Graphic Designer: Visualizer, Collaborator and Leader
Graphic Design permeates our lives from packaging, signage, video and film, diagrams, presentations, magazines and newspapers, television, books, street signs, mapping, music collections, computer games, mobile apps, websites and kiosk interfaces . This requires independent and collaborative thinking, creative problem solving/analytics and design, creative writing, design for the public good, exploration of alternative visual communication methods, and a solid understanding of modern professional practices to solve today’s complex problems. The designer's broad visual, verbal, written and conceptual skills are valued by corporations, product manufacturers, advertising and in-house agencies, design firms, and industries in need of individuals who work fluently with emerging technologies. Graphic designers– those who help make sense of the information that surrounds us daily– are equal parts visualizer, collaborator and leader.
About the Division of Graphic Design (BGSU GD)
The Bowling Green State University Graphic Design program educates and mentors its students to become independent and collaborative innovators and leaders in the field of graphic design. Our award-winning program is dynamic, enterprising and responsive, and leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design. Our multi-faceted curricula merges design ideologies and research with appropriate aesthetic and communication methods through intensive critical analysis, exploration and experimentation. Students are taught and trained to be mindful professionals and socio-politically aware stewards for the profession and the world. Our practical and theoretical approach to foster and promote the clarity of communication is the foundation for a progressive and fluid curriculum— one that graduates thinkers with curious minds.
Animation Career Review ranked BGSU’s Graphic Design program #10 in the Midwest and #17 in the nation in 2015 for top graphic design schools and colleges.
Learn from talented, regionally, nationally and internationally recognized faculty members with a variety of expertise in typography, design history, information graphics, interactive design, emerging media, community engagement, design thinking and creative placemaking.
Benefit from small class sizes, close faculty attention and progressive facilities, studios and galleries.
Gain real world experience from area design studios and firms through our required internship program.
Hear firsthand from today’s leading design professionals, innovators and strategists through our visiting lectures and workshops.
Enjoy access to phenomenal library collections and image resources including: the Popular Culture Library, ARTstor, OhioLINK and vast repositories of literature online via Jerome’s Library website, plus full access to the Collab Lab.
Take advantage of the close proximity to some of the country’s finest art collections; within driving distance to the Toledo Museum of Art and other museums in Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati; and even Chicago is four hours away.
Develop a global perspective through study abroad opportunities in Florence, Italy at SACI and other national and international opportunities.
Connect with other Graphic Design students, discuss current issues, participate in workshops, demonstrations and competitions, and enjoy field trips, art shows and social events as a member of the BGSU AIGA Student Chapter.
- Identify and analyze social challenges through the study and application of design thinking, innovative problem solving and integrative design practices;
- Demonstrate knowledge of visual literacy;
- Demonstrate conceptual skills to inquire, interpret and illustrate an idea for an unknown audience via empathetic and iterative processes through visual thinking of sketching, prototyping, and implementation;
- Exhibit skills in team building, collaboration, storytelling and intervention design as well as developing community partnerships along with a professional work ethic;
- Demonstrate knowledge of graphic design related tools for application of practices and processes of the industry;
- Apply both verbal and visual presentation skills; and
- Research, debate and critique complex social problems.
The Division of Graphic Design (faculty group) is a signing member of the Designers Accord, a nonprofit coalition of designers, educators, researchers, engineers, business consultants, and corporations, focused on working together to create positive environmental and social impact. As such, our Graphic Design student majors and non-majors alike are being asked to voluntarily join the Division in its support for sustainable design practices by having a keen awareness for, and a full intention towards, reducing their individual impact on our environment. A commitment to this initiative could include, but not be limited to: responsible and reduced printing output; increased use of environmentally-friendly project materials; reduced overall use of total project materials as an alternative creative solution; monitored and reduced electric power consumption whenever possible; and proper disposal of all recycled and recyclable materials.
