Top Graphic Design Schools in Idaho to Boost Your Career

Want to find the top graphic design schools in Idaho? You’re in the right place. This guide will break down what each leading school offers, so you can choose the program that best fits your career goals in graphic design.

  • Boise State University offers a comprehensive B.F.A. in Graphic Design, blending technical training with critical thinking and problem-solving, preparing students for various career paths in graphic design.
  • North Idaho College provides flexible two-year associate degree programs in graphic design, with a strong emphasis on practical skills like web design and digital illustration, and offers transferable credits to four-year institutions.
  • The University of Idaho offers diverse undergraduate and graduate art and design programs, including a robust graphic design emphasis, fostering creativity and traditional and digital skills, and has a track record of successful alumni in the industry.

Graphic design is a field that requires a blend of creativity, technical skills, and an understanding of human factors. According to the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, it involves designing visual communication tailored to the needs of audiences and contexts, applying physical, cognitive, social, and cultural factors to communication planning. Aspiring graphic designers need to choose an educational path that balances these elements, ensuring they are well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities in the field.

This guide will provide insights into the top graphic design schools in Idaho, helping you identify the programs that best align with your career aspirations. By understanding the strengths of each institution, you can make a choice that will set you on the path to success in the competitive world of graphic design.

Boise State University Graphic Design Program

Boise State University offers a comprehensive Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Graphic Design, providing students with a robust foundation in both the technical and conceptual aspects of the field. This 120-credit hour residential program is designed to balance skills training with a broad understanding of graphic design, benefiting students, the industry, and working professionals alike. The curriculum covers various essential areas, including typography, logos, and general visual communication, preparing students for diverse career paths in the graphic design field.

At Boise State, students are not only trained in the technical skills necessary for graphic design but also in the critical thinking and problem-solving abilities that are crucial for successful graphic designers. The program aims to produce well-rounded graduates who can thrive in the competitive world of graphic design careers.

College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences at Boise State University is home to the graphic design program, led by experienced faculty members such as Brian Wiley and Eryn Pierce. These educators bring a wealth of knowledge and real-world experience to the classroom, ensuring that students receive high-quality instruction and mentorship.

Admission to the graphic design program requires students to apply for upper-division standing. This process includes submitting a transcript, a portfolio, and an application statement, allowing the faculty to assess the students’ readiness and potential for success in the program. This rigorous admission process ensures that only dedicated and talented individuals advance in their graphic design education.

North Idaho College Graphic Design Training

North Idaho College offers an associate degree and two-year programs in graphic design, providing a solid foundation for students aiming for entry-level positions in the industry. The Graphic and Web Design program includes comprehensive training in web design, packaging, print advertising, digital illustration, and more, ensuring that students are well-prepared for the demands of the graphic design field.

The curriculum emphasizes practical skills such as:

  • print advertising
  • packaging
  • web design
  • user interactivity
  • digital video

This makes graduates highly versatile and employable. Seats in the program are limited, and registration begins in May until the program is full, highlighting the program’s popularity and the high demand for skilled graphic designers.

Program Flexibility

One of the standout features of North Idaho College’s graphic design training is its flexibility. The program structure allows students to customize their education to align with their specific career goals. This flexibility enables students to focus on areas that are most relevant to their interests and future aspirations.

Additionally, North Idaho College offers transferable credits to four-year institutions, facilitating seamless continued education and specialization. This ensures that students can easily transition to a bachelor’s degree program if they choose to further their education, making the program an excellent starting point for a career in graphic design.

University of Idaho Art & Design Programs

The University of Idaho’s Department of Art and Design offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in visual art that emphasize creativity, as well as traditional and digital skills. The programs are designed to foster creative scholarship and a culture of innovation within a studio environment, allowing students to explore various aspects of art and design.

Led by a diverse faculty engaged in independent creative practice and collaborative research, the University of Idaho provides students with unique opportunities to practice and showcase their work. The department’s focus on addressing societal norms and diverse environments through art and design prepares students for impactful careers in the graphic design industry.

Areas of Emphasis

Students at the University of Idaho can specialize in several areas of emphasis, including:

  • Graphic design
  • Interaction design
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Ceramics
  • Sculpture

This broad range of specializations allows students to tailor their coursework to match their unique interests and career goals, providing a well-rounded educational experience.

