• Graphic Design Technology

    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.

Graphic Design Technology

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Graphic Design

If you have a passion for design, M State offers two Graphic Design program options that will prepare you for positions in this rewarding and competitive profession: a 60-credit Associate of Applied Science degree and a 30-credit certificate.

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 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.


Here’s what you’ll learn

  • Production of visual concepts using drawing andcomputer programs
  • Interpreting, speaking, writing and editing the language of advertising, graphic design, digital graphic technology and print production
  • Entry-level industry proficiency using multiple methods to produce graphic output
  • Preparation of digital files for printing
  • Understanding of offset print production
  • Application of theories of design, color and typography
  • Professional traits that benefit graphic designers
  • Production of a personal portfolio of sample work

Program Video


Why M State

  • M State offers an exceptional educational value
  • Hands-on curriculum enhances education
  • Small class sizes mean personalized instruction
  • There's a strong demand in the region for M State graphic design graduates
  • Instructors have valuable graphic design industry experience
  • Industry partnerships ensure students are learning skills needed on the job
  • Annual spring graphic design exhibit allows students to display their skills


M State graphic design student sweeps ADDY awards

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."


Programs & Majors » Graphic Design Technology Back to program list »

Degrees Offered Click on a degree below to view details

Graphic Design Technology Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Locations: Moorhead

Graphic Design Certificate
Locations: Moorhead

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Meet the faculty

Melissa Hintermeister

Contact Melissa

Rob Johnson

Contact Rob


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Required graphic design courses for the AAS degree

  • Macintosh Production Processes
  • Design and Layout I, II and III
  • Digital Photography
  • Electronic Drawing I and II
  • Process Printing Theory
  • Electronic Image Manipulation
  • Integrated Graphic Design
  • Electronic Publishing
  • Advanced Electronic Imaging
  • Graphic Design Professional Practices
  • Digital Preflight

Last modified: March 4th, 2016 at 11:19am