The BFA in Fine and Performing Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design combines traditional visual arts media and computer-based design training with attention to practical application of those skills in a professional environment. Our Graphic Design emphasis prepares young artists for careers in three major fields. We train and prepare students to create computer-based pre-press designs for print and publications, in photo-based image editing, and designing for sequential interactive information delivery systems, such as the World Wide Web.
Graphic Design represents the largest (and in many ways most productive) of the BFA emphases in terms of credit hours generated, majors, and graduates. Graphic Design graduates have proven themselves and the value of the BFA degree program through achievement and success in the workplace, here in northwest Tennessee, and across the state. The excellent preparation and exceptional productivity of our graduates has become something that is expected in our community.
In our program, you’ll be given ample opportunity for exhibiting works. We believe you can’t succeed unless you participate. These opportunities include the VTA Annual Student Art Exhibition, the Artists of the 21st Century Exhibition, the Soybean Festival Art Exhibition, specialty exhibitions, senior exhibitions, museum trips, and the many activities sponsored through the Visual Arts Society. Graphic Design emphasis students also have the opportunity for professional internships. Students have served internships with the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, KY, for Sony Music in Nashville, TN, Federal Express and Ducks Unlimited Publishing in Memphis, The Nashville Predators Hockey Team, ADG, Inc., Jackson, TN, The Science Center, St. Louis, MO, and with the city of Martin.
Graduates are hired in a wide variety of business endeavors, One of the great advantages of being a graphic designer is that your skills are in demand, needed by a variety of employers in almost every market, anywhere. Our Graphic Design graduates work as teachers, (Independence High School, Franklin, TN; Carroll Community College, Westminster, MD; The Savanna College of Art and Design, Savanna, GA), designers (Active Creations, Gallatin, TN; Harrah’s Entertainment, Tunica, MS; Franktown Rocks Entertainment, Franklin, TN; Smyrna Graphics, Smyrna, TN; Think Signs, Memphis, TN; Coca-Cola, Memphis TN; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN; Sign Brothers, Athens, GA; M. Lee Smith Publishers, Brentwood, TN; Chattanooga Coin Company, Chattanooga, TN; Ferry-Morse Seeds, South Fulton, TN; Smart D/M Acxicom Corporation, Brentwood, TN; The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL; GBA Printing, Bardstown, KY; The House of Blues, Inc., Memphis, TN; PictSweet Foods, Inc. Brownsville, TN; Lamar Advertising, Jackson, TN; Off Road Products, Dyersburg, TN; Woods Brothers Racing, Harrisburg, NC; CKJ Marketing, Franklin, TN; Ducks Unlimited, Memphis, TN; Avery Sporting Goods, Memphis TN; LifeWay Christian Resource Printing Services, Nashville, TN; Select Signs, Union City, TN; The University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, TN), in publication (The Jackson Son, Jackson TN; The Louisville Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY; Journal Communications, Nashville, TN; Fukuoka Magazine, Tokyo, Japan: The Weakley County Press, Martin, TN), and in their own small businesses (Riley Graphics, Union City, TN and Firebrimstone.com, Memphis, TN). There is a long diverse list of opportunities for Graphic Design students that demonstrate flexibility, initiative, and competence through preparation and training appropriate to today’s working environment.
Opportunities for membership in associated student organizations are an important part of student development. The Visual Arts Society (Art, Art Education, and Graphic Design) and Alpha Psi Omega (National Theatre Honor Society) support the efforts of the department and are important in the professional growth of students.
There are three main art studios in Gooch Hall for Ceramics and Sculpture, Two-Dimensional Design and Drawing, and Painting and Printmaking. Department facilities in Gooch also include a small Fiber Arts Studio and a large well-equipped lecture hall. The Graphic Design Studio is located in the Fine Arts Building where the department’s art exhibition space is also located.
Associate Professor Lane Last, the principle instructor of graphic design, is a noted artist exhibiting both in museums and galleries in the United States and all over the world. Lane Last teaches upper-level graphic design studios and specializes in digital video production works.
Assistant Professor Pam Fiedler teaches foundational graphic design and specializes in typography and production practices.
- Gala Scholarship
- David Wechsler Scholarship