BFA Graphic Design
Guided by our knowledgeable faculty, VCUQatar s four-year BFA Graphic Design program empowers students in design practice and research and prepares them for today s information-rich society.
Students take courses which include typography, photography, video, interactive design, bookbinding and screen printing and together with excellent studio facilities students also have full access to the shared VCUQatar specialist facilities.
Graphic Design is a creative and analytical field that integrates art, technology and strategic thinking to create and communicate ideas and information. The curriculum uses a broad range of mediums, focusing on experimentation, application and integration of new technologies, traditional skills, and interdisciplinary approaches to develop graphic design practices and the design culture within Qatar and globally.
Students are advised on the business of design and entrepreneurship to prepare them, if they wish, to set up their own graphic design business. All students also complete an internship placement working with an approved firm to receive commercial design experience.
Why study Graphic Design?
Graphic designers seek to understand the communication problem
Graphic designers are excellent critical thinkers and creative problem solvers, their role is to understand, create and disseminate information. Trained to understand the client s needs, graphic designers will ask questions to bring to light the attributes of the audience, then build a process to explore options for the design of the communication.
They manage, structure and embed information in the most engaging manner while delivering the appropriate information to elicit the desirable response from the audience.
Graphic designers like working with multiple mediums
Graphic designers will work with numerous mediums including print, web, interactive design, video and various forms of three-dimensional experiential design to deliver a precise and targeted communication. All mediums have some factors in common – typography, time, color and form are just a few common elements in a graphic designer s toolbox.
Graphic designers are skillful and knowledgeable
Because they work across so many mediums graphic designers are talented print, web and multimedia specialists who can apply their strategic thinking skills to a number of professional careers where visually communicating to an audience is required. Our alumni are proof of this as they work across a number of design related fields, why not read their stories below.
VCUQatar – a rigorous, rewarding, multi-cultural experience
All graduates complete a liberal arts and science core curriculum in addition to their major program; these courses enrich a student s understanding of the world and help them frame their art and design studies into a broad intellectual context. High achieving students will also be invited to follow our Honors program to enhance their education.
Maryam Yousef Al-Homaid
MFA Student, VCUQatar
Class of 2010
Maryam Al-Homaid’s career as an artist began with her father, renowned Qatari artist Yousef Ahmed. She grew up surrounded by paintbrushes and colored markers and knew back then that she would be painting and drawing for the rest of her life.
Nada Al Saadi
Graphic Designer, Al Jazeera English
Class of 2009
In the midst of the Arab Spring and at a dynamic crossroads for current events in the region, VCUQatar alumna Nada Al Saadi has found herself a place in the center of the story. Working in the Creative Department at Al Jazeera Arabic as a graphic designer, this native Qatari is one of the architects of change, helping the station to discover its new identity in this country, the region, and the world at large.
The Graphic Design department spent Spring Break of 2011 in Italy. Four faculty and sixteen students from all levels of our program visited several major northern Italian towns (Verona, Venice and Florence), and participated in a myriad of activities. Amongst other trips, students visited Graphicom Press in Verona to learn about the high-end printing and pre-press, a library devoted to print, a monastery devoted to books and printing and a cheese factory. The aim of the field study trip was to provide the Graphic Design students with the opportunity to observe new culture, interact with it, learn from it and bridge this learning to their own experience that would shape their own learning curve.
The Graphic Design Department organized a nine-day field study to Spain during the spring semester break. Sixteen students and four faculty arrived in Barcelona in time to attend a match of the Qatar Foundation sponsored Barcelona Football Club at the impressive Camp Nou Stadium. Also in Barcelona the students explored street markets, museums and famous architectural sites such as the La Sagrada Familial. On the fourth day we visited the Elisava School of Design to have a tour of their facilities, see student work and listen to presentations by instructors about the history and current state of design in Barcelona. Then after a fast trip on the high-speed rail the group settled into Cordoba to visit the Mosque of Cordoba, explore the old neighborhoods that featured inspiring examples of the Islamic influence on architecture and design. A day trip was also taken from Cordoba to Grenada to visit the exquisite Alhambra Palace that features well-preserved Berber Islamic architecture.
This Field Study trip was offered as a scholarship to Graphic Design students who exhibited excellence in the academic, department service and leadership arenas. In May 2012, eight students and three faculty were on a journey of discovery to Cambodia. The journey was based on individual growth, shared observation, learning and group experiences whilst addressing the potential for service learning.
Internships are a great way for students to gain hands-on experience in a professional design environment. VCUQatar s internships form part of the core curriculum and all students are expected to undertake a 120-hour placement often in their Senior Year. Internships are generally unpaid but may lead to sponsorship or employment after graduation. All placements are managed by the faculty internship coordinator with contracts, reporting documents and timesheets to ensure the highest professional standards are maintained.
Here are just some of the corporations that have offered valuable internships to our Graphic Design students:
Adabisc, Al-Jameela Magazine, Al Jazeera, Alotch Beauty and Cosmetic Center, Al Raya Newspaper, Assouline Gulf, Barwa, Fitch, Grey Advertising, Islamic Heritage Library, JWA Group, Ministry of Interior, Offspring A Very Small Office, Qatar Foundation, Q-Tel, Saatchi and Saatchi, Shell Qatar, Techno Kids, Vivid, Waqif Art Center.
Each year VCUQatar welcomes visiting artists and designers to campus to share their expertise and experiences. Drawn from across the globe, these artists, designers, educators are highly accomplished and recognized within their respective design fields. They share their knowledge through lectures, conferences or specific workshops, broadening our students creative experiences and complementing our multi-cultural approach to design.
Here are just some of the visiting artists and designers who visited our Graphic Design program:
Aly Khalifa, Bruce Mau, Chris Jordan, David Gibson, Dawn Hancock, Ida Vesterland, Irma Boom, John Kortbaoui, John McMillan, Jonathan Barnbrook, Mario Gagliardi, Mikon Van Gastell, Mohammed Harib, Nicholas Blechman, Reza Abedini, Robert Bringhurst, Sadik Karamustafa, Saki Mufundikwa, Stefan Sagmeister, Stephen Banham, Suna Kjems, Thomas Milo.