Why Graphic Design?

In many instances, telling a story or communicating an idea visually is more important – and more effective – than doing so any other way. Graphic designers are challenged to convey an idea or evoke a feeling, or give shape to a concept that may be abstract or complicated to describe. Companies and organizations across industries employ graphic designers to visualize their brand, elevate their image, make products or information visually appealing, and set a tone for an experience. As more organizations increasingly rely on digital and social media methods of communication, the need for digitally-savvy design is on the rise.

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documents iconGraphic Design Curriculum

The BFA in Graphic Design is a 120-hour degree program that emphasizes visual storytelling, artistry and technical mastery. The program’s primary focus is on design and design principles – the skills that truly allow students to gain and keep employment as the industry continues to evolve and change. Students work in state-of-the-art computer labs with industry-standard software, where they learn image- making.

Students learn and work with a team of dedicated faculty who are active in the local design community and have worked internationally. As part of the program, students have an opportunity to get hands-on experience in an approved work environment where they can begin generating professional experience in their field of study.

Graphic Design Course Descriptions

Backpack IconPortfolio

The Graphic Design program prepares students for a demanding and competitive profession. Dedication to this goal means that the program must be selective in order to offer the best quality opportunity that we can. All students must submit a portfolio for review in order to be admitted to the Graphic Design major. Portfolios will be reviewed at the end of the first academic year (spring semester).

Portfolio Review Details

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Program Recognition

Students in the Graphic Design program are often recognized for their exceptional talent. Their work has been recognized in regional, state, national, and international competitions including: AIGA Flux, AIGA Texas Show, DSVC National Student Show and Conference, CMYK Magazine, Logo Lounge, and the American Advertising Awards.

The Graphic Design Program at the University of the Incarnate would like to congratulate the students that had work selected as finalists for the 2022 American Advertising Awards hosted by the American Advertising Federation – San Antonio (AAF-SA) chapter.

At a banquet held on February 26, 2022, at the McNay Art Museum, the level of winners in each category were announced. Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards were given, with those winning Student Gold and Silver Awards being advanced to District Competition. Student Judges Awards were also announced. The students took home 28 awards: 8 Gold, 6 Silver, 13 Bronze, and 1 Student Judges Award.

Regina De Alba (BFA, 2024)

  • Silver Student ADDY Depop Ad (Magazine Advertising – Single (Full Page or Less))
  • Bronze Student ADDY Olivia Book Cover (Cover)

Isabel Morales (BFA, 2024)

  • Bronze Student ADDY The Language of Hands (Elements of Advertising, Illustration – Campaign)

Rozlynn Olivas (BFA, 2024)

  • Bronze Student ADDY Jazz TX Poster (Poster – Single)
  • Bronze Student ADDY The Mastery of Time Booklet (Book Design)

Quinn Picard (BFA, 2024)

  • Bronze Student ADDY Midnight Jazz (Poster – Single)
  • Bronze Student ADDY Down We Go (Elements of Advertising, Illustration – Single)

Patricia Sarinana (BFA, 2024)

  • Bronze Student ADDY Beauty in the Hands of a Chef (Poster – Campaign)

Ruby Filoteo (BFA, 2023)

  • Silver Student ADDY Golden Ground (Stationery Package – Single or Multiple Pieces)
  • Silver Student ADDY UIW MyShuttle App (App (Mobile or Web-based)
  • Bronze Student ADDY La Focaccia Cucina Italiana (Stationery Package – Single or Multiple Pieces)

Nour Shamala (BFA, 2023)

  • Gold Student ADDY The Harpies (Product or Service Sales Promotion, Packaging)
  • Gold Student ADDY Silo Brand Book (Book Design)
  • Silver Student ADDY Una Vida - Identity and Collateral (Stationery Package – Single or Multiple Pieces)

Fiona Swisher (BFA, 2023)

  • Silver Student ADDY The Ark (Stationery Package – Single or Multiple Pieces)
  • Bronze Student ADDY Models Advocacy (Poster – Single)

Trevor Tealer (BFA, 2023)

  • Special Judges Award Liberty Bar Merchandise (Product or Service Sales Promotion, Point of Purchase)
  • Gold Student ADDY Liberty Bar Merchandise (Product or Service Sales Promotion, Point of Purchase)
  • Bronze Student ADDY The Roller Coast Logo (Elements of Advertising, Logo Design)

Jacqueline Jimenez (BFA, 2022)

  • Bronze Student ADDY Java Lava Coffee Co (Product or Service Sales Promotion, Packaging)

Heather Olivarri (BFA, 2022)

  • Silver Student ADDY Healthful (Book – Cover)
  • Bronze Student ADDY Healixir (Product or Service Sales Promotion, Packaging)

Erika Deleon (BFA, 2021)

