The Master of Design in Communication Planning and Information Design (CPID) is a two-year professional degree program for students who want to explore:
• Communication design and strategy
• Communication planning related to contemporary social and political issues
• Information design
• The creative potential of the interplay between words and images in traditional and innovative media.
The School of Design and the Department of English offer this unique program jointly.
New technologies are revolutionizing the communication environment. In parallel with the ongoing need for printed communications, computing and emerging media such as social networking are appearing at every level of communication design. Their emergence is blurring traditional boundaries between creation and production, creator and consumer, writing and design, strategy and implementation.
With the broader view of the information landscape that’s now possible, designers are expected to tackle the planning of complex communication systems, and to take increasing responsibility for the verbal as well as the visual aspects of their work. The need to convey more complex information to a greater variety of audiences presses designers to expand their individual roles and collaborate in new and unexpected ways. The fields of communication planning and information design encompass all the disciplines required for the conception, planning, production, and delivery of effective communication.
The CPID program balances collaboration with individual exploration, and theory with practice. Through our unique relationship with the Department of English, students are exposed to theoretical concepts, including rhetorical theories and analysis, that are useful in understanding communication in a social and cultural context. Themes we’ve explored recently include:
• Narrative structures in new media
• Visual voice and identity in print and digital formats
• Visualization of complex information spaces
• Strategic planning for communication systems
Our goal is to prepare students for advanced levels of professional employment, as communication planners and designers in print communication, design planning, systems design, dynamic information design, interactive multimedia, and internet communication.
Explore the Graduate Course Descriptions in more detail.
Core seminars and studio courses in the first year provide an intellectual and practical foundation, complemented by elective coursework from the School of Design and other departments across the CMU campus. We strongly encourage summer internships between the first and second years. During the second year, in addition to elective coursework, students complete yearlong thesis projects of their own design in association with faculty mentors.
Recent sponsors for studio and research projects include Microsoft, Motorola, Citrix, R/GA Media Group, Samsung Electronics, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the United States Postal Service.
Recent graduates are shaping the future of communication design at companies large and small, such as Siegel + Gale, Microsoft, Addison, Second Road, Citrix, Motorola, the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute, Catalyst Group, Essential, Daily Aisle, MAYA Design, Zehnder Communications, Autodesk, Samsung Electronics, Cooper, and Roundarch Isoba.