The graphic design field has always been competitive and is expected to continue in this trend. Carnegie Mellon University was one of steel magnate Andrew Carnegie's many contributions to society. Virginia Commonwealth University was initially founded in 1838 as a medical college and has expanded throughout the last century to become the well respected, state affiliated university it is today. The Rhode Island School of Design, one of the finest stand alone design schools in the country, was founded in 1877 in Providence, Rhode Island. Pratt Institute has been one of the leading art schools in the country since its founding in 1886. The Maryland Institute College of Art is one of the oldest art colleges in the United States, having been founded in 1826 as the Maryland Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts.
Cranbrook Academy of Art is a part of Cranbrook Educational Community located in the Detroit, Michigan suburb of Bloomfield Hills. The long history of the University of Delaware began with their founding as a private institution in 1743. CalArts has one of the most unique founding story of all the schools on our list, having been founded in 1961 by Walt Disney (he merged two failing schools, the Chouinard Art Institute and the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music). Corcoran College of Art and Design was originally established in the late 1800’s in reaction to the enthusiastic response of patrons of the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University is committed to providing degree programs with an emphasis on practical industry relevant experience. College Crunch offers info and reviews of the best colleges, the most popular degrees, and the top career options available today. Offset printing technology is preferred method for printing materials providing lower per-unit costs with the quality for larger print runs. Prepress is the term used in the printing and publishing industries for the processes and procedures that occur between the creation of a print layout and the final printing.
There are different materials for plates, including paper (which produces a lower-quality product). Typesetting involves the presentation of textual material in graphic form on paper or some other medium. Copy-editing, is the work that an editor does to improve the formatting, style, and accuracy of a manuscript. Markup is an artificial language using a set of annotations to text that give instructions regarding the structure of text or how it is to be displayed. Proofing involves creating an accurate facsimile of the artwork before beginning production runs. Proofreading traditionally means reading a proof copy of a text in order to detect and correct any errors. Separation, or specifying images or text to be put on plates applying individual printing media (inks, varnishes, etc.) to a common print.
Manufacturing of plates The usage of different materials of plates should meet the needs of printing method.
In most modern publishing environments, the tasks related to content generation and refinement are carried out separately from other prepress tasks, and are commonly characterized as part of graphic design. Job growth in graphic design is not projected to grow substantially, only increasing approximately by the average employment growth rate. Founded in 1900, the university began as Carnegie Technical Schools before becoming the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912.
Virginia Commonwealth University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has several specialized program accreditations. Today the school offers a rich student life that includes shared resources with contiguous Brown University including social, academic, and community resources. Pratt is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, an organization consisting of 36 of the premier art schools in the United States. The school is quite distinguished and this is reflected in recent US News and World Report rankings, placing the Maryland Institute College of Art 4th in the nation for Masters of Fine Arts programs, with special recognition for its Masters in Graphic Design program. Among their alumni, the University of Delaware boasts three signers of the Declaration of Independence and one United States Constitution signer. The college is located in the heart of Washington DC’s cultural district, amidst an array of museums. The industry focused programs offered at Drexel University ensure their graduates are prepared to be successful contenders in the exceptionally competitive creative fields.
The prepress procedure includes the manufacture of a printing plate, image carrier or form, ready for mounting on a offset printing press, as well as the adjustment of images and texts or the creation of a high-quality print file.
Before the advent of desktop publishing, typesetting of printed material was produced in print shops by compositors or typesetters working by hand, and later with machines. Copy-editing is done prior to the work of proofreaders, who handle documents before final publication. Markup languages have been in use for centuries, and in recent years have also been used in computer typesetting and word-processing systems. This serves as a bond between the printer and their customer that the final product meets an agreed upon standard. Usually rubber, plastic, aluminum are used for plates as well as film which is the photomechanical exposure and processing of light-sensitive emulsion on a printing plate. Some companies combine the roles of graphic design and prepress production into desktop publishing usually called DTP. From there the school merged with Mellon Institute of Industrial Research in 1967 to become the Carnegie Mellon we know today. Considered a research institution, VCU contributes to the advancement and development of the many disciplines it teaches.