  • Gold Student ADDY Wes Anderson Book Series (Cover)
  • Gold Student ADDY Wes Anderson Book Series (Cover/Editorial Spread or Feature -Series)
  • Gold Student ADDY Wes Anderson Book Series (Book Design)
  • Gold Student ADDY Wes Anderson Book Series (Elements of Advertising, Illustration – Single)
  • Gold Student ADDY Reproductive Rights Booklet (Cover/Editorial Spread or Feature -Series)

Jocelyn Flores (BFA, 2021)

  • Bronze Student ADDY Don’t Sleep on Your Z’s Infographic (Social Media – Single Execution)

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Careers in Graphic Design

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas is one of the five states in the U.S. with the highest employment level of working graphic designers. And, with companies and organizations emphasizing their digital and social media presence, professionals who know how to effectively tell stories and communicate efforts well and in visually appealing ways will be in significantly higher demand. Working graphic designers, or those in closely related fields, also have several national organizations and societies open to their membership. These often offer resources and information to help stay on top of their field, from changing trends, position openings, new skill needs, and more.

Students who graduate, leave the Graphic Design program prepared for a promising career. Here is a short list of recent alumni with careers that range from in-house studios, design firms, advertising and marketing firms in the local, regional and national landscape. The type of work ranges from print, branding, websites, apps. They have traveled all the way to NYC and China. We are very proud of our alumni and we are building an amazing alumni network.

  • Jackie Jimenez / Class of 2022—Tribu Design / San Antonio, TX
  • Jocelyn Flores / Class of 2021—Guerilla Suit / Austin, TX
  • Alejandra Lopez / Class of 2020—Thompson Apps / San Antonio, TX
  • Charlie Perez / Class of 2020—St. Mary’s University / San Antonio, TX
  • Melina Dina / Class of 2019—Atkins Group / San Antonio, TX
  • Zaida Zayas / Class of 2019—Coach / New York, NY
  • Preston Brown / Class of 2018—DeuxSouth / San Antonio, TX
  • Allyson Arrogante / Class of 2018—Disney / California
  • Sydney Solomon / Class of 2017—HEB Own Brands / San Antonio, TX
  • Marian Davalos / Class of 2016—Tribu Design / San Antonio, TX
  • Eduardo Juarez / Class of 2016—Anderson Marketing / San Antonio, TX
  • Maria Castro / Class of 2015 —UTSA / San Antonio, TX

The main student organization we have is our AIGA Student Group. This group is part of a national organization for the design industry, and we collaborate with the AIGA San Antonio chapter. It’s a good opportunity for students to build a community within the school and network with the industry.

“With English being my second language, I couldn’t have chosen a better place to go. Not only, did the professors help my transition, but were also very supportive and willing to give me the extra push that I needed.”
Sofia Guajardo / Class of 2018

“The UIW Graphic Design experience was more than just learning the technical side of my career. The program also helped me build my mindset and my connections, which made transitioning to a job much easier than it could’ve been.”
Allyson Arrogante / Class of 2018

“When I entered the program, I knew practically nothing and I was so worried about how I would perform, but the professors were amazing and let me know that that was just fine! UIW taught me the rules of design so I could follow them and learn how to BREAK THEM. By the time I graduated, I was confident with my eye for design.”
Emily Ruiz / Class of 2018

“I enjoy my time at UIW graphic design program. During my time as a student, I got the chance to learn different skills within the graphic design discipline, varying from traditional to digital design. Since this is a small program, students have one-on-one attention from the faculty, which I believe is essential in order for students to progress. At the very end of the program, I got the necessary skills in order to begin my career as a designer.”
Alejandra Lopez / Class of 2020

“The UIW Graphic Design program took what was my passion, and helped me turn it into a career. With comprehensive courses, and truly great professors who led those courses, they challenged me in ways that promoted growth both as a designer and as a person. They also provided great extracurricular and social opportunities that led me to great connections, as well as long lasting friendships. With the tools and skills I gained in this program, I was able to propel my career and find my way into the creative industry.” 
Victor Martinez / Class of 2021

“My time in the UIW GD program has truly shaped me into the person I am today. For those who may not know, I actually began my college career as a Fine Arts major. While I still have a passion for things like painting, through this program, I was able to open my interests to something completely new that I grew to love - design. “
Jessica Beall / Class of 2021

“Being in the UIW GD program helped me find my path in the design world, and of course, made me a better designer. Not only are the professors outstanding in their teachings, but they are always available to help out. Yes, there are times when it gets tough, but it is so worth it!  Having the opportunity to be a part of the AIGA board expanded my knowledge about making connections and trying new things. There are so many resources that the GD program offers. Definitely, take advantage of them!”
Amy Alvarez / Class of 2022

The Graphic Design program provides a solid curriculum with hands-on experience and works with state-of-the-art industry software. Our experienced faculty help nurture and develop critical thinkers. The program elevates students' strategic thinking, artistic design skills and readies them for a career in graphic design, interactive design or various fields related to visual communication.

In Focus: Why Design?

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