Visual Communications

VC 112 Concepting (Drawing for Designers)
3 credits

Strong drawing skills enable designers to communicate effectively with clients and are a fundamental keystone of the course. Students go beyond observational skills and concentrate on the development of ideas on paper. They learn to problem-solve visual design projects and create dynamic client presentations using research, thumbnails, expanded concept sketches, freehand sketching, and an invented use of copied and digital materials. They also develop a visual diary that enable observers to better comprehend and visualize the designer’s ideas.

VC 118 Digital Foundations
3 credits (CS)

This course utilizes contemporary computer applications to harness the creative potential of prominent digital imaging software packages and related output devices. It combines students’ conceptual integration of technology with aesthetic judgment, using a cross disciplinary approach, to expand their horizons beyond the traditional approaches to design and art-making. Students learn to make educated decisions regarding use of emerging digital and new media technology within their own artistic style and aesthetic development.
 
VC 125 Scientific Illustration
3 credits (AS)

This course focuses on observational skills and the basic drawing techniques used in scientific illustration. Students work from objects and specimens and learn about measured drawings, perspective, basic composition, light on from, texture, contour and line and assorted media used for scientific illustration.

VC 140 Typography
3 credits (CS)

This course promotes problem-solving concepts emphasizing the use of the letterform as a visual communication tool. Concepts and terminology of typography are studied from the earliest development of the alphabet to today’s electronically generated type. Students become familiar with the evolution of letter forms and style differences. Technical procedures such as type specifications, comping headlines, indicating body copy and type measurements are covered extensively. Students are expected to handle typographic design problems while becoming proficient in the use of technical studio equipment.

VC 174 Digital Page Layout
3 credits (CS)

Current industry standard computer applications (such as InDesign, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop) are used by students for developing skills and knowledge of page layout, file management, digital spot and process color, printing, scanning, basic image manipulation and importing graphics. The focus is on using InDesign to build successful page layouts for press and web. Projects combine these digital print media techniques with basic design skills and teach how software programs interact with one another. A thorough familiarization of the capabilities of each software package will emerge.

VC 221/321 History of Visual Communications
3 credits (AS)

This course examines chronologically the history of advertising design, graphic design, and illustration as used specifically to inform, to sell, to persuade and to entertain. The influence of fine art on the commercial arts throughout history is explored, as well as its link to the social, political and economic life of various cultures. (Offered fall term)

VC 232 Illustration
3 credits (CS)

Students explore the field of illustration by experimenting with a variety of media. Emphasis is on content and execution with a conceptual approach to narrative problem-solving, resulting in effective communication to a mass audience. Both practical and philosophical issues are covered in relation to the assignments. Projects include book, advertising and editorial illustration, in an effort to develop a personal style and highly developed pieces for a portfolio. (Offered