Over its 100 years, and especially over the last twenty years, AIGA has seen many changes in the discipline. What graphic design is, what designers need to know, and who becomes a designer have all shifted as the computer went from being just a tool to also being our primary medium for communication. While many principles have stayed the same, what goes on in design school has followed practice. The number and variety of programs has multiplied, making the process of selecting a school more challenging and potentially rewarding. Finally, how jobs are advertised and how prospective candidates communicate with prospective employers have changed as well, as has the culture and context for many workplaces, requiring new approaches for how to find your first job.
AIGA invited Juliette Cezzar to update the 1993 career guide originally written by Sharon Helmer Poggenpohl. Together with input from educators across the country, the guide has been revised. Special thanks go to Rachel Berger, Aggie Toppins, and John Caserta, as well as Adobe, our sponsor.
Please send feedback, resources, or additions to
Together with AIGA, Adobe is creating innovative programs that give members a voice, nurture young designers and actively engage the creative community in dialogues about the important issues in the fields of design and technology. The alliance between AIGA and Adobe is a long-term partnership dedicated to advancing design and the use of technology across creative industries as well as understanding and highlighting the impact of design on the economy and society. Learn more about Adobe.
Juliette Cezzar is an Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the BFA Communication Design program at Parsons / The New School, where she was the Director of the BFA
Communication Design and BFA Design & Technology programs from 2011-2014. She established her small studio, e.a.d., in 2005. While books anchor the practice, her work has spanned a variety of media for clients such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, RES
Magazine, The Museum of Modern Art, Vh1, The New York Times, Eleven Madison Park, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Art, and Planning. She is the co-author of Designing the Editorial Experience with
Sue Apfelbaum (Rockport) and author-designer of Office Mayhem (Abrams), Paper Pilot,Paper Captain, and Paper Astronaut (Universe / Rizzoli). She holds an MFA in Graphic
Design from Yale University and a professional degree (B. Arch) in Architecture from Virginia Tech.
by Juliette Cezzar
Graphic design, also known as communication design, is the art and
practice of planning and proj...
In trying to decide if a design career is right for you, it might be
helpful to think about the qu...
Technology, social context, and ways of working with others will change.
In order to become and re...
Design school is different from most other educational experiences. You'll learn outside of school...
The number and variety of programs
where students can study graphic or communication ...
Beyond the array of degrees and institutions,
schools vary in their thinking about wh...
You’re not choosing the ladder you will eventually climb, or investing
in some fictional “dues-p...
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