Michigan is the nations eighth largest state and it is home to several major cities such Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Lansing. While many cities here have an art and culture scene (no matter how small or large), because of its large population of more than 700,000, Detroit is still the most progressive city in the state. The city has attractions such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, Motown Museum, Belle Isle Park, the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, and the MGM Grand Detroit Casino. Although the automotive industry (and Detroit) was hit hard during the recession, the city is still considered the car capital of the world.
Besides art and culture (and an active auto industry), Detroit is home to a number of colleges that offer programs for aspiring fine artists, graphic designers, filmmakers, animators and more. Detroit’s College for Creative Studies is just one example. The state of Michigan overall is home to a number of outstanding academic institutions that also offer degrees in graphic design, film, animation, illustration, and more. These schools are located in cities from Adrian to Southfield, so if you prefer to study and train in a non-urban environment, you’ll find plenty of sprawling campuses to choose from.
Michigan Graphic Design Schools
Michigan is home to 105 accredited colleges and universities consisting of art schools, technical schools, specialty schools, and traditional colleges. Each offers a variety of degree programs for aspiring graphic designers. Scroll through the list below to review Michigan’s best options for graphic design majors and what they have to offer.
Siena Heights University – Degrees Offered: B. A., B. F. A. Art with Concentration in Graphic Design
Grand Valley State University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A., B. A. Art and Design with Emphasis in Graphic Design, Illustration; B. A., B. S. Communications: Film and Video Production with Animation/New Media Emphasis
University of Michigan - Degrees Offered: B. A., B. F. A. Art & Design
Cranbrook Academy of Art – Degrees Offered: M. F. A. 2D Design (Graphic Design)
College for Creative Studies – Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Graphic Design, Entertainment Arts/Animation, Illustration; M. F. A. Design
Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University - B. F. A. Graphic Design, Digital Media, Illustration
Western Michigan University – Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Graphic Design, Photography and Intermedia
Central Michigan University - Degrees Offered: B. A. or B. F. A. Art with Graphic Design Concentration; M. A. Broadcast and Cinematic Arts: Electronic Media Management or Electronic Media Prod
Lawrence Technological University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Graphic Design, Game Art, Imaging – Digital Arts
More Graphic Design related programs to consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for Michigan Graphic Designers
The population of graphic designers in Michigan has decreased significantly since 2006. However, the population is still considered strong because it stands at just less than 5,000. Michigan was home to 6,160 graphic designers in 2006 and 4,850 in 2010. Nationwide, the population of salaried graphic designers increased significantly between 2005 and 2010. In 2005, the nation was home to 178,530 graphic designers. In 2010, the population was 192,240.
The average salary for Michigan graphic designers decreased between 2006 and 2010. In 2006, the average salary was $46,010. In 2010, it was $42,220. Across the country, the mean annual wage for graphic designers overall was $48,140 in 2010. The lowest paid graphic designers earned less than $26,110 (median), and the highest 10 percent earned more than $74,660 (median). The middle 50 percent earned between $32,600 and $56,620 (median). Salaries for higher-level graphic designers, freelancers, and partners vary, but are typically higher than average earnings for salaried designers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “senior designers, who may supervise junior staff or have some decision-making authority that reflects their knowledge of graphic design,” earn a median salary of $60,000. “Solo designers who freelanced or worked under contract reported median earnings of $57,000. Design directors, the creative heads of design firms or in-house corporate design departments,” earn $95,000. “Graphic designers with ownership or partnership interests in a firm or
who are principals of the firm in some other capacity” average $95,000 per year.