Art Institutes

Visual Design

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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. You can learn the basics and then choose a graphic design or web design concentration.

Illustration Area of Study Image

Illustration

Use your artistic vision and technical skills to share your ideas via painting, drawing, and design for markets like publishing, advertising, and the web.

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

  • Dan Streeting

    Dan Streeting

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Don't follow trends. Analyze and deconstruct them to see why they exist in the first place."

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    Dan Streeting

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

    The first was studying architecture for a year in an intensive year-long studio course, which taught me to approach creativity on a whole new level. I switched to graphic design afterwards, but that intense approach has always informed my work. The other defining moment started in 2003 and lasted for a decade. I played in a band, which was a creative outlet for more expressive visual work...a sort of parallel graphic design education.

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

    Having worked in both design and production in a variety of settings including in-house, agency, and freelance, I’ve accumulated a lot of practical experience. I’m able to relate what we’re doing in class to practical design challenges I’ve dealt with professionally. I run my own design practice, balancing a variety of clients and personal projects, and that helps ground my advice to students in reality. It’s less of an abstract to them. If I can balance a sense of expressive freedom with an understanding of the real world, I’m having a good day.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    Most of my long-term assignments are pretty open-ended. I tend not to say no to students’ ideas, as long as they’re pursued with intention and integrity and they fulfill the spirit and difficulty level of the assignment. I see my role as a mentor, as showing students what’s possible...that the world of design is a lot larger than they might think. I encourage each student to try working in new ways, whether that’s a conceptual approach or something as simple as trying a new software technique.

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

    We all collaborate as professionals every day. But students worry about working with each other in the classroom—they see it as the dreaded “group project” where not everyone pulls their weight. I prefer short-term collaborative projects—brainstorming sessions, client pitches, and branding activities—where the result is purely idea-driven and not tied to a crucial grade. Teaming up with peers from other programs helps prepare Design students to work with clients and those who may not have a design-based vocabulary.

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

    Develop your own personal voice. See design as a big picture, not instant gratification. Understand history and context. Don’t follow trends, analyze and deconstruct them to see why they exist in the first place. And use that knowledge to make your own work better.

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  • Dan Hanners

    Daniel Hanners

    Graphic & Web Design

    "This is a lifelong learning journey. You have to continually experience new things, learn from other people, and observe what's happening in the world around you."

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    Daniel Hanners

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

    I took a graphics technology in class in high school, and when I completed the entire production process—not only generate the design on the computer, but take it into the darkroom, on to press plates, and eventually print it myself, I knew I wanted to pursue design as a career.

    Can you describe your teaching philosophy?

    I try to offer a well-rounded class to provide a framework around which students can grow their experiences and develop intuition. I work to help motivate young designers to continue to grow and evolve—and develop their own identities. This is a lifelong learning journey. You have to continually experience new things, learn from other people, and observe what’s happening in the world around you.

    Can you share an example of your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    For students to compete in the business world, they have to become creative problem-solvers. I assign projects that are rich in design methods to encourage students to develop a problem-solving process. Many students find themselves on unexpected paths. The project leads the students to new thought processes, and you can see them developing as young professionals. To be a part of mentoring that process and watching students grow, there’s no greater excitement in the world.

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

    Collaborative assignments are opportunities for students to work closely with peers from other disciplines. They apply their various skills and knowledge toward a common goal, sharing in the team’s success, learning from other students, and taking leadership in their own area of expertise.

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

    It takes real motivation and dedication to the profession to succeed. I tell my students to think of themselves as junior professionals. Be persistent at being the best they can be, and to take advantage of every opportunity to gain support from their peers.

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

    Take every opportunity to go to conventions, lectures, special workshops, and events in your profession. Find a mentor and start creating a professional network of people who can support you.

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  • Jody Luna

    Jody Luna

    Interior Design

    "The harder you work, the more success you'll have."

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    Jody Luna

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

    I grew up around architecture and construction, because my dad was a contractor. When I took art and drafting in high school, I knew I had to incorporate a creative aspect into my career...it just felt right creating art and design.

