Major: Design and Visual Communications

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Like broad strokes across a canvas, the major in design and visual communications cuts a wide swath through a range of applied arts, from fashion design to industrial design.

In this major, you’ll learn what it takes to communicate ideas and information effectively -- no matter what art form you’re using. Though you’ll have to take a few courses on theory, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to build the practical skills you’ll need to work in the field.

Students of design and visual communications study a wide range of applied arts disciplines, from interior design to illustration and beyond.

Did You Know?

If you want to sample many arts now and specialize later, this major may be a good way to go.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Dabble in many disciplines
  • Put together a portfolio
  • Show your work
  • Study the history of design
  • Spend long hours in the studio

It Helps To Be...

Artistic, versatile, and open-minded. You’ll study many art forms in this major.

College Checklist

  • Is the department accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design?
  • Is the program competitive? Will you need to submit a portfolio for consideration?
  • Is the program well balanced, or does it focus more on a particular subject, such as graphic design?
  • Are the studios and labs comfortable and well equipped? Are computers up-to-date with current software?
  • Will the college help you find work after graduation?
  • What are recent grads doing now?

Did You Know?

Even though breadth is what this major is all about, you may be able to add depth with a specialty like applied photography or graphic design.

Course Spotlight

Why do some computer icons make sense to the eye, while others don't? You’ll find out in an introductory class on visual communication. You’ll learn how we use visual devices -- such as typography, images, and color -- to communicate, educate, and persuade. And you’ll probably get to do a small design project of your own, so get ready to put what you learn into practice.