Offering one of the first professional graphic design degrees in the region, the undergraduate program in graphic design at the American university of Beirut has been a pioneering force in shaping the graphic design industry and a leading model for graphic design education in Lebanon and the Arab world since 1992. While adhering to international standards, the program continuously evolves to meet the needs of the local and regional markets, keeping up with the fast-developing advancements in the field and responding to the increasingly growing demand for the graphic design profession.
Well-rounded professional degree
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design offers a comprehensive scope covering print, space and digital media and encompassing the multiple practice areas of the discipline. These include branding and visual identity, packaging and promotional communication, publication design, signage and wayfinding, web, app and interaction design, among others. The program also provides training in the skills and tools of the graphic designer such as drawing, animation, printmaking, computer graphics, photography, illustration and typography. In addition to the practical and technical aspects of the profession, the curriculum focuses on a solid training in the theory and history of design and promotes a socially responsible and locally grounded practice. In their final year, students embark on a two-semester long thesis project focused on a topic of their choice.
The program is proud to be a prominent hub for the study and development of Arabic from traditional calligraphy to contemporary lettering and typography. By encouraging the development of contemporary Arabic fonts, fully integrating the Arabic language within the digital realm and focusing on design in multiple languages as a core component, the program gives graduates a particular strength and a competitive edge as design professionals in this multicultural region. The program also boasts a center for comics with an impressive collection of regional comic books and graphic novels, as well as a city-focused urban lab with a prominent design and data visualization unit.
With state-of-the-art studios and labs, including those for printmaking, fabrication and digital production, the Department of Architecture and Design is a creative teaching and learning environment that encourages critical thinking, experimentation and innovation. The regular programming of events, lectures, conferences, workshops, competitions, seminars and conferences keeps the department an active and lively place, connected to the design professional and academic worlds both regionally and globally. The department is nestled in AUB’s historical campus, a green sanctuary overlooking the Mediterranean and comprising five libraries, athletic fields, an indoor pool, a private beach, as well as archaeological, natural history and art museums.
The Graphic Design
Program is comprised of a total of 139 credit hours normally taken over four
years, including three summers. The curriculum is structured as follows:
- Two foundation years, first and second, with core requirements in design, typography, representation techniques, digital media, and history courses, which offer students basic skills and knowledge in design and related areas.
- An advanced year, the third year, with core requirements in advanced design, digital media, and theory courses, reinforced by the field electives and General Education requirements.
- A final year, the fourth year, with a one-year long design project and advanced electives.
Program Learning Outcomes
Graphic Design students graduate from their undergraduate program with a thorough working knowledge of how to:
- (Design) Develop original design solutions in the fields of publication, identity, packaging, communication and environmental design that integrate local, regional and global concerns (both social and cultural) into projects that are creative, feasible, and ultimately realizable.
- (History/Theory) Formulate critical positions in their design practice and in written communication drawn from knowledge of the history and theory of art and visual culture.
- (Representation) Demonstrate the ability to communicate a design concept clearly through the stages of its development process using a range of tools and technologies, including sketching, printmaking and multiple media.
- (Typography) Display a full working knowledge of the macro and micro aesthetics of typeface design with particular focus on issues of typography in the Arab world.
- (Digital Media) Create time-based media and responsive interactive media to current international standards using the digital tools of today including TV graphics, title sequences, animated logos and promos, web pages, e-magazines and mobile app designs.
- (Professional Practice) Demonstrate basic business acumen and familiarity with the legal and ethical dimensions of the profession, including the ability to organize design projects and to work productively as a member of a team.
- (General) Advance with competency into the graphic design profession at entry level in their area of specialization.