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What is integrated media design?

By Adam Watkins, Dean, Arts and Communication, Lincoln Land Community College
Adam Watkins

I was recently asked if Lincoln Land Community College offers a degree in graphic design, and quite frankly, a simple “yes” doesn’t begin to cover it! At LLCC, we offer an associate of applied science degree in integrated media design (IMD). IMD is 21st century graphic design. 

Our state-of-the-art program still contains and maintains the traditional hallmarks of graphic design education — like package, page and poster design as well as typography, to name a few. We combine this with a series of foundational fine art courses including drawing, two-dimensional design and three-dimensional design. We then add courses that push our students’ digital and design skills with the addition of courses in UI/UX, app and game design, digital animation, film and web design. 

We strive to combine a strong foundation in the principles and elements of design and aesthetics with hands-on courses in industry-standard, digital design skills. Our students build portfolios that show real-world experience. We work with local business professionals in graphic and digital design, seeking their advice and participation to ensure our training meets their needs for skills on the job. Students earning the IMD degree are qualified for such local jobs as graphic, app and web design. We are also working with our four-year college and university transfer partners so that courses will not only prepare students for an entry point into the field with a vast toolkit of skills, but that they also lead to transfer into four-year programs.

We bring all of our students back together in a capstone course that allows them to really showcase the varied set of skills they have learned from the very first course to their last. These students will have their work on display along with our fine art students in LLCC’s Annual Student Art Show this spring. The opening reception was held Thursday, April 25 in the Trutter Museum/Murray Gallery on the second floor of Menard Hall at our main campus. The exhibit will be on display through May 10, and the public is invited to attend. You will see a variety of works, including drawing, digital photography, film, ceramics and 3D sculptures alongside digital designs, animations and more.

Another exciting aspect is that we are part of a statewide Accelerated Training Opportunities in Manufacturing and Technology grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. It has allowed us to build a Mac design lab at LLCC-Medical District, located at 130 W. Mason St. near downtown Springfield, which provides an expansion of the program and a more convenient location for those who live or work nearby. One of the goals of the grant is to help bring down barriers for underrepresented members of our community so that the creative dream can be reached. We are able to offer the entire IMD degree program at LLCC-Medical District as well as our main campus. This includes a handful of general education courses that have extra capacities to include more students that find it easier to attend classes at LLCC-Medical District.

For those looking to share their visual creativity, LLCC is providing the technology, guidance and support to help them turn interests into rewarding careers. If you or someone you know may be interested in our IMD program, visit the IMD program page for more information and course descriptions. We would love to have you join us. Registration is open now for the fall 2024 semester.