Graphic Design Major

Art & Design majors study at George Fox, a top Christian college

Students in George Fox’s graphic design major enjoy a curriculum that has been carefully designed to match marketplace demands.

Career Opportunities

Job opportunities in visual design and web design are growing nationally at 13 percent and 38.7 percent, respectively. Our program has been built through careful study of the marketplace and is structured to offer students exposure to the methods and techniques that will be expected of them as they seek out professional opportunities.

Guided by faculty mentors, you’ll gain the expertise needed to become a creative, visually astute designer, knowledgable of market-influenced and research-driven design practices. As a graduate, your real-world foundations will enable you to grow within a continually evolving, dynamic profession.

Placed Internships and Client Projects

Every student in our graphic design school has the opportunity for a placed internship and the chance to work with live clients in a class context, supported by a multidisciplinary team that mimics a design studio environment. This distinctive element of our curriculum gives you the chance to experience what it’s like to be at work as a designer before you receive your diploma.

Spiritual and Personal Growth

Your spiritual and personal growth is also a high priority. Here, the call to be a designer is also an opportunity to minister to your community and workplace. Every professor embraces a Christian worldview – a special distinction even among many Christian colleges. Dedicated professors, small classes, a family-oriented community and peer engagement throughout the program ensure you will be known, encouraged and supported in your growth.


Request more information about the graphic design major at George Fox University or schedule a visit to begin your education at Oregon's Christian university, ranked as one of the top Christian colleges in the nation by Forbes.

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Major Requirements

Complete the following:

An introduction to materials, techniques, and theory related to two-dimensional design. Additional course fee is required.
Art majors given preference. This course is a study of materials, methods, and techniques used for drawing with pencil, ink, charcoal, and other drawing media. Additional course fee is required.
A study of the relationship between art and Christianity in the contemporary world. Designed primarily for studio art majors. Prerequisite: either ARTS 382 Twentieth Century Art or ARTS 384 Contemporary Art Forms. Additional course fee required.

Choose one of the following:

A survey of the elements and concepts of art theory and practice as reflected in culturally and historically significant painting, sculpture, architecture, and other art forms, from 1450 to the present. Additional course fee is required.
Art and its relationship to Western culture of the 20th century. Additional course fee is required.

Complete the following:

This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
The technical coursework establishes foundational software knowledge in industry-standard programs, equipping students to create work for a wide-range of media.

Complete the following:

This course is an introduction to industry-standard graphic design applications such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Additional course fee required.
Building on skills developed in Creative Suite, this project-based course focuses on the creation and technical execution of vector-based design and illustration. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite
Building on skills developed in Creative Suite, this project-based course focuses on intermediate to advanced techniques employed in the creation of raster-based images for use in illustration and design projects. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite
Building on sills developed in Creative Suite, this project-based course focuses on intermediate to advanced techniques that pertain to the layout and creation of flat, multi-page, and digital works of design. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite
The contextual coursework immerses students in historic, social, and contemporary practices related to the field of design.

Complete the following:

An examination of the variety of structures, processes, and methods designers use to create ideas, overcome obstacles, and engage audiences. Problem identification, creative strategy, ethnography, and research methods are considered as students explore a variety of approaches to ideation and creation.
This course surveys graphic communication through history, and the impact of technology on the visual qualities of graphic design, advertising, fashion, media, architecture and industrial design. Beginning with prehistoric petroglyphs and concluding with the World Wide Web, this course will examine how culture shapes the practice of graphic design as well as how design shapes its corresponding culture. Additional course fee required.
An applied studio of design theory and the way that design projects impact community. Students will research, plan and propose projects to better communities based on discussions of the social, cultural, environmental and communal impact of design. Additional course fee is required.
This course couples a 1 or 2-hour student internship or professional experience with a 1-hour seminar that explores workplace communication and problem solving. Additionally, students will gain exposure to common business practices such as the development of contracts, estimates, invoices, accounting, promotion, and project management. Prerequisite: Junior status or instructor approval.
This course focuses on the organization and preparation of a portfolio showcasing a student's creative work in preparation for employment in the field of design. Students will explore visual composition and organization, document assembly methods and various reproduction image management techniques. Computer photo editing and printing are used to a paper and digital portfolio. The implications of a professional portfolio to gain employment is emphasized. Additional course fee required.
The graphic design core is a series of project-driven coursework that covers the most frequent applications and outcomes developed by graphic designers.

