Who we are.
Our program, professors, and our students embody the excitement and passion that comes from being involved in the design and creative industries, aiming to exceed our own expectations, producing killer work, and dedicating ourselves to spend the time necessary to be the absolute best.

Our community starts within the studio walls, with students challenging each other to improve through friendly competition all while building relationships to support and help one another grow creatively and individually. Passionately and wholeheartedly wanting to see each student reach their highest potential and see the program grow and succeed, the Columbus creative community is an extension of who we are at Columbus State.

At Columbus State we are rockstar creatives who can intelligently solve any design problem. Collectively, we are not trying to change the world, we exist to create exceptional work, build and impact our community, and help make Columbus a creative destination.

The Columbus State graphic design program is smaller than most of our competitors, but each of our students understand that in order to compete in our industry and region, they must work harder than anyone else. To succeed in this program you must be ready to dedicate yourself to design, your work, and most importantly your education.
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Nail your typography.
Typesetting is a major part of being a designer. As a student in my courses, it is imperative that you learn the rules of type and perfect how you implement type in your designs. During my time working in DC, I was the individual my colleagues approached to double-check their typography. They knew I would nitpick and question anything that was wrong or questionable. You can expect the same from me today.

Use a grid.
Just like typography, the grid is a fundamental part of graphic design. I will be the first to tell you that I was a late adopter of using a grid in my designs. Over time, however, I realized that if I started with a grid, I became a much more efficient designer maximizing my time to be as creative as possible. But remember, it can be broken.  

Perfect your craft.
From cutting clean, even, and straight lines to making sure all your photos are the correct resolution, your work must be pristine and presented in way that conveys the concept of your piece. The only way to do this is to become a master of your craft.

Make it look real.
In addition to mastering your craft, you will need to create work that could pass as a professionally produced product or design. Nailing all the little details that make a design look authentic is the key to succeeding here. You must be willing to do the research in order to meet this expectation as I will not tell you what these are; this is your responsibility.

Take risks and don’t worry about your grade.
The worst thing you can do is play it safe and not explore your own aesthetic. Remember, college gives you the opportunity to experiment and the freedom to do bad work. We learn the most and the fastest when we make mistakes and it is important to realize that you are more likely to be rewarded for taking that risk now versus after you graduate. Have fun, push yourself, and grow as a creative. Trust me, you will be happy you did.


Nicholas McMillan
Assistant Professor of Art,
Graphic Design


Demetrius Dukes
Assistant Professor of Art,

Hannah Israel
Professor of Art
and Gallery Director

Yuichiro Komatsu
Associate Professor of Art,

Libby McFalls
Professor of Art, Printmaking
and Art Foundations Coordinator

Michael McFalls
Professor of Art, Sculpture
and Director of Pasaquan

Joe Sanders
Professor of Art, Book Arts

Rylan Steele
Associate Professor of Art,

Orion Wertz
Professor of Art,
Painting and Illustration

Dr. Bret Lefler
Associate Professor of Art
in Art Education

Dr. Claire McCoy
Professor of Art History

Dr. Barbara Johnston
Associate Professor of Art History

Melissa Hebert-Johnson
Lecturer of Art History

Chris Whittey
Chair, Department of Art