Faculty of design Graphic Design Course

Graphic Design Course

Acquiring firm design sensibilities for working professionally

What kind of jobs do graphic designers do? They turn posters, logos, magazines and books all into attractive things that capture the eye. But they don't just make "cool" things. Their role is to accurately order and convey information, integrate imagery into visual design, and communicate effectively, in order to turn clients’ ideas into final output. Graphic designers create visuals that capture the viewer’s attention while carrying out these three key tasks. This is their job. The SEIKA Graphic Design Course fosters these three abilities.

Design is broken down into text, images and communication, and ability in each is refined during the course. The approach towards text is particularly important. Students learn everything from cutting-edge typography to traditional calligraphy, from teaching staff that includes type designers and calligraphers, in order to gain full command of this central element to graphic design.

The field of graphic design today goes beyond advertising or posters, also including photography, video, online media, and art. Regardless of the medium, though, the starting point is always visual imagery. Acquiring skills in ordering information, integrating imagery into the visuals, and communicating with clients, students develop essential abilities towards their futures as professional designers.

Four Years in the Graphic Design Course

  • 1st Year

    The necessity of starting right

    In the first year, students learn the foundations of visual design alongside students from the Digital Creation Course. The first year covers six fields: Drawing and Material Expression, Type Composition and Lettering, Character Design, Ideas and Presentation, Communication and Internet Literacy, and Sensory Design. For example, in the Drawing and Material Expression class, students learn through sketching, croquis, drawing and collage how visually powerful elements like color and materials are constructed and related. In the Type Composition and Lettering class, students explore lettering and typography by playing with language. Teaching staff includes leading professional designers and directors, from whom students acquire the foundational knowledge required in the actual design world.

    There are also optional modules looking at digital tools, indispensable in design today, for photography, video and online media. The year exhaustively covers both analog and digital technology, providing a vital base to becoming a full designer.

    1st year
    1st Year Goals
    Learning foundational knowledge and technique, such as portrayal, lettering, design, characters, ideas, and online media.
  • 2nd Year

    Design is born from imagery and words

    In the second year students study only with their peers in the Graphic Design Course for a year that enhances their specializations in the field.

    Firstly, they break design elements down into imagery, lettering and communication, and then begin to explore and consider each in deeper ways. The classes on imagery look at essential visual effectiveness through photography, color and form, while the module on lettering breaks words down into various forms and re-assembles typography again. Lastly, the class on communication trains students in group brainstorming methods. What is imagery? What are words? And then what is design that puts these together? While considering such questions about design, students gain skills in further techniques.

    Notably students also experience ink and kaisho calligraphy, which matured during the Tang Dynasty. While encountering the history and culture of Chinese calligraphy, students also acquire advanced awareness for dealing with lettering as a designer. Understanding correctly how lettering and characters came to be what they are today, students will be able to pursue creativity outside of the usual framework.

    2nd year
    2nd Year Goals
    Breaking down the elements of design and looking at structure. Deepening understanding of typographical history and culture.
  • 3rd Year

    Drawing level with the professionals

    In this year students once again join up with the Digital Creation Course students to work with their specialist knowledge and techniques on projects that are transmitted to outside society.

    For example, a project to create a new bookstore starts with a survey of the locale and suggesting formats for a new kind of shop. Students then actually open a store for a limited time. The Graphic Design Course students handle the logo design and other shop visuals, such as posters, store members' card, leaflets, and so on. There are also projects based on introducing an electronics manufacturer's products to consumers in a way that is easy to understand. Students choose a project according to their preferences. Students form a team with other people with differing variety of talents, following through with a project and using design to resolve social or corporate tasks. Students experience a professional working environment during their time at college.

    3rd year
    3rd Year Goals
    Solving problems through projects in the real world.
  • 4th Year

    Design that resolves social and human issues

    Based on their experiences accumulated up to the third year, students now spend the year working on personal projects. While being conscious of their own areas of specialty, such as graphic design, photography, typography, packaging design, drawing, and website production, students then refine their skills further.

    Graduation projects are the first step in going out into society with a specialization. For example, one student created branding for vegetable juice, designing the packaging from the notations of where the vegetables were produced to suggest new concepts for contemporary life and future agriculture. Another student developed bags and carpet with patterns visualizing a "good feeling," created from combining color and form, hoping to change the mood of the people who used the products. Graduates do not design only posters and flyers. The abilities enhanced over the course of four years enable them to resolve problems in human society today.

    4th year
    4th Year Goals
    Exerting areas of expertise and creating graduation projects conscious of society and humanity.

Career paths after graduating from the Graphic Design Course

Over the four years of the Graphic Design Course students acquire the abilities and proficiency that designers need in spatial composition, awareness of color, imagination, and communication. At the same time, they also learn digital skills, such as photography, video, online and desktop publishing, from the foundations through to application. Design is needed all over the world, whatever the place. Discerning then which path they will take, students become able to move forward by themselves, making best use of the graphic design abilities and skills acquired during the four years of the course.

Career choices

  • Working at a variety of design studios
  • Designer at an ad agency
  • Book and magazine designer
  • Designing for a variety of fields, such as fashion and online media

Other career options

  • Art director
  • Typography designer
  • Photographer
  • Computer graphics designer
  • Copywriter
  • Artist
  • Character designer etc.

Graphic Design Course Faculty Members (in Japanese)