West Virginia Design Schools

West Virginia is home to a number of design firsts. Did you know that one of the first suspension bridges in the world was erected in 1849 in Wheeling, WV? The first electric railroad in the world was built in here and the first brick street on the world was laid in Charleston, WV. And talk about art and design — West Virginia is home to the world’s only residence made entirely of coal. Occupied on June 1, 1961, Coal House is located in White Sulphur Springs, WV. With an abundance of unique and innovate design within the borders, it’s no wonder the state is also home to some of the nation’s top design schools.

The Department of Design at West Virginia University and Concord University- Department of Design are the state’s pride and joy when it comes to design programs. Established in 1867 (WVU) and 1872 (Concord), these popular institutions enroll roughly 200 hand-picked design students each year. Overall, the state has a total undergraduate student population of nearly more than 100,000. These students attend the 23 public and 21 private institutions. Across the nation, undergraduate art and design school enrollment is 110,273.

WVU, Concord and other West Virginia design schools offer degree programs ranging from architecture to sculpture. Design students may earn a degree in graphic design, interior design, web design, drawing, illustration, multimedia and film, ceramics, jewelry making, photography, printmaking, metalsmithing, and painting. The costs for these programs vary by school, but on average, design students can expect to shell out around $4,377 per academic year at a public school $15,296 per academic year at a private school.

Fortunately, tuition rates are lower than the national average. The average tuition for public four-year schools across the nation is $5,950. For private schools, students pay $21,588 on average. West Virginia students may pay even less by completing all or part of the degree program online. Online students save a significant amount of money each year by eliminating room and board costs as well as transportation. Room and board costs average around $7,049 per academic year.

To get started on a design career, you should select a school. If you would like to explore options outside of the top schools listed above, you can browse through listings by visiting college directories or college ranking websites such as U.S. News & World Report or Design-schools.us. After you have selected several options, be sure to visit the school’s official website to begin the application process. Most directories and ranking websites feature links to each school’s official website.

Do You Need a Graphic Design Degree?

Do you really need to get a graphic design degree? It is true that many graphic designers have never formally studied, but rather taught themselves over many years on how to become a great graphic designer. Many were or still are freelance designers who also work for a company.

Whatever the case, a degree in graphic design can only strengthen your position when it comes to finding employment in this competitive field. Without a doubt, the top corporations who employ graphic designers will look for a degree. This is because a degree proves you have perseverance and commitment to the industry. Commitment is often a more important factor for employers as they want to be sure they are hiring a graphic designer they can rely on well into the future.

People interested in graphic design generally begin their interest in high school, sometimes even before that. Many students practice graphic design at home in their spare time. The affordability of high end graphic design software and capable computers has made this art more accessible than ever before. There are now millions of excellent graphic designers the world over, some working freelance and gaining 100% of their work online. These people do not have a graphic design degree but are very proficient in the art.

Graphic designers typically earn between $40,000 and $70,000, but this can vary greatly depending on the employer and whether the designer partakes in any freelance work to supplement their income.

Currently some of the most established and recognized places to gain a graphic design degree from are available both online and offline. These include:

Academy of Art University Online

American InterContinental University

The Art Institute Online

ITT Technical Institute

Westwood College Online

Penn Foster Career School

Penn Foster College

Most schools offer a wide range of design courses which focus on different areas, including computer animation, fashion design, television, media, interior design, web design, video game design and more. All of these areas require graphic design skills so you are not limited in the careers you can pursue once you are qualified with a degree.

If you wish to be employed locally and make graphic design a stable career for you then earning a degree is the best way to begin. It will win you points in the eyes of employers and will also equip you with the skills and experiences that you would otherwise miss out on.

Care Homes: Practical Advice on Interior Design

Designing a room within a care home demands careful consideration. A well designed room will give your residents a better quality of life, particularly important when a person is elderly and restricted in their movements. This, in turn, will reassure their family and friends that their loved one is being cared for properly, as the room itself will represent the care you have taken in providing attractive and comfortable surroundings for the resident.

A good starting point is to look at hotel room design.Here there are helpful guidelines on what to consider, but only as a starting point because hotel rooms are usually short stay environments for people of all ages. A care home demands a more subtle design aspect that appeals over a longer stay to the more conservative tastes of older people.

The design can be separated into three areas: safety; functionality; and look.

Safety
Here, the hotel room guidelines are very useful. In 2006 the new regulations on fire safety changed requirements for all business premises. ‘Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005‘ requires that businesses conduct a risk assessment to prevent fires by reducing risk. Now, a business owner must ensure fire safety for all those who use their premises. There are particular regulations pertaining to curtain fabric and they must meet the safety standards set out inBS5867 Part 2 Type B.Curtains that are labelled as ‘FR’ (fire retardant) should be acceptable, but ask the supplier if the fabric meets the minimum standards for care homes – a good supplier will know.

Functionality
As with hotel-room design, practicality is just as important as the aesthetic feel of a room. Fabrics that can be easily and repeatedly laundered should be considered, and, as with fire safety, particular attention should be paid to the choice of curtains. Here the size and lining of curtains can provide for improved functionality. Larger curtains can help reduce energy costs as they mitigate against the heat loss even through double-glazed windows. Specialist linings can also serve the same function with any size curtains and black-out linings can increase privacy as well as protecting the room from outside lighting and early morning sunshine in a south facing room.

Look
Again, choosing fabrics for care homes is similar to choosing for a hotel room, but the overall colour pallet should be different. Traditional, more conservative colours can be considered – such as relaxing greens and touches of traditional burgundy. A good supplier will recognise the distinction and different needs of a care home from those of a hotel. Look for a supplier that has a separate section on their web site or catalogue dedicated to the specific needs of interior design for care homes. Buying from one supplier allows you to create a design theme, with matching colours and patterns across the curtains, runners and cushions. By choosing more neutral colours and patterns for bed linen and wall coverings the theme for the curtains, runners and cushions can be bolder with richer designs. Again, a good supplier should be able to advise you on an overall look, specific to your needs, and be able to supply all elements under one price quotation.