International School of Art and Design

Graphic Design

Experiment with different ways to convey messages

It is simply the art of visualizing and communicating ideas-clearly, effectively, and if done well, memorably.

Learn More Today!

Fill out the form below and our staff will be in touch with you shortly to help you schedule a visit, start your application process or answer questions!


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


Lindsey Heiden Headshot Photo
Heiden to be featured in UP Focus Exhibition

September 07, 2022

Former ISAD adjunct will serve as Visiting Assistant Professor for 2022-23

Finlandia University is pleased to announce that Lindsey Heiden will serve as a full-time Visiting Assistant Professor for the 2022-2023 academic year. Heiden has been an adjunct instructor in FinnU’s International School of Art & Design (ISAD) since 2018.

“The studio art facilities at Finlandia University are fantastic,” Heiden said. “I can’t wait to show and explore all of the possibilities that studio arts have to offer with the students. I […] Read More

Student Spotlight: Gavin Mackey, Graphic Design

October 13, 2021

Sophomore Gavin Mackey, a graphic design major and Hancock local, has two favorite things; computing and art. Ever since Mackey was in his early teens, he was messing around in Adobe Photoshop creating pixel art and posters. His love for graphic design spiraled from there. 

“My favorite part of the [graphic design] program has got to be the vector art portion. It challenges your perspective and forces you to think in different ways than normal to create a piece,” […] Read More

International School of Art & Design 2021 Bachelor of Fine Arts Diploma Works Exhibition

April 27, 2021

Finlandia University’s International School of Art & Design (ISAD) 2021 Bachelor of Fine Arts Diploma Works Exhibition is featured from April 28 to July 22, 2021, at the Finlandia University Gallery. The Finlandia University Gallery is located in the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock.

A reception for the artists and their families will take place at the gallery Saturday, May 1st, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. The exhibit is open to the public by appointment. Please email […] 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.


Fill out the form below and our staff will be in touch with you shortly.


Faculty and Staff


CTE/Graphic Design Instructor


Barb Hardy

Adjunct Design Instructor


Lindsey Heiden

Visiting Assistant Professor, International School of Art & Design


Cassandra Hill, Ph.D.

Dean (Suomi College of Arts & Sciences/International School of Art & Design)

Apply Now!