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Communication Design

Studios, Labs, & Letterpress

Communication Design BFA students are assigned individual studio workspaces and can utilize our Letterpress studio, Design Resource Room, and Print Lab.

Communication Design students share studio space with Illustration majors in the Design Studio at MassArt. This individual studio provides each student with a dedicated space to explore and develop their skills. The shared space for communication design invites discussion and collaboration across disciplines.

The Print Lab

The Print Lab offers students access to technology and digital media in a supportive environment that reflects the realities of professional art and design fields. Outfitted with high-performance computer workstations, the Print Lab has space for classes as well as independent work. Experienced staff members, who are also artists and designers, are available to provide assistance with printing and using the technology.

Letterpress Studio

Located within the Design Studios is a Letterpress studio, where students learn about the traditions and craft of printing using letterpress, and the historically intertwined relationships between typography and printing technologies.

 

Video: Dillon Buss ’12 BFA Film/Video

 

The Letterpress studio features five Vandercook presses and more than 500 fonts of metal and wood type. To access the MassArt Letterpress shop, students must be enrolled in a full-time or Continuing Education course or workshop. 

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Communication Design

Faculty

Andrew Adamides

Visiting Lecturer, Communication Design

Saul Baizman

Visiting Lecturer, Communication Design

Alexandra Candelas

Adjunct Professor, Communication Design

Marlene Cole

Visiting Lecturer, Communication Design

Rosemary Conroy

Visiting Lecturer, Communication Design

Kathryn Coppolino

Visiting Lecturer, Communication Design

Erin Davis

Visiting Lecturer, Communication Design

Robert Davison

Visiting Assistant Professor, Communication Design

Ryan Diaz

Assistant Professor, Communication Design

Anisha Ghosh

Visiting Lecturer, Communication Design

Tatiana Gomez Gaggero

Assistant Professor, Communication Design

Sofie Hodara

Visiting Lecturer, Communication Design

Katherine Hughes

Program Area Chair, Communication Design

Joe Krikava

Visiting Lecturer, Communication Design

Josh Luke

Visiting Lecturer, Communication Design

Fish McGill

Associate Professorr, Communication Design

Yolanda McLean

Administrative Assistant, Design Departments

Joseph Quackenbush

Professor, Communication Design

Elizabeth Resnick

Professor Emerita, Communication Design

Martha Rettig

Program Area Chair, Communication Design

Lisa Rosowsky

Chair, Communication Design

David Ross

Visiting Lecturer, Communication Design

Alice Stanne

Administrative Assistant, Design Departments

Daniel Vlahos

Assistant Professor, Communication Design

Luanne Witkowski

Studio Manager, Communication Design

Communication Design

Certificate

Communication Design Certificate students come to MassArt to prepare for a design career, build their professional skills, or to brand entrepreneurial ventures.

Students build skills in branding, print and digital publications, app and website design, packaging, event promotions, information design, and environmental graphics. Graduates of the full program enjoy careers as visual designers, brand strategists and designers, graphic designers, UX and UI designers, and product designers.

The program is fully remote, with synchronous meetings that allow you to build relationships with experienced faculty and other design students. Class meetings are generally held on weekday evenings to accommodate those who work full-time.

The program offers three stackable certificates that can be completed in just over two years:

Level 1 (4 courses) provides a foundation in communication design, giving you a solid foundation of basic design skills that can be applied in your work and life. Level 1 can be completed as a stand-alone certificate or as a foundation for Level 2.

Level 2 (3 courses and 1 non-credit workshop) pushes students to advance their skills in typography and brand design, enter the world of UX Design, gain skills in interactive design for web and mobile, and build their own professional portfolios. Level 2 gives graduates the skills to obtain a paid internship or junior designer position.

Level 3 (4 courses) challenges students to conceive of and design complex, comprehensive design systems at a more creative and sophisticated level. Level 3 gives graduates the portfolio and skills to launch a career as a professional designer.

Both Level 2 and Level 3 include portfolio reviews, in which students present their work to panels of professional designers.

Certificate Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Communication Design Certificate program are expected to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes.

Students who complete all three tiers of the Communication Design Certificate are expected to demonstrate the following learning outcomes which are essential skills and knowledge for entry into professional design practice. Note: Completion of Level 1 or Levels 1 and 2 represent significant progress toward the following outcomes.

  • Design complex visual communications systems including consumer brands, print and digital publications, promotional and information campaigns, websites, apps, packaging and signage.
  • Develop and apply original, engaging design concepts that effectively communicate an intended idea and/or message to a defined audience
  • Apply visual design skills (including composition, color, and type/image integration), information design skills, professional typesetting techniques, and creative typography to a variety of communication design projects
  • Apply principles and processes of UX and UI design to the planning and design of interactive experiences for desktop, mobile, and other screen-based media
  • Identify a community problem or need and research, develop, and design an effective solution.
  • Employ skills in collaboration by effectively providing critical feedback to others and integrating feedback from various sources into one’s own designs.
  • Practice professional design process including research, idea generation, design iteration, presentation, incorporation of feedback, technical execution, and craft to a variety of communication design projects.
  • Utilize industry-standard design software and art media in creating designs, mock-ups, and prototypes.
  • Create an entry-level portfolio suitable for job search in professional Communication Design, UX Design and Graphic Design

Program Director

Alisa Aronson

Assistant Professor, Professional and Continuing Education

Communication Design

BFA Program

Communication Design BFA students gain a robust working knowledge of print design, information design, branding, and dynamic media.

Communication Design BFA students learn how to develop creative solutions in a range of media, implement visual language and graphic form, and design user-focused systems. Through coursework with practicing designers and design educators, students work on: 

  • Package design
  • Publication design
  • Web and app design
  • Interactive communication
  • Advertising
  • Creation of graphic identities and brand systems

During their time at MassArt, Communication Design students receive critique on their work and learn how to thoughtfully critique the work of others.

Students are encouraged to complete an internship to gain experience producing design work for clients, and discover the application and demands of the profession in different environments.

Alumni

Graduating students have mastered a wide range of technical and craft skills and gained a realistic understanding of how to implement their knowledge in a professional design environment. 

Because MassArt’s program is both broad-reaching and conceptual, and provides rigorous training in typography and information architecture, our graduates enjoy an excellent reputation in the profession. Alumni are in demand in multiple industries, including UX design, exhibition design, branding, type design, publishing, editorial design, web design, and design management.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Communication Design BFA program are expected to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes.

  • Practiced a wide variety of approaches to problem solving through design
  • Demonstrated proficiency in developing concepts as well as in implementing visual language and graphic form
  • Designed for a variety of media including print, time-based and interactive, and gained expertise in matching media to content
  • Applied the fundamental concepts of visualizing complex information
  • Gained experience in designing systems that allow users to logically and easily interact with data
  • Demonstrated proficiency in typography for both print and screen environments
  • Developed competent critical language for analyzing and evaluating their own design work and the work of others
  • Learned how to research and evaluate user and audience needs
  • Worked effectively in a team
  • Acquainted themselves, through readings and presentations, with current trends and people in historical and contemporary design
  • Mastered a wide range of technical and craft skills, and gained a realistic understanding of how to implement their knowledge in a professional design environment
Faculty member Fish McGill hovers over students on laptops in class
Studios, Labs, & Letterpress

Students work in spacious facilities that include small and large format printers, a RISO printer and large plotter, Macs and tablets, a Letterpress Studio, and more.

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621 Huntington Ave,
Boston, MA 02115

(617) 879-7000