Visual Communication (Graphic Design)

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Visual Communication Design students learn to combine communication and technology with design and business to create powerful visual solutions. Students become adept in analyzing communication problems and inventing beautiful and appropriate solutions that respond to human needs and improve the quality of business, government and everyday life. Course content deals with a variety of visual communication design problems related to the community, society, industry, commerce, and advertising. Attention is given to the development of a well-rounded, representative, and quality portfolio.

Career options for visual communication designers include a wide range of areas such as traditional print media, magazine and book design, corporate marketing communications, branding, packaging design, exhibition and environmental design, motion graphic design, website design, interface design and more.

Visual Communication (Graphic Design) Department website

Sample of Related Skills

  • Understand software utilized in the creation, dissemination and documentation of graphic design work
  • Demonstrate competence with the principles of visual organization, including the ability to work with visual elements in two and three dimensions; color theory and its applications; and drawing 
  • Apply knowledge of the principles of visual organization to conduct formal analysis of artworks 
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of media, technologies and equipment applicable to their area of emphasis. This includes environmentally responsible practice 
  • Integrate skills in studio practice, theory, analysis, media and technology to address a variety of art problems, independently and in collaboration with others 
  • Demonstrate through public exhibition the capability to produce work that provides visual solutions to organization’s communication problems
  • Understand design problems related to the community, society, industry, commerce, and advertising 

 


Popular Career Paths

Advertising Designer: Involves creating graphics and layout for print, web, billboard, etc. advertisements

Freelance: Entails utilizing one’s network and resources to contract with individuals, companies, or organizations to complete project-based assignments

Print Designer: Involves ensuring print on a page is attractive and ready to print using typographical and technical skills

Web Designer: Entails coupling creativity and design skills with technical coding skills to design and build webpages


Jobs to Consider

Animator

Advertising art director

Art Director

Commercial/Industrial Designer

Fine Artist

Graphic Designer

Illustrator

Interior and Spatial Designer

Marketing Manager

Multimedia Artist/Animator

Fabric and Apparel Pattern Makers

Public Relations Manager

Theatre/Television/Film Production Designer

Exhibition Designer

Multimedia Specialist


Places to Seek Employment

Art and Film Companies

Large Corporations

Marketing Agencies

State, Local, & Federal Agencies

Manufacturing Companies

Publishing Companies

Advertising Agencies

 

Technology Companies

Universities and Colleges

Public Relations Firms

 

View specific employers by state.


Employment Strategies

  1. Consider starting your own business, doing freelance work, or working several part-time positions at once.
  2. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
  3. Register for KU Career Connections and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
  4. Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest in visual arts/design, and if possible, attend local and or regional conferences to network with professionals working in your field.
  5. Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant.
  6. Conduct informational discussions with individuals from industry.
  7. Attend the University Career Fair each spring.
  8. Engage in personal networking to enhance employment prospects.
  9. Start early on developing your professional portfolio.
  10. Develop skills including: customer focus, problem solving, self-direction, team orientation, analysis, communication skills, critical thinking, and high ethical standards.

Job and Internship Search Resources

  • Americans for the ARTS - job bank with careers in the arts
  • Apparel Executives - job listings for both internships and full-time positions in the apparel and fashion industries
  • ArtistsRegister.com - list of excellent opportunities for competitions, internships, exhibitions, festivals and fairs, film, and public art
  • ArtSchools - online resource for portfolio preparation for college and employment opportunities
  • Creative Hotlist - online search engine geared towards career development in the art fields
  • Coroflot - online resource for the "creative world at work" featuring job listings board, portfolio advice, groups, and general career advice 
  • Design Addict - resource featuring over 5000 links in all fields regarding visual arts/design such as museums, collectors, associations, and artists
  • Incredible @rt Department - national job listings board arranged by state which offers a variety of art related jobs
  • National Art Education Association - premier electronic recruitment resource for the profession, includes job listings
  • theCreativeloft - job listings for individuals in creative industries
  • Upwork - resource to connect freelancers with job opportunities

The quick link for this page is career.ku.edu/visualcommunication.

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