Professional Design Practices: AVT 413 / AVT 519
​Digital Media and Web Design Capstone: AVT 479

Three Credits

Addresses the nature of the professional graphic designer in terms of career development and self-marketing, visual presentations of design work, preparation of written materials, and interview techniques. Special emphasis will be given to the development of a design business, as well as freelance and pro-bono design work.​


  • Develop an objective perception of self in preparation for a professional career in the design or related industry.

  • Identify and revise a prior design project to better suit the original intent and objectives of the work.

  • Develop a personal brand identity system and refine writing skills for marketing, résumés, and cover letters.

  • Develop a comprehensive portfolio of work and utilize advanced presentation skills.

  • Learn basic business principles for design business start-up and freelance work, plus develop client and workplace relationships skills.

  • Connect with and encourage membership in the professional community: AIGA, AMA, AAF DC, etc.

  • Establish a web and social media presence.

  • Develop and practice effective interview techniques and strategies.

  • Develop branded self-promotional materials.


REDESIGN: Redesign of one project to bring it to portfolio-quality level.

BRANDING:  Exploration of a personal brand for use in stationery, website, and assorted marketing materials.

RÉSUMÉ AND STATIONERY: Writing, design, and production of a professional résumé plus cover letter, along with a stationery system to include letterhead, business card, envelope, and invoice.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Design and content development for a LinkedIn profile plus a professionally-oriented social media account.

PORTFOLIO: Design and development of a professional portfolio of work exploring projects’ scope, methodologies, results/findings, and participation, for review by design professionals from around the U.S.

SELF-PROMO: Design and development of a branded self-promotional piece for use in interviews or new client pitches.

WEBSITE: Design, content development, and launch of a responsive website featuring background information on the student, a portfolio section of work, a résumé page with downloadable résumé, plus a method of contact.

Jim Van Meer
At the intersection of design thinking and design doing.


As students explore the world of marketing and advertising from a designer’s perspective, they begin to see the connections between the elements of marketing and design, leading them to create an authentic, fully integrated marketing communications campaign to include strategies and tactics.

All undergraduate and graduate students produce an authentic and complete marketing campaign, including documentation, for an existing brand or for a cause. The marketing campaign must be produced using a predetermined marketing campaign template and must contain an appendix of researched and designed materials. These materials must include, but are not limited to:

  • Brand identity
  • Print advertising
  • Print collateral
  • Digital advertising
  • Social media
  • Website/landing pages
  • Event/experiential marketing
  • Promotional items
  • In-store/location advertising
  • Outdoor/out-of-home advertising


Marketing By Design | Advertising Design: AVT 416 / AVT 419 / AVT 519

Three Credits

Marketing by Design | Advertising Design explores the world of marketing and advertising from a designer’s perspective, guiding students on how to translate marketing plans into carefully crafted design solutions. This course provides insight and practice in the creative design process behind effective and memorable advertising and marketing campaigns. From strategies to tactics to accountability, Marketing by Design | Advertising Design provides students an inside look at marketing and advertising and shows why design is a critical part of any business. Emphasis is placed on strategy, marketing, design, and presentation of a portfolio-ready marketing campaign.


  • Develop professional knowledge of the nature of marketing and advertising design, and its relation to designers.

  • Develop a substantive brand, including a brand promise, identification of target markets, clear design consistency, and marketing strategy.

  • Refine writing skills for marketing plans, strategies, and integrated communications.

  • Develop advanced research proficiency, as well as advanced presentation skills.

  • Develop client relationship and management skills, and the ability to collaborate with peer designers and various marketing team members.

  • Learn and demonstrate proper professional pre-press, digital, and social marketing practices.

  • Demonstrate advanced proficiency in professional layout, digital, and social media software programs and platforms.

  • Create an authentic, fully integrated marketing communications campaign to include strategies and tactics.