On a national level, all Designers Accord adopters, supporters, and endorsers follow a basic code of conduct:
Do no harm
Communicate and collaborate
Keep learning, keep teaching
Instigate meaningful change
Make theory action
The BGSU Graphic Design facilities are housed in two buildings. Our main classroom, known as the CAVE (Center for Advanced Visualization and Education) Lab, is located in our Fine Arts Center. This large space includes 20 state-of-the-art Macintosh workstations outfitted with the Adobe Creative Cloud and the Adobe Typeface Library, which affords students access to over 2,300 of the strongest and most respected typefaces available. The space also contains color printers, bookbinding equipment, trimmers, button makers, a vinyl cutter plus a thirty seat lecture space on the other half of the room. A majority of the studio art courses are also in Fine Arts Center, which allows students ease of access and inspiration to a variety of multidisciplinary approaches to their work.
Our other classroom space in located in the Wolfe Center for The Arts. This building, created by the internationally known architectural firm Snøhetta and creators of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, houses our second lab with another 20 state-of-the-art workstations, printer, texts and access door to the adjacent Digital Arts classroom for easy collaboration connections.
BGSU AIGA Student Chapter
BGSU, the School of Art, and the Division of Graphic Design, in affiliation with AIGA Toledo, fully supports, and offers advising, mentorship and resources for, the BGSU AIGA Student Chapter, our highly respected student-run organization of AIGA, the Professional Association for Design. This AIGA and University partially funded organization is available to all undergraduates and graduates with a content focus toward design majors. The overall goal of the student chapter is to promote awareness of design, to highlight advances and opportunities in the field, and to assist design students in their individual and collective efforts to expand their design experiences. Chapter activities include trips to a major city, as well as several regional trips, to visit printers, design studios, museums and art centers. The chapter frequently assists in hosting local, regional and national speakers involved in the design profession, many of whom are alumni of the program. The chapter meets at least once a month to do such things as: plan club activities, attend lectures, view movies of interest, and discuss topical design issues. All interested students are encouraged to contact Assistant Professor Andrea Cardinal (email@example.com), faculty advisor to the group, for further information and contact with the current slate of student board members.
2019 BGSU AIGA Student Chapter Meeting Times:
The 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month from 5-6pm, Room 1030 (The Cave)
The Division of Graphic Design prides itself in connecting students with prominent international, national and regional leaders and innovators in the field of visual communication. Our speakers range from illustrators, artists, designers, motion designers, creative directors, strategists, authors, educators, entrepreneurs, critics, and change agents. Beyond a public talk, many of our keynoters visit the classrooms for one and one discussions, critiques and/or workshops specifically for engaging with our dynamic students. Through hosting national AIGA Design Education Conferences, partnerships with AIGA Toledo, and support from the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Art, we are grateful for this stellar list of speakers we have been able to share with our design students and the NW Ohio/ SE Michigan Design and Art community.
*Denotes BGSU Alumni
Design for Social Good Camp
July 22 - 24, 2020
Presented by the Division of Graphic Design at BGSU, the Graphic Design for Social Good Camp invites ninth through eleventh graders to learn how the power of graphic design can be used for making a meaningful difference in everyday lives, communities, and the world. Students will be exposed to a college design studio, the digital and physical tools designers use to make their work, while also learning necessary skills for working in today’s collaborative environment. This camp is great introduction to those who are interested and eager to learn more about design, design thinking and careers in visual expression. For more information about this wonderful opportunity, please visit the Pre-College page here.
- Be introduced to the field of Graphic Design and the Design Thinking process
- Be exposed to the digital and physical making tools of the industry
- Discover how design connects and informs our experiences and behaviors
- Tackle a real world problem through collaborative and individual outputs
- Apply art and design making skills to visually communicate ideas
- Develop skills in visual and verbal presentation
If you are a current BGSU GD student or recent graduate who is interested in being a camp volunteer, please email Division Chair, Jenn Stucker: firstname.lastname@example.org Design for Social Good
Trained as resourceful visual communicators, our students have developed successful careers as graphic designers, art directors and communications specialists in a wide variety of related fields. Our alumni work for nationally recognized creative firms and major corporations across the country and provide a valuable network for our recent graduates' entry into the profession.
