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Animation. Graphic Design. Game Art.

Design Schools in Washington State

Written by Michelle BurtonSeptember 5, 2012
Did You Know.....Full Sail University offers online degree programs in computer animation, game art, and game design? Learn more about Full Sail University's online programs.
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From the cloudy but vibrant city of Seattle to the popular port city of Tacoma, Washington State has an enclave for every type of aspiring designer. In Seattle, designers have easy access to an array of art and design venues such as the Seattle Design Center, Design in Public (also “The Center for Design” or just “The Center”), Seattle Art Museum, and Frye Art Museum. Travel to Tacoma where you’ll find the intricately designed Museum of Glass (Tacoma), or pay a visit to Vancouver to browse the galleries of the inspiring Art on the Boulevard. The Bellevue Arts Museum, and The Russell Day Gallery in Everett are also well worth the trip.

In addition to a lively art and design scene, Washington is home to a wide variety schools that offer excellent art and design programs. According to the most recent report by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Washington is now home to 85 Title IV degree-granting institutions. Of the state’s 85 Title IV schools, 13 are at the top of the list for artists and designers. Some offer undergraduate degrees only, while others offer advanced degrees, including a Ph.D. Continue reading to find out more about Washington’s top-rated design schools and what they have to offer. 

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Washington State Design Schools

The Washington design schools below are the best options the state has to offer. Some schools are pricier than others, but because they have Title IV status, they are eligible for federal financial aid programs. This means, even the best and most expensive schools are accessible to students with financial need.

Cornish College of Arts - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. with Concentration in Video Art; B. F. A. Design with Concentration in Motion Design, Visual Communication Design


University of Washington - Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Design (B. D.) Interaction Design, Visual Communication Design; Master of Design (M. Des.) Interaction Design, Visual Communication Design; Ph. D. Digital Arts and Experimental Media

Employment and Salary Trends for Washington State Designers

The State of Washington is home to 41,400 artists and designers. Included in this major group are commercial and industrial designers, fashion designers, floral designers, graphic designers, interior designers, set and exhibit designers, and more. The population of artists and designers here has increased significantly since 2002, when the population was 36,100. Salaries are on the rise as well. The average salary for Washington artists and designers is $52,550, up from $46,040 in 2002.

Washington State reflects the U.S. as a whole when it comes to employment and salary growth in the art and design industry. The U.S. is home to 1,725,670 salaried artists and designers up from 1,503,680 in 2002. Salaries have increased as well. The median annual wage for salaried artists and designers was $34,580 in 2002. Today, the average median salary is $43,640. Mean wages were $41,660 in 2002. Today, mean wages for artists and designers are $53,850. 

Aspiring Washington designers can find employment in many cities and towns throughout the State of Washington. However, opportunities may be easier to come by in most major cities.

These include Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, and Everett.