Designers Prepare for New Career Paths in Surface Imaging

DESIGNERS. Although the number of printed publications has declined, exciting new opportunities are emerging for designers who want to specialize in print.

Advances in industrial inkjet printers have made it possible to print images and designs on dozens of surfaces including fabrics, wallcoverings, wood, ceramic tiles, cork, metal, plastic, vinyl, glass, and folding cartons.

Although these printing systems were first used for signs and advertising graphics, they are quickly being adapted for use in architecture and interior design. For example, industrial inkjet printers are generating decorative patterns and images on murals, tabletops, and wallcoverings.


That’s why experienced textile design instructor Ujiie Hitoshi has created a new Master of Science degree in Surface Imaging at Philadelphia University.  According to Hitoshi, the MS in Surface Imaging will prepare students for career paths as imaging specialists in design, product development, and management in the fast-growing movement toward make-to-demand manufacturing and greater customization in experiential and interior design, residential and commercial architecture, apparel production, and home products.

Surface Imaging at PhilaU from Philadelphia University on Vimeo.

Students will use a variety of printing technologies in the new Center of Excellence in Surface Imaging and develop imagery for various physical forms.  Students will explore direct surface imaging on diverse porous and non-porous substrates. Students will also explore fabrication printing, including material subtraction (laser) and deposition technologies that can be used to create embossed effects. The Center of Excellence in Surface Imaging is part of Philadelphia University’s Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce.

The Surface Imaging program focuses on the integration of (1) design and creativity; (2) printing technology and applied engineering; and (3) innovative business systems to inform future leaders..

According the Ujiie, “The new MS program is for anyone who is interested in getting cutting-edge training in this rapidly expanding field. Ideal candidates are designers, artists, or craft practitioners who have a bachelor’s degree in art, craft, or design. However, we can provide prerequisite courses for those who do not have creative visual backgrounds.”


Philadelphia University: Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce: MS. in Surface Imaging