Graphic Design Degree Programs

IS A FOUR-YEAR BACHELOR’S IN GRAPHIC DESIGN MORE FOR YOU?

 

Can you see yourself working as a creative director or establishing an ad agency? Nossi’s powerful graphic design bachelor program can build your leadership, advertising and marketing skills and prepare you for higher-paid positions in the industry.

Students seeking a deeper level of professional understanding will value this opportunity to build on the technological framework of Nossi’s Interactive Graphic Design with advanced instruction in:

  • brand strategy and art direction
  • 3D modeling
  • 3D technologies
  • advanced motion graphics
  • advertising art direction
  • and much more!

View the bachelor’s degree courses
Meet the faculty
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IS THE TWO-YEAR DEGREE IN INTERACTIVE DESIGN FOR YOU?

 

As graphic design job growth shifts from traditional print to digital media, you can stay competitive by learning new graphic design skills and building core competencies in the creation of responsive websites, apps, digital publishing, motion graphics and more.

Our highly technical degree is ideal for students seeking an exciting career as a graphic artist, working at agencies or as a freelancer. If you have a degree in print design, marketing, communication or advertising, this program can enhance and provide skills sought after in today’s market. Have you built your soft skills over your career and want to break into the creative industry, this is the perfect degree for you.

Nossi is the only Nashville college to offer a two-year Interactive Graphic Design degree

View the associate’s degree courses
Meet the faculty
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Common careers for Nossi graphic design graduates:

Graphic Designer/Artist UI Designer Production Artist Web Designer
Art Director Package Designer Motion Graphics Designer Typographer
App Developer Creative Director Digital Publisher Brand Identity Developer
UX Designer Senior Design Manager Marketing Director Freelance Designer
 
 
 

Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS)
Interactive Graphic Design

Click each course title to see the full description

76 curriculum hours

DC102 - DESIGN COMPOSITION

Students are introduced to the principles of design balance, repetition of shape, positive and negative space, focal point, the illusion of depth and motion.

CT105 - COLOR THEORY

Students explore different styles and techniques of traditional painting used by many contemporary professional illustrators. An emphasis on concept through final art will be expected on each assignment with an adherence to approved concepts and color compositions.

BD101 - BASIC DRAWING

This fundamental course introduces the beginning art student to the principles of drawing. Students will produce works of art using a variety of drawing techniques.

SS104 - SUCCESS STRATEGIES

Success Strategies is a course in goal setting, techniques of note and test taking, problem solving skills, time management and critical thinking skill development to help improve learning skills.

TY110 - TYPOGRAPHY

Students will study the history of lettering from ancient symbols to today’s digital technology as well as various styles of type used throughout history.

AI140 - ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR

This course will teaches the Adobe Illustrator program, an industry-standard for vector-based design in graphic arts. Printing, color and design will be integrated for completion of various projects.

APS142 - ADOBE PHOTOSHOP

Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard image-manipulation program, used mainly to modify and work with photographs. Student will be able to use the computer to retouch a photograph, remove flaws within a photo and make color separations of a photograph. They will also learn to create images that incorporate illustrations, text and photographs.

PL160 - PAGE LAYOUT

In this course, students will learn how to implement InDesign, the industry-standard program for page layout artists, into the daily workflow of your design career. They will also break down actual ad and layout designs from magazines, newspapers and iPad Apps to discuss how they work and can be built within InDesign.

GD115 - GRAPHIC DESIGN I

The introduction of the creative process will be explored as students learn the importance of creative development when exploring the theory of aesthetics and design concepts as it applies to graphics. The class will emphasize the commercial application of designing corporate graphics such as logos and symbol designs.

PA240 - PRODUCTION ART I

Student will learn a series of steps for creating a printed product, from the conception and execution of a design through editing and production of the finished product.

WD285 - WEB DESIGN

Dreamweaver lets users create dynamic interactive content for the Internet. In this course, students will learn the basics for creating web sites using Adobe Dreamweaver CS5. Students will create their own online portfolio.

EN270 - ENGLISH

This English class will include intensive grammar review as well as writing assignments to complete a portfolio. Illustrations are encouraged to enhance the writing and the portfolio (these will add points to the grade).

GD220 - GRAPHIC DESIGN II

A continuation of Graphic Design I, Graphic Design II concerns the creative process. The course focuses on how people see and arrange visual information into a meaningful whole.

