Graphic Design Schools in California

From laying out high-fashion magazine spreads to billboards advertising the next blockbuster movie, California is a state that certainly benefits from the work of talented graphic designers. In regards to the most competitive job positions within the field, employers are constantly on the lookout for applicants who can demonstrate a high level of training. One of the best way to become well-versed in the latest techniques is to earn a degree from a graphic design school in California.

Statistics for Graphic Design Schools in California

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), California is one of the top five states in the U.S. with the highest employment level for graphic designers. The BLS also identifies graphic designers in California as earning the highest pay across the nation with a median yearly salary of $56,990.

Some of the metropolitan areas in the United States with the highest-paying median salaries for graphic designers are found in California, which includes the regions of San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA ($71,650), San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($67,710), Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA ($61,290), and Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($60,060).

Featured Schools:

Online Schools

Programs available:
  • See Areas of study Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • See Areas of study Computer Animation, Bachelor of Science (Online)

Programs available:
  • See Areas of study Graphic Design (AS)
  • See Areas of study Graphic & Web Design (AA)

Obtaining Graphic Design Training

In order to obtain graphic design training that attracts the attention of potential employers, aspiring artists may want to consider attending a school with a concentrated degree program. Graduates of a graphic design school in California often learn the best ways to address common design elements, such as creative concepts, shapes, color, texture, and typography. Throughout the state, there are plenty of opportunities to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree related to the field.

Graphic Design Schools in California

California Institute of the Arts – Providing excellent opportunities to build an impressive portfolio, the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia offers both a BFA and MFA degree program in Graphic Design. Students work in residence at 24-hour communal studios that provide access to Art School facilities and labs. The Design Program is comprised of core classes, as well as a handful of other required and elective courses. One of the newer specializations of the Design Program at CalArts is Motion Graphics.

California College of the Arts – In San Francisco, the California College of the Arts allows students to produce content for professional clients through their Sputnik Program. The Graphic Design (BFA) program presents what they call a ‘solutions-based design curriculum’ that incorporates an education that trains students to handle brand identity, print, motion graphics, and screen-based and interactive design.

Academy of Art Institute – San Francisco is also home to the Academy of Art Institute, which offers both Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree programs. The BFA program at the Academy is known for stressing the importance of typography, efficient print design, branding, packaging, and effective presentation skills.

Art Center College of Design – The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena provides instruction in graphic design that goes beyond the study of typography and drawing. One of the perks to attending the College is the on-campus letterpress shop that allows students to learn how to set type by hand.

When taking classes on a campus is not an option, many aspiring graphic designers turn towards online degree programs as a way to become educated in the field. Instead of learning within a classroom setting, students complete their assignments, submit project work, and take tests over the Internet. Graphic design training in California that offers online studies can be found through the following schools:



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