What Are Visual Communication Studies?
Are you creative? Do you enjoy drawing or designing images with software? Visual communication studies programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels exist so you can hone your creative skills. Keep reading to find more information on visual communication studies.
Visual Communications Defined
Visual communications is a multidisciplinary field that combines traditional art with contemporary software applications to create images intended to convey a message. Programs in visual communication should teach you how to incorporate skills in print design, illustration, motion graphics, multimedia, interactive design and environmental graphics. A degree in visual communication can prepare you for careers in numerous industries, including advertising, game development, Web design, television and film.
Important Facts About This Field of Study
|Prerequisites||General education requirements; minimum GPA is sometimes necessary|
|Degree Fields of Study||Visual Communications, Communication Design, Information Design|
|Online Availability||Some introductory courses and programs are available online.|
|Possible Careers||Web designer, packaging designer, illustrator|
|Median Salary (2018)||$69,430 (for all web developers)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||15% growth (for all web developers)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bachelor's Degree Program
In a visual communications bachelor's degree program, you will likely take core coursework in drawing, art history and design foundations. These programs should teach you to use professional software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut, InDesign and Acrobat. As you progress through the 4-year program, you will be exposed to 2-D and 3-D design layout, typography, animation and editing. Many programs also include Web design courses. It's common for you to create a digital and print portfolio to display your skills. Hands-on training can be gained through the completion of an internship program.
Master's Degree Programs
Master's programs are often geared towards individuals who have professional work experience. Applying to a graduate program requires you to submit a portfolio. At this level, you may be allowed to tailor your program to your interests in photography, publication design or interactive media. Coursework can include seminar and studio work in illustration and advanced design methods. Graduate visual communications programs require completion of a thesis project.
Doctoral Degree Programs
Visual communications programs are rare at the doctoral level, but design programs are available. Doctoral degree programs are based in research that leads to the completion of a dissertation project. These programs are also self-directed. The coursework and the path of research are typically decided with the advice of a department professor. Topics explored within a doctoral program in design can include history of design, design and human interaction, color communication, typography and advanced design technology. Once you graduate from a doctoral program, you can go on to teach visual communications at the college level.