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Learning to Design

Students often have questions about going to college for career-focused learning in design. Design students have a passion for making, a desire to see their ideas made real, and a need to express themselves in ways that make a difference in the world. They’re not always traditional art students, though they might come to design from art programs, as their motivations are often to make socially and commercially viable products or campaigns. Design education develops skills in design problem recognition and solving, design option evaluation and selection, design outcome assessment, and other matters that go beyond taste or even aesthetics.

Graphic designers work with messages and images — posters, brochures, advertisements, books, Web sites, apps, commercials, package design, labeling, sign systems, maps, schedules, menus, catalogs, film and video — anything that engages readers and viewers visually.

Industrial designers work with real objects — cellphones, lamps, cars, tableware, toys, containers and product packaging, clocks, video and audio devices, furniture — almost anything in your environment that’s made by humans is a target for improvement and innovation by industrial designers.

Interior designers work with real space — stores, houses, apartments, offices, restaurants, kiosks, pop-up stores, private interiors and public spaces — enhancing them with fabrics and textures, furniture and color,
light and air, vistas and window treatments that make rooms and spaces pleasant and inviting for individuals and groups.


SASD design programs are built to emphasize the importance of practical, theoretical, and professional activities and practices in the various design fields. Students learn about the fundamentals and details of design; their application to real-world use; design’s impact on the user population; and the various means and methods needed to take their designs from concept to reality.