An Inside Look at SCAD’s Graphic Design Program

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By Duke Greenhill, Chair of Graphic Design and Advertising at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

 

At SCAD Graphic Design, innovative collaborations with Fortune 500 partners help secure students leading design jobs.

 

A singular mission drives all aspects of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), including the graphic design department: to prepare students for creative professions. To this end, the primary metric of success for the graphic design department — indeed, for all SCAD departments — is how many graduated students secure meaningful jobs in their fields of study. In the graphic design department and under the guidance of SCAD president and founder Paula Wallace, we believe that providing students with an academic environment that mimics professional industries is essential to achieving this mission. One of the chief mechanisms we leverage to create a facsimile of the professional work experience is SCADpro.

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SCADpro is a design shop and innovation studio that generates business solutions for the world’s most influential brands. SCADpro is recognized as the preeminent university partner in higher education and among design agencies worldwide, and it operates in the U.S., Europe and Asia. In short, SCADpro solves real-life creative and business challenges through actual projects for Fortune 500 clients, and in doing so, provides students with an integral component of their design education: the opportunity to experience what being a graphic designer on a project for a leading brand is actually like.

The SCAD graphic design department is honored to have led or been involved in many of these projects. Some recent SCADpro-graphic design collaborations include:

• Assisting the Walt Disney Company in the research and development of concepts for Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday celebration.

• Collaborating with General Electric to assist in the creation of an immersive experience for data management for locomotive transportation.

• Working with BMW Group Research to leverage individual vehicle usage data to create new educational experiences.

• And partnering with Delta Air Lines to research and develop creative concepts for a branded event that will reveal the new Delta uniform collection. The outcome of the Delta collaboration, for example, evidences the tremendous success of these projects, both in terms of business value to the client and educational value to the student. With SCAD graphic design students’ help, the new Delta uniforms, designed by Zac Posen, were revealed to over 30,000 employees during an in-person fitting experience in 16 select cities throughout the US and around the world..

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So impressive were the concepts for launch events delivered by SCAD graphic design and SCADpro, that Professor Jane Zash — the professor of graphic design who led the project — and several students were invited by designer, Zac Posen, to subsequent professional events. A SCAD graphic design graduate who worked on the project, Amy Chang, was also hired by Delta to supervise and produce the fitting events.

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When preparing graphic design students to secure meaningful careers in the field, perhaps nothing is more essential than providing the experience of what a career in the graphic design field is really like. With the assistance of SCADpro and some of the world’s top brands, the SCAD graphic design department regularly provides this. Coupled with the graphic design program’s leading faculty and innovative cross-disciplinary curriculum approach, 99-percent of SCAD graduates are employed within nine months of graduation, and 91-percent of the graphic design students are employed in positions directly related to their creative field. Not bad, if you ask me.