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A graphic design student is working at a computer with help from a professor

Graphic Design and Rich Media

Earn an Associate Degree in Graphic Design

Turn your passion for art and technology into a career in graphic design and rich media. Earn a graphic design associate degree and develop professional skills to work in this dynamic and creative industry.

Graphic design is a vital element of most products and communications. Design is everywhere, from shampoo bottles to book covers to billboards. Companies need professionally designed media to communicate with customers about their brands and products. Publishers of books, magazines and music need designers to make their print and digital materials look polished. Event planners use graphic design in invitations, posters, fliers and slideshows. Advertisers use rich media design to add compelling interactive or three-dimensional elements to digital ads.

You want to get someone's attention with something that's artistically cohesive and beautiful. That starts the communication, and communication is the point of graphic design.

Charly Bratt
Technical Paraprofessional in the Aims Graphic Design and Rich Media Department
Charly Bratt Portrait

Getting a two-year associate degree in graphic design can help you gain the creative, technical and industry knowledge employers are searching for. Learn how to communicate clearly using typography, color, photography and illustrations for display in print, animation and web media. Get in-depth experience using industry-standard software. Learn how to give and receive critiques as you build a portfolio you’ll feel confident about showing to prospective employers. Get your start in the industry by showcasing your work for local employers during a portfolio review event held each spring at Aims.

If you’re an artistic person who loves creative problem-solving and working with technology, this program will give you the skills you need to get a job in the industry.

Turn Your Passion for Art and Technology Into a Career

Aims Degree Video - Graphic Design and Rich Media - Graphic Design

Technical Paraprofessional Charly Bratt talks about how the graphic design and rich media program at Aims helps students combine creativity and technology to build a rewarding career.

Get Hands-on Training in Graphic Design and Rich Media

A variety of organizations need graphic designers to create print and digital designs. Interactive rich media designs that combine audio, 3D effects and other elements to enhance users’ experience are also in demand. 

While earning your graphic design associate degree, build professional skills and gain industry knowledge, including:

  • Adobe software programs including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
  • Effectively combining color, typography, images and other media to create designs
  • Managing time and meeting deadlines
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Building a portfolio to share with potential employers and clients

In this hands-on program, apply design principles using the latest Adobe software and Wacom drawing tablets. As you advance through the program, combine what you’ve learned and experiment with different techniques to develop your design style. You’ll also gain career skills by building a portfolio, preparing for job interviews, accepting client feedback and working as part of a team. Along with your core design classes, choose elective courses in subjects including drawing, art history and interpersonal communication.

Learn Graphic Design and Rich Media Skills With a Graphic Design Certificate 

Earning a certificate is a cost-effective way to explore an area of interest without committing to a full academic degree program. Aims offers several design certificates that can also be used as the starting point on the path to an associate or bachelor’s degree.

  • Basic Web Design Certificate
  • Graphic Software and Applications Certificate
  • Graphic Application Certificate
  • Web Design Certificate
  • Web Design Specialist Certificate

Launch Your Career in Graphic Design

Demand is always high for graphic design skills, with opportunities to work in many different industries or to start your own business. Potential employment opportunities include working in the design department for a large corporation or at an advertising or marketing firm. Medium-sized and smaller companies, nonprofits and government organizations also need graphic designers for branding and marketing.

Examples of jobs in graphic design and rich media include:

  • Graphic designer
  • Illustrator
  • Motion graphic designer
  • Concept sketch artist
  • Storyboard artist
  • Multimedia designer
$59,401 Median salary w/associate degree Source:

Graphic Design and Rich Media Faculty and Staff

Professors with direct industry experience teach graphic design and rich media classes at Aims. Class sizes are small, with plenty of one-on-one interaction with your professors and peers. 

  • Portrait of Brian Dunning

    Brian Dunning

    Chair/Professor - Graphic Design & Rich Media
  • Charly Bratt

    Charly Bratt

    Technical Paraprofessional - Graphic Design & Rich Media
  • HEadshot of Lori Ford

    Lori Ford

    Part-Time Faculty - Graphic Design & Rich Media
  • Headshot of Bo Baird

    Bo Baird

    Part-Time Faculty - Graphic Design & Rich Media
  • David Jané headshot

    David Jané

    Instructor - Graphic Design & Rich Media
  • Portrait of Jonathan Wretlind

    Jonathan Wretlind

    Part-Time Faculty - Graphic Design & Rich Media
  • Nena Matthew headshot

    Nena Matthew

    Part-Time: Faculty, Graphic Design & Media