Welcome to Graphic Design at Western


Thank You for Choosing the Graphic Design Program at Western.

We are excited to have you in class this fall. Your journey through the graphics program will be educational, challenging, rewarding—and dare we say—fun!

We pride ourselves on teaching the knowledge and skills you need to begin your career in graphic design.


we pride ourselves on…

  • Small Class Sizes - 16 Students per class
    We will know you and your name
  • 5 Full-Time Instructors with Real-World Experience
  • 120 Up-to-Date Macs in 7 Labs
  • Professional Graphic Design and Web Design Software by Adobe
  • Real-Life, Industry-Quality Class Projects
  • Graphic Design Club - Offering Field Trips
  • Freelance and Internship Opportunities
  • Proven Job Placement


what does a graphic designer do?

Program Outcomes (what you will experience and learn)

  1. How to design cool marketing and advertising stuff
  2. Become power-users of industry-standard design software
  3. Effectively communicate with clients and industry partners
  4. Convince clients that your design work will help them


Basically, you will learn how to take a client’s message and visually deliver it to a target audience.

You will design marketing and advertising material like:

  • brand identities
  • logos
  • brochures
  • posters
  • business presentations
  • websites
  • advertisements
  • book covers
  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • t-shirts


Here are some examples…

Harley 1


Harley 2




Fuel Bar 1


Fuel bar 2



jobs in graphic design

Our graduates work for some of the best companies in America. Here are just a few…


students begin their careers in the following positions

  • Graphic Designer
  • Prepress Technician
  • Web Designer


starting wage

  • $10–$14 per hour ($14–16 in larger cities)


our graduates also transfer to 4-year colleges and universities

  • Viterbo University
  • UW-Stout
  • UW-La Crosse
  • Winona State University
  • Franklin University


first-year classes

First-year classes will focus on the foundations you will need to succeed as a graphic designer.

  • Design Fundamentals
  • Designing with Type
  • Publication Design I
  • Publication Design II
  • Drawing
  • Illustrator
  • Photoshop
  • Web Design I
  • General Education: Math, Written Communication, Speech, Sociology


second-year classes

Second-year classes bring your first-year knowledge together and you start designing like a real graphic designer—on industry-quality design projects.

  • Web Design 2
  • Illustration Concepts
  • Graphic Design and Marketing
  • Graphic Design Advertising
  • Comprehensive Design and Troubleshooting
  • Graphic Design Portfolio
  • 1 Elective
  • General Education: Psychology, Ethics, Economics


All graphic design classes are delivered face-to-face.
Gen Eds can be taken face-to-face, online, or blended.


why I succeeded… advice from graduates

  • I put in a lot of hours
  • I had good attendance
  • I interacting with people in my class
  • I enjoyed the class projects
  • I made strong connections with my instructors
    (Talk to your advisor!)


obstacles and frustrations…

  • Waiting until the last minute to complete my work
  • Balancing work and school and dealing with deadlines
  • I ran out of available night classes due to full-time day job
  • Had money issues, had a child, and worked too much
  • Not enough self-motivation
  • Just the overall workload of every class
  • Not having a Mac computer at home to work on projects



Get to know your advisor! He/she will help guide you through your college years at Western. They will help you with everyday college-related questions, and help you choose the right classes so you graduate on time!

Important things to remember…

  • Follow our course sequence - (prerequisites)
  • "C" or better in all classes
  • Save/back up all your projects for your graduate portfolio
  • Attend class, get involved, and get your work in on time
  • Buy your books before classes start
  • Buy your Graphic Design Kit ($130) before classes start
  • Windows people can become Mac people quickly