WE VIEW THE WORLD
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 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
Associate Professor and Chair
As a fresh-faced 28-year-old, Tyler first set foot in a KCAI design classroom as a full time professor and has never looked back. He has taught at KCAI and the University of Kansas, having earned his BFA from Missouri State University and an MGD from North Carolina State University. Tyler is passionate about design for social change and his recent professional work has centered on visual identity and support materials for “Stand Up KC”, Kansas City’s conception of the international low-wage worker movement. Other projects in this area have been included in the 2017 Graphis Poster Annual, Communication Arts magazine, and “The Design of Dissent”. He also participates regularly in the design educators’ community, delivering papers and project presentations at a national and international level. But perhaps just as important, Tyler loves riding bikes, punk rock, vegan cookies, and being a husband and dad.
Tony Brock has taught freshmen through graduate design courses with a transmedia focus of print, motion, and interaction design. Having taught in both art and design centered programs, he tailors curricula to benefit the individual interests of the student while providing a broad survey of contemporary practice. Tony has developed interactive, UX and UI curricula for students in Graphic Design as well as digital media methods courses in Architecture and Analytics. Study-abroad, social media, community-based practicum courses, sponsored studios, and collaboration with industry and academic specialists are ways he expands the studio experience for students.
Lisa J. Maione, M.F.A.
Lisa J. Maione is an art director, designer, and educator. Born in Japan and raised in the U.S., Lisa cut her teeth at New York studios including 2×4, Pentagram, mgmt. design and Wolff Olins, and later at the publication, Metropolis. In her independent design and art practice, clients range from architects to community organizations, artists, and publishers among others. Since 2008, she has taught undergraduate and graduate design courses at Parsons School of Design, Queens College City University of New York and Oklahoma State University. Lisa holds a BFA and MFA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and a post-graduate certificate in Typeface Design from Type@Cooper NYC.
Denise Gonzales Crisp
Joyce C. Hall Distinguished Professor of Design
Crisp is bi-located in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Los Angeles, California. She is a designer, writer, educator, curator, and advocate of Graphic Design: The Discipline. She serves as a full professor and the Director of the Master of Graphic Design program at North Carolina State University. Prior to that appointment, she was the Senior Designer for Art Center College of Design and principal of the design studio SúperStové!.
Throughout her career as a designer, she has taught design graduate and undergraduate courses at Art Center (Saturday High, Art Center at Night, and the Graphic Design and Media Design programs), California Institute of the Arts, Otis Art Institute, and UCLA (extension program). I have also served as an external advisor for graduate students at RISD and Otis Art Institute.
Crisp’s work and writing are widely published in European publications including Eye Magazine, Items, Book 2.0 Journal, Communication Design Journal, and in US publications including Emigré, Design Observer, Print, Design and Culture Journal, and Metropolis. My essays and design work are also included in some books: Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots: California and Graphic Design, 1936-1986; Design Research: Methods and Perspectives; The Designer as Author, Producer, Activist, Entrepreneur, Curator, and Collaborator; Graphic Design: History in the Writing (1983–2011); Design Dictionary; All Access: The Making of Thirty Extraordinary Graphic Designers — to name a few. Her own book, Graphic Design in Context: Typography, was published in 2012 by Thames & Hudson, UK, and is available here.
Crisp’s expertise and interests in design education, typography, and typographic tools, and graphic design are fodder for her writing. The DecoRational (a term she coined) was the basis for the exhibition Deep Surface: Contemporary Ornament and Pattern at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, co-curated with Susan Yelavich.
Crisp sits on the editorial board of Design and Culture journal and is a working member on the board of DesignInquiry, a non-profit organization devoted to researching design issues in intensive team-based gatherings. She holds a BFA from Art Center College of Design and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. For fun, she cooks, practices drums, and is learning to perform improv comedy.
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.
Merrick S. Henry, M.F.A
Upon completing the Masters of Fine Arts in Graphic Design at Kansas State University, Henry began his career as an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA (www.scad.edu). Launching a teaching position at the art school helped to broaden his experiences as an instructor and artist. Henry’s interest in typographic design includes a number of research areas in experiential design with strong emphasis on print and digital development. He has also explored the field of digital illustration by utilizing 3-D software to enhance his technical skills.
Typography has given him the opportunity to communicate and relate to his students through rigorous analysis and research. Through typography, students are able to create unique expressions through individual explorations understanding the true vernacular of typography in the field of graphic design. His teaching focuses on an open communication through presentation, research materials, project definition development and critiques. Professionally, he wants to share his experiences from various travels here and abroad in order to encourage students to become life-long learners who will contribute to the practice of their chosen field.
Find out more at graphicstudio8.com/portfolio
Tom holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and a National Diploma in Graphic Design from Stafford College of Art in the UK. He is the co-founder of Morse-Brown Creative, a brand development and design agency in south Kansas City. He has 20 years experience working for design agencies, large corporations, and non profits. He has held the role of Creative Director, is an adjunct professor with the Kansas City Art Institute and frequently teaches workshops on brand development with the Enterprise Center of Johnson County and the Sprint Accelerator.
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.
- Visual Communication I & II
- Typography I & II
- Applied Communication Theory
- User Experience (UX)
- Human-Centered Design
- Information Architecture (IA)
- Typography III
- Junior Professional Practice
- Design Systems
- Spatial Experience
- Multimedia Experience
- Visual Advocacy
- Degree Project
- Typography IV
View Samples of Our Work
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 is a compulsory component of the KCAI program in which students benefit enormously from insights provided by world-renowned visiting artists, scholars and professionals.
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.