Changing how 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.
“… 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
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. thenewprogramme.net
Visiting Assistant Professor
Eager Zhang (b. 1997, China Mainland) is a visual artist and graphic designer. Being brought up as multi-lingual and trained with coding tools in college, she explores among the territory of reading behavior, language issues and poetry writing, and expands her practice into printmaking, editorial design, and web architecture. Her recent works were featured by Tokyo TDC, Society of Typographic Art (STA 100) and The Design Kids. She graduated from School of the Art Institute of Chicago as an MFA, and received a BE from Tongji University, Shanghai. In 2021 she started her partnership with WAIG, a design studio that works actively on both digital and print-based commissions.
Adam Lucas is a graphic designer and educator. Before joining KCAI, Adam was a Senior Designer at SYPartners in New York; a co-founder of LeClair Lucas, a graphic design studio that worked with artists, architects, and cultural institutions to produce identities, publications, and collateral for print and screen; and an art director at Wieden+Kennedy. Adam has taught at Maryland Institute College of Art, Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, and School of Visual Arts. He received an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design and a BA from Kenyon College. See more about Adam at adamlucas.info.
Lisa J. Maione
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.
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.
Type & image 1 and 2
Graphic Design Histories
Research & Process
Information & Data Visualization Inquiry
- Branding & Identity Inquiry
- Interaction Inquiry
- Social Innovation Inquiry
- Type Inquiry or Image Inquiry
- Self-Directed Inquiry
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, Pentagram, Fossil and Hallmark Cards.