Graphic Design Concentration

Art 237 Graphic Design I students in front of their posters

Graphic design is a powerful form of communication. Designed images, objects, environments and experiences shape our culture. Designers combine images and words to tell stories that connect with people on an emotional level.

As a discipline and a profession, graphic design is diverse and expanding. It encompasses: branding, package design, interaction design, environmental graphic design, publication design, and motion design. Students in the graphic design concentration study a variety of subjects relevant to the field, including: typography, identity design, user experience design, user interface design, animation, illustration, book arts, and design history. Our curriculum emphasizes a human-centered approach; students research, analyze, prototype, and design creative concepts and solutions for businesses, social, and cultural contexts.

All graphic design students are required to create a senior portfolio project tailored to their interests and career goals. Each spring, seniors have their portfolios reviewed by design professionals—many of whom graduated from our program—to help them prepare for successful entry into the creative field. Graduates in the graphic design area obtain competitive positions in design studios, creative agencies, in-house creative departments, and in the entertainment and tech industries. We have a wonderful network of design alumni who provide mentorship to our students and ongoing support for our program.

The Graphic Design concentration in the Department of Art and Design is distinct from the Design Reproduction Technology concentration in the Graphic Communication Department, which focuses on the technical and electronic aspects of preparing design pieces for reproduction in print media. In contrast, the emphasis of the Graphic Design concentration is on the preparation of a professional portfolio the showcases one's creative and conceptual design abilities.

Examples of  Graphic Design Student Work

Senior Showcase: Class of 2023

Visit the Graphic Design Senior Showcase Website

images of work created by graphic design seniors

Student Work from Internships and Jobs on Campus

Social media designs for Mustang News

Social media graphics for Mustang News, designed by Elaine Do


image of United Movement 2022 video on YouTubeIdentity design + Graphics for Illuminate 2022, designed by Marissa Thai


illustration for SLO Hacks

Illustration for SLO Hacks, designed by Namji Kim


Promo materials for Shabang

Promo materials for SHABANG, designed by Renee Kao


Open House poster

Promo materials for Open House, designed by Hannah Ferreter

Graphic Design Series

Art 237 speculative design for flower buds

Cal Poly Graphic Design student project / Art 237: Graphic Design I / Love our Differences LGBTQ+ advocacy posters

Art 237 speculative design for a smart planter

Art 437 Graphic Design III student packaging design for citrus fruit

 sustainable packaging design for toy race cars

Art 437 Graphic Design III student package design for art supplies

Interaction Design Series

 smart watch interface

 app design

 app design redesign of WSJ app

 Quiver app for selling used surfboards

 Quiver website for selling used surfboards


Typography Series

Art 238 Typography I Pow Wow poster and ticket

Art 238 Typography I Festival of Masks poster and ticket

Cal Poly Graphic Design student project / Art 338: Typography II / Elements of Style collaborative book design

Art 338 Typography II research project and book design

Art 338 Typography II book design project



 student work by Amanda Vasquez

 Illustration, sequential illustration, student work by Chloe Frerichs


 Illustration, children's book illustration, student work by Kelly Kavousi

 Illustration, children's book illustration, student work by Morgan Ibarra

Book Arts

Book Arts Abecedarian book, watercolor

Pocky book edition

See's Candy book edition

Rainbow book

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