New graphic design degree for a global community

The FIUIMG_0483_fornews2-570x380 College of Architecture + The Arts received a surge in student interest after it announced its new Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design earlier this year.

The new degree offers students the creative, technological and conceptual skills to become innovative designers. Students work with visual information and create visual messages using the entire spectrum of interactive tools – from the printed page to the Internet to mobile devices. The goal is to educate designers with the technical, manual, artistic and analytical skills to impact today’s visual communication.

Kimberly Espinoza was especially excited to start the new program this fall.

“FIU is a unique place to study graphic design,” she says. “Our name says it all – ‘Florida International University.’ We have students from all walks of life. They all have different points of view, design aesthetics and upbringings that inspire me as a designer to dig deeper into who I am and create something that everyone could appreciate.”

Espinoza’s mother inspired her to pursue graphic design. “My mother graduated from Ohio University with a BFA degree in Graphic Design. When I was younger I would look through her portfolios and admire all her work.”

In the FIU program, Espinoza expects to mature as a designer and learn how to translate her design aesthetic into the digital world. She says once she completes her BFA, she wants to pursue a master’s degree in graphic design, while working in the field.

Michael Mitchell wants to approach the field with an entrepreneurial perspective. In addition to his interest in the sports branding industry, Mitchell has been working with his own t-shirt line, using graphic design frequently in his business. He enrolled in the FIU program to become more efficient in his work. He expects to learn new ways of thinking differently and creatively about graphic design.

Mitchell has always had a knack for drawing as a child. “I always could draw pretty well, so when I was exposed to graphic design, it was just another way to express my creativity.”

Visiting Instructor Silvia Pease is teaching the first course in graphic design in Fall 2015, Graphic Design I. She says graphic design requires creativity, in addition to much thought. “Design is everywhere,” she says. “Everything is designed. Effective graphic design requires the intellectual ability to persuade and inform.”

Pease adds: “With the proliferation of digital networks, we must empower our students to visually and conceptually communicate global issues through good design – ‘good design’ meaning a simple and clear visual language that communicates social, cultural, political and environmental messages to a global community.”

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