, advertising firms and computer companies.

Accreditation
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association

Contact
1700 Spartan Drive
Elgin, IL 60123-7193
(847) 697-1000
Website

Fox College

When Fox College opened in the 1930s, nearly every one of its students was a Chicago resident, but the school now boasts students from nearly every state in the country. Located in Bedford Park, the college has convenient access for students living in various areas and neighborhoods around Chicago. Since the college opened, it believed in selecting students who were serious about their futures, and it still accepts less than 60 percent of students who apply. More than 90 percent of its students find work almost immediately after graduation, and former students credit the school with helping them find jobs.

Associate – Graphic Design

Fox College believes that interactive learning is the key to future success. Its Graphic Design program offers two options for students. The Associate degree program lets students earn a college degree in graphic design in 16 months, but students can complete the diploma program in just 12 months. Students take classes in nearly 20 different key areas that show them the skills that good designers possess. Regardless of which program you choose, you can expect to take courses on electronic layout and design, typography, design and color, design and presentation development, multimedia and animation, introduction to business, introduction to technology and drawing. An externship is also available for graphic design students. The program will place you with a local business, and you’ll receive credit for the work that you do for that company. Prior to graduating, Fox College requires that students complete an advertising art portfolio that they create under the guidance of a professor working in the program.

Accreditation
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association

Contact
6640 S. Cicero
Bedford Park, IL 60638
(708) 444-4500
Website

Graphic designers work independently and with small groups, providing a service to clients. They make brochures and other advertising products, but they also create websites and other items that clients can use online. Get started on your career goals by learning more about how others earned their graphic design degrees in Illinois.

For more information on Graphic Design Degrees in Illinois, please see:

Graphic Design Degrees in Illinois (I-M)
Graphic Design Degrees in Illinois (N-Z)

For information on earning your graphic design degree online, take a look at Top 10 Online Graphic Design Degree Programs.

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