Graphic Design Skills List

There are five major areas of focus that a graduating student needs to demonstrate mastery of in order to successfully complete the Bachelor of Arts in Design, Graphic Design concentration program. The skills listed here in this checklist come directly from the professional graphic design job market. By completing these skills we feel our students are more than prepared to enter the professional job market and achieve success. This checklist is used throughout the program as a way to make sure the student remains on track towards mastering the necessary skills they need to achieve their goals.



The student must be able to…

  • Brainstorm, conceive of an idea, create alternates for the concept and deliver at least three concepts that meet the objectives of the project and target audience
  • Demonstrate historical and stylistic knowledge of various design movements through one’s own design
  • Demonstrate knowledge of design principles and elements through project work
  • Create artwork and other assets that best support creative concept


The student must be able to…

  • Create professional-level comps, mood boards, thumbnails, dummies and mock ups
  • Demonstrate use of all graphic design production tools and techniques
  • Interact successfully with vendors and adhere to both print and mobile production guidelines to create production-ready files
  • Legally source artwork, sound and other assets for a project and demonstrate an understanding of copyright laws and graphic design asset use ethics


The student must be able to…

  • Effectively manage the assets of a project including asset vendor forms and expenses, file management and file storage
  • Establish and adhere to a production list and timeline
  • Estimate a design job for time and materials
  • Work with internal and external teams
  • Demonstrate a solid understanding and use of project management skills including industry standard waterfall and agile methods
  • Use team/project management communication tools to track all aspects of project and communicate with the team
  • Track time spent on a project
  • Create and use corporate standards guides
  • Create and use professional forms


The student must be able to…

  • Demonstrate professional-level writing and verbal communication skills and be able to communicate with teammates, vendors and managers
  • Use imagery and type to visually communicate a message, obtain a marketing objective and satisfy a project goal
  • Understand and effectively use color in communications in a global environment
  • Understand and effectively use typography and written communications in a global environment
  • Demonstrate an understanding of cultural differences within target audiences and how to communicate with specific audiences through design


The student must be able to…

  • Demonstrate a professional-level skillset of software and technical abilities that are inline with current job market.
  • Work with different platforms for both print and mobile and understand how to install programs, typefaces and use file management and storage
  • Troubleshoot basic common computer hardware and software related issues that would occur in a typical working design studio environment
  • Complete software skills assessments for each software application currently taught in the program including the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of programs with specific emphasis on Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver and After Effects.