The graphic design emphasis, coordinated by Professor Delphine Keim, offers students the opportunity to delve deeply into the field and develop a strong professional portfolio. This specialization equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in various graphic design projects and careers.

Student Success Stories

The University of Idaho’s graphic design program has a history of producing successful graduates who have made significant contributions to the industry. These success stories showcase the talents and achievements of students who have gone on to create beautiful and transformative work.

By focusing on both traditional and digital skills, the program effectively prepares students for the competitive world of graphic design. The experiences and accomplishments of these graduates serve as a testament to the quality and effectiveness of the University of Idaho’s graphic design education.

Idaho State University Graphic Design Projects

Idaho State University integrates real-world projects into its graphic design curriculum, providing students with practical experience that is crucial for their professional development. These projects are designed to meet high standards and align with the university’s brand management, ensuring that students produce quality work that reflects the institution’s values.

The hands-on approach at Idaho State helps students build a strong portfolio and gain confidence in their abilities, making them well-prepared for graphic design careers. This real-world experience is invaluable in helping students transition smoothly from academic settings to professional environments.

Submission Process

Students at Idaho State University must submit their design projects through a Design Approval Submission Form for brand management approval before production. This process ensures that all materials meet the university’s brand standards and maintain a consistent and professional appearance.

Consulting with the Office of Marketing and Communications is required for certain high-priority projects, and it is recommended that students submit their project requests well in advance to ensure timely review and approval. This rigorous submission process helps students understand the importance of brand consistency and professional standards in their work.

Northwest Nazarene University Design Education

Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) offers a graphic design program that prepares students for professional careers by providing a broad understanding of the field’s evolution. The curriculum includes:

  • Two- and three-dimensional design
  • Typography
  • Computer-assisted art
  • Technical drawing
  • Color theory
  • Modeling
  • Animation
  • Multimedia applications
  • Desktop publishing
  • Digital photography

This comprehensive training ensures that graduates are well-equipped to meet the demands of the graphic design industry.

Students gain hands-on experience with industry-standard tools such as the Adobe Creative Suite, enhancing their technical skills and creativity. Additionally, a portfolio preparation course helps students compile a professional portfolio and create self-promotional materials, which are essential for job searches and career advancement.

Accreditation and Facilities

Northwest Nazarene University has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) since 1930, ensuring that the institution meets rigorous educational standards and adequately prepares students for the workforce. Accreditation is a mark of quality and reliability in higher education, providing assurance to students and employers alike.

NNU also boasts state-of-the-art Mac labs and studios, offering graphic design students access to the latest technology and resources. These facilities provide an optimal learning environment where students can hone their skills and produce high-quality work.

Benefits of Studying Graphic Design in Idaho

Studying graphic design in Idaho offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Strong community support
  • Industry connections that enhance student learning and networking opportunities
  • A vibrant and supportive local graphic design community, providing students with ample opportunities to collaborate, share ideas, and gain inspiration.

Additionally, Idaho’s graphic design programs offer numerous industry connections that can lead to internships and job placements, easing the transition from education to professional practice. The growing demand for graphic designers in Idaho provides graduates with ample job opportunities, making it an excellent place to start a graphic design career.

Career Opportunities for Graphic Designers in Idaho

Graduates of graphic design programs in Idaho can find employment in a variety of fields, including:

  • Logo design
  • Branding
  • Marketing materials
  • Website design

Companies like Toucan Design specialize in creating visually stunning designs for businesses, offering numerous opportunities for graphic designers.

The demand for graphic design services in Idaho is growing, covering areas such as:

  • Publication design
  • Packaging
  • Infographics
  • Trade show displays

Graphic designers often work on projects that require strong visual identities and online presences, which are crucial for businesses in today’s digital world.

How to Choose the Right Graphic Design School

Choosing the right graphic design school involves considering several factors, including program alignment with career goals, faculty experience, and available resources. Look for programs that offer specializations in areas such as branding, advertising, digital media, or web design to ensure that your education aligns with your career aspirations.

Additionally, consider schools with up-to-date technology, ample studio space, and resources like design libraries and workshops. Connecting with alumni can provide valuable insights into a school’s network and track record of success, helping you make an informed decision. The location of a school can also influence access to internships, job opportunities, and industry events, making it an important factor to consider.