ID280 - INTERACTIVE DESIGN I

The need to manipulate and customize Internet content dynamically for each user is no longer an amenity; it’s a necessity. Currently, Interactive Design is in state of rapid maturation, and learning both design technologies serves as the best way to pace with the industry’s evolving current, without being left behind. By the end of the semester, students will build their own animations, games, web applications, advertisements and other interactive content for multiple platforms and devices through use of HTML and Flash.

SM280 - SOCIAL MEDIA DESIGN

Students taking this course will learn the challenges and limitations of User Interface (UI) design and code development for commonly used online sites like Facebook and Twitter. This unique course will help students gain valuable knowledge of evolving digital media development and user interface design.

AH212 - ART HISTORY/APPRECIATION

This course provides a broad coverage of art history from prehistoric cave painting through modern times. Students are taught art appreciation, art history, terminology, artists, art styles and the characteristics that distinguish individual artists and their styles.

GD230 - GRAPHIC DESIGN III

This course will explore the history of advertising and examine its role and importance in society. Students will learn the basics of marketing and product positioning with a focus on conceptualization, reflection and refinement through the creative process.

MA260 - MOBILE APPLICATIONS

Students will learn the basic skills to develop online web apps and stand alone mobile device apps. They will gain knowledge in basic app language coding and GUI.

ID290 - INTERACTIVE DESIGN II

This course will facilitate an intermediate understanding of design principles, creativity and innovation as translated through various web-programming languages. Students who are transitioning from Interactive Design I should be prepared to design in familiar Graphic User Interfaces (GUI), but they will venture further to explore design from a programming context.

SBM275 - SMALL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

Students will learn how to start and operate a small business with emphasis on business leadership and investment, as well as understanding the advantages and disadvantages of establishing a corporation, proprietorship and partnership.

WD290 - ADVANCED WEB DESIGN

Do you want to create web sites for companies and/or clients? This course will teach techniques including the utilization of advanced Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Hypertext Processor (PHP) and Content Management System (CMS) techniques to create interactive and data-driven web applications. By the end of the semester, students will be able to build and manage websites that go beyond the basics and provide clients with a fully-realized, extremely functional website.

MG250 - MOTION GRAPHICS

This class will expose students to software and techniques used in the creation of professional motion graphics. With the demand for motion graphics in all aspects of marketing, communication and content production on the rise, having an understanding of key concepts and methods as well as experience with different software will provide greater flexibility and capability for graphic designers and videographers.

PA250 - PRODUCTION ART II

The will have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of digital layout techniques for tablet devices and online publishing after taking this course. With the understanding of print production gained in Production Art I, students will have knowledge of pre-production and digital publishing solutions using software tools designed to develop interactive interfaces. Understanding the production process and communication between art director and production artist will be the focus of this study.

PR450 - PORTFOLIO/RESUME AND CAREER PREPARATION

This intensive capstone course provides students with the technical, conceptual and aesthetic skills to organize and develop an outstanding professional portfolio. Self-promotional identity themes are developed along with a thorough review of student resumes, cover letters and business cards. Interviewing techniques and job search preparation are also stressed. Portfolios, resumes, business cards and self-promotional materials are showcased at the mandatory Senior Portfolio Review. Industry professionals and potential employers attend the event.

U.S. Department of Education Gainful Employment Statistics

View the Course Catalog

Bachelor of Graphic Arts (BGA)
Graphic Art and Design

Click each course title to see the full description. Our bachelor's degree includes interactive graphic design courses.

133 curriculum hours

SPC101 - SPEECH

This course teaches the art of public speaking. Students will learn how to work with clients; how to speak to clients; how to present ideas to clients and how to convince clients.

PL103 - PHILOSOPHY

This course examines some of the seminal issues and important thinkers in the philosophical tradition. The course will be a combination of lecture and discussion, and will focus on questions from four main areas of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and aesthetics.

PS108 - PSYCHOLOGY

This course surveys a broad field of study from brain biology to abnormal, motivational and developmental psychology. A study of the thinking and research behind various fields of psychology will lead to a discussion of how each field applies to human events in the everyday lives of people. An examination of how psychology also applies to advertising, graphic arts, illustration and photography will also be made.

MTH300 - CONTEMPORARY MATH

Students will examine common uses of mathematics in everyday life.

AH212 - ART HISTORY/APPRECIATION

This course provides a broad coverage of art history from prehistoric cave painting through modern times. Students are taught art appreciation, art history, terminology, artists, art styles and the characteristics that distinguish individual artists and their styles.

