Skip to main
Pantone color books open on table.

Art - Graphic Design

That logo on your favorite handbag? A graphic designer made that. The opening credits of your favorite Netflix show? Graphic designer. The cover of your favorite book? That too. The color and layout of the website you’re reading right now? Yup, graphic designer. The sign telling you where the bathroom is? You guessed it… graphic design to the rescue.

Degree Types
Major , Specialization
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Portfolio, Senior Exhibition
Professional Preparation
Design Internships

When you start noticing it, the work of graphic designers is absolutely everywhere in our world and our daily lives. A specialization in the Art department, Graphic Design equips you to put your artistic sensibilities to use. You'll learn to communicate ideas and concepts in ways that can be informative, beautiful, helpful, or purely entertaining. And the good news is that graphic designers work in industries and businesses of all types — from Hollywood to advertising to publishing, and many, many more.

Future Career Paths

Our students have gone on to graduate programs in: painting, sculpture, new media, inter-media and digital arts, graphic design, interior design, exhibition design, curatorial practices, art criticism, and art therapy. They have pursued advanced degrees at colleges and universities like:

  • George Washington University
  • Maryland Institute College of Art
  • Academy of Fine Art
  • Pratt Institute
  • School of Visual Arts in New York City
  • University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Career Success

Graduates of the Art department have gone on to work as:

  • Independent artists
  • Children’s book authors and illustrator
  • Art therapists
  • Art professors
  • Graphic designers
  • Art writers
  • Museum curators

Networking with Alumni

Each year, we bring back successful alumni to meet with current students to discuss career planning. You'll network with alumni like:

  • Steph Perez ’15 Graphic Designer for Higher Learning Group, Harrisburg, PA
  • Morganne Klein ’15 Graphic Designer at The Common Market Co-op
  • Stefon Kelly’12 MFA ’18 Graphic Design. Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Graphic Design ’15 at Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD. (Graphic Designer at Michael Alarm, Inc. Greater NYC Area).
  • Lauren Laker ’10 Designer, Consumer Packaging Design at Under Armour
  • Emily Biondo ’09 MFA in Studio Art, American University, Washington, D.C. ’11 Graphic Designer at Insomniac Designs, Washington, D.C.
  • Emily Hajjar ‘08 Art Director at Creosote Effects, Baltimore
  • Ben Kauffman ’07 Senior Graphic Designer ACS Creative, Germantown, MD
  • Kelly Farmer '05: MFA '13 in Graphic Design at Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA (Freelance Art Director, The Walt Disney Co)

Distinctive Courses

ART 1101 - Perceptual Drawing

A studio course in drawing concentrates on developing an understanding of perceptual drawing technique that emphasize proportion and spatial conventions. Compositional skills are developed, and different mediums are explored. Students develop creative problem solving skills by investigating complex still life arrangements.

ART 1117 - Design

An introductory investigation of two-dimensional design principles involving the elements of art in solving visual problems. Issues of consumerism and the development of a personal portfolio in a variety of media are stressed.

ART 3318 - Graphic Design II

A studio course dealing with the technical realm of advertising graphics, illustration, and informative and promotional art. Field trips to a variety of art agencies are included.

ART 2206 - Digital Imaging

This class will serve as an introduction to digital art, presenting students with the opportunity to learn about the computer as a tool for art making. Much of our time will be spent covering the basics of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Using the software specified above, we will become acquainted with how the computer and design software can be used to present complex visual and conceptual ideas which can be used to affect social and cultural exchange. Throughout the semester students will become acquainted with image manipulation in popular culture and some of the contemporary themes associated with digital art. Non-art majors are absolutely welcomed and no previous art experience is required.

Special Opportunities

Image of artwork in Rice Gallery beneath a stained glass skylight.

Each year, senior Art majors display their capstone portfolios in McDaniel's Rice Gallery in Peterson Hall. From textiles to graphic art, the on-campus exhibitions feature student work of all kinds.

Two students work on a clay project in the McDaniel art studio.

A Place for All Computer labs, kilns, and more

No matter your medium, we've got you covered. Our facilities include naturally lit studios for painting and drawing classes, a state-of-the-art computer lab, dark room, and graphic design, jewelry, printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture studios.

Image of free-standing gallery walls with animation artwork on them in McDaniel's Rice Gallery.

Artist Features On-Campus Exhibitions

The Department of Art invites artists and exhibits to Rice Gallery to display their creations on campus. Recent features include Mark Wheatley and Marc Hempel’s acclaimed graphic novel “Breathtaker" and "Icons of American Animation," which featured over 150 pieces of original art from more than 30 studios including Disney, Fleischer, Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, and more.

McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Skylar Blackbull Class of 2023

Meet Our Students Class of 2023: Skylar Blackbull Get to Know a Green Terror

Skylar’s senior capstone, “Medicine in Movement,” is centered around the beauty in her native Navajo culture. During her time at McDaniel she interned on and off campus and worked closely with Art faculty to hone her skills. After graduation, she plans to work for an organization that supports Indigenous Peoples or work as a designer in the film industry.

Kaylen Buschhorn poses with a lacrosse stick.

Meet an Alum Class of 2022: Kaylen Buschhorn

"I had the unique opportunity to share my work from the past four years in an exhibition. My capstone, titled “Creative Timeouts,” includes a majority of the graphics I have created in my multiple internships and graphic design classes that kept me busy during my time at McDaniel when I wasn’t on the lacrosse field."

Gia K. with professor Chloe Irla at the new little free library on Charles Street.

Art–Communication major earns $1,000 grant to build Little Free Library in Westminster

Art-Communication major Gia Koutsokostas was working on a project for her Graphic Design II course when she was struck with inspiration. Her design for a new Little Free Library in Westminster could become a reality if she only had the funds...