California College of the Arts

Art School Insights

Useful tips for artists, makers, students, career changers, and anyone interested in pursuing a life in art, design and writing.

Blog Feature

For Undergraduates | Graphic Design

Can Graphic Design Be Political?

By: Scott Cline
September 8th, 2017

When you choose an art school, you choose a creative culture influenced by the political atmosphere. You are discovering your people: contemplative, inward-looking, proactive, all of the above, or some combo. Here, in the Bay Area, where art, tech, and politics play together, our graphic design students choose to uproot conventional expression and activism. During 2017 SF Design Week, they made mail meaningful again with Postcards to the President, a project that encouraged attendees to write messages to POTUS, Vice President Pence, state reps, and local leaders.

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Blog Feature

For Undergraduates | Graphic Design

5 of the Best Graphic Design Programs in the U.S.

By: Scott Cline
April 25th, 2017

Look around you: Design is everywhere. From the Snapchat user interface  to the billboards in Times Square, from your favorite restaurant’s menu to the warning signs on the highway, someone has used their mastery of visual language to tell a story, communicate a message, or inspire a response. So it’s no surprise graphic design continues to be an in-demand career field. Even as print publications recede, digital outlets are rising up to take their place — all requiring leading-edge design skills to capture new viewers and stand out from the crowd. Graphic designers make an average of $46,900 (according to the BLS) and can potentially make much more. What does it take to land one of these well-paying, creatively engaging jobs? “Graphic designers usually need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field,” the BLS says, and the numbers seem to back it up: A Rasmussen College analysis found that 91 percent of employers prefer candidates for graphic design jobs to have college degrees. “Obtaining a degree in graphic design validates your dedication and brings credibility to your occupation,” one CEO told Rasmussen. Where can you earn the bachelor’s degree that will launch your graphic design career?

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Blog Feature

For Undergraduates | Graphic Design | illustration

Illustration vs. Graphic Design: Which one is the best major for you?

By: Noel Dahl
April 20th, 2017

Every student comes to art school with different abilities, perspectives, and passions. No single course of study could be considered "the best" for everyone, but there are some popular programs that have common appeal to the artistically inclined. Two of the more popular art school concentrations are illustration and graphic design. While these majors have some similarities, they also have differences in their curriculum and job prospects. To help those trying to choose between these distinct art school programs, we've compared them in a few key areas to see how they stack up against each other.

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