The Department of Design at The University of Kansas offers professional, problem-solving, and client-based Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees in Visual Communication Design (Graphic Design), Photography, Illustration & Animation, Industrial Design,.
Visual Communication/Graphic Designers shape the messages, information and media that everybody sees, uses and experiences. From the printed page to the internet, we teach students the necessary creative problem solving and design thinking and making skills to create powerful visual solutions. Attention is given to the development of a well-rounded, representative, and quality portfolio. Career options include a wide range of areas such as traditional print media, magazine and book design, advertising, corporate marketing communications, branding, packaging design, exhibition and environmental design, motion graphic design, web/interface design and more.
The Photography program is dedicated to evaluating and redefining the practice of photography and related media. We offer in-depth instruction in a range of analog and digital lens-based techniques within a rigorous learning, making and critique environment. As such, our students develop the distinct technical, critical thinking and visual literacy skills vital to success as contemporary photographers and professional practitioners. Our graduates go on to work in advertising, arts, communication, curatorial, editorial, and media production fields as thoughtful and engaged artists, technicians, archivists, editors, freelancers and art directors.
Illustration & Animation
Students learn to create images that can inform, influence, and inspire. While acquiring an effective use of visual language, students learn conceptual problem solving, compositional principles, and color theory, that are developed through the introduction and exploration of traditional and contemporary media. Business and marketing issues of the industry are addressed that prepare students for professional opportunities in animation, gaming, motion graphics, book publishing, entertainment, print media, fashion, toys and games, surface design, and gallery installations.
Industrial Designers conceptualize and design almost everything physical in our lives. Examples range from household appliances, electronics, wearables, automotive design, aircraft interiors, furniture, lighting, bicycles, skateboards, and myriad other product areas. Our graduates leave KU proficient in design using the latest in 3D design and rendering tools, and computer-aided manufacturing and fabrication tools and technologies. They find career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines including product design, furniture design, exhibit design, package design, human factors and product planning.
A comprehensive, high-level structure for teaching content, art and craft production across the “whole book”— papermaking, typography, printing, and binding, informed by the history of the book.