Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
What Is the Study of Design?
The design area of the Department of Art identifies design as the visual communication of ideas. The program utilizes a curriculum that emphasizes the process of problem solving and encourages students to make connections between culture and design, and their role as visual communicators. Students learn to combine personal expression and critical thinking as they create solutions that connect industry to an audience and themselves to the world.
Why Should I Consider this Major?
Career opportunities are found in all segments of industry, both in the private and public sector. Western Design graduates go on to work in advertising agencies, design firms, in-house departments, paper companies, printing firms, as well as serving as private consultants in corporate identity, environmental graphic design, packaging, publication and web design. They work as Designers, Art Educators, Production Managers, Web Designers and Digital Image Makers.
How to Declare:
Most classes in Design are currently restricted to majors only. To access classes, a formal application to the Department of Design is required. Application for the major is made with a portfolio of work. The portfolio will be reviewed by the Design faculty and evaluated on the basis of demonstrated understanding of the elements and principles of design and visual communication, technical proficiency and originality.
Design majors must complete a plan of study with a department advisor before enrolling in any 200-level course. The plan of study will also include a declaration of a minor as part of the BA degree requirements.
All applicants of the Design major must submit a portfolio of 12 works. It is recommended that the portfolio include recent pieces. Work can be in any media and must demonstrate basic visual and design skills:
- Understanding of formal principles
- Technical skills
- Ability to use visual language to communicate ideas.
- Originality and risk taking
An accompanying list should briefly describe the rationale behind each piece. Macintosh-compatible CD-ROMS; slides and online portfolios are acceptable. Digital portfolios must be presented in an easily accessible format. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure proper functioning of the digital media and files.
Send portfolio to:
Design Review Committee
Western Washington University
Fine Arts Complex, Room 116
516 High Street,
Bellingham, WA 98225-9068
Portfolios are reviewed twice each academic year on October 15 and January 31. Portfolios must be received on or before the deadlines, not postmarked by the deadlines. Incomplete portfolios will not be reviewed.
Students must meet with an advisor before taking 200-level courses to write a formal plan of study that includes identification of a minor.
- DSGN 111 - Design View
- DSGN 211 - Foundations of Visual Communication
- DSGN 220 - Visual Communication I
- DSGN 240 - Visual Communication II
- DSGN 250 - Visual Communication III
- DSGN 260 - Visual Communication IV
- One course from:
- A/HI 240 - Visual Culture in Western Europe in the 19th Century
- A/HI 241 - Visual Culture in Western Europe and America in the 20th Century
- DSGN 312 - Graphic Design in the 20th Century
- DSGN 330 - Typography I
- DSGN 340 - Graphic Design: 2D
- DSGN 341 - Graphic Design: 3D
- DSGN 350 - Design Production Processes
- DSGN 351 - Print and Finishing Lab
- DSGN 360 - Digital Media Design I
- DSGN 361 - Digital Media Design II
- DSGN 485 - Professional Practices in Visual Communication Design
Minor (24-30 credits)
BA majors will complete an official minor comprised of 24 or more credits. Students must meet with an advisor before taking 200-level courses to write a formal plan of study that includes identification of a minor. Students may petition to substitute a self-designed minor, comprised of at least 24 credits. The petition must include a written statement prepared by the student indicating the rationale for the courses selected. Students may substitute a second major or Internet Studies certification for a minor.
These courses are offered within this major and may be used to satisfy GUR or Writing Proficiency Requirements.
HUM: A/HI 240, 241; DSGN 111, 211