Graphic Design


shutter icon

This isn’t art class—mentors give real-world feedback and Accelerants work within real-world parameters… so maybe that T-shirt design with 20 colors isn’t realistic for the market

Alan Peters, Graphic Design Mentor

shutter icon

How do I launch a freelance graphic design career? How do I write a contract? What digital tools can I use to improve my artwork and make myself more marketable? What is necessary to create a comprehensive portfolio? How do I prepare to get a job as a graphic designer?

Whether you have a very specific goal, or just a general idea, the Graphic Design team will help you get clarity and move towards answering these questions for yourself. The Graphic Design program begins with orientation, where the Accelerant, Mentors, and Coordinator sit down and take inventory of the participant’s current artistic, technical, and logistical abilities and what they hope to achieve during the program. Once the goals are firmly established, Accelerants then develop a strategy using a pre-project form to outline project goals, resources needed, skills to be developed, and real-world factors such as time, cost, and desired client feedback. Now it’s time to jump into the first project and start creating!

shutter icon

Projects focus not just on learning, but on creating great portfolio pieces

Alan Peters, Graphic Design Mentor

shutter iconTime to get things done! The heart of the madelife program is 1 – 2 week project sprints, where Accelerants build their portfolio, work with clients, and complete real-world design work. Whether the Accelerant is designing a concert poster or a catalogue layout, once the project has been planned with support from his/her Mentors and Coordinator, the Accelerant focuses exclusively on that and only that project during the project sprint.

shutter icon

Is your concept working? Did you meet your client’s expectations and stay within the project scope? How about maintaining professional communication etiquette with your client throughout the project? How are the basic elements of your design: line, color, shape, space, texture, scale, balance, & harmony? Do you stay within the client-specified budget?

At the end of each project, Accelerants take a hard look at their work, their process, and determine what worked and what didn’t. From self-assessments, to the honest feedback of their Mentors, Coordinator, Clients, and others in the Creative Community, this step is critical to Accelerants’ creative growth. Accelerants take this feedback and objectively measure their project with tools such as the post-project reflection form, where they compare project goals with project outcomes and see for themselves the success of their projects. Successes, failures, moments of clarity and of frustration are all part of the madelife feedback loop to help the Accelerant pivot and move forward towards the next challenge with a new knowledge base.


Understand principles of quality design such as line, color, shape, space, texture, scale, balance, & harmony

Advance your knowledge in the latest tools such as Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, & Photoshop, as well as physical tools such as handling screen-printing equipment

Work with resources such as the iMac, tablets, and traditional drawing and design tools


Freelance Designer
Creative Director
Brand & Logo Designer
Web Designer
Print Designer
Screen Printer
Digital Designer
Art Director


Poster Design
Sticker Design
Brochure Design
Booklet Design
Page Layout
Apparel Design
Screen Printing
Identity Design
Event Graphics