North Carolina is home to a variety of cool cities that attract artists of all kinds. Although small, Asheville has a vibrant arts and culture scene where creatives come together to craft and present their works to the public. The city of less than 90,000 is also home to the Downtown Asheville Art District, the River Arts District, and the Asheville Art Museum.
On a much larger scale is Charlotte—North Carolina’s largest city. Besides art museums, galleries, performance venues, and more, Charlotte is where many of the state’s top creative agencies, publishers, design services, and more can be found. Just a few of the best include Luquire George Andrews Inc., Wray Ward, Phase 3 Marketing & Communications, and Planet Central Advertising in Huntersville, which is just 14.5 miles from Charlotte. Other cities worth exploring include Raleigh, Winston-Salem, and Durham.
In addition to top creative agencies and a vibrant art culture scene in many cities across the state, North Carolina is home to a number of schools that provide education and/or training programs for aspiring Graphic Designers at a reasonable cost. Many of the state’s junior colleges offer Graphic Design courses for personal or career development, while others may offer a certificate program that may be useful if you are looking to obtain an entry-level position. If you are interested in a higher degree, you will have no problems finding a school that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as a wide range of unique programs tailored to designers looking to break into advertising, film, web design, visual art, and more.
North Carolina Graphic Design Schools
North Carolina is home to 139 accredited colleges and universities. Many of these schools offer programs for graphic designers. Take a look at the list below to review North Carolina’s best options for aspiring graphic designers and what they have to offer.
Appalachian State University - Degrees Offered: BFA Graphic Design, BS Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology
Brevard College - Degrees Offered: BA Art with Concentration in Graphic Design
University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Degrees Offered: BFA Art with Concentration in Graphic Design, Digital Media, Illustration
Elizabeth City State University - Degrees Offered: BA Art, Graphic Design
Fayetteville State University - Degrees Offered: BA Visual Arts with a Concentration in Graphics
East Carolina University - Degrees Offered: BFA Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design, Animation/Interactive Design, Illustration, MFA Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design, Illustration
Chowan University - Degrees Offered: BS Graphic Design, BS Graphic Communications with a Concentration in Graphic Design, Digital Printing, Information Systems/Networking, Package Design and Production and Print Management
North Carolina State University - Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Graphic Design, Bachelor of Art and Design, Master of Graphic Design
More Graphic Design related programs to consider:
- Winter Park, FL & Online
- San Francisco & Online
Employment and Salary Trends for North Carolina Graphic Designers
North Carolina is home to 40,150 professionals working in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,260 of these professionals are graphic designers averaging $46,180 per year. The population and salaries have increased since 2006 when the state was home to 4,140 salaried graphic designers averaging $38,700 per year.
Employment opportunities for aspiring graphic designers are abundant in North Carolina, especially at creative agencies. Just a few include:
- 3pm Creative Group, Charlotte
- 828 Design, Asheville
- 90 Degree Design, Raleigh
- BG Digital Group, Morehead City
- BooneOakley, Charlotte
- CGR Creative, Charlotte
- High Tide Creative, New Bern
- Kompleks Creative, Inc., Durham
- Lewis Advertising, Rocky Mount
- Luquire George Andrews Inc., Charlotte
- McKinney, Durham
- Phase 3 Marketing & Communications, Charlotte
- Planet Central Advertising, Huntersville (14.5 miles from Charlotte)
- The Goss Agency, Asheville
- Wildfire Ideas, Winston-Salem
- WilsonMcGuire Creative, Winston-Salem
- Wray Ward, Charlotte
In addition to a variety of creative agencies, aspiring graphic designers can find employment at public relations firms such as Pivot PR (Charlotte) and Spark Strategic Ideas (Charlotte) and publishing companies such as CB Publishing & Design (Charlotte) and Warren Publishing (Charlotte).
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