Best Schools for Communication Design

alexhb's picture

I remember a while back I asked you all what the "best" schools for type design were, and now, at the beginning of my senior in high school I've decided to study communication design. What I really want to do is design newspapers, magazines, books and other printed matter, so I asked you all this- What are the best schools to look at to study this sort of thing.

I've read about several places so far, ideally I am looking for a place that would allow me to submit a largely digital portfolio, since my drawing skills are not incredibly great and most schools are looking for a very rounded artist-type. I have some sketches, mostly building designs and observational drawings from when I was going for architecture, but a large amount of digital work I have done for school things and "for pleasure."

Ideas, thoughts, comments?

Alaskan's picture

I got a shockingly great education in "Multimedia Graphic Design" at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont (which, BTW, is an amazing place to live.) Champlain is a small school that has grown A LOT in the last 10 years and has extraordinary facilities.

One of my professors had taught at RISD for 17 years before moving up to VT, and another professor was the stuff of movies. So talented, so involved, and so in love with design. Champlain gave me a lot more than I expected.

good luck!

gerry_leonidas's picture

What I really want to do is design newspapers, magazines, books and other printed matter

You're looking at BA/BFA programmes at this stage, but you should keep in mind that the best programmes at postgraduate level in the field you are interested in are the MA Information Design and MA Book Design at the University of Reading.

Some images of student work are here and here respectively.

aluminum's picture

are you aiming for a particular spot on the globe?

alexhb's picture

I would like to, if possible, stay in California (preferably northern), but I am not closed to moving around the United States for school.

Endre Berentzen's picture

You sure you don't want to try Australia;o)
I got an amazing insight into typography studying and later teaching alongside Stephen Banham whilst at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) They also have a practical studio year (extra year) for exceptional students which was a great way of smoothing the transistion into the workforce.

To see some of Stephen's work check out

Zara Evens's picture

I am not super familiar with the schools/design programs in California, but the only ones I know of that have decent reputations are California College of the Arts in San Francisco and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

Here is a list of schools in the TypoWiki:

My personal advice is that if you are looking for the best, look well beyond your surroundings :)

Marilyn's picture

Endre, I'm doing the course you're talking about! I'm in 3rd year, Communication Design. Stephen Banham gave us weekly lectures on typography in 2nd year. There are also electives in typography and publication. The typography elective covers newspaper design, information design, etc. The publication elective involves creating a 64-page book and we get taught how to bind it ourselves.

ChuckGroth's picture

after you finish your degree, you might want to check out the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

I attended Poynter (in St. Petersburg, FL) and it was a terrific experience. For many years, I had a career in newspaper and magazine design.

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