Graphic Design at AIC

AIC College of Design prepares students for a successful careers in print, packaging and interactive media by focusing on the design foundations.  AIC’s philosophy is to teach the fundamentals first. At AIC College of Design, our focus is on “real life” assignments that empower students with a strong foundation of design as well as the latest technologies. From the start, AIC’s program is designed to give you the skills and experience you need to achieve your goals. The focused program at AIC is designed to prepare our students for life after graduation. Real-world projects start from the first day of classes and continue on to right up to graduation through externships.

Net Price Calculator  –  Gainful Employment AAS  – Gainful Employment BS – AIC Catalog



What Is A Graphic Designer?

A designer will develop strategic solutions to a variety of industry needs that balance technical, commercial, environmental, human and aesthetic requirements. Designers bring human and cultural values to business problems, values that sell products and services, educate, entertain and create demand and inspire customer confidence and loyalty. More…



Career Opportunities Include:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Art Director
  • Package Designer
  • Digital Publisher
  • Creatititve Director
  • Web Designer
  • Freelance Designer
  • Client Services
  • Brand Strategist
  • User Experience Designer


  • Digital Designer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Corporate Designer
  • Exhibit Designer
  • Brand Designer


Our Alumni

AIC Alumni work around the town and around the world.


The Associate Degree of Applied Science in Graphic Design focuses on the wide range of design fundamentals a Junior Designer is expected to have mastered before entering the profession. These include strong drawing skills, photography, basic typography, page layout, packaging, and digitally design.
The Bachelor Degree in Graphic Design builds on the knowledge and skills learned in the Associates Degree, and adds to it a deeper exploration of they why and history of design. By the time you graduate with a Bachelor’s from AIC, you will have explored Information Design and ran usability testing studies, designed books and websites, worked with real clients, and culminated your studies with and intensive Senior Thesis spanning two semesters.

first year

  • Design Foundations I
  • Design Foundations II
  • Design Foundations III
  • Design Foundations IV
  • Drawing I: Form
  • Typography I: Letterforms
  • Typography II: Textual Organization
  • Digital Design I
  • Digital Design II
  • Digital Software II
  • Marketing and Branding

second year

Design I
Design II: Branding/Identity
Design III: Packaging
Design Digital Lab
Design Methodology I
Design Methodology II
Typography III: Advanced
Interactive Design I
Interactive Design II

third year

  • Design IV
  • Design V: Advertising Design
  • Design VI: Holistic Design
  • Advanced Interactive Design III
  • Design Methodology III
  • Design Methodology IV
  • Design Methodology V
  • Advanced Archetypal Design
  • Senior Practicum
  • Senior Portfolio
  • Senior Thesis
  • Senior Cooperative Experience

Our Administration

AIC is independently owned and operated by professional designers. We offer only one degree, Graphic Design. The curriculum is practical and designed by professional graphic designers known locally, nationally, and internationally. At AIC you can expect a small and caring atmosphere where students receive individual attention. AIC instructors, are continually participating in new and exciting design projects and provide valuable industry connections. They are here to share their expertise with you, during your years of study and throughout your career.

Marion K. Allman

CEO & Co-founder

Marion studied at the Layton Art School in Milwaukee, the University of Cincinnati and is a graduate of Gable Art School. She was active in the Cincinnati Art Directors’ Club as Scholarship Chairperson and in 1999 received their “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Marion is a Charter member of ICDS (International Council of Design Schools) and served as President of that organization. She is listed in Who’s Who of American Women and was recipient of the coveted “Athena Award” presented by Cincy Magazine in 2006 for her role in helping women achieve their goals.

Sean M. Mendell


Sean holds a Master of Science in Executive Leadership and Organizational Change in from Northern Kentucky University. He has a background in marketing and advertising in the aviation industry. Sean is also the founder and owner of The Children’s Art Academy in Ft. Thomas, Ky.

Rita Schrand

Financial Aid Director

Rita’s philosophy in her business experience is working together as a team player and understanding the needs of others; an important key while supporting Directors to CEO’s and advancement into management positions.  Rita held a security clearance for several prominent companies in the Cincinnati area, along with creating presentations, project management, billing, and working closely with HR.  In her current role as Financial Aid Director offering assistance to incoming students with their financial aid, is very rewarding.  Working closely with the students is vital in making them feel comfortable while taking the next step in choosing a career for their future.

Laura Lewis


Laura holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA where she was active in the University Bands, College of Business Student Advisory Board, and Phi Beta Lambda. She has fourteen years of accounting experience in various industries including engineering, construction, and education. Laura is currently working on her MBA from Western Governors University. She is active in the March of Dimes March for Babies campaign and has captained a Family Team for the past two years. Laura also belongs to Beta Sigma Phi, a women’s service sorority. Laura enjoys using her business expertise to help students achieve their own educational and career goals.

Our Faculty

Instructors who know you

Cyndi A. Mendell

VP Admissions / Instructor & Co-founder

The Mendell family lineage goes back to great uncle and Master Artist, Frank Duveneck. Co-founder of AIC, Ms. Mendell is also a graduate of Gable Art School. As Director of Admissions, her vitality, energy and positive nature inspire students in planning their future. Ms. Mendell was also an active member in Art Directors’ Club of Cincinnati as well as many other civic organizations in Northern Kentucky, among them the YWCA and the Foreign Exchange. She is listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers.

Dennis Gates

Director of Placement/Instructor

Dennis graduated from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, Graphic Design, and has served as President of the Art Directors’ Club of Cincinnati. His years as Account Executive and Brand Consultant for major American and international clients provide a great source for networking. He is President and Creative Director of the G8s Design Alliance, a graphic design and integrated marketing collaborative specializing in brand identity and packaging design.

Randall Zimmerman

Graphic Design Instructor

With over 40 years experience in the graphic design field, Randy’s diverse background in agency and studio work as a lead designer and Sr. Art Director has enabled him to work with several major Fortune 500 corporations such as Procter & Gamble, Macy’s, Honda, Kroger, as well as WEBN Radio, Dr. Scholl’s, Echo Global Logistics and many more. Along with expertise in print media, he also has experience in the multimedia and packaging design fields. His several AAF (American Advertising Federation) ADDY Awards and Printing Industry of America Awards in design are partnered well with his expertise in the technical side of graphic design software and computers.

Dave Solko


Dave has been a freelance designer and websites developer for more than 20 years. He has a Bachelor in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Design from DAAP.

Doug Studer


Doug is President and CEO of Desky, a local branding agency whose clients include Procter & Gamble, Georgia Pacific, DeWalt, and Crayola. He brings his 20 years of leadership at the company into the classroom, helping students learn how to assess a brand’s visual equity.

General Education Faculty

Marlene Shmalo

Speech, Motivation & Etiquette

Marlene has a Bachelor of Science Degree in education and an MA in Theatre from the University of Cincinnati. She presently is Director of Performing Arts at the Jewish Community Center of Cincinnati

Donna Wakefield


Donna joined AIC College of Design as Reference and Instruction Librarian in 2012, responsible for developing an information literacy program and managing the libraries’ instructional services. Prior to arriving at AIC, Donna, a Kentucky native, was a teacher and librarian in the Fayette County School System in Lexington, Ky.  She holds a B.A. in Education and a School Library Certification from the University of Kentucky and a M.A. degree in Education from Eastern Kentucky University. Donna is a member of ALA (American Library Association) and SWON Libraries.

Evening Classes

AIC offers an convenient evening class for working adults. We know that yo have a busy schedule and AIC accelerated evening classes can help you earn your bachelor degree. The part-time evening classes meet twice a week for 15 weeks. Contact admissions to see whats right for you.

Summer Programs

Get a head start on your career and start building your portfolio. AIC hosts Summer Programs for High School students that are interested in Graphic Design, Illustration, Interactive Design and Photography.

Teacher CEU Credits

Teachers are eligible to receive Continuing Education Credits at AIC. If you are interested in find out about our teacher training contact us at 513.751.1206.