Undergraduate

At Cornerstone University, you’ll get the full college experience with a Christ-centered worldview. Learn more about the undergraduate experience below.

Adult

Persevere in what you know you’re capable of. Our programs for adults provide a creative approach to learning anchored in Christ-centered virtues as you follow your unwavering purpose.

Graduate

Go further as an influencer in your work and community. Our graduate programs prepare you to open new doors as you reach your God-given potential.

Grand Rapids
Theological Seminary

At Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, we're dedicated to learning, serving and leading through rigorous scholarship and a humble approach to Scripture.

Create Without Ceasing

UndergraduateCultivating My Passion
for Visual Communication

Explore Undergraduate

Graphic Design

Graphic design majors at Cornerstone University create something new every day. As they are trained by creative and industrious professors, they learn to cultivate their own sense of style and design. The work they do with photography, illustration and digital tools culminate in a diverse portfolio of mediums and images. A degree in graphic design from Cornerstone unlocks new pathways of success in digital and visual communication.

Degree Type

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Minor

Academic Division

  • Communication, Media & Music Division

Format

  • Residential

0%

Of Communication, Media & Music Division graduates from the class of 2019 were working or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.

0:1

Student-to-faculty ratio with an average class size of 22.

0%

Of students participate in internship or practicum experiences.

Internships

While you are a student, you will intern with one of our partners in West Michigan. Through your internship, you’ll gain crucial experience in what graphic design looks like in a professional setting.

Opportunities

  • Access of West Michigan
  • Insomniac Events
  • Women At Risk, International

Careers

Graphic designers are in high demand in every level of business. Your Christ-focused perspective on visual communication is valuable across the board in organizations large and small.

Opportunities

  • Graphic designer
  • Web developer
  • Art director
  • Marketing specialist
  • Multimedia artist

Course List

The graphic design program at Cornerstone is designed to inspire your intellect, deepen your character and prepare you to lead in your career with influence and wisdom.

From caring professors to one-on-one advising appointments, we have resources to support you in reaching your goals and being successful in your classes. Select the sample degree plan to see a list of the classes you’ll take as a student with a major in graphic design.

Four-Year Planning Guide (PDF)

Media Core Courses

COM-400 Capstone Seminar

Examines, from a Christian worldview, the ethical and vocational issues associated with the study of human symbolic interaction. The interactions between philosophy, theory and practice will be analyzed.

MDA-111 Introduction to Story

This course explores the means by which meaning and value are constructed in narratives through the critical analysis of stories told from a variety of mediums. Students will develop knowledge of story structure and its application to form and aesthetic choices made in the construction of media productions. An emphasis will be placed on understanding how an artist’s “voice” is developed and communicated through storytelling.

MDA-213 Graphic Design I: Introduction to Graphic Design

This course teaches an overview of the graphic design field and industry, introducing students to the preferred software, concepts and workflows of this industry. Specifically, students are given an introduction to design concepts such as balance, contrast, scale, proportion, typography, and composition. Software introduced are the Adobe Creative Suite (CC). Specifically Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Students are given collaborative design projects to work on which introduce and reinforce the taught principles of design. Students participate in interactive lectures, group conversations, online research and study, and more. Students are taught simplified workflows for software, such as vector graphics creation, Photoshop compositing and image enhancement, page layout techniques and file export preferences.

MDA-236 Introduction to Digital Photography

A beginning course in still/digital photography. Instruction covers basic photographic concepts, camera handling and the aesthetics of photography.

MDA-261 Audio Production I

An overview of basic audio engineering, covering topics pertaining to collection and arrangement of sound within the recorded environment and basic auditory skills as they apply to the recording engineer.

MDA-271 Film and Video Production I

An exploration of the elements of video production from a theoretical and practical perspective through the three phases of production. Students will gain an understanding of the fundamental process and technology of video production through the “hands-on” application of exercises and projects.

MDA-318 Writing for Media

A “hands-on” class where students learn the basics of many genres of media writing in one semester—news writing, advertising, documentaries, and dramatic script writing. Students are able to explore where their interests and skills lie and grow in learning to express themselves in all these different forms of media writing.

MDA-380 Internship

Practical work experience using audio, film or video skills in an appropriate setting relevant to the student’s area of emphasis.

Graphic Design Core Courses

MDA-112 Drawing I: Drawing for New Media

This course focuses on the fundamentals of creating drawings and sketches for new media applications such as those utilized by designers, Ads, and creative professionals working in the contemporary design field. Examples of things to be illustrated are vehicles, people, hands/faces, products, user interfaces, etc. The basic idea of this course is to move away from the more traditional drawing courses offered at surrounding institutions, which focus on traditional fine art approaches to drawing, and instead teach students how to draw and sketch for the purpose of workflows that are germane to the design industry.

