Surface Imaging Blends Art, Technology, Entrepreneurship

The rapid adoption of digital printing technologies and the rise of Internet of Things are creating exciting opportunities for entrepreneurial designers.

The increased use of all forms of digital printing is creating a demand for short runs of custom-designed wallcoverings, textiles, ceramics, and glassware. Plus, the ability to “print” electronics and sensors on thin, flexible films has made it possible to design interactive fashion, sportswear, wallpaper, and window films.

Once you learn more about the technologies and huge range of materials used in “surface imaging,” you will quickly see that the possibilities for creative new products and designs are limited only by your imagination.

Investors in digital printing equipment are looking for well-trained and creative designers to help them get the most from their equipment.

To get involved in this burgeoning field, check out the graduate-level Surface Imaging program at Philadelphia University. The University is currently accepting new degree candidates for a one-year program that begins in May, 2016.

The Surface Imaging program at Philadelphia University is a unique graduate program for designers and artists who want to bring their creativity to life through state-of-art digital printing technologies.

Surface Imaging at PhilaU from Philadelphia University on Vimeo.

Working in the Center for Excellence in Surface Imaging, you will learn how to apply your painting, drawing, photography and printmaking skills to fabrication projects that involve state-of-the-art digital printing and additive material deposition and subtraction-printing technologies.

The curriculum includes courses in surface imaging design, printing technology,  and material and polymer science. To find the best opportunities within the fast-growing digital-printing industry, you will also study entrepreneurship and develop a business plan that integrates design, applied engineering, and innovative business models.

The Center for Excellence of Surface Imaging has been supported by international imaging industries, including printer manufacturers, ink formulators, and software developers.

Upon graduation, you will be prepared for a leadership role in developing new products for the architecture, interior design, textile manufacturing, fashion apparel, and home industries.

To apply, act quickly. According to Hitoshi Ujiie of the Center for Excellence in Surface Imaging, “While we have a rolling enrollment system, our preferred deadline for applications is February 1, 2016.”


MS Surface Imaging, Philadelphia University

Application Requirements

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