Public Design Program

Pairing student designers with not-for-profit organizations.

Can we help you?​ The Alberta College of Art + Design has a valuable offer for selected non-profit organizations needing effective design communications. It’s called the Public Design ProgramWe invite you to learn more about it and see if it is right for your organization.

The Public Design Program has been an enriching experience because it has given me the opportunity to work with real clients - Student Meghan Fenske

For more than 20 years, ACAD’s Public Design Program has worked with not-for-profit clients from across the province. Organizations ranging from the Alberta Children’s Hospital, the Canadian Red Cross and the Calgary Board of Education have benefited from the work of a generation of Communication Design students.
Originally inspired by the practicum project at the School of Visual Arts in New York, ACAD’s Public Design Program pairs fourth-year students from the School of Communication Design with clients who apply to participate, and have been approved by, course instructors. Students get real clients and clients get high-quality design communications for a fee of $500.00 per student.
“The program gives students valuable client-relation experience,” explains Ian Fitzgerald, ACAD faculty member and one of the driving forces behind the program. “While the chosen organizations gain a fresh perspective from students with near professional skill levels while contributing to a very worthwhile education experience that is all wrapped up in a cost-effective package.”
Student Meghan Fenske who worked on a campaign with the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre, agrees.
“The Public Design Program has been an enriching experience because it has given me the opportunity to work with real clients while having guidance from my instructor who is a professional in the field.”
“With what I’ve learned, I feel confident in working with clients in the future.”
Part of the success of the program is driven by the fact that it gives students practical experience in achieving solutions to actual creative communication and graphic design problems while providing charitable arts, service, community, environmental and not-for-profit organizations the benefit of quality design assistance at a reasonable price.
Young, energetic and talented students are assigned to work closely with you on your project. Faculty instructors oversee the process to ensure quality work is created, and that deadlines and budgets are met. This is a practicum experience for students. The course helps them to develop professionalism by using business and interpersonal skills with clients, fellow students, instructors, printers and other suppliers.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Ian FitzGerald