MDA-212 Drawing II: Drawing for Creating Graphics

This course focuses on teaching students how to create drawings which are specifically suited for utilization as templates for the creation of vector graphics and graphical UI elements. The ability of graphic designers to work in a program such as Adobe Illustrator to create custom graphics and icons for design workflows is a very relevant skill in contemporary design fields, where UI and UX design positions are an ever-emerging (and prosperous) position. Young designers will want to position themselves for the emerging “always-on” digital society they will be working in by learning about graphical creation for devices and media. This course will teach fundamentals of creating drawings for generating icons, graphics, UI elements, graphical suites, webbased graphics and more, suitable for a wide variety of emerging tech industries.

MDA-225 Graphic Design II: Graphic Design for Print and Media

This course teaches students design principles, with corresponding software skills and workflows, for print and digital media. Students will learn how to use industry-standard design software, such as Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, to create layouts and design files for print and digital. Concept development is also taught as a core component of this course. On a per-project basis, students will begin with pencil and ink wire frame drawings and compositional sketches, before moving on to digital workflows, thus becoming experienced with a mature, healthy creative workflow that exists partly outside of the spectrum of digital software (where ideation and design strategy is key). Students will specifically learn how to create projects intended for high-end industry print output (on four-color press), as well as digital workflows intended for digital distribution or collaborative creative processes. In InDesign, students will learn about inks, resolution, graphical outputs and compositing. In Photoshop, students will learn about photographic manipulation and retouching techniques, along with compositing, masking, layer effects, and more.

MDA-326 Graphic Design III: Graphic Design for Web and Devices

This course is a partner course to Graphic Design II and teaches very similar competencies as they pertain to creative workflows and design strategies for designers that wish to develop toward web-based products and device-centric products (web sites and handheld/mobile applications). The same competencies are taught as in graphic Design II, but geared specifically toward the digital handheld spectrum. Thus, heavy emphasis will be placed on understanding design principles for digital handheld devices. Whereas Graphic Design II teaches print and digital layout, this course teaches UI and X development, an understanding of responsive design principles, graphical creation for navigation elements and iconography, and more. A similar emphasis is placed on non- digital concept creation and ideation via sketching and pen and ink drawings for concept generation.

MDA-327 User Interface Design

This course teaches students the concepts, mechanics and methods for designing user interfaces for mobile devices, applications and web applications. Students will utilize sketching, illustration, concept iteration and contemporary design software to design user interface elements and UI layouts.

MDA-426 Graphic Design IV: Comprehensive Concentrations of Design

This course teaches higher-level design strategies and techniques to students in the Graphic Design concentration at Cornerstone. Building upon previous coursework, students in this course will create three major projects; one for print, one for the web and one for user interface. This is the highest-level course so students will be expected to create fully fleshedout projects, complete from concept to execution, including preliminary drawings, all layout, accompanying graphics, and compositions. The three projects are: A 5-page print magazine with graphics, a 3-page website for a technological product, and a user interface for a new breed of automobile. Students will work in small groups for one project and individually on the other two. Students are expected to have excellent typography, design skills, branding, iconography, etc.

Program Learning Outcomes

Program learning outcomes are the foundation of a CU degree. Explore how our graphic design program prepares you with the essential knowledge and 21st-century skills to reach your God-given potential and become a lifelong learner.

I know more about what I believe and why I believe it.

Daniel Schuler (’17)

Faculty

CU professors are devoted to the success of our students. Select a faculty member to learn more about their campus involvement, research interests and teaching responsibilities.

Related Programs

The Communication, Media & Music Division offers a wide range of majors that can be tailored to your interests. Check out other programs related to audio production.

Admissions Office

Contact

F:
616.222.1418

Hours

MON - FRI: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
SAT & SUN: Closed

Want to Learn More About CU?

Connect With CU

Undergraduate

At Cornerstone University, you’ll get the full college experience with a Christ-centered worldview. Learn more about the undergraduate experience below.

Adult

Persevere in what you know you’re capable of. Our programs for adults provide a creative approach to learning anchored in Christ-centered virtues as you follow your unwavering purpose.

Graduate

Go further as an influencer in your work and community. Our graduate programs prepare you to open new doors as you reach your God-given potential.

Seminary

At Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, we’re dedicated to learning, serving and leading through rigorous scholarship and a humble approach to Scripture.