Graphic Design

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Before you pick up a pencil, sit down in front of a computer or open the scanner, there are two elements of graphic design you need to know: how to turn an idea into a visual message, and what you can bring to it as an artist. You’ll learn how to hone concepts down to their most critical components, how to under-stand the psychology of the audience, and how to best communicate and persuade using visual language. You’ll discover the impact that shape and color have on emotion. You’ll explore letter-form and typography. You’ll keep your skills broad—delving into web, animation,film, information design and narrative design. Your techniques and thought process will evolve into your individual design process and become valuable career tools.

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Sabrina Volante

Sudbury, MA

A designer from Sudbury, MA, Sabrina specializes in graphically produced visuals as well as detailed pen and ink drawings. She has always been interested in the various means of communicating ideas to a large audience. Inspired by unique concepts, books, and creative business identities, Sabrina hopes to someday work in a design collective creating such works. She is confident that the connections she makes in the thriving Portland art community in combination with a well-rounded education will give her the experience needed to achieve her goal.

Portfolio site:


Mark Jamra

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Mark is a type designer, typographic designer and founder of TypeCulture, a digital type foundry and academic resource. He has designed and produced typefaces for over 25 years, and has also created short documentary videos and collaborated on projects with Alice Design Communication, the design studio founded by Margo Halverson and Charles Melcher. His lettering and typefaces have been shown in numerous exhibitions and have received awards from the Type Directors Club and the Association Typographique Internationale.

He has lectured, conducted workshops and taught graphic design, typography, letterform design and type history at colleges in the U.S. and Germany. He has also been a typographic consultant to the Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories in Bristol, England, and for URW Software & Type GmbH in Hamburg, Germany.


Mark graduated with a BFA from Kent State University and completed his graduate studies in 1983 at the School of Design in Basel, Switzerland.

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Graphic Design Faculty - Mark Jamra

Jen Micoleau '10

Micoleau '10
Portland, Maine

I got my Bachelor of Arts at American University in D.C . in ’95.  After that I worked full-time at a law firm and, as a hobby, got involved in ceramics and sculpture.  I decided I really wanted to give it a chance – go to a real art school full-time.

I thought I was coming back to school to study Sculpture—but it just wasn’t me.  Then I started Graphic Design and saw the psychology in it and the scientific, rational approach, which is very much a part of me.  It was a gradual shift.

Everything builds on everything else.  There’s a process and an approach – it’s deliberate, it’s taught in a way that everyone can keep up and follow along.  The small class size makes a big difference –- there were only six others in my first design class.


How do you prepare your students for the real world?
Reality-based projects along with academic investigations, collaborations with local businesses, internships, studio visits in NYC, Boston & Portland, working collaboratively, continuous assessment of results, continuous analysis of the audience for any given project.

What are the prerequisites to major in Graphic Design?
6 credit hours of graphic design: 2 intro classes to major.

Will I be able to incorporate other media or interests with my work as a Graphic Design major?

What are some of the classes that are offered in your department?
Text in the Environment, Expressive Narratives, Information Design, Visual Identity Systems, Advanced Typographic Design, Advanced Letterform Design, Web Design.

What are some of the unique aspects of this program?

  1. One course in letterform design more than most other programs have.
  2. The emphasis on interdisciplinary study.
  3. A conceptually coordinated program of study.

What are the faculty like?
Motivated, occasionally superhuman.

What are some examples of internships your students have done in the past?
Angela Adams, Martha Stewart publishing in NYC, drift surfing magazine, JDK (Burton snowboards) in Vermont, American Eagle Outfitters, LLBean, Portland Museum of Art,

How many students (juniors and seniors) do you typically have in your major?

What software does your department use?
CS5 Adobe suite, Maya, Motion, Final Cut, Soundtrack Pro, Flash, AfterEffects.

Maine College of Art • 522 Congress Street • Portland, Maine 04101 • • 1.800.699.1509