Places our alumni have worked (or continue to work at) includes:
Nike Global / Thirst / Obama for America 2012 Campaign / Organizing for America / Abercrombie &Fitch / LPK/ Communica / Madhouse/ Hanson Inc. / Hart Associates / Spoke / Interrupt Marketing / Uber / Noir Marketing + PR/ MarkIt / Toledo Museum of Art / Rogue Fitness / SomataMason / Pukka Headwear / Delicious Design League / Owens Corning / F+W Media/ Storyforge / JP MorganChase & Co. / Cleveland Institute of Art / Progressive / Guide Studios / United Health Group / Landor Associates / University of Miami / University of Findlay / Ohio State University/ University of Toledo/ FormATECH Exhibits / Radiance Technologies / American Greetings / Mercy Health / Root Inc. / Ologie / Stephenson + Taylor / Twist Creative / Sarankco / Gravity / Cooper-Smith Advertising / FORM / RGI International/Midmark Animal Health / The Andersons / 10 Red Design / Trait / Smart Data Systems / thehugbox / Mindquake Creative / Bottle Rocket/ Aespire / J.Crew / Aquent / Epsilon / The X-Factor / Res Publica Group / Teal Tractor / Marxent / Pieces of Me / Hobby Lobby Corporate / Gerber / Studio SC / 50,000 Feet / Gensler / Thread Marketing / RP Marketing
Positions our alumni have held include:
Account Manager / Art Director / Brand Ambassador / Brand Manager / Communications Specialist / Copywriter / Corporate Executive/ Corporate Media & Identity Designer / Creative Consultant / Creative Director / Creative Placemaker / Creative Technologist/ Design Strategist / Design Director / Design Thinking Facilitator / Digital Content Marketing Manager/ Entrepreneur / Experience Designer / Freelance Designer / Graphic Designer / Illustrator / In-house Designer/ Industrial Designer / Information Architect (IA) / Interactive Designer / Local, State & Federal Government Communications Designer / Designer for Management, Scientific & Technical, Manufacturers and Retailers / Marketing Design Supervisor / Advertising & Public Relations/ Medical Illustrator / Motion Designer / Museum In-house Designer / Catalog, Newspaper, Periodical, Book & Directory Designer / Designer for Non-profit / Printing Manager / Production Designer / Project Developer / Project Manager / Schools, Colleges & Universities In-house Designer / Senior Exhibit / Social Media Content Creator / User Experience Designer (UX) / Visual Design Specialist / Web Designer
News and Stories
Addy Award Winners
School of Art students Lauren Perry (’22), Brigette Holsapple (’21), and Harmony Ross (’21) each earned a Silver Addy Award for the Senior Graduation Gift they created for the graduating members of BGSU’s Student Government. Their work included custom screen-printed journals, an announcement card, and pencil/marker pouch filled with markers and a custom BGSU Graphic Design enamel pin. Screen-printing of the materials was led by Digital Art student Faith Merryman (’21).Read More
A New Flag to Represent the City of Toledo Could be Coming Soon!
The design was put forward by Jacob Parr, a BGSU GD alum, a lifelong Toledoan and designer at Hanson, Inc. Mr. Parr’s work can already be seen around the city, as he’s designed logos for local brands such as Fowl and Fodder, Equality Toledo, and the VProject coronavirus vaccine mobilization effort.Read More
Sophia Llamas – James W. Strong Graphic Design Studio Achievement Award
Sophia received the James W. Strong Graphic Design Studio Achievement Award at BGSU’s 2022 BFA Show for her thesis – Plant Wise and the Silver Addy Award for BOLD – the 14th Annual Portfolio Review Day. She created brand graphics including web banners, Instagram posts, animated gifs, and digital name badges.Read More
Updated: 08/09/2022 10:07AM