Graphic Design

image: AGD 2250, Typography, student work.


Curriculum Guide


Judith Moldenhauer MFA, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, Associate Professor of Graphic Design
Research Interests: Healthcare information design; design of maps, instructions, and forms; typography; user-centered design
Danielle Aubert MFA, Yale, Associate Professor of Graphic Design
Research Interests: The adaptive re-use of printers, software, typography and paper

Program description:

Graphic Design deals with visual communications – the interaction of words and images to inform, educate, persuade or advocate through the interaction of words and images. The objective of the Graphic Design Program at WSU is to enable students to become innovative, intelligent and responsible designers. Wayne State's program educates students to think broadly about design, to focus on the informational and problem-solving nature of graphic design and to visualize their design ideas.

Graduates of the program are prepared to tackle a wide variety of career opportunities in design. These include areas such as publication design, exhibition design, user experience design, instructional material design, package design, web design and architectural signage. Career options include jobs in advertising agencies, in-house marketing departments, working in smaller studios, or a career freelancing or starting one's own studio.

Graduates of our program have gone on to work as in-house graphic designers, art directors and creative directors in many companies throughout the Metro Detroit area and beyond, including: Altair Engineering, Amazon (Seattle), Art Van, Campbell-Ewald, Commonwealth/McCann-Erickson, Cranbrook Museum of Art, Detroit Athletic Club, DMC, Former Co. (cofounded by an alum) Global Team Blue (formerly Team Detroit), Helm, Imagination, M1DTW, Metro Times, Octane Design (cofounded by an alum), Organic, Plante Moran, Quicken Loans, and the Work Department, as well as various departments within Wayne State University.

Several Graphic Design students have received scholarships to pursue graduate studies at institutions such as Cranbrook School of Art, Goldsmiths University (London), University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, University of Michiganm and Yale University.

While they are still enrolled at Wayne State, students in our program have had internships at: Amazon (Seattle), Career Now Brands, GE, Hour Detroit, Imagination, Macmillan Publishing (New York), Middlecott Design, Plante Moran, PonyRide, Quicken Loans and Salt & Cedar, among other places. Many students gain experience working as graphic designers on campus during their time here. Students have held graphic design positions at the Dean of Students Office, Student Center Graphics and the WSU Theatre program, among other places.

What will I study?:


Principles of Graphic Design   

History of Graphic Design


Information Design

Interactivity in Graphic Design

Motion Graphics

User Experience Design

Web Design

Type Design

Exhibition Design

What makes this program unique?:

Our program is unique because students here are studying on an urban campus, in the heart of Detroit, at a liberal arts university. All graphic design students take classes that prepare them to be skilled practitioners in their chosen field, while at the same time studying art history and classes in the humanities and sciences. We believe this approach to education allows our students uniquely well-rounded and encourages interdisciplinarity. Graphic design students are welcome to take classes in any of the thirteen Art and Design disciplines that are taught in our department, from printmaking and photography to metalsmithing and painting. Wayne State University has a vibrant campus with student groups and an increasing number of students residing on campus, or nearby.

Facilities / Equipment:  

— Classroom with 20 Apple computers for student use, equipped with up to date software

— Student access to printing: B&W Laser, Color Laser, Large Format up to 48"wide.

— Critiquing Studio

— Open graphic design lab with computers, craft area, and printers open 5 days a week

— Cameras and tripods available to borrow

Opportunities / ETC:

— Undergraduate research grant recipients have presented their work at conferences in Paris, France (2009) and Athens, Greece (2019).

— Winter 2015 seniors collaborated with students at Parsons School of Design in New York City, and took a trip there that spring.

— Students have also worked collaboratively with students from Malardalen University, Sweden on a package design project (2009) and from Hamburg, Germany on a mapping project (2016).

— Visiting designers and artists from out of town have included: Stuart Bailey (Dexter Sinister, UK), Karen Cheng (University of Washington), Paul Elliman (London, UK), Manuel Miranda (MMP, New York), Nontsikelelo Mutiti (Black Chalk Co.), Silas Munro (Otis School of Art and Design, Los Angeles), and more.

What does the program prepare me for?

    Career options include jobs in advertising agencies, in-house marketing departments, working in smaller studios, or a career freelancing or starting one's own studio. Throughout the year we invite professionals into our department as guests during regular classes or as part of special workshops to meet with students, provide guidance, and offer advice on helping students transition into the professional sphere.

What can you do with a degree in Graphic Design?

    Junior Designer, Senior Designer, Art Director, Creative Director, Graphic Designer, Junior Graphic Designer, UI/UX Designer, UX designer, Interactive Graphic Designer, Junior Art Director, Visual Designer, Digital Designer, Web Designer, Production Designer, Assistant Designer, Design Assistant, Design Technologist, Package Designer, 3D Modeler, Compositor, Environment Artist and Lighting Artist.