Program Overview

The Graphic Design program at Syracuse University Summer College is for high school students who are interested in learning more about design and communication on a college level. This two-week, hands-on, experiential course introduces core design fundamentals with exercises that will encourage conceptual thinking and visual problem-solving skills.

Assigned projects will introduce students to visual organization and structure, simplification of form, graphic translation, graphic interpretation, creative writing, and art direction. Through project-based learning, students will engage in design problem-solving and processes, idea development, and the execution of final ‘deliverables’. They will also have the opportunity to learn about and discuss some of the areas of focus that are open to a professional designer.

  I now have a deep understanding about graphic design, and I am motivated to pursue a career in it in the future. The rigorous program taught me how to work hard and gave me a taste what majoring in graphic design might be like.    -Summer College Graphic Design student, 2018.

Program Objectives

While the course will include some computer-based work, students are not expected to be proficient in any of the professional software programs. Software to be introduced include:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign

Students will also be introduced and the role of digital proficiency in the field of graphic design will be discussed.

Learn more about Graphic Design:

Program Dates & Details   Eligibility Requirements   Program Cost   Program Requirements   Typical Day   Faculty Bios


Program Dates & Details

Session Dates

Session II: July 13 – July 26, 2019
Duration: 2-weeks


Credit: Noncredit
Grading System: Pass/Fail

Eligibility Requirements

Students must be a minimum of 15 years of age by the orientation and move-in date. Students should have an interest in art or design and are eager to find out what a career in these fields could be. For full Summer College admission requirements, view the Admissions Overview and Eligibility page.

Apply Now!

Program Cost

Program Cost:

  • Residential: $3,360*
  • Commuter: $2,566*

*Please visit our Program Costs page for more detailed information. Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees in March.

Program Requirements

Student Expectations

This is an academically rigorous, college-level program. Students are expected to complete nightly homework assignments and actively participate in group projects. Students are expected to attend all classes every day, arrive on time, and meet all academic obligations. Free time will vary as each program is unique, as is the subsequent workload.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

A typical morning will include lectures, presentations, and demonstrations. Afternoons will allow for creative exploration, peer collaboration, and independent work.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College trips and activities. Check out our Campus Activities page for more information!

Field Trip

Students may get a chance to visit Boxcar Press. This is one of the, if not the most prestigious letterpress shops in the United States. More details coming soon!

End Event

The last day of class, Friday, July 26, 2019 will be a celebration, as students will engage in a final presentation that will showcase their new competencies and design work. Parents are welcome to attend!

Final Academic Obligation

Students are permitted to leave on Friday, July 26, 2019 after 4:30pm upon the completion of the end event. If students have any questions regarding their final academic obligation, we encourage them to reach out to their instructor. Please refer to the Move-Out page for important information regarding the checkout process.

Faculty Bio

Michele Damato– Assistant Professor, Communications Design

Originally from the New York tri-state area, Michele Damato received a B.A. from Iona College and an M.S. from Pratt Institute. While at Pratt, she studied typography with Tony DiSpigna, a partner in the legendary studio of Herb Lubalin Associates and a master of Spencerian script.
Damato interned with Milton Glaser and traveled to Israel after winning the National Poster Competition “Israel at Fifty” sponsored by the Israeli Consulate in New York. She was also invited to present her work to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Professor Damato previously taught full-time at the Art Institute of Houston, where her students won several Graphis, AIGA, and other regional and national design awards. Classes she has regularly taught and created curriculum for include: typography, collateral design, annual report, film/poster design, and publication design. Damato also taught at Texas State University and Houston Community College. She brings her passion for design history, typography, and social/cultural research into her design and teaching pedagogy.

Damato has more than 15 years of experience working as a graphic designer and senior art director for boutique design firms, Fortune 500 companies, and non-profit organizations. She has collaborated with many clients, including AT&T, BNP Paribas, Reuters, L’Oreal USA, JP Morgan, The Washington Post, Merrill Lynch, the Asia Society, and Time Warner.