Develop your creative skills in M State’s Graphic Design Technology program, where our hands-on training lets you turn your passion for design into an exciting career.
If you have a passion for design, M State offers two program options that will prepare you for positions in this rewarding and competitive profession: a 60-credit Associate in Applied Science degree and a 30-credit certificate in Graphic Design Technology.
Our AAS degree focuses on integrating digital technology and graphic design to create communication materials. Students develop both creatively and technically while learning skills in photography, color theory, typography, layout and design, and Web and print production.
You'll have the opportunity to interact with and learn from industry professionals outside the college and to complete an internship as part of the degree program, further developing your skills in presenting ideas and concepts and preparing for an entry-level position in the graphic design industry.
The 30-credit Graphic Design Technology certificate is designed for advanced students, students with advanced degrees or professional already working in a creative field. The two-semester "fast-track" curriculum builds on students' existing skills and accommodates the accelerated placement goals of advanced students.
Students in both programs produce comprehensive portfolios that showcase their technical and design skills. Industry involvement includes participation in the annual American Advertising Federation competition, mock interviews, guest speakers and tours.
Erin Fischer, a Minnesota State Community and Technical College student in Graphic Design Technology, earned eight major statewide awards in the 2015 American Advertising Awards, including the top student award and one of two achievement scholarships.
Winners of the ADDY awards, sponsored by the American Advertising Federation of North Dakota, were announced Feb. 26 at the organization's annual Fargo gathering of advertising industry professionals from Fargo-Moorhead and throughout North Dakota.
Fischer, of Fargo, earned the 2015 Student Best of Show award for her campaign for Table No. 3, a specialty restaurant, along with five gold ADDY awards for entries that now advance to the district-level competition. She also won one silver ADDY.
"I met several academic goals when I started the Graphic Design Technology Program at M State, but I never imagined the possibility of winning multiple ADDY awards," Fischer said. "The support of my instructors who pushed me beyond my perceived creative abilities, the encouragement of family and friends, and hours of hard work paid off."
Fischer, who will graduate in May, also received the AAF-ND Bell State Bank & Trust Achievement Scholarship.
"This is about as big as it gets in our advertising and design industry," said Melissa Hintermeister, an instructor in M State's graphic design program. "I don't think any M State student in the history of (the North Dakota chapter) has ever swept the ADDYs quite like Erin did. We couldn't be prouder of her achievements."
There were 86 entries in the student division of the ADDYs, which honor excellence in advertising and encourage high creative standards, and judges awarded a total of nine gold awards and 12 silver awards. Also competing were students from Minnesota State University Moorhead, Concordia College and Bismarck State College.
At the district level, the AAF-ND gold-level ADDY winners will compete against students from colleges in North and South Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Fischer said it was "simply amazing" to see her design work displayed with the work of so many industry professionals.
"It was quite a proud night for M State," Hintermeister said. "Our college receive a large amount of exposure to a room full of advisory board members and hundreds of other potential industry employers and partners."
Graphic Design Technology Certificate
Graphic Design Technology Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Graphic Design Technology is a highly competitive and rewarding career for those with a talent and/or interest in the graphic arts. Graphic Design Technology does not focus on the fine arts of painting and art history, but on the integration of technology with graphic design to train students to create communication materials (stationery, brochures, annual reports, newspaper layout, etc.) for print production. Students are required to purchase an Apple Macintosh laptop and all necessary graphic software, along with necessary peripherals. The 30-credit Certificate is targeted specifically at advanced students, students possessing an advanced degree or students who have professional experience in a creative field. It is a two-semester "fast track" curriculum, with the intent of building on students' existing skill set and experience or accommodating the advanced students' accelerated goals for placement by using stackable credentialing of various GDTC coursework to a total of 30 credits. The Graphic Design Technology program prepares students for entry-level positions in the graphic design technology industry. Students work on their own Macintosh laptops to complete coursework, so there is never a need to wait for an available computer. Owning individual laptops also allows each student to be mobile and work from anywhere at any time. Students begin with foundation-level work that includes learning about Macintosh technology, basic drawing, print process theories, technical computer illustration and basic design theories. They progress to higher levels of design theory and application, advanced illustration, photo manipulation using image editing software and page layout skills in a page layout computer application. Class curriculum consists of lectures, demonstrations, hands-on application, industry tours and lab work. Students are guided in how to behave and work as a professional in our industry. Instructors teach from real-world experience and, as a result, students are prepared to produce industry-level design work that meets technical criteria for print production, as well as integrate professional expectations of meeting deadlines and being organized. The final result of a student's study is a comprehensive portfolio that showcases the student's technical and design skills. With the student's skills and portfolio, the job market is open to receiving him or her as an efficient graphic design technology employee.
Graphic design technology is a highly competitive and rewarding career field for those with a talent and/or interest in the graphic arts. Graphic design technology focuses on the integration of digital technology and graphic design to create communication materials for Web, multimedia and print production. Within two years of training, individuals develop creatively and technically as they learn skills in photography, color theory, typography, layout and design, and Web and print production. Students become task-oriented by learning to meet deadlines, solve problems and work efficiently. Students will have opportunities to interact with and receive feedback from industry professionals outside the program. Students also are trained in the area of self-promotion, job-search and interviewing skills, along with compiling a personal portfolio of their work. Graphic Design Technology graduates are expected to be self-motivated, organized and able to apply the skills they learn in the classroom outside of instruction time to strengthen their abilities. The Graphic Design Technology program prepares students for a vast array of entry-level positions across the graphic design industry.
Last modified: March 4th, 2016 at 11:19am