About the Program

The mission of the Graphic Design Communication program at Philadelphia University is to cultivate design strategists with an innovative spirit and superior critical thinking skills applicable to a diversity of human needs.

Consistent with Philadelphia University’s overall mission to provide professional training with a rigorous Liberal Arts and Business core, the Graphic Design Communication curriculum fosters an appreciation for design as a cultural craft with a relevant historical background and a rapidly evolving future that includes multiple disciplines. The program seeks to develop students who can contribute intelligently and responsibly at a global level to further the common good.

Graphic design is one of the most ubiquitous of all art forms. Quite literally, it is all around us everywhere, from logos to branding and identity; from websites to interactive media of all forms; from marketing and promotional materials to advertising and packaging. Graphic designers specialize in visual communication of a message to an audience on behalf of a client through a variety of media and forms and outcomes. This often includes collaborating with professionals in such disciplines as Business, Communications, Marketing, Interactive/Web Design, Industrial Design, Social Sciences, Liberal Arts and others.

Tomorrows' Design Thinkers

The Graphic Design Communication curriculum culminates with a Bachelors of Science degree. The program is conceptually based because we firmly believe that a designers’ highest value is to be able to generate ideas—that a designers’ intellectual property is his/her creative capital. The faculty strive to train today’s designers to enter the wonderfully diverse and ever-changing profession of Graphic Design.

The Graphic Design curriculum embraces design thinking and strategic planning as we view design as a powerful strategic tool to be used to help solve problems in society and business. We expect our students to understand the role that design can play in the larger context of contemporary and historical culture. Our curriculum features real-world assignments with projects that are pragmatic and practical, and is based on active, hands-on learning through doing and making with critique-based feedback.

The curriculum emphasizes traditional design skills and focuses on the ability to create and develop visual and verbal responses to complex visual communication problems across a variety of media. We develop students’ ability to articulate these responses both orally and in writing. We encourage the creation of original image-making through illustrative and photographic means, as well as the importance of the narrative, illuminating information and telling stories that resonate with an audience.

Nimble and Agile Learners

We emphasize the ability to solve communication problems by thoroughly exploring the design process of properly identifying the problem; conducting research, gathering and analyzing information; generating and iterating alternative solutions and multiple ideas; prototyping, user testing, and evaluating outcomes.

We stress the ability to collaborate productively in interdisciplinary teams. We expect our students to be nimble and agile learners with the ability to change and adapt with technology and to fully embrace the concept of life-long learning.

Our students’ work has regularly won awards or been recognized by international, national and regional design competitions, exhibitions and publications, such as the Adobe Design Achievement Awards, AIGA, Creative Quarterly Magazine, GD USA MagazineGraphis New Talent Design Annual, How Magazine Self-Promotion, Novum: World of Graphic Design, Society of Publication Designers, The One Show College Design Competition and the University and College Designers Association.

The Graphic Design Communication program is part of the School of Design and Engineering within the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, alongside other design disciplines such as Animation, Industrial Design, Interactive Design and Media, Textile Design and Fashion Design. Along with Business and Engineering disciplines, there is tremendous potential for interdisciplinary collaboration, as well as collaboration with other disciplines across the Philadelphia University campus.