International School of Art & Design

Graphic Design

Banner Finlandia Scholarship for Art

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.


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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


Banner Finlandia Scholarship for Art
The Finlandia Scholarship for Art

January 26, 2023


The Finlandia Scholarship for Art is a new competitive art scholarship opportunity available for Fall 2023 incoming freshmen or transfer students majoring in Art Therapy or Graphic Design.

Scholarship Requirements:

New to Finlandia for Fall 2023 (incoming freshman or transfer) Art Therapy or Graphic Design major 2.5 GPA required Scholarship Award: One single $2,000 scholarship, renewable for four years by maintaining a 2.5 GPA Competitive (awarded based on portfolio review) Portfolio reviews will occur following the spring 2023 semester and the recipient will be awarded […] Read More

Madelyn Waterman
Student Spotlight: Senior Marketing & Graphic Design student Madelyn Waterman

October 28, 2022

Finlandia Lions Women’s Soccer is on its way to conference playoffs. Patrons of Finlandia Athletics can donate and learn more about the Women’s Soccer fundraiser which runs through Nov. 3, by visiting here.

Joining Finlandia Fridays this week is senior Lions’ Soccer player Madelyn Waterman, who sits down with host Jordan Shawhan for an exciting conversation about FinnU’s Marketing and Graphic Design programs, why she decided to attend Finlandia and what she’s looking forward to most in her final year.

Like […] Read More

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


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.


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Faculty and Staff


CTE/Graphic Design Instructor


Lindsey Heiden

Visiting Assistant Professor, International School of Art & Design


Cassandra Hill, Ph.D.

Dean & Associate Professor of Communication

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