What is Design and Visual Communications?
Design and Visual Communications is a field of study fusing art and business to arrive at creative art or visual art used for commercial purposes. The Design and Visual Communications vocation will typically include professionals designing a variety of advertisements, books, logos, signs, posters, album covers, stationary, billboards, magazines, television, websites, and other displays used to promote a service, product, or idea. Commercial artists should have a variety of arrows in their quiver to effectively serve the marketplace that should comprise the following: free-hand drawing, illustration, painting, graphic design, graphic editing, basic advertising principles, visualization expertise, media knowledge, and animation basics.
Degrees in Design & Visual Communications
Prospective college students seeking to earn a degree or certificate in design have myriad options to choose from. Programs range from undergraduate certificate programs to degree programs both in class and online. The combination of options may be confusing at first, but we have taken the time to break them down into bite-size chunks for you. By slicing each degree type into manageable sections, students can easily align programs with personal priorities and link up with colleges that fit your objectives. A summary of the most popular degree programs in visual communications can be found below.
Certificate Programs in Design & Visual Communications
Online certificate programs in design can come into two primary levels: undergraduate and graduate. Undergraduate certificate programs are remedial tracks emphasizing the basics in visual communications. Students in an undergraduate certificate program will learn the basics with an emphasis on career readiness. Examples of classes you may find in an undergraduate certificate program include:
- Survey of Art & Culture
- Computer Graphics
- Color and Design Theory
- Networking Communications
- Photography, Editorial Photography & Color Photography
- Studio Lighting Techniques
- Website Development
- Studio and Field Production
- Music and Film Appreciation
- Interactive Design
- 2D and 3D rendering & animation
- Electronic Illustration
- Sales and Sales Management
Graduate certificate programs in design are upper level classes aimed at working professionals and qualifying students. A series of classes focused on a specific area of design provide key skills and knowledge to experienced professionals to help upskill, remain competitive, and enhance career growth.
Associate Degrees in Design & Visual Communications
An online associate degree in visual communication can be conferred as an Associate of Arts (AA) or an Associate of Applied Science (AAS). Degrees will be conferred as a function of the program emphasis and curricular design provided by the school. Associate degrees take approximately 2-years to complete for full-time students.
AAS and AA programs mix liberal arts education with core classes to provide a balance, integrative set of thinking skills for students. General education courses may include classes such as communications, philosophy, creative writing, psychology, and business administration. Core classes will vary by school and include classes in photography, sales, digital branding, social media, brand development, digital photography, public relations, visual merchandising, computer rendering, and entrepreneurship.
Bachelor Degrees in Design & Visual Communications
A bachelor’s degree in visual communications and design can be found in a course catalog as a Bachelor of Arts (BA). Online bachelor of arts in design is a 4-year program for full-time students. Part-time students will take longer to complete as a function of course load and college requirements. Bachelor’s degrees are the most popular degree track and much like an associate’s degrees they include a fusion of liberal arts education or core curricula.
To help provide some additional structure to the bachelor degree program in design, we have assembled a typical course for you to review. Classes may include:
- Introduction to Design
- Form and Color
- Graphic Design
- Photography for Designers
- Design: Aesthetics and Experience
- Coding for Designers
- 3D Design
- Visual Communications
- Sustainable Design
- Interactive Media
- Product Design
- Global Fashion
- Lighting Technology
- Information Design
- Computer Aided Design (CAD)
- Interactive Media
Educational Requirements for Design Students
In terms of educational requirements, Design and Visual Communications degree holders will have typically studied the following courses while in college:
- English Language
- Business Management
- Advertising and Marketing
- Graphic Design
Schools Other Students Requested Information From:
Employment Information & Specialization
For students that earn a college degree in Design and Visual Communications, there are several fields of specialization that one can pursue. The options range from managers, marketing, advertising, promotions specialist, leaders, directors, project specialists, human resources, teachers, editors, public relations, graphic designers, and business administration in the public or private domain to name a few possible career tracks.
Skills & Abilities Required in Visual Communications
- Reading Comprehension
- Active Listening
- Speech Clarity
- Oral Expression
- Oral Comprehension
- Speech Recognition
- Written Comprehension
Job Growth, Salary, and Related Fields
The median annual income for a Visual Communications professional is $65,300 with the top 10% earning $115,960 on average with the bottom ten percent average just under forty-thousand dollars a year. Job growth in the greater Design and Visual Communications domain are well above average. Projected growth for designers is 8% per the BLS translating to some 15,900 added jobs over the coming decade. Given the broad nature of the Design and Visual Communications degree, compensation after graduation can vary greatly from career field to career field given prior experience and geographic location. Related fields include teaching, marketing, artist, managing, leading, public relations, and editing.