Complete the following:

An introduction to typography including type history, typefaces, type selection, layout, the use of type in effective designs, and creative approaches to using type. Additional course fee required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite
A focused study of design for printed 2D and 3D objects. Topics include project ideation, paper qualities, technical execution, working with print templates, document preparation, and the creation of production-ready work. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 220 Tyopgraphy
An introduction to web design that covers content, design, and front-end web development, including HTML, CSS, and standard user interface models. Students will review best practices in visual communication and engage in hand-coding while exploring site production methods, design models and creating functional web pages. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite
This course focuses on the design for interactive objects and experiences. Topics include navigation, information architecture, user experience, development of effective interfaces, and kinetic design. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 220 Typography
In this exploration of visual thinking and systematic approaches to graphic design including brand development, identity systems and generative design methods, students will develop, design and present projects with clear communicative goals. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 220 Typography
Applied design projects that allow students to work collaboratively with regional clients. Within this course, students will work in teams as they move projects from concept and quote to preparation for production. Designers will develop work across a variety of media and learn to manage client relationships while producing work that meets the needs of real audiences. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: Junior Status.

Jobs, Internships and Graduate School

Graphic design majors at George Fox study at one of the West Coast's top Christian colleges

According to Burning Glass Technologies, all areas of visual design are growing at 13 percent, with a 38.7 percent growth rate expected in web design in the next 10 years. Students trained in multi-media design applications, UI/UX design, web design and print media are highly employable. In addition to hiring freelance designers, most organizations also employ a team of in-house designers, which continues to drive the job market upwards.

  • NFL Players Association
  • Disney
  • Nike
  • Nordstrom
  • Faceout Studio
  • Bank of America
  • VSA Associates, Chicago
  • Landor & Associates
  • Norm Thompson Outfitters
  • Impact Printing
  • Clark & Company
  • The Climb
  • Pivot Group
  • Pigeon Toe Ceramics
  • Chehalem Cultural Center
  • Copper River Design
  • Harvest House Publishing
  • Portland, Beaverton, Salem, Tigard and Sherwood Public Schools
  • Livengood & Nowack
  • Lawrence Galleries
  • Code Monkeys, Web & Game Design
  • Hillsboro Hops
  • Asterix Creative
  • Anthropologie
  • Mural Project: A community mural project that included community engagement, city council presentation and production
  • Glass Project: A public works project producing glass installation for new buildings on campus
  • Tiny Home Village: Working in coordination with North Valley Friends Church to create plans and a vision for a tiny home village that offers low-income housing
  • Community Art & Design Workshop: Teaching high school students art and design
  • George App: Conceive, develop and present an app to serve students at George Fox by replacing clunky existing web systems on campus.
  • DNA, Portland
  • Phat Graphics
  • Big Fir Designs (interior)
  • Stadia Church Planting
  • Jennifer Meyers and Associates (interior)
  • Chemeketa Community College
  • Red Hills Market, Dundee

Student Experiences

Alana Espineli ('15)

“One thing I loved about learning design at George Fox was the push from professors to get involved with real-world design problems. Applying what I was learning in class to real-world projects made the teaching come alive and helped me to understand everything from design principles to the business methods needed to make a happy client.”

- Alana Espineli ('15)
Junior Designer, Nuun Hydration

Spencer Fuller ('16)

“The Department of Art & Design is a deep community built by the faculty and students. It is a place where everyone’s unique talents and abilities are made to shine. If you seek encouragement, there are always peers and professors to help lift you up. If you seek a challenge, there are incredibly talented artists and professors to help you grow. Plus, I developed some amazing friendships with students and professors alike that I will cherish always – friendships that push me to be a better artist as well as a better human.”

- Spencer Fuller ('16)
Designer, Faceout Studio

Points of Distinction

  • Learn from accomplished faculty with more than 300 years of combined professional experience
  • Experience a diversity of emphases, approaches and media
  • Experience a family-inspired focus on authentic and committed community
  • All faculty are practicing professional artists and designers

Why George Fox?

Christ-centered community

Our faith influences everything we do here, from the way our professors teach to the way we relate to one another and serve in the community.

Global opportunities

More than half of George Fox undergraduate students study abroad, ranking George Fox among the nation's leaders in study abroad participation (U.S. News & World Report).

Small classes

Our 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio means you'll get to know your professors on a personal level.

National recognition

George Fox University is a Christian university classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier national university, and Forbes ranks George Fox among the highest Christian colleges in the country.