Interested in Graphic Design?

Many students graduating from Elon’s Studio Art program have gone on to acquire impressive graphic design jobs in commercial and non-profit settings. The Alumni link on our departmental website highlights several recent graduates working in design at Vogue, Belk, and the North Carolina Museum of Art, though the list doesn’t stop there! While we do not have an official graphic design program, students can customize their experience to get the tools they need, while reaping the benefits of a liberal arts education. Pairing a major in Art with a minor or major in Communication Design will provide students with the necessary skills to go into the job market or into a design graduate program.

High-quality design programs emphasize not only digital tools, but fundamental hands-on “analog” design courses, as well as courses in drawing and Art History. Building on these strong foundation courses at Elon, Art majors with an interest in design would concentrate in courses within the ‘Intermedia and Photography’ area. In Intermedia and Photography courses students explore a variety of digital media in combination and projects emphasize an examination of the impact of technology on contemporary life and visual culture. In the senior year, majors complete their degree through the development of a self-directed thesis project.

All courses are held in large well-equipped Mac studios with the latest industry standard software, where students also have access to small and large format Epson printers, scanners, a vinyl cutter, and 3-D printer, Nikon and Canon DSLRs, and audio recording equipment.

At Elon I spent countless hours in Arts West where I had access to more resources than I could ever have imagined.  After graduating from Elon and moving to a MA program in Advertising, I found myself confused as to how a nationally-ranked art and design school could hardly offer me any resources without extreme cost or difficulty in obtaining printing, vinyl cutting, or basic supplies. This realization has made me even more grateful for Elon’s Art program than I already was when I was there. My love for Art At Elon goes far beyond access to necessary supplies – the faculty in the Art program are incredibly talented and caring individuals who share a common goal of fostering artistic and academic growth in all of their students.

Adrianne Hanson, ‘14

Excellent graphic design programs are not just about developing students’ client-based skills, but also about developing students into artists, thinkers, and creative problem-solvers, a strong feature of Elon’s Studio Art program. For client-based and applied creative experiences, students should take courses specifically in the Communications Design track for their Communications minor, or better yet, double-major in Communication Design. Depending upon students’ interests, courses in such areas as Business, Marketing, or Computer Science may also be beneficial.

Opportunities abound to enhance academic coursework with “outside-the-classroom” experiences. Students can apply for design jobs within Creative Resolution and Live Oaks Communications, two student organizations that provide students with real-world, portfolio-building experiences. Internships in design settings off-campus are also encouraged, which students can locate with the help of faculty and the Student Professional Development Center.

Please thoroughly explore the department website for more information on our Studio Art program. For any questions about how to customize a program to support your future in design, contact Samantha DiRosa at or Ryan Rasmussen at