Graphic Design


Design is everywhere, part of everything, and you can influence it. In that sense, the world is your gallery. It’s our job to prepare you for the rapid changes occurring in both traditional print and interactive electronic media. We provide a cross-media skill set, so you’ll graduate as a confident, creative design thinker and problem solver who can not only adapt to change, but also influence it.

We balance proficiency in software with essential hand skills, such as drawing, painting, collage, model making and experimental processes, because all are important to your success. You can rely on our faculty – all design professionals – to keep you focused and teach you how to use your talents to the best of your ability for all of the good that design can do.

Take a look at our department’s website at to learn more.

… I traveled to numerous schools in hopes of finding a structured program that would push me... After visiting KCAI, I knew it was the place for me.

Nick Howland
graphic design, 2015

Full-time Faculty

Maura Cluthe

Assistant Professor & Acting Chair

Blurring the lines between fine art, illustration and design, Maura Cluthe has spent much of her career as a collaborator, combining all three disciplines. As a young student in illustration, she first interned at Hallmark and continued to work there for twenty years as an illustrator, designer and art director. While at Hallmark, she helped launch the “Fresh Ink” alternative card line and helped in the redesign of Kaleidoscope (a creative, fun place for kids). Maura continues to freelance and show her mixed media work which, shown nationally, integrates text, drawing, photography, painting and other “stuff” she has collected into her art.


Emmy Rice

Visiting Assistant Professor

Emmy Rice has extensive experience creating graphic design programs. She regularly obtains grants to fund student workshops. Rice graduated from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., with a B.F.A. degree in textile design, and from Kansas State University in Manhattan with a M.F.A. degree in graphic design. She serves on the board of AIGA Kansas City.


Adjunct Faculty

Paul Diamond


Paul Diamond is co-founder and co-creative director of DMH, a design and advertising agency in Kansas City. His work has been recognized in numerous local, regional and national award competitions. He received his B.F.A. degree in visual communication from the University of Kansas and attended Syracuse University in New York, where he received a M.A. degree in advertising design.


Martin Venezky

Joyce C. Hall Distinguished Professor of Design

Martin Venezky first gained renown in 1995 for the design of Speak magazine. With his firm Appetite Engineers, he continues his dedication to craft, process and detail. He has crafted illustrations for The New York Times and Wire and installations at the Facebook and Adobe campus. He has taught at California College of the Arts and was named by KCAI as the Joyce C. Hall Distinguished Professor of Design.


Once you declare your major, graphic design students take the following core courses as they progress from sophomore to senior year. For additional electives and liberal arts courses, download the complete course catalog.

Like What You See?

For additional examples of student-produced work that displays a wider range of styles, technique and subject matter, browse our expanded photo gallery.


Professional Practice

Professional practice is a compulsory component of the KCAI program in which students benefit enormously from insights provided by world-renowned visiting artists, scholars and professionals.

Technical Requirements

All graphic design students must purchase a laptop computer. A DSLR camera is also recommended. Students must master a range of applications, including InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more – available through KCAI within the Adobe Creative Suite Cloud.

Jobs + Internships

Graphic design graduates leave with a well-rounded portfolio that will serve them well in professional job interviews. Our robust internship program allows students to gain valuable professional experience in real-world settings. Many have already made connections and gone on to work with local and national design and advertising firms such as Nickelodeon, Airbnb, Salesforce, R/GA, Garmin, the Getty, Populous, VML, DMH, Barkley, Radius, Hyperakt, Design Army, Hint and Hallmark Cards.