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VisualDesign

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Your vision, realized.

Design is more than art for art's sake. It grabs attention, tells a story, persuades, and inspires action. Here, you'll have the opportunity to learn how to make design work hard.

Program Areas

Graphic & Web Design Program

Graphic & Web Design

Prepare to become a graphic designer with interactive skills or a web developer with design skills. Learn the basics and then choose a print or interactive concentration.

Web Design Interactive Media Program

Web Design & Interactive Media

You can develop the creative and technical skills to design content for traditional and mobile web devices, including responsive websites, mobile apps, and e-books.

Meet Our Faculty

  • Christopher Gardner

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Find the right solution first. Pushing pixels follows."

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    Christopher Gardner

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I always liked sketching and using watercolor to express myself. After school I'd write stories to go with my drawings, using an old typewriter I'd found and brought back to life. Sometimes I’d stay up till early morning to finish my stories. Those were defining moments in my life.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I often show work I’ve done in the field, and I let my students know how their classwork work applies to a professional setting. I also share anecdotes that help put the projects I assign into a real-world context.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I feel passionate about every project I assign. I believe passion helps inspire creativity in the classroom. The projects themselves are all tied very closely to the area we’re exploring. For instance, a web development project has a very different class layout and assignments than a corporate identity class.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    It’s is a big part of learning. I want my students to understand that the best work stems from collaborative effort, and that most real-world projects involve teamwork. Here in school, an animator could help a web developer—and a web developer could help a print-based designer get a web project off the ground. Everybody needs to get involved to take a project from start to finish. When students start appreciating the true value of collaboration, that’s when they create portfolio-worthy projects.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Here’s one of the most important aspects of design that I stress: On every project, every student needs to follow a creative path that starts with pencil on paper. You need to do a lot of planning and sketching before ever using a digital application. Find the right solution first. Pushing pixels follows.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I truly love teaching, and I find that it makes me a better designer

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  • Li Rene' Harmon

    Game Art & Design

    "Be nice to your classmates—one of them could end up being your boss."

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    Li Rene' Harmon

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I knew I was either going to be an artist or a biologist. I earned a BFA in Illustration, but I’m always looking for ways to combine the two. In fact, my Master's Thesis in Game Art is about the kelp forest and its inhabitants, and the ecosystem they form.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I’m always gathering the newest information about the industry, and I share that in the classroom. I stress the importance of deadlines and naming conventions, as well as keeping up with the latest technology and pipeline strategies. I show students what I’m working on, as well as new software I’ve found that applies to the game asset world.

    How do you inspire your students?

    I think my students get inspired when they see how excited I am about learning and making things.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Keep learning. Never assume you know everything. No one does.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Be nice to your classmates—one of them could end up being your boss.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I love learning from my students about current trends and the evolving culture, as well as the outside activities that inspire them.

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  • Michelle Vietmeier

    Culinary Arts

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    Michelle Vietmeier

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    Several small, creative successes made me realize this is something I enjoy. Each time I created something, whether it was food, a drawing, a painting or yarn work, I realized that working with my hands to create "something" made me feel connected to my past, present and future.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    My diverse background in and out of foodservice, and my love of travel and adventure, help us look at the industry from different perspectives. We compare and contrast one type of service to another; we explore new flavor combinations, while appreciating the classics; we discover how a dish served in one country is similar to a dish served in another. By weaving my experiences—and those of my students—into the discussion, they realize they’ve chosen an exciting career field with endless opportunities.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I have students cost a recipe, calculating the number of servings, adding ingredients and measurements, researching yield percentage, doing weight conversions, doing calculations, analyzing, and finally getting a result. Throughout this assignment, I stress that good results require time and effort, and that learning is a lifelong journey. I try to instill in students that a failed attempt is not a total failure. Through our "failures," we learn how to analyze what went wrong and how to fix it.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    I believe collaboration develops a stronger sense of community. Here’s an example: My Senior Practicum class put together an "Art and Brew" dinner. The Culinary students created the menu, prepared the meal and served the guests. They asked Graphic Design students to contribute themed artwork for a mini art show. And Audio Production students came up with the live entertainment. All that teamwork made the event a success, and they all learned something new from each other.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Being a professional requires a good attitude. That’s not something they can read in a book or I can teach them in a lecture. However, it can be demonstrated every day through hard work, respect for self and others, and by being a positive role model.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    What you put in is what you get out. Nobody’s going to hand you anything. You don’t get a great-paying job, a TV show, etc. without first putting in the hard work and dedication to learning your craft.

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