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Graphic Design for Marketing

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Fall 2023

Applications open on October 1, 2022.

Have questions about Foundations in Design? Contact the Future Students' Office at 604-599-3030 or study@kpu.ca.

Graphic Design for Marketing Advising

Have questions about XYZ? Your design advisor is here for you. Please book an online appointment through Advisor Connect, and we will follow up with you. If you have difficulty using the Advisor Connect platform, please email your advisor, Geraldine Wee at designadvising@kpu.ca.

Graphic Design for Marketing

The field of graphic/communication design is fast-paced, exciting, continually changing and expanding. And today, it is broader based than ever before. To succeed as a graphic designer, you'll need a solid understanding of business and marketing, well-developed research capabilities, a broad understanding of the social, cultural, and environmental implications of design and a knack for creative problem solving.

Come join our small community of talented students and immerse yourself in our innovative, studio-based program. Our Bachelor of Design in Graphic Design for Marketing (GDMA), will challenge you to think creatively, hone your eye for design, develop your critical thinking, show you the tools of the trade, and give you the business and marketing savvy you need to be job-ready for your future design career.

Did you know

Didn't get in this year? Or maybe you missed the application deadline? Don't worry. Continue to develop your skills. Build your portfolio. And reapply next year.

Want to get a head start? Take courses from the Graphic Design for Marketing program that are open to all KPU students such as GDMA 1140/1240 Design History and Society. You could also take English 1100 or Marketing 1199, in addition to taking six credits of liberal education courses.

Another option to consider is the Foundations in Design program. This one-year certificate program will introduce you to design basics while helping you create a great portfolio.

Connect with our Academic Advisor to create an educational plan to get you on the right track.

Why Study Graphic Design for Marketing @ KPU?

Simple. GDMA grads have a solid marketing edge that sets them apart from other design school graduates. Through our Program Advisory Committee, we're able to respond quickly to changes in the marketplace and continually adapt our curriculum to reflect current industry needs and standards, ensuring you're getting the most up-to-date education possible and positioned for success.

Many of our faculty have worked in industry and maintain strong relationships with the local and national design community. These connections offer you an incredible network of resources and opportunities to secure meaningful employment in the industry. And since we keep our class sizes small, you’ll get to know your faculty, and meet lifelong friends and future collaborators.

By the end of your four years, you’ll have the conceptual and technical skills to tackle real-world design challenges, the confidence and negotiation skills to work with clients and team members, the inspiration to continue exploring your creative future, and the portfolio and practicum experience to get you hired.

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Who Studies Graphic Design for Marketing?

One of the best parts of our program is the diversity of our students. They're driven, curious, critical thinkers connected by their pursuit of graphic design excellence. Many of our students have taken high school art or design courses, while others may have some experience with Adobe software, communications, marketing, or public relations.

Successful GDMA graduates have solid English language communication skills, basic math, computer and word processing skills, and an understanding of how graphic design and marketing fit together. Don’t worry if your experience is limited – our program will teach you what you need to know.

Interested in what GDMA students do? Check out the portfolios of our recent graduates.

Student Success

Our alumni are successful leaders in the design industry and make us proud on a regular basis! They are creative directors, strategists, software designers, entrepreneurs and so much more.

These are just a few of the agencies, in-house environments and alumni-run businesses where our graduates shine:

  • Cause + Affect (graphic design and events firm)
  • Canuck Place Children’s Hospice
  • DDB Canada
  • Electronic Arts (digital games)
  • WiderFunnel (digital marketing agency)
  • UNBC (senior graphic designer and videographer, communications/marketing department)
  • Lululemon Athletica
  • O2E brands
  • Ocean Networks Canada
  • Interactive Health International
  • Ion Brand Design
  • City of Surrey
  • Saje Natural Wellness
  • Skunkworks Creative Group
  • St. Bernadine Mission Communications
  • Visual Capitalist (information design for financial data)
  • Wealthbar (software start-up)
  • ZAK (graphic design studio founded by three alumni)

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Design in Graphic Design for Marketing is a challenging four-year (eight semester), 120-credit program. Our innovative curriculum includes a broad range of project work, including:

  • Web and integrated media design
  • Information and publication design
  • Packaging and display design
  • Corporate communications, branding and advertising design
  • UX/UI research, prototyping and design

Project work challenges you to conceptualize, experiment, and innovate to create designs that solve problems. You’ll also fine-tune your research and writing skills to create design briefs, write reports, and produce research studies. The end result will be a market-ready portfolio.

Our cohorts of 22 students per year ensure that you’ll receive one-on-one attention from your instructors in a supportive and collaborative environment. In our studios, you'll use the same tools as graphic design professionals, including large-scale colour plotters, laser cutters, 3D printers, and a maker's workshop.

Applicants with experience in the graphic design field may gain credits through Prior Learning Assessments (PLA). For more information, please contact the Program Coordinator.

Depending on seat availability, we allow working professionals looking to upgrade their skills to take single courses or enroll on a part-time basis. Please contact the Program Coordinator for more information.

Students may obtain transfer credit for course work taken in other programs at KPU, or at other institutions. All applications for transfer credits are assessed on an individual basis. For information about transfer credit applications, please visit the Office of the Registrar.

Visit our Program Model page for more information or download a printable version. Still have questions? Check out our FAQ.

Program Overview Admission Requirements

  • Tuition and Fees

    For information on tuition, please visit our Tuition Estimator. There are also mandatory student fees and other fees that you are subject to. You should also be prepared to spend approximately $600-$1000 per year on books and materials.

    You may be eligible for scholarships, student loans or other financial aid. Visit Student Awards and Financial Assistance for more information.

  • Laptop Requirements

    The Graphic Design for Marketing program is delivered in an e-mobile environment that uses laptop computers and specific software. You are advised NOT to purchase a personal laptop computer until specifications and requirements have been provided to you as a successful applicant. Options to purchase or lease laptop computers with the requisite course software will be provided by KPU.

Portfolio/Entrance Requirements

Once you have completed your application, you will receive instructions on how to submit your Portfolio and other required documents through an online submission platform.

Your portfolio is your chance to show us your creative skills and interests. Our Portfolio/Entrance Requirements section will help you submit the strongest portfolio possible.

Please visit Application Information for more details about applying to KPU.


Career Information

Graduates of the GDMA program are prepared for a wide range of entry-level graphic design positions:

  • Generalist graphic designers for corporations, small businesses, non-profit organizations and agencies in general marketing or communications roles that draw on their graphic design skills
  • In-house graphic designers for large corporations or institutions with their own marketing communications department
  • Specialist graphic designers with expertise in UX and UI design, packaging design, advertising design and display design
  • Freelance or entrepreneur designers with the business and marketing savvy needed to launch their own businesses

Today, the visual communication design field is broader than ever, and graphic designers have a wide range of career opportunities. Our graduates create brand identities for corporations, launch marketing campaigns for non-profits, and create everything from product packaging to websites to retail displays.

To see what our graduates are up to, check out our alumni page.