Design Arts

DESIGN ARTS majors learn the technical and organizational skills to become successful designers. You learn to use a variety of tools and media—analog and digital, traditional and emerging—to realize your ideas. You learn the history, principles, and major theories of design. Most importantly, you learn to research, develop concepts, and critically evaluate your work.

Through it all, you develop a unique personal style that also serves as a compelling professional brand. In short, as a Design Arts student, you learn to meet complex conceptual challenges and offer insightful solutions with handcrafted style.

Through PNCA’s strong relationship to Portland’s world-shaping creative culture, each concentration provides you with a direct bridge into the practices, experiences, and contacts you need to launch a career in Design Arts.

Martin French, Chair


Communication Design


The Chair of the Design Arts department is Martin French.

Designer and illustrator Mel Larsen (‘11) produced hand-lettered signage for small businesses for her thesis. She designs and hand-lettters signage and print materials for Portland grocery chain, Zupans, and designed the poster for Design Week Portland 2013.