The Twin Cities boasts one of the strongest design communities in the country, with 36 percent more designers in its workforce compared to the nation as a whole*.

While the “creative class” is proportionally large in Minnesota, formal design education currently does not begin until college. The University of Minnesota College of Design is uniquely positioned to lead the way in preparing students for careers in design fields by promoting design thinking and careers among high school students and teachers.


How does DesignHigh work?


DesignHigh is a modular and flexible high school design curriculum, easily inserted into existing computer arts, media arts, or digital arts classes.


DesignHigh creates a more seamless arts education system—one that better transitions students from expressive elementary arts programs to career-focused college-level design programs.


DesignHigh educates high school students and teachers in the practical application of design thinking, while serving as the vehicle by which struggling and under-funded arts programs throughout the state can update, strengthen, and justify their existence in a challenging economic climate.


Are you a teacher interested in DesignHigh? We want to work with you!

Computer Art + Graphic Design Curriculum Workshop

August 11 & 12, 8:30am-4:00pm
and August 13, 8:30am-1:00pm
274 McNeal Hall, St. Paul campus

Attendance is free. Parking and lunch are provided. Registration is limited to the first 20 participants. A Certificate of Attendance will be provided at the end of the workshop for C.E.U. credits.
Register now >

Are you an arts educator looking to weave graphic design into your curriculum? Are you wondering what skills you can teach that are relevant and required by today’s design colleges, firms and advertising agencies?

Join us for a three-day workshop with researchers and designers from the University of Minnesota’s K-12 Outreach initiative, Design High, to answer these and other burning questions like: what is “design thinking” and should I get some?

  • Generate ideas and strategies to include design thinking principles & processes in your existing arts curriculum.
  • Use hands-on methods to identify challenges and opportunities for making a change in your curriculum.
  • Explore theories of visual communication using elements of type + image + color + context + time.
  • Create practical projects and assessment tools to use in your own classroom.
  • Get feedback on your assignment ideas and prepare to implement new projects this fall!
  • Meet industry professionals, see examples of human-centered design, and learn about trends in the broader design field.

Register now >

Teacher Survey

Can't attend either event, but still want to provide feedback or share your ideas?
Take our quick 3 minute Teacher Survey!

Curriculum Consultation

If you're interested in having DesighHigh in your school, please contact us directly.


DesignHigh has been implemented in the Graphic Art & Design 2 class at Wayzata High School (taught by Lea Anne Jasper) since Fall 2012. The following includes in process and final work samples from Ms. Jasper's students.

Envelope Collage

Artistic License


Client Poster

Client Poster

Rotoscope Image


(Subscription based software tutorials and tips) 
(Free fonts picked by designers) and 
(Color palette creators) 
(Search and download B&W icons)
Thinking with Type 
(Resource for E. Lupton’s book)
Graphic Design: The New Basics
 (Resource for E. Lupton’s book)


Thinking with Type, by Ellen Lupton
Graphic Design: The New Basics,
by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips
Graphic Design School: The Principles and Practice of Graphic Design,
by David Dabner, Sandra Stewart, Eric Zempol
This Means This, This Means That: A Users Guide to Semiotics, by Sean Hall
Pattern Sourcebook: (Series)
by Shigeki Nakamura


Get in touch with us.

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Contact info

Daniel Jasper

Associate Professor, Graphic Design

Daniel Jasper has worked on curricular issues with K–12 students in various capacities. From 2006 through 2008 he worked with University of Minnesota Design Institute as a critic and as lead instructor for their week-long Design Camp workshops. This entailed developing and implementing an intensive graphic design curriculum for high school students from diverse backgrounds that ranged from a rural Native American communities to teens from New York City. He has developed and implemented graphic design curricula for 2nd and 3rd grade students in up-scale suburban school districts as well as a semester-long curriculum that brought together U of M graphic design majors with diverse populations of at-risk high school students from Minneapolis magnet schools.

Jasper is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. His research combines a critical analysis of consumer society as it relates to design with political activism and an emphasis on the “everyday” experience. Jasper's designs have been featured in numerous books on critical practices in contemporary Graphic Design. His work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally including Mexico, China, France, the UK and most recently in an exhibition entitled Got the Message? 50 Years of Political Posters at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, Australia. He received an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University in 1999.

Ange Wang

Adjunct Faculty, Graphic Design

Angela Wang is a practicing graphic designer and adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota College of Design. In her practice, Ange consults with small businesses and non-profits in the Twin Cities to strengthen their graphic identities and employ communications campaigns that more meaningfully address the needs of their audiences. Her work ranges from content development to process strategy to UX design; she offers big picture thinking with the capacity for detail-oriented execution. As faculty, Ange teaches studio classes in identity development, interactive design, and user experience principles and process. She is inspired both by the many ways in which this empathetic design process produces creative work, and its infinite capacity to address and solve human-centered problems. Ange is most interested in how this process can be employed within the fields of education and healthcare: two domains which are ripe with opportunities to create more sustainable structures and dramatically improve the overall user experience. Ange received her MFA in Interactive Design from the University of Minnesota in 2009.