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

    I simulate a real-world environment whenever possible. I play the role of project manager, and guide students through the process as though they’re design professionals working in a commercial design firm. We also go on-site to visit interior design firms and projects to introduce students to the resources available in the industry.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I keep the lines of communication open with my students. To me, that’s the most important part of building a classroom environment.

    In what way do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    I try to lead by example—by continuing to push myself beyond my limits, and sharing my experiences with students I hope they can see the value in pushing themselves.

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

    Interdisciplinary projects are my favorite. I believe we should work together between departments to help students get comfortable collaborating with others who bring different specialties to the table. The more a student gets involved in the school community, the more invested they are in accomplishing their goals.

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

    The harder you work, the more success you’ll have. Hone those skills now while you’re in school.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    This is truly a community...we’ve created a collaborative work environment—not just for employees and faculty, but for students.

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  • Kenan Caymaz

    Kenan Caymaz

    Graphic & Web Design

    "I always stress the importance of creative thinking and problem solving."

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    Kenan Caymaz

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

    I’m a research physicist, and I teach two conceptual general education physics courses. I try to make them relevant so students can apply what they learn to their majors. One course deals with real-life topics like mechanics, electricity, and magnetism. I engage students by presenting each one with a twist. “Why not build indestructible cars as opposed to crushable ones?” “How does a cat survive falling from the top of the Sears tower better than falling from the second floor?” “Does a person exert the same impact force back on an oncoming train at 60 miles per hour?”

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    My students use their artistic backgrounds to turn in a creative project at the end of the quarter. I include some of the more exceptional projects in my multimedia physics lecture presentations. Stressing the importance of creativity in physics encourages students to push themselves to do better work.

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

    Students regularly collaborate on research projects in my seminar class, and different majors work together on creative projects as well. One graduating film student’s senior project included Audio Production students creating the sound recording and background music, Fashion Design students designing the outfits, and Animation students working on the script and storyboard.

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

    I always stress the importance of creative thinking and problem solving.

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

    Common sense is no substitute for education. And life-long education is important not only for your own general well-being, but your personal and professional growth.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    Teaching here for 20 years has made me a much more creative instructor and much better lecturer.

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  • Audio Production Instructor Nia Adero

    Nia Adero

    Audio Production

    "Believe that you can do anything."

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    Nia Adero


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

    In 1985, I wrote the lyrics and melody, and provided vocals for a recorded house music song that peaked at #15 on Billboard’s Top Music Charts - Hot 100 Hot Dance Club Play. This song, "Like This," was the beginning of my career as the artist/songwriter, K.Joy. It opened some amazing opportunities, and eventually led me to audio production because I wanted to learn how to properly record and mix my own music.

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

    As CEO & COO of two independent record labels, I have a professional background in entertainment business. I provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities, challenges, and opportunities of the profession—incorporating stories from my own experiences, giving realistic advice based on challenges I've overcome as an Ai student in the audio production program, as an artist, as an entertainment business professional, connecting students with industry professionals, playing examples of my music to show the difference between good and bad audio production/engineering, bringing in guest speakers, and challenging them to work harder, aspire for greatness, and become the best audio professionals they can be.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    In the Internship class I teach for audio, photo, film, and animation students, I give an alternate assignment to prepare them for the interview process as they begin their job searches. There are a series of questions, based on research and typical questions I've heard in my own job interviews. Students answer these questions as if they’re actually interviewing, then come up with their own questions for the interviewer. I believe this assignment builds confidence, communication skills, and professionalism as it forces them to think critically, plan ahead, and always prepare.

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

    Collaboration is vital to preparing students for the real world. At some point in almost every business, people work in teams. Students from various programs contributing to the same project is can improve communication skills, idea exchange, and success.

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

    I tell my students that perseverance is key to success, so it’s imperative not to give up. With determination, it’ll be easier to succeed in school—and in the real world.

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

    Believe that you can do anything. Say out loud that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Write down your goals as constant reminders. Seek out ways to continually improve yourself and hone your skills. Network and learn from other creative professionals, Stay on the cutting edge of technology in your field. Do all those things and you’ll be virtually unstoppable!

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I strive to give, inspire, and truly make a difference.

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