Chadron State College
Chadron State College

Careers in Graphic Design

Explore wide open design in the Art Department

at Chadron State College.

Graphic design class work for critique

Graphic design class work for critique.

Kerri Hanlon and Sarah Raben work on design projects in Studio 008, the graphic design lab.

Art majors with a graphic design option, Kerri Hanlon and Sarah Raben work on design projects in Studio 008, the graphic design lab.

Wide open design means the ability to explore your potential.
To design your future.

One of the more popular and prosperous ways for art majors to make a living upon graduation is in the world of commercial art or graphic design.

Drew Davies of Oxide Design Co. in Omaha, Nebraska, explains concept development to CSC graphic design students.

Drew Davies of Oxide Design Co. in Omaha, Nebraska,
explains concept development to CSC graphic design students.

CSC graphic design students at the Omaha office of Bailey Lauerman Marketing/Communications.
CSC graphic design students Jenny Thayer, Rebecca Kurtz, and Nicole Roberts and creative department members at the Omaha office of Bailey Lauerman Marketing/Communications.

But graphic design is more than computers and software. Graphic design is the creative process that combines art and technology to communicate ideas. It is the process of finding visual solutions for problems. Opportunities abound and the sky's the limit.
CSC art students on a tour of Periscope, a firm in Minneapolis
CSC art students Emily Hudson, Michelle Vorderstrasse, Sally Roberts and Deana Roberts on a tour of Periscope, a firm in Minneapolis working in advertising, broadcast, design, direct marketing, global packaging, graphic services, interactive, media, photography, public relations and brand advocacy, and strategic planning.


CSC art students Nikki Suhr, Michelle Vorderstrasse, Teena Redfern, Jerome Dopheide, Justin Powell and Brandon Allen meet with Graphis award-winning poster designer Bob Bissland in Logan, Utah.


students To the right: CSC art students meeting with Scott Rockwood, partner and CEO at Richter7, a creative powerhouse specializing in brand strategy, branding graphics, media advertising, online marketing, website development, and public relations.

Below you'll find much more information about the field of graphic design. Take a tour through a gallery of CSC graphic design student work.

If you would like to visit in-person about our graphic design program, contact

Mary Donahue
Associate Professor of Art
Chadron State College
Phone: 308-432-6325
or email

Mailing address:

Department of Visual and Performing Arts
Chadron State College
1000 Main Street
Chadron, Nebraska 69337

What is graphic design?

"Graphic design is the most ubiquitous of all the arts. It responds to needs at once personal and public, embraces concerns both economic and ergonomic, and is informed by many disciplines, including art and architecture, philosophy and ethics, literature and language, science and politics and performance.

Graphic design is everywhere, touching everything we do, everything we see, everything we buy: we see it on billboards and in Bibles, on taxi receipts and on websites, on birth certificates and on gift certificates, on the folded circulars inside jars of aspirin and on the thick pages of children's chubby board books.

Graphic design is the boldly directional arrows on street signs and the blurred, frenetic typography on the title sequence to E.R. It is the bright green logo for the New York Jets and the monochromatic front page of the Wall Street Journal. It is hang-tags in clothing stores, postage stamps and food packaging, fascist propaganda posters and brainless junk mail.

Graphic design is complex combinations of words and pictures, numbers and charts, photographs and illustrations that, in order to succeed, demands the clear thinking of a particularly thoughtful individual who can orchestrate these elements so they all add up to something distinctive, or useful, or playful, or surprising, or subversive or somehow memorable.

Graphic design is a popular art and a practical art, an applied art and an ancient art. Simply put, it is the art of visualizing ideas."
      - Jessica Helfand

Who becomes a graphic designer? - from AIGA Career Guide

What kinds of jobs are out there?


What kinds of salaries do designers make?

Links of interest


Many students express an interest in the field of animation. While CSC does not instruct specifically in animation programs, it does focus on the fundamentals of drawing and design which are the necessary foundation for animation.

At a recent Meet the Pros conference in Omaha, we talked to Jimm Wagner of Phenomblue and he suggested the following resources for those interested in learning animation.
(Instruction online over 18 months. It is instructed by experts from some of the biggest animation shops including Pixar and ILM. More on animationmentor below.)

(Video lessons on just about any software program out there.)

(Contains video lessons on 2D, 3D, animation, drawing, painting, etc.)

(Contains video lessons for VFXs, 3D, and animation.)


Below are three graphic portal sites that showcase industry and personal talent along with news...


Other resources

To direct yourself towards a career in animation the information below may be helpful.

IPAX began with six schools and has expanded to 11 member schools: Animation Mentor, Carnegie Mellon, DePaul University Computer Graphics and Animation Program, Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Otis College of Art + Design, Pratt Institute School of Art & Design, Ringling College of Art & Design, Stanford, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.

Go to Animation School Wherever You Are
Another IPAX member school, Animation Mentor, based in Berkeley, California, teaches students all over the world via the Internet. Launched in March 2005 by animators Carlos Baena, Bobby Beck (president/CEO) and Shawn Kelly, the school's curriculum is 100% dedicated to character animation and teaches the art of animation the way the founders wished they could have learned it when they were in school.

The Animation Mentor program consists of six different classes (terms) of 12 sessions each for a full course of 18 months. It is a feedback-driven, online program that is based on the studio production system and pairs animation students with working professionals (mentors). The mentors act as teachers to students from more than 50 countries all over the world.

"Animation Mentor has closed the gap between the working world and the educational process and [prepares] graduates for the cyclical world they will encounter before landing a permanent studio home," notes Beck. "With the help of my partners and our amazing team of mentors, Animation Mentor remains in close touch with the ebb and flow of the animation business, with creative trends, new tools, technologies and more."

Like the students, mentors come from all over the world, from studios such as Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, DreamWorks/PDI, Sony, Tippett and Zoic in California, House of Cool and Nelvana in Canada, Reel FX in Texas, and Blue Sky in New York. It's possible for a student in Germany to learn basic principles like squash and stretch from an animator in California, and principles of body mechanics from an animator in Canada in the next class.
For more information about Animation Mentor, visit its or email

Video editing