Graphic and Digital Design Diploma

Learn about the creative industry

A designer’s creativity, empathy and ideas are integral to all visual communication — whether it’s creating a visual identity for a company or organization, developing an interactive experience for a website, promoting a good cause or illustrating a story. To prepare for today's multi-disciplinary creative industry, UFV's Graphic and Digital Design diploma program (GDD) provides a solid foundation. Students in GDD gain skills, knowledge and experience through courses taught by faculty who are actively engaged in design practice and professional communities.
The creative industry is expansive and graphic designers work in many different fields. They are part of a team with other talented and creative people, including photographers, illustrators, writers, marketing strategists, typographers, app and web developers, printers — and other designers. Whether a graphic designer works freelance, in a design studio or in an in-house design department, they will find exciting challenges, meet new people, have unlimited career options and are always learning. You will find graphic designers working in:
  • advertising
  • marketing 
  • branding 
  • information design
  • exhibit and environmental design 
  • signage and wayfinding 
  • retail promotion
  • packaging
  • publishing (book and editorial)
  • fine art / concept art
  • motion graphics and animation
  • video
  • social media 
  • interactive design
  • web design 
  • mobile design
  • ecommerce
  • public relations
  • investor relations
  • corporate communications
  • cultural event promotion
  • activism
  • social responsibility
  • philanthropy
  • sustainability
  • government and public service communications

Connections and Community

Industry engagement is essential to learning, and as emerging designers, GDD students are involved in the professional community on many levels. The creative industry relies on connections. GDD uses this model to expose students to: 

  • Project work that involves the local community and business; 
  • Design practice that consider sustainability, the environment and impact on society;
  • Professional standards of practice, service, scholarship, and current issues through the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, Canada’s national professional association for graphic designers; 
  • Business and creative industry through events, field trips, guest speakers and the graduation show; 
  • Opportunities to share talent and learning with the community at the annual portfolio workshop and in high schools;
  • Suppliers and vendors to the creative industry; and 
  • Industry mentors as part of career preparation.

Real World Experience

Communicating ideas effectively requires a creative process and a keen understanding of both the client perspective and the role of a designer. The graduating class of 2014 gained this first hand experience with their own fundraising projects. From defining communications objectives and developing a creative brief, to designing products and promotional collateral, students were immersed in a real world project, raised funds for their portfolio show and connected with the community. Examples of some initiatives include PechaKucha events and Appetite for Design, featuring a collection of products designed by GDD 2014 students. Other products designed by GDD students include limited edition Fraser Valley themed cookbooks, greeting cards, sketch books and jewellery.

To see our 2014 grads, visit

To see student work, stories, GDD news and events, visit our blog DESIGN mission

Diploma Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the 2-year Graphic and Digital Design program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of visual arts, graphic/communication design, interactive design, design and illustration for dynamic media, and illustration
  • Use a variety of technologies for digital design practices
  • Engage in critical thinking for the development of graphic and digital design
  • Produce visual communication through the understanding of typography, design theories, and principles
  • Apply a process for the development of brand identity, graphic and communication design, web design, information design and visual storytelling
  • Create visual communication solutions, websites, illustration and motion graphics
  • Implement appropriate work-flow strategies for the production and development of print and digital media
  • Apply business practices, ethics and self promotional strategies for professional development

As a graduate of the diploma program you may choose to continue studies at UFV to obtain a BFA degree with a graphic and digital design extended minor paired with one of the following disciplines: art history, creative writing, fashion, media and communication studies, theatre, or visual arts. 

For full program requirements on the Graphic and Digital Design diploma, consult the online academic calendar: Graphic and Digital Design diploma


2014 Grad Portfolios

News, stories and student projects:

DESIGNmission Blog


September 2014 

September 2015 
Accepting applications beginning in October. Portfolio submission in Spring 2015. 

Related Disciplines 

Creative Writing
Fashion Design
Indigenous Arts
Media & Communications
Visual Arts

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