Innovate. Create.

EWU Department of Design Logo

What is Design?

It’s everywhere you look. The logo on your sneakers, the app on your phone, the billboard overhead, the website before you: Someone designed this. Whenever information is communicated visually, whenever a user interacts with a device: Someone designed this.

Every industry needs designers, even industries yet to be imagined. Their logos, websites, products and packaging. Someone will design them. Will it be you?

About Design

  • Class sizes are small, resulting in more opportunities for individualized attention for each student.
  • Design classes are taught through project-based learning, meaning that students are able to gain hands-on experience while also building a great portfolio.
  • Experienced and committed design faculty are dedicated to helping students grow as designers.
  • Students are able to connect with others through EWU’s active and thriving design community, including a design club, weekly talks by design alumni, and many other community opportunities.
  • 24/7 access to the Adobe Suite Creative Cloud is offered to all design students so that you can work anywhere, anytime. All you have to do is sign in to Adobe’s Creative Cloud with your EWU student login.

  • Connect with a design faculty and learn more about our design program by contacting the design department.
  • Take an introductory class, such as:
    • DESN 100: Drawing for Communication
    • DESN 200: Visual Thinking
    • DESN 216: Digital Foundations
  • Learn more about design at EWU by checking out our design events, such as VCD club meetings or talks by alumni, which are open to all students.
  • Follow our social media accounts.

See what current design courses we are offering now and check for our degree requirements.

Course Offerings

Degree Requirements (Bachelor of Design)

Costs & Materials

Thinking About a Career in Design?

The EWU Design Department is dedicated to challenging students to develop creative solutions to real-world problems using a wide range of media, including web, print, UX, video, illustration, and motion design.

Degree Options

Visual Communication Design (BDes)

Whether you want to design logos, posters, websites, motion graphics, illustrations, or something else, the Bachelor of Design (BDes) program will help you build the skills you need to succeed. You’ll explore many different types of design, work closely with faculty members and learn from your fellow students.



You’ll learn how to present your ideas visually as you get hands-on experience as you practice working with images and text together to create and share messages. In addition, you’ll learn how to use digital tools like the Adobe Creative Cloud apps.


Animation & Motion Design (Certificate)

Learn industry-standard technologies, including stop motion, 2D/3D animation software, and sound design software. These courses cover animation principles and techniques, storytelling, storyboarding, and animatics. With this certificate, you’ll be prepared to effectively communicate ideas and create engaging narratives using space, time and motion.


Front-end Web Design (Certificate)

Develop skills in creating engaging user interactions using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The certificate covers modern web technologies, methodologies, software, and devices. It’s a valuable program for all digitally-focused design professionals.


Photographic Media (Certificate)

Develop both technical and conceptual skills with courses selected from the Art and Design departments. This multidisciplinary curriculum will help you build creative and professional skills, like camera operation, digital editing workflow, lighting, portfolio preparation, image presentation/exhibition and theory.


User Experience Design (Certificate)

You’ll learn how to create user-friendly digital experiences. You’ll get hands-on experience as you solve real-world design problems, receive feedback and improve your designs. The UX Certificate can be earned alongside the Bachelor of Design degree, or on its own.


Career Paths

Graphic designers plan and create visual content to communicate ideas and messages. Projects you might work on include printed materials, packaging for products, or logo design.

Relevant design classes:

  • Visual Communication Design 1-3
  • Typography 1-2
  • Production Design

Possible careers in graphic design include becoming a visual designer, packaging designer, logo and branding designer, or print and production designer.

UX design is the process of designing (digital or physical) products that are useful, easy to use, and delightful to interact with. It’s about enhancing the experience that people have while interacting with your product, and making sure they find value in what you’re providing. Projects you might work on include websites and apps.

Relevant design classes:

  • User Experience Design 1-3
  • Students may also consider getting the User Experience Design Certificate, which includes both UX and web design classes.

Possible careers in UX design include becoming a UX designer, UI/UX Designer, product designer or UX researcher.

Web designers plan, create, and code internet sites and web pages. They combine text, pictures, sounds, graphics, and video clips to create fun and engaging experiences for users.

Relevant design classes:

  • Web Design 1-3

Possible careers in web design include becoming a front end developer, web designer, web developer or web specialist.

Photographers work closely with clients and use their technical expertise, creativity, and composition skills to produce and preserve images that tell a story or record an event.

Relevant design classes:

  • Digital Photography
  • Advanced Digital Photography
  • Students may also consider getting the Photograph Media Certificate, which includes photography classes from both the Design and Art departments.

Possible careers in photography include becoming a photographer, photo editor, photojournalist, or multimedia producer.

Motion designers and animators create graphics for the web, television, or film. Projects they might work on include movie clips, trailers, commercials, or title sequences.

Relevant design classes:

  • Animation 1-3
  • Motion Design 1-2
  • Digital Sound
  • Advanced Digital Sound

Possible careers in animation and motion design include becoming a motion graphics animator, game designer, animation production designer, 2D animator, and 3D animator.

Illustrators are artists that use their creative skills to create original images for a range of printed and digital products. Projects they might work on include illustrations for children’s books, magazines, or fashion design.

Relevant design classes:

  • Visual Storytelling
  • Imaginary Worlds

Students who are interested in illustration may also consider taking art classes to supplement their skills, such as:

  • Drawing
  • Illustration
  • Painting
  • Digital Art

Possible careers in illustration include becoming an illustrator, 2D artist, concept artist, book cover artist, and storyboard artist.

Curious About What You Can Do With a Degree in Design?

Here at EWU, students will learn the core principles of design and how to apply them to solve problems in the real world.

Students are encouraged to take their elective classes in a specific area of design, such UX design, photography, or motion design. This allows all students to pursue what they are passionate about, and will also create many more job opportunities after graduation.

Spokane Campus

Located conveniently in the heart of Spokane, the new Catalyst Building is one of Spokane’s first zero-energy, zero-carbon building. It is home to the EWU Department of Design and where you’ll take design classes.

The Innovation Hub on the first floor is home to design events that connect design students, alumni and community members. Just down the hall, our 4D Lab is teeming with machines to bring your designs to life. Our design classrooms are equipped with the latest iMacs with the full Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, giving you the environment you need to succeed. Thanks to our small class sizes, each student gets more individual time with faculty.

360 Virtual Tour  Street Map

We reside within the traditional homelands of the Spokane People and other tribes who are connected through their shared history of this region. This land holds their cultural DNA and it is their Ancestors who are here and bring forth the knowledge of this place—the knowledge that comes from the land.

Student Work

Curious about what types of projects you might create in our design program?

Here are a few samples of student work by EWU design students. Check out more student work in our Student Work Gallery

Design Department Events on Instagram

Check out our Design Department events: anything ranging from the department’s events to our Visual Communication Design Club (VCDC), to tips and tricks for a design student, and job postings.

Contact Us

Questions? We Are Here to Help

The design faculty at EWU are here to help you explore your potential and develop your skills. For general questions about the program, please contact:

Melinda Breen
Professor | Department Chair

P: 509.828.1303

Request Info Faculty & Staff