HWC301 - HISTORY OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION

This course presents students with a survey of Western Civilization, from the ancient world to contemporary culture through discussion and appreciation of historical works.

ES300 - EARTH SCIENCES: THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT

This course was established, in part, because of the potent influence of science on society. Therefore, a major objective of this course is to help develop an understanding of the nature of science, including its philosophical basis, power and limitations.

LIT211 - AMERICAN LITERATURE

In this course, students trace the relationship between culture and art at various stages in literature, especially English-language literature. The course focuses on theme, point of view and voice, symbolism, imagery, figures of speech, forms, plot structure and irony – and students will focus on the ability to analyze these aspects of a work, and to articulate how and why various authors do what they do.

EN270 - ENGLISH

This English class will include intensive grammar review as well as writing assignments to complete a portfolio. Illustrations are encouraged to enhance the writing and the portfolio (these will add points to the grade).

SS104 - SUCCESS STRATEGIES

Success Strategies is a course in goal setting, techniques of note and test taking, problem solving skills, time management and critical thinking skill development to help improve learning skills.

SBM 275 - SMALL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

Students will learn how to start and operate a small business with emphasis on business leadership and investment, as well as understanding the advantages and disadvantages of establishing a corporation, proprietorship and partnership.

Courses of Major:

DC 102 - DESIGN COMPOSITION

Students are introduced to the principles of design balance, repetition of shape, positive and negative space, focal point, the illusion of depth and motion.

BD101 - BASIC DRAWING

This fundamental course introduces the beginning art student to the principles of drawing. Students will produce works of art using a variety of drawing techniques.

CT105 - COLOR THEORY

Students explore different styles and techniques of traditional painting used by many contemporary professional illustrators. An emphasis on concept through final art will be expected on each assignment with an adherence to approved concepts and color compositions.

AI140 - ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR

This course will teaches the Adobe Illustrator program, an industry-standard for vector-based design in graphic arts. Printing, color and design will be integrated for completion of various projects.

APS142 - ADOBE PHOTOSHOP

Adobe Photoshop is the industry-standard, image-manipulation program, used mainly to modify and work with photographs. After completing this course, students will be able to use the computer to retouch a photograph, remove flaws within a photo and make color separations of a photograph.

PL160 - PAGE LAYOUT

In this course, students will learn how to implement InDesign, the industry-standard program for page layout artists, into the daily workflow of your design career. They will also break down actual ad and layout designs from magazines, newspapers and iPad Apps to discuss how they work and can be built within InDesign.

GD115 - GRAPHIC DESIGN I

The introduction of the creative process will be explored as students learn the importance of creative development when exploring the theory of aesthetics and design concepts as it applies to graphics. There is an emphasis in the commercial application of designing corporate graphics such as logos and symbol designs.

TY110 - TYPOGRAPHY

Students will study the history of lettering from ancient symbols to today’s digital technology as well as various styles of type used throughout history.

WD285 - WEB DESIGN

Dreamweaver lets users create dynamic interactive content for the Internet. In this course, students will learn the basics for creating web sites using Adobe Dreamweaver CS5. Students will create their own online portfolio.

GD220 - GRAPHIC DESIGN II

A continuation of Graphic Design I, Graphic Design II concerns the creative process. The course focuses on how people see and arrange visual information into a meaningful whole.

PA240 - PRODUCTION ART I

Student will learn a series of steps for creating a printed product, from the conception and execution of a design through editing and production of the finished product.

PA250 - PRODUCTION ART II

The will have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of digital layout techniques for tablet devices and online publishing after taking this course. With the understanding of print production gained in Production Art I, students will have knowledge of pre-production and digital publishing solutions using software tools designed to develop interactive interfaces. Understanding the production process and communication between art director and production artist will be the focus of this study.

ID280 - INTERACTIVE DESIGN I

The need to manipulate and customize Internet content dynamically for each user is no longer an amenity; it’s a necessity. Currently, Interactive Design is in state of rapid maturation, and learning both design technologies serves as the best way to pace with the industry’s evolving current, without being left behind. By the end of the semester, students will build their own animations, games, web applications, advertisements and other interactive content for multiple platforms and devices through use of HTML and Flash.