The University of Delaware has earned the distinction as a research university; a title applied to only 3% of institutions. Walt Disney originally had a vision that involved interdisciplinary learning where students would learn a variety of skills. Since its beginnings, Corcoran has offered students the opportunity to become immersed within the visual arts fields while pursuing their various degree programs. Drexel University provides their students with a unique comprehensive educational experience which combines creative coursework with valuable science and humanities curriculum.
In today’s prepress shop, the form of delivery from the customer is usually electronic, either a PDF or application files created from such programs as Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress.
Images from the negatives are transferred to printing plates in much the same way as photographs are developed.
Proofs in general can be done for all parts (images, illustrations, texts and colors) of print product. For example, it is not uncommon to use a computer and image-setter to generate film which is then stripped and used to expose the plate in a vacuum frame; this workflow is hybrid because separation and halftoning are carried out via digital processes while the exposure of the plate is an analog one.
Recent graduates of graphic design degree programs will have to rely on their educational credentials to persuade employers to offer them positions.
The school is world renowned, earning the 21st overall position in the Top 200 World Universities done by Times Higher Education, and US News and World Report ranked Carnegie Mellon 22nd in the nation amongst national research universities. The skilled teaching of the faculty members and the collaborative information derived from professional resources within the local community ensure graduates receive a comprehensive and rigorous educational experience.
Over 2,200 students and 350 faculty and curators call the Rhode Island School of Design home, and the school also receives visits from over 200 artists in a typical year.
Graphic Design students at Pratt Institute take an undergraduate course of study in Communications Design, which leads students to one of three careers; the aforementioned Graphic Design, Illustration, or Advertising Art Direction. Graphic Design students enrolling in the Maryland Institute College of Art benefit from an internationally renowned faculty and many opportunities for hands on learning experiences. Students who don't want to mess with unrelated curriculum requirements will love Cranbrook, who get down to the core of Art and Design right away.
The superior academic programs offered at the University of Delaware include 130 bachelors, 79 master and 39 doctoral programs within seven colleges. CalArts thus became the first school in the country to offer BFAs and MFAs in both performing and visual arts. The campus has studio locations and classrooms at three locations around the nation’s capitol. Students are encouraged to participate in entrepreneurial projects and activities which offer a wealth of professionally relevant experience. A measured amount of light is allowed to pass through the film negatives to expose the printing plate. Choosing a school with a well regarded program in the graphic design or related fields is important since it could be a critical deciding factor. Students benefit from the opportunity of being able to choose from seven colleges and independent schools within the University; Graphic Design students would be attending the College of Fine Arts. The 120 credit Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in Graphic Design offered at Virginia Commonwealth University prepares students for the competitive professional fields in creative design. RISD offers an intense Graphic Design program that includes study in communications theory, design history, visual form-making, color, systems thinking and information design, as well as extensive study of typography. Regardless of their career path, all students are taught the same skills and studio techniques and all students learn proficiency in photography, painting, computer graphics, film, typography, and printmaking.
Students are afforded the opportunity to learn from the award winning faculty members who teach at the school; including Nobel laureates, a Pulitzer Prize winner and Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellows. The Graphic Design program at CalArts emphasizes both the practical and conceptual sides of the discipline.
Students are offered the option of pursuing non-credit, part time credit and continuing education credit courses. The courses are taught by experienced industry professionals who offer students the benefit of their career perspectives. When the plates are exposed to light, a chemical reaction occurs that allows an ink-receptive coating to be activated.
Print-ready PDF files should be made after the layout using preflight at the printing house. Furthermore – depending on the printing method and the print product – the elements of the prepress of a graphic print production can differ from case to case.
With these facts in mind, take the time to make a discerning decision on which school to attend.
This college was honored in 2008 with a #1 ranking for its MFA Design program by US News and World Report.
The curriculum includes foundational courses in art which must be completed prior to admission to the graphic design program. Students are encouraged to create their own personal design language as they progress through the course of study, emphasized by the focus on creative decision making and analytical problem solving skills.
