Art & Design Department
  • graphicdesign2

    Graphic Design

  • graphicdesign1

    Graphic Design

About the program

Our graphic design program strongly emphasizes tomorrow's professional environment. Students prepare through challenging class projects, internships and participation in organizations like Red Brick Studios, a student-run graphic design firm. 

Our bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design is a broad area professional degree that includes  courses such as: 2D design, color theory, typography, photography, illustration, printmaking, visual Aesthetics, history of graphic design and various course choices from the department of communication and College of Business. 

The four graphic design lab courses explore: identity design, packaging, branding, motion design, and conceptual exploration, as well as, mastery of the Adobe Creative Suite. Our computer lab allows students to experience the newest Mac operating systems and Adobe software. Scanners, printers and a check-out system for SLR cameras are also provided.

Helpful Tips

The Department of Art and Design's computer lab consists of iMac computers with the latest software and programs. The majority of design firms and ad agencies do their creative work on Apple computers.

If you have a computer it is not necessary to purchase another one. If you are thinking about buying a computer, wait until your sophomore or junior year, that way your computer won't be "old" when you leave school. If you just can't wait then buy the fastest CPU with as much RAM memory you can afford.

We use current versions of Adobe Software (Creative Suite). There are discounts online that save students up to 80% off retail prices.

Another important tip to help you prepare for a major in graphic design: buy a sketch book and sketch from life as much as you can. Drawing skills are invaluable in design. It will help you in developing creative concepts.

Academic advising is a crucial part of getting the most from your time as a graphic design major at Harding. Plan to schedule an appointment with one of the graphic design advisers two-weeks prior to registration week in both fall and spring semesters. Make sure you check for holds on your accounts that might delay your registering for classes. Registering as early as your classification allows ensures that you get the best schedule. Classes fill up fast–register quickly. We have a sample schedule (pdf) available as a PDF download that can be of help as you are planning your semesters, though it is just a suggestion. You will most likely need to rearrange courses due to closed classes along the way.

Sophomore portfolio review is for the art student who has completed (including current classes) 15 credit hours of art coursework. The review is intended to give you feedback on your artistic growth progress. Somethings we will be assessing at the review: your drawing and compositional skills, your ability to talk about your work and your level of knowledge about current professional activity in your program area.

Student-presenters are to wear professional, interview-appropriate clothing and are to be prepared to answer questions about their art & design work, their professional goals and their creative influences.Present 8-10 of your strongest projects. All students are to include examples of drawing skills. Sketchbooks may be presented in addition to your 8-10 projects. Preparatory sketches for several of your projects are also recommended. 

Graphic design majors must fill out the BFA Application form at the time of the sophomore portfolio review to remain in the major.


Careers in Graphic Design

Graphic design encompasses a variety of career and employment opportunities. Branding, packaging design, environmental graphics, advertising, web design, design for the music industry, publication and editorial design are just a sampling of job possibilities available to graphic designers. Below are links with additional information concerning job outlook, interior design practice, income, and career stages.

Retention, Graduation and Job Placement

Approximately 100 Graphic Design majors.

Harding's Graphic Design program has the reputation of being one of the top programs in our region.

Our graduates work in design studios, advertising agencies, in-house design departments, interactive & web companies, church design teams and nonprofits.

Students have placed in the Dallas Society of Visual Communications Student Competition.

Harding has an active AIGA student group. To find out more about AIGA visit

Bureau of Labor Statistics facts on Graphic Designers

Graphic Design major four year schedule

We have a sample schedule pdf available that can be of help as you are planning your semesters, though it is just a suggestion. You will most likely need to rearrange courses due to closed classes along the way.

Daniel Adams, M.F.A. - Professor of Art

Stacy Gibson, M.F.A. - Associate Professor of Art