ID290 - INTERACTIVE DESIGN II

This course will facilitate an intermediate understanding of design principles, creativity and innovation as translated through various web-programming languages. Students who are transitioning from Interactive Design I should be prepared to design in familiar Graphic User Interfaces (GUI), but they will venture further to explore design from a programming context.

MA260 - MOBILE APPLICATIONS

Students will learn the basic skills to develop online web apps and stand alone mobile device apps. They will gain knowledge in basic app language coding and GUI.

WD290 - ADVANCED WEB DESIGN

Do you want to create web sites for companies and/or clients? This course will teach techniques including the utilization of advanced Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Hypertext Processor (PHP) and Content Management System (CMS) techniques to create interactive and data-driven web applications. By the end of the semester, students will be able to build and manage websites that go beyond the basics and provide clients with a fully-realized, extremely functional website.

MG250 - MOTION GRAPHICS

This class will expose students to software and techniques used in the creation of professional motion graphics. With the demand for motion graphics in all aspects of marketing, communication and content production on the rise, having an understanding of key concepts and methods as well as experience with different software will provide greater flexibility and capability for graphic designers and videographers.

GD230 - GRAPHIC DESIGN III

This course will explore the history of advertising and examine its role and importance in society. Students will learn the basics of marketing and product positioning with a focus on conceptualization, reflection and refinement through the creative process.

SM280 - SOCIAL MEDIA DESIGN

Students taking this course will learn the challenges and limitations of User Interface (UI) design and code development for commonly used online sites like Facebook and Twitter. This unique course will help students gain valuable knowledge of evolving digital media development and user interface design.

GD240 - GRAPHIC DESIGN IV

This course will examine advanced concepts of developing brand elements with an emphasis on execution and presentation. Students will conceptualize and produce various collateral materials including identity, packaging and web vehicles to promote and sell a brand through intelligent graphic design and learning the importance of, and techniques for, generating and selling design concepts to a client.

TY216 - ADVANCED TYPOGRAPHY

Students will delve deeper into the usage of type as a major design element and will appreciate the use of typography as a graphic art solution.

3DM380 - 3D MODELING

This course will introduce students to the world of 3D visualization using Maya. Maya is recognized as an industry standard in various fields like print, game design and animation. This will be the first major step for students in 3D principles because they will learn the interface and how to manoeuvre around the application.

TN425 - 3D TECHNOLOGIES

Throughout this course, students will further develop their understanding of the 3D realm as they expand on the modelling and texturing side of 3D. They will learn advanced techniques to create textures for 3D objects, environments and figures.

GDS350 - GRAPHIC DESIGN SPECIALTY

Students will move through the entire process of brand identity creation, executing both trade and consumer advertising campaigns. Executions include direct marketing, social marketing and utilizing media such as, print, tradeshow booth graphics, online and unique out-of-home possibilities.

PG360 - PACKAGING

This introduction to packaging design will allow students to see the importance of packaging in the marketplace. A gained knowledge of packaging’s role in cultural society as well as brand importance will be addressed. Final pieces will be executed and either photographed or digitally rendered so that each piece is portfolio ready.

MG360 - ADVANCED MOTION GRAPHICS

Students will explore deeper concepts of software and techniques used in the creation of professional motion graphics. Learning more in depth approaches in animation, typography and titling sequences to short film narratives. By utilizing lessons from the first Motion Graphics, this class examines more skilled motion graphic creation and animation.

AD420 - ADVERTISING ART DIRECTION

This intense course will allow the student to experience the leadership responsibilities an art director assumes within an advertising agency environment. The instructor serves as the creative director, buyer or client and the course focuses on the students solving professional advertising solutions in graphic design.

AD490 - ENVIRONMENTAL ART DIRECTION

The course focuses on the students solving professional art direction challenges as it pertains to advertising elements within special environments (e.g. in-store signage, graphic displays, product point-of purchase elements, including kiosks, outdoor building signage , etc.). Students may be required to collaborate with photographers and/or illustrators as needed from the college’s associated degree programs.

WD420 - WEB DESIGN SPECIALTY

By working in a collaborative team environment, this course is designed to enable students to choose an area of web design interest in which they may wish to pursue additional knowledge. The three major areas of web development will be examined: front end (User Interface Design), back end (Production of data-driven Management) and integration (the ability to understand and execute both front end and back end areas of web development).

PCW310 - PRINCIPLES OF COPYWRITING AND EDITING

Students will learn essential skills for professional copywriting and editing by recognizing purpose behind every piece of copy.

IS440 - INDEPENDENT STUDY (optional)

Independent Study courses are individually designed to meet specific needs of students in order to complete degree requirements.

PR450 - PORTFOLIO/RESUME AND CAREER PREPARATION

This intensive capstone course provides students with the technical, conceptual and aesthetic skills to organize and develop an outstanding professional portfolio. Students will build on their comprehensive body of work while at Nossi College of Art to create this professional portfolio. Self-promotional identity themes are developed along with a thorough review of student resumes, cover letters and business cards. Interviewing techniques and job search preparation are also stressed. Portfolios, resumes, business cards and self-promotional materials are showcased at the mandatory Tri-Annual Portfolio Review. Industry professionals and potential employers attend the event.

U.S. Department of Education Gainful Employment Statistics

View the Course Catalog

 
 

Who you'll be learning from
Bruce Stanley GRAPHIC DESIGN COORDINATOR | FREELANCER | OWNER CARE TO CREATE

Bruce Stanley’s dynamic career as a graphic artist would have never happened if it wasn’t for an elective course he took in college. After high school, Bruce first joined the army before enrolling into college. He was still in the process of declaring a major when he had to create an editorial page for a journalism project. His professor was impressed with his work introduced him to the Graphic Design Department Chair. The rest is history. Bruce has been in Nashville’s graphic design industry for over 20 years, working his way up from graphic designer, freelancer to art direction and creative director. Each move inspired his work and sharpened his skills to become a more versatile designer.

Going beyond the basics: Bruce discovered many students are never introduced to a large proponent of what they will be designing after graduation – business to business marketing and advertising. In Graphic Design Specialty, students will develop a brand campaign using direct mail, social media, online and print that focuses on how a company advertises to other companies. They will go more in-depth with the campaign by creating a booth and marketing materials for a trade show in a 3D render (thanks 3D modeling class!). Impress the entire professional community when you include trade industry advertising in your portfolio, an asset many students don’t have in college.

While in school, students are exposed to other creative students, teacher and projects, but unless they find an internship or a job in this market, students can’t fully understand what it feels like to be a respected professional and belong to this industry. “You are relevant, you have a purpose, people need you and you will get paid for this,” said Bruce. “You will get a sense of what your career will look like with an internship.”

 

Paul Edo-Eket FREELANCE DESIGNER AT PAULE-E.COM | SUB-CONTRACT DESIGNER | TEACHER

Paul began his creative career in the media services department at Fisk University while he was studying to earn his degree. He was promoted and ran the entire department before graduating. He currently freelances and has sub-contracted for a number of design firms in Nashville. At Nossi, Paul utilizes his 10 years of experience to teach Interactive Design, Motion Graphics and the Web Design Specialty.

What to expect from Paul: In Web Design Specialty, Paul will choose a real Nashville client that is in need of a website redesign. During class, clients come in to discuss their business, their brand and their ideas with the class. Each student in this class will design mockups and make changes based on client recommendations.

Read more...

At the end of each course, a live website will be launched for the client. The client will have full access to content management; students will have the experience of designing a website from start to finish.

Why he decided to teach at Nossi: “The students. I feel like I am secretly learning as much, if not more, than students. This is an excuse to improve my craft and that is definitely a benefit for myself as well as the students.”

Link to websites created by Nossi students (Tiicares when it launches, Amqui Chamber when it launches – what has Hugh developed?)

 

Greg Giblin FREELANCE GRAPHIC DESIGNER AT GTIMESG.COM

Greg Giblin surrounded himself in the arts and the art of storytelling at the young age of 14 when he appeared in a school play.

He has been working in the creative industry ever since. As a freelance designer, Greg works with a number of clients to produce 3D designs, game development, mobile applications, character animation and also video work.

What to expect from Greg’s class: Getting down to basic design principles and the human interaction. The real value in today’s world is the human attention span.

Read more...

Advertisers spend millions of dollars every year trying to connect with their audience. Website and programs must respond to scaling and proper positioning no matter what tablet, mobile device or computer that audience uses.

Greg’s favorite part about the creative process is collaboration. “Brainstorming generates ideas, good and bad, that allow you to think in new ways and come up with new ideas.” Why he teaches at Nossi: “I really like the students. I love the people I work with. I love the arts, and I love to see the students tell their stories.”

Link to Michael Farr’s project in 3D design to showcase work.

 

 

 
 
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