Message from John Siblik, Director


Art and Design at NIU is committed to providing you with outstanding preparation for career success.

The NIU Visual Communication Program (Graphic Design) has a long-standing reputation for quality within the region and throughout the United States.

Graduates of this program are working at some of the best and biggest companies in the US, including:  

  • Google
  • Pepsi
  • IBM
  • IA Collaborative
  • 50,000 Feet
  • Levi Strauss
  • Threadless
  • JackThreads
  • Morton Arboretum
  • Lyft
  • Leo Burnett Chicago

And many, many, many more.

Our Visual Communications Program has a national reputation thanks to our outstanding faculty and highly successful alumni. You’ll find our alumni working as graphic designers all over the country including: Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, Seattle, New York, Dallas, Atlanta, Madison, Minneapolis, San Diego, Washington D.C., Portland, Kansas City, and many others.

In addition to visual communications, the NIU School of Art and Design has programs in Illustration, Art+Design Education, and Time Arts (Animation and Video).

Art Education has had a 100 percent job placement each of the last several years and thanks to our certification test scores being among the highest in the nation, we are the preferred institution for art education in the state.

Illustration students are in high demand, as are our time arts students (animation and video) due to our outstanding reputation in both areas.

We also offer students to the opportunity to continue study in just about every conceivable art media or area as well such as: photography, painting, printmaking, drawing, ceramics, metals/jewelry, fibers, sculpture and art history.  

Our students have excellent access to technology throughout the 27 studios and labs available to students in our dedicated visual arts building, Jack Arends Hall.

Available for student use:

  • A wide array of printers with wide formats up to 72 inches
  • Five Canon CA5500 color 12X18 inch, duplexing Anywhere Printers
  • Several Macintosh and Windows labs
  • 3-D printing technology and fabrication
  • Laser cutting capacity
  • One of the best print shops in the country
  • Two woodshops
  • A metals shop with the latest welding equipment
  • Outstanding undergraduate painting studios with:A huge studio dedicated to oil painting
  • A watercolor studio
  • Individual undergraduate studios available to junior and senior studio artists
  • An outstanding jewelry facility
  • papermaking
  • Weaving looms
  • Every imaginable application of materials and techniques.

As the director of the School of Art and Design at Northern Illinois University, I speak from experience when I talk about our quality and value. I am a proud alumnus of NIU, having received my B.F.A. in painting, and B.S. Art Ed. ‘88.

Please email Stephanie Sailer, Advisor, to matriculate to NIU.

Do not hesitate to call on me for further assistance.


John Siblik
Director, NIU School of Art and Design