Bachelor of Arts in Media Design is a professionally focused degree programme in graphic design (also known as visual communication, graphic communication or communication design). The practice-based programme deals with print media, interactive digital media, as well as signage and wayfinding systems for the built and outdoor environment. BA in Media Design can be described as a hybrid between a traditional graphic design programme and a modern information design programme.
A strong and committed emphasis is placed on theory and history particularly relevant to the practice of design. This is coupled with essay writing aided by formative feedback throughout the three years of study. The programme also puts an emphasis on craft knowledge (especially typography), technical skills (e.g. colour management) and process skills (e.g. project management). The mission is to educate the students to become professional designers who can balance practical skills and formgiving ability with analytical capacity and conceptual creativity.
Three years of study culminate with a final display.
The study programme covers:
- Graphic design, with an emphasis on typography and editorial design.
- Information design, with its emphasis on mundane but complex graphical user interfaces (in a wide sense and in any media), the application of user centered design methods, and the aim of designing for the public good.
The students typically do projects on book design, journal design, newspaper design, packaging design, information graphics, design for the web, tablet computers and smartphones, design of signage and wayfinding systems for the built and outdoor environment, branding and corporate identity, as well as calligraphy and typeface design. The design projects are to a large extent run and supervised by members of the academic staff who are also practising designers.
A study trip to Rome in the third semester («The classical lettering tradition in Rome») and a study trip to London in the fifth semester (visiting media companies, design studios, universities, museums, special collection libraries and archives) are included as an integral part of the study programme.
The study programme offers training in essay writing and study technique, introductory courses in software such as InDesign and Photoshop and in web standards such as HTML and CSS. The laboratories dedicated to the media design students are well equipped with large screen Mac computers, up to date software and an extensive typeface library. The university college library offers an extensive collection of books, journals and e-media on design matters. The campus bookshop carries a good selection of books on design and media technology.
Language: Lectures are mainly held in Norwegian. However, occasional guest lecturers and visiting workshop instructors are often English speaking. All members of the academic staff speak English, and quite a number of them have studied or worked in English speaking countries. A substantial number of the items on the compulsory and recommended reading lists, as well as the majority of books and journals in the library, are in the English language.
This design programme, with its academic profile and emphasis on advancing the students’ writing skills, makes the students particularly well equipped for master’s degree studies in design (in Norway and abroad). This also applies for the MA in Interaction Design at Gjøvik University College.
On completion of the study programme the student will be qualified to work as a graphic designer or to take up a similar occupation. For example in a wide variety of graphic design studios, business and technology service companies and consultancies which deliver solutions for web and interactive media, advertising agencies, communication and public relations agencies, publishing companies, newspapers, technical documentation services, museums and other cultural sector organisations, broadcasting, and design and prepress departments in the printing industry. And ever more often, for private enterprises and public sector bodies that employ in-house designers or personnel with design expertise. Many designers establish their own practice after having gained some years of experience as employees or freelancers in the design industry. Completion of the study programme will also contribute towards qualifying for teaching positions in secondary school, in vocational colleges or in higher education.