Pratt Institute places great value on graduates being proficient problem solvers, and thus want their students to have the skills to be managers, directors, and top artists instead of simply technicians. The core courses begin Sophomore year with heavy focus on typography and the core concepts of graphic design, followed by more hands on experience Junior and Senior years. Instead students simply have Studios, minors, and a Critical Studies and Humanities sequence.
The Department of Art at the University of Delaware offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Degree. Students benefit from intimate classes that feature critique-based learning that ensures lots of hands on opportunities.


Fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since the 1980’s, Corcoran College is also a member of the National Association of Schools of Art. The printer’s proof should be printed out in high-resolution and checked by the customer.
Consider the factors employers may find of most importance; quality of the degree program, reputation of the school, accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The College of Fine Arts takes a holistic approach to teaching design, emphasizing learning through doing. The program addresses the areas of communication, ethics, communication technology, and distinguishing a target audience and adapting communications towards their needs. The school offers a traditional four year undergraduate degree that results in a Bachelor of Fine Arts, but students can also choose to embark upon a five year program that results in a Bachelor of Graphic Design which shows that a student has reached a higher level of proficiency.
Currently the Graphic Design discipline is taught by Cranbrook alum Elliott Earls a graphic and performance artist who has lived and taught all over the world. Students work in a communal setting and have access to studios that are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The 120 credit Bachelor of Fine Art degree in Graphic Design provides students with the fundamental skills and practical knowledge of the field through academic courses and hands on work experience.
The degree programs offered in graphic design at Drexel University’s Westphal College provides students with both education and work experience.
The imposition proof, which is usually done by the printers, should also be printed out to check and adjust the offset printing press. This first involves taking students through a Freshman year primarily concerned with discovery, enabling students to begin acquiring basic skills while also allowing them to become aware of social and cultural contexts of design. The rigorous program requires students to adhere to a high level of professional performance.
Pratt Institute students will find ample internship opportunities at large and influential advertising agencies, design firms, and publishing houses. Cranbrook is an atypical school that is perfect if you are an elite student looking for a unique experience. Courses include foundation drawing, 2- dimensional design, digital media and research studio.
Faculty is accomplished and the school provides students additional opportunity for learning through visits from guests and traveling faculty from other schools.
The graphic design curriculum includes studies in the areas of theory, history and technology. The 182 credit Bachelor of Science Graphic Design degree curriculum develops student’s creative and problem solving skills and trains them to produce a variety of visual communication projects for a range of print and interactive media ventures. That can mean that employees, who are actually responsible for other parts of the production (e.g. The college should provide current technology and design software with which to train their students. Subsequent years see students concentrating on their chief interest, which for Graphical Design students would mean Communication Design. Students complete courses in methodology and research which include surface research, space research, quantitative literacy, focused inquiry, survey of western art, history of visual communication and a range of design specific courses. Students are required to complete at least 75 credit hours in courses within the art department. CalArts makes sure that each student not only learns abstractly, but also hands on, which guarantees that the student will not only have a transcript upon graduation but also a strong portfolio to present as they head out into the working world. Courses specific to the major include typography, publication design, fundamentals of graphic design, writing, art history, communication design, design concepts, contemporary culture and theories and history of graphic design. Students can pursue a specialization in environmental design, web and motion design or advertising design. Concentrations within the major are offered and can be completed with 30 credits within the focused area. Students can participate in internships with MTV, National Geographic Magazine, MTV, America Online and the Marriott Corporation. Finally, for senior year students form teams and work on interdisciplinary projects that encompass everything they have learned at Carnegie Mellon. The Department of Art incorporates trips to a variety of major art centers to view the work of renowned artists and designers. Social Awareness programs within the college allow students the opportunity to participate in special projects with a social impact. Visual studies credits include several history of art courses, design courses, painting and drawing courses in which 46 credits must be completed. Some college campuses have technology laboratories with state of the art equipment provided for their student’s use.
Campus resources include the Recitation Gallery, a Macintosh equipped computer art site, studio work shops and a digital laboratory. In addition to the academic work, students are expected to participate in the university’s Co-op program which affords them the opportunity to gain essential work experience. Another area to consider would be any affiliations the college has with companies or organizations in relation to the graphic design industry. These types of connections could facilitate internship opportunities and may result in job offers.



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