Once you’ve decided to seek out an education in graphic design, you might find yourself looking over a list of graphic design colleges and schools wondering which one you should pick.

It can be a tough decision — as with any big education choice, there are a lot of great schools out there to be evaluated. Each school will have different graphic design programs and perks that make it unique and valuable. The good news is that after you have looked over your list of potential schools, you’ll start to see a pattern emerging! Here are the top five things that great graphic design schools have in common.


THE BEST GRAPHIC DESIGN SCHOOLS WILL HAVE:

1) A VARIETY OF COURSES

The best graphic design colleges won’t try to limit you to any one department or discipline. What this means is that you’ll have a little more to choose from than a standard “graphic design” program like what might be offered by a more traditional school. Instead you’ll be able to take courses that cover a range of design-oriented topics such as photography, web design, and more.

2) DIRECT CONTACT WITH INDUSTRY EXPERTS

Whether they are mentors, instructors, or serving in an alternate role, good graphic design schools will connect students with people who are actively working in the design industry, or who have had extensive past experience. Students who have been taught by career design professionals have all of the benefits of expert advice, networking, and feedback during the course of their education and beyond.

3) A BUSINESS & MARKETING FOCUS

Students who have had opportunities to explore the business and marketing aspects of a design career are going to be the best equipped to succeed in the design industry after graduation. Preparing a personal brand, creating their first portfolio, and learning how to approach potential clients and employers are all things that student designers can learn from the best graphic design colleges.

4) EMPHASIS ON TRADITIONAL & DIGITAL MEDIUMS

A love of art and a culture of creativity is at the heart of any good graphic design program. Graphic design used to be a very two-dimensional discipline, with focus on traditional mediums such as ink and paper. Today’s graphic designers have a wide range of options available to them, including digital design software. The best graphic design colleges will be those that recognize the value of both the traditional paths and the modern tools that make up the world of design.

5) ATTENTION TO PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

One thing a graphic design student doesn’t need to be is a cookie-cutter copy of anyone else. The best graphic design colleges know this, and will actively help students develop their own style, and encourage them to think independently. Why worry about thinking outside of the box, when you can learn that there doesn’t have to be any box at all?

Once you know what to look for, top graphic design schools are easy to recognize. It’s not always about the “prestige” of going to a big-name school, or even the cost of an education, though these are certainly factors that can affect your final decision.


FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAMS AT F.I.R.S.T. INSTITUTE

Here at F.I.R.S.T. Institute, we strive every day to be of service to our students and provide them with the very best that we can offer — from a faculty made up of experienced industry professionals to a broad spectrum of courses and a dedicated Career Development department, we do all we can to ensure that our students receive the best possible educational opportunities. We give students access to everything they need to succeed, both in class and on the job.

If you’d like to know more about our programs, please give us a call or send us an email! Our admissions team are standing by to answer any questions you might have