Graphic Arts

Two-Year Associate in Specialized Technology (AST) Degree Program
Available in State College

The South Hills Graphic Arts program prepares you for a lifelong career communicating visually—through a variety of media, including: illustration, print, web, video, interactive, and social.

You’ll begin designing from day one. Using state of the art software and resources, the Graphic Arts faculty will train you in typography, web design, logo design and corporate identity, packaging, publication design, advertising design, collateral design, and color theory, among newly emerging areas.

You’ll study the history of design, learning from the past while stepping into the future. A small class size and a “no-fluff” curriculum ensure we will tap into your true potential and bring out your creative best!

The Graphic Arts program at South Hills is taught by faculty who are seasoned educators and working professional designers with experience in every facet of the field. Our teachers have designed web sites, publications, packaging, annual reports, advertising campaigns, corporate identities, CD packaging, and outdoor advertising. They have also worked as professional copywriters, art directors, and videographers.

At the end of the program, you will graduate with a versatile, well-rounded print portfolio and web site, ready to “hit the ground running” as you launch your career in the field of graphic arts.

To succeed in this program, you must be self-motivated, driven, creative, and receptive to constructive feedback, with a strong work ethic.

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"The Graphic Arts program is an intensive, project-driven program that has the core courses of any 4-year program, with intensive training in both print and web disciplines. The students hit the ground running in a fast-paced environment. We challenge our students to be creative, to develop their concepts, to design to the client/project."

Ray Liddick Jr.
GA Program Coordinator / Instructor at the State College Main Campus

Complete Course List

Graphic Arts Course List for 2016-17

This program information appears in the 2016-17 school catalog. Click here to download all course descriptions.

The first year introduces foundation concepts such as drawing, design and color theory as well as the major software programs. In year two, web design and more specific areas of study are introduced, working towards the capstone project, a print and web portfolio showcasing your work.

CodeCourseCreditsClock Hours
 
FIRST TERM
GA119Fundamentals of Design4.560
GA117Electronic Design I (Quark)4.560
GA120Fundamentals of Drawing360
GA116Color Theory2.536
EN104Business English I460
PD110Professional Development224
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS20.5300
 
SECOND TERM
GA123Typography4.560
GA114Analysis of Form & Space360
GA118Electronic Design II (InDesign)4.560
GA113Introduction to Computer Graphics (Photoshop)4.560
EN105Business English II460
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS20.5300
 
THIRD TERM
GA121Graphic Design Studio I3.560
GA115Collateral Design4.560
GA216Computer Graphics - Illustrator4.560
GA122Media and Design Study4.560
GE233Business Writing3.560
GE213Oral Business Communications224
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS22.5324
 
FOURTH TERM
GE231Art History for the Graphic Designer560
GA214Advanced Computer Graphics4.560
GA224Typography as Design4.560
GA215Advertising Design4.560
CP131Web Site Design 4.560
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS23300
 
FIFTH TERM
GA223Typography - Expressive & Experimental3.548
GA217Concept Development2.536
CP336Web Site Design II4.560
GA218Digital Pre-Press4.560
GA222Publication Design3.560
GE178Human Relations in the Workplace2.536
GE234Geometry for Design336
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS24336
 
SIXTH TERM
CP338Advanced Web Site Design4.560
GA220Packaging Design3.560
GA219Graphic Design Studio II3.560
GA221Print Portfolio3.560
CD207Job Search Skills224
 Elective*3.548
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS20.5312
 
*Sixth Term Elective Choices
GA306Digital Photography3.548
GA308Video Production and Editing3.548
 
SEVENTH TERM
GA603Graphic Arts Internship11330
CD308Career Preparation0.510
GA307Freelance Business Development221
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS13.5361

Graduate Spotlight

"My South Hills education prepared me for success in my career because it gave me a more hands-on approach for an education that is taught by experienced instructors that have worked in the community and knew what was needed to achieve such success. The one-on-one interaction with the staff pushed me to be the best I could be and give me the confidence that I can achieve my goals."

Tiara Lose Snare
Class of 2009
Creative Director
Barash Media

Careers in Graphic Arts


The world of graphic arts is continually evolving in step with technology. Career possibilities are expanding with advances in web site design, print-on-demand and digital offset printing, interactive and social media design, etc. Current job titles include:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Publication Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Multimedia Specialist
  • Newspaper Designer
  • Prepress Specialist
  • Production Artist
  • Art Director
  • Creative Director
  • Layout Artist
  • Graphic Artist

Each student completes a summer-long internship before graduation, providing real world experience. We have placed interns throughout Centre, Blair, Huntingdon, and Clinton Counties at locations including:


South Hills Graphic Arts graduates are employed from Madison Avenue in New York City to Key West, Florida. Our graduates are designing web sites, magazines, yearbooks, maps, marketing materials, vehicle graphics, imprinted apparel, and advertising campaigns, and managing pre- and post-press printing. In addition to successful freelance careers, some of the firms employing our graduates include:

Ray Liddick Jr.

GA Program Coordinator / Full-time Instructor
State College Main Campus


Ray Liddick Jr., the Program Coordinator for Graphic Arts, has been an Information Technology and Graphic Arts Instructor at South Hills School of Business & Technology since 2004.

Ray is a graduate of Tyler School of Art, Temple University and has had MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) accreditation. Ray has spent decades utilizing his IT and graphic arts creativity on the job. Outside of the school, he is the Marketing Media & IT Manager at Pneu-Dart, Inc., a global manufacturer of remote drug delivery, as well as being the Creative Director/Owner of Open Door Visions.

In the classroom and on the job, Ray applies his artistic vision and IT experiences to a wide range of projects including print design, web development, project management and IT infrastructure/networking.

Jim Colbert

Full-time Instructor
State College Main Campus


Jim Colbert has been teaching in the South Hills Graphic Arts program since March 2008. He was formerly the Art Director at the Barash Group and has held similar positions at Murphy Communications and Graphics II and Glosser Bros./Gee Bee Corporate Advertising.

Jim currently is the principle at jimcolbertdesign.com and specializes in music- and arts-related print design work as well as automotive illustration.

Rick Gority

Instructor
State College Main Campus


Rick Gority, instructor for computer skills classes, has been teaching at South Hills School of Business & Technology since 2009.

Rick received a BA from Penn State University in Telecommunications. In conjunction with a close friend, he co-founded a web & graphic design company in 2000. Rick continued to develop his skills with hardware and networking support, which led to his career in the IT field.

When free time is available, Rick enjoys boating on Lake Raystown, brewing beer, and vacationing in the Outer Banks.

Luciano Sormani

Adjunct Instructor
State College Main Campus


Luciano Sormani is an adjunct instructor in the Graphic Arts program, teaching Computer Graphics, Photoshop and Packaging Design, as well as Microsoft Publisher. He also works as a freelance designer based in Bellefonte, PA, and regularly designs advertising graphics for South Hills.

Luciano was born in Argentina and lived in the Netherlands for many years. He is a graduate of the South Hills Graphic Arts program, class of 2012, and has been teaching at South Hills since 2013.

Previously, Luciano worked at Open Door Visions as Senior Designer. There he developed and designed websites, publications, e-mails, and marketing campaigns for a variety of clients.

As an artist, Luciano is interested in the juxtaposition of nature and technology; however, his work isn't restricted to that idea only. He often explores the worlds of color, landscape, and nature. His work has been exhibited locally at Schlow Library and Webster’s Bookstore Café, as well as in the Netherlands.

Program Advisory Board Members

State College Main Campus
NameTitleCompany
Jennifer NortonAssistant DirectorPennsylvania State University Press
Steve KressChief DesignerPennsylvania State University Press
Chip MockOwnerChip Mock Creations
Jim Lukens-GableArt DirectorPennsylvania State University Multimedia & Print Center
Dennis ManeySenior Graphic DesignerPennsylvania State University College of Health and Human Development
Doug IrwinGraphic DesignerPennsylvania State University Housing and Food Services
Luciano SormaniAdjunct Instructor/Lead Graphic DesignerSouth Hills School of Business & Technology/Open Door Visions
Bill BrickleyCreative DirectorPrinters.com

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please view the Graphic Arts Disclosures page on our website.