International School of Art & Design

Graphic Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Experiment with different ways to convey messages with the art of visualizing and communicating ideas clearly, effectively, and if done well, memorably.


Teach-Out Information & Resources for Students



As a graphic design student, you will learn how to solve any visual communication problem through a creative, targeted, and effective design process. You’ll also learn that good design doesn’t always result from knowing the right answers to give, but knowing the right questions to ask.

You’ll have ample opportunity to meet one-on-one with, not only your instructors but your peers as well. You’ll have studio spaces linked together with other students, providing an experience that allows students to freely bounce ideas off of each other. It’s an atmosphere that allows for your creativity to be seen and heard. 


The graphic design labs at Finlandia are constructed in a way that mimics graphic design labs in the real world. Our labs, equipped with a full suite of Mac computers and drawing tables have an open environment, allowing for lots of team collaboration.

Today, most companies are shifting toward this open-styled layout for their graphic design studios, and FinnU wants to ensure that you’ll be able to collaborate with a team and be ready to work within such environments.



Our instructors bring all their professional experience directly from their studios or corporate work into the classroom, providing our students with a real-world, practical insight and focus. They also encourage you to see the world differently; to challenge cultural, social, and even visual, perceptions; to reach beyond your own life experiences and freely explore their undiscovered potential. Explore past your comfort zone. Taking classes like ceramic or fashion design may help you discover new interests and explore your strengths. 

“What I love about Finlandia is that no matter what your declared major is, art students are required to take courses that really help them explore other areas of art. This was huge for me. It helped me hone my design skills when I got to apply my ideas in a hands on way, from sculpting in ceramics classes, to screen printing in textile courses. I have been able to apply that knowledge to my industry and even put it into practice.”

Hayley Laban ('11)

"I knew what I wanted to do, but it was eye opening to see all of the opportunities, especially for such a small school. Once I progressed in my specialty, I was able to work very closely with my graphic design professor. Professors don’t always see the potential that students have, when they aren’t applying themselves fully, and take the extra time that they really need to push them outside of their comfort zones. At Finlandia I was able to get that."

Jessica Ingold ('13)

"What ultimately made me feel confident in choosing Finlandia was looking at the curriculum. When I was at Adrian College, the concentration in Graphic Design only offered three classes. Finlandia opened that category so much more with classes like Package Design, Critical Thinking, Typography, Environmental Design, etc. I felt like Finlandia had more to offer in that sense."

Haley Neri ('15)

Exploring the Graphic Design Degree with Professor Tom Adolphs


Graphic Design majors learn the latest industry-standard computer programs and how to use them on a professional level. But computers are only tools. A powerful concept is a designer’s greatest strength, and computers don’t create concepts. Generating ideas – lots of ideas – workable, effective ideas, is the foundation of good design and the backbone of the industry.

Check out Denia Bent ‘s (’20) full style guide by clicking the image above.

The Degree

Progress Sheet

The Classes

Course Descriptions


Teach-Out Institutions
Finlandia University Teach-Out Institutions

May 16, 2023

Updated May 16, 2023

On Thursday, March 2, Finlandia University’s Board of Trustees announced that FinnU will not enroll students for the 2023-2024 academic year. Announced Tuesday, March 14, the University’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to dissolve the institution and wind up affairs in an orderly manner.

Finlandia has finalized eight Teach-Out Agreements with Adrian College, Bay College, Michigan Technological University, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Northern Michigan University, University of Dubuque, Waldorf University, and Wartburg College. Several non-partnering institutions have […] Read More

Relive Graduation Day 2023 at Finlandia University | Photo Gallery & Livestreams

May 11, 2023

Finlandia University held its final Spring Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 7, honoring 92 graduates in the Class of 2023. Following commencement, a commendation service was held for Finlandia University students, staff, faculty, alumni, neighbors and friends, commending the University and its 126 years of service.

Full High-Res Photos from Spring 2023 Commencement:


On-Demand Livestream of Spring 2023 Commencement:

Full High-Res Photos from Service of Commendation:

Read More

Hirvonen Hall exterior
Finlandia honors legacy, Class of 2023 with final commencement and commendation ceremonies

May 10, 2023

Founded in 1896 as Suomi College, Finlandia University held its final spring commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 7, honoring 92 graduates in the Class of 2023. In March, the University announced the decision to dissolve the institution and not enroll students for the 2023-2024 academic year.

View PhotosWatch On-Demand

President Timothy Pinnow congratulates student at FinnU’s Spring 2023 Commencement Ceremony.

Delivering the welcome address was Board Trustee Stephen Nikander, whose great-grandfather founded the institution and whose grandfather served […] Read More


1. Communication/Creative Insight: Students demonstrate the vocabulary, grammar, and sense of context required to successfully
navigate and adapt to the changing demands within the profession of graphic design.
2. Analytic and Critical Thinking/Creative Insight: Students demonstrate an independent ability to seek out and discover the resources
required to make cross-platform connections that function to solve unforeseen design problems.
3. Communication: Students demonstrate a consistent awareness for the importance of collaboration and feedback within the design
4. Personal Perspective: Students demonstrate a passion for self-development through reflection and integration of peer feedback, as
well as a commitment to the need for continual exploration within the field of graphic design.
5. Global Perspective: Students demonstrate a keen awareness that the strongest design is ultimately for others, and hence, requires
that one see and explore beyond oneself.

Faculty and Staff

Levi Grannis

CTE/Graphic Design Instructor


Lindsey Heiden

Visiting Assistant Professor, International School of Art & Design


Cassandra Hill, Ph.D.

Dean & Associate Professor of Communication

FinnU will not enroll students for 2023-2024Learn More
Teach-Out Information