Communication Design Entry-Portfolio Review:
Graphic Design Track
The Communication Design Program at the University of North Texas has two tracks for students: Graphic Design and User-Experience Design. This web page describes the application process for students interested in the Graphic Design track.
Application Process Overview | Nov. 26: Now Closed
The UNT Communication Design Entry-Portfolio Review is a two-stage review. The first stage is a digital review of each candidate’s portfolio. Selected candidates will then participate in the second stage, an in-person review. Interested students will need to submit the required materials online through the SlideRoom app by Nov. 25, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., CST.
Selected students will be assigned a time to participate in an interview via Zoom on Dec. 4, 2020.
Digital Application Requirements
Six examples of your best work*
Sketchbook slide presentation*
Completed Graphic-Centered Design worksheets*
In-Person Application Requirements
Personal sketchbook of process work
Drawing utensils and drawing pad (approximately 9" x 12”)
Transcripts (unofficial is preferred)
Digital Portfolio Review
Due Nov. 25 by 11:59 p.m. CST
Six Examples of Work
Sketchbook Slide Presentation
Six Examples of Work
Each applicant must upload six examples of work that best represents their skill set and potential as a communication design student. The work can be produced in any medium of your choosing (traditional or digital). Physical projects should be photographed or scanned. Please provide active links to online projects, such as websites, videos, etc. All projects must be submitted at SlideRoom. The application costs $10. Students are encouraged to present work that shows a broad range of interests and abilities. Work should exhibit your ability to draw, create, and conceptualize compelling designs or images that utilize design principles and color theory effectively. Work may come from your art foundation core classes, high school coursework, or work done outside of the classroom. More than 100 students typically apply for our program, so consider how your work might stand out. Also, be aware that reviewers will not know the criteria/parameters that you were attempting to satisfy in certain examples of the work you’ll submit. With this in mind, evaluate the likelihood of these examples being effectively understood by the reviewers and make decisions to include or not include specific examples accordingly.
Sketchbook Slide Presentation
A personal sketchbook of your process work and daily reflections is required for the in-person review. The sketchbook should/may include process work for drawing and design courses, personal sketches, and process work for projects outside of courses. You will need to photograph the front cover sketchbook and a minimum of 10 spreads to a maximum of 20 spreads. Arrange these spreads in a slide presentation using Adobe PDF, MS PowerPoint, MS Word, or some other program. Save the final version as a PDF to upload with your submission packet. The sketchbook should capture your process and convey your commitment to the discipline of design through deep exploration and refinement of ideas. The sketches need not be polished sketches but should effectively capture your thinking and exploration. This must be completed and uploaded with your complete Entry-Portfolio submission through SlideRoom.
A series of supplied worksheets guide applicants through the research and design process for a hypothetical client.
Worksheets can be requested from Communication Design Program Coordinator Karen Dorff, firstname.lastname@example.org.
These worksheets must be completed and uploaded with your complete Entry-Portfolio submission through SlideRoom.
Dec. 4, 2020
Drawing utensils and drawing pad (approximately 9" x 12")
Ignition and Interviews
Ignition and Interviews
You are required to have completed, with a grade of ‘C’ or better, or be currently enrolled in at least two of the courses that comprise CVAD art core program – ART 1600, ART 1700, Art 1800 and Art 1900, or their accepted equivalents from other institutions of higher education.
The balance of the art core for Communication Design consists of the remaining art foundations core. Any student accepted into the Communication Design program through the Entry-Portfolio Review who has not yet completed the art core courses must complete them with a grade of ‘C’ or better before the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester.
The ignition assignment is given at the beginning of each review session. Participants will be given a design challenge to work on individually. Using the required writing utensils(one fine-point and one medium-point marker are recommended) and drawing pad (9” x 12” tracing or marker paper is recommended), each student will sketch solutions to the challenge. After 30 minutes, participants will gather in small groups with design faculty to present and discuss the concepts and solutions they developed. This discussion will last approximately 90 minutes, and participants should come prepared to talk about their design approach and background.
All notifications will come via email. The notification will be delivered to the email you use when you create your Slideroom account. If you are a current UNT student, create your SlideRoom account with your official UNT account, as your acceptance email will arrive via your official UNT email account.
Students who are not selected should schedule a meeting with their CVAD academic advisor to develop an alternative degree plan and a schedule for the next semester — do this immediately after you receive your program acceptance or non-acceptance email.
Students may reapply for the program the following year; they should develop a secondary degree plan to pursue in the meantime. Note: It is also important to note that the Communication Design curriculum cannot be expedited, so reapplying to the program will delay graduation by one year.
Foundations for Communication Design
All students who are accepted into the Communication Design: Graphic Design program are required to take ADES 1540: Foundations for Communication Design in the Spring 2021 semester. This class is a prerequisite for the Fall 2021 Communication Design coursework (ADES 1510: Typography 1, and ADES 2515: Image Making & Color Theory). If you will be unable to take ADES 1540 in the spring of 2021, then you are advised to wait until the next Entry Review. More information on ADES 1540 can be found through the UNT Registrar’s Office schedule of classes and the UNT Course Catalog.
All students accepted will be required to have a laptop — please refer to our laptop specs on the following page — and the appropriate software by the beginning week of the Spring 2021 semester. See the Computer Laptop requirement on this page. Download a PDF of the Computer Requirements.
While the purchase of a Mac is not required, all Communication Design majors at the UNT College of Visual Arts and Design must purchase or have hardware and software that meets these specifications.
The following Apple Macintosh computer* configuration is recommended for purchase for Communication Design majors enrolled in UNT College of Visual Arts and Design.
Laptop: 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display - If you can afford a 16-inch MacBook Pro, then you should purchase that size.
Processor: 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 (minimum)**
Memory: 16GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory**
Storage: 512GB SSD storage (minimum)**
Extended Warranty: AppleCare Protection Plan***
Approximate Price: $1,914.00 (Apple Educational pricing, not including taxes and shipping)
*The Apple Macintosh is the computer most often used in the graphic design and advertising professions. It’s possible, though not recommended, to use a similarly configured PC.
** If you can afford to add a larger hard drive, more memory, or a larger processor, it may be advantageous.
** AppleCare extends the warranty and may be able to cover your computer for most of your time at UNT.
Stated prices are based on the included URL links. Lower prices may be available. The following software** should be configured to run on any computer regularly used by Communication Design majors enrolled in UNT College of Visual Arts and Design
Adobe Creative Cloud Membership: $19.99/month
Microsoft Office for Mac
Free for currently enrolled students: https://it.unt.edu/installoffice365#desktop
Suitcase Fusion 8: $59.95
** Student discounts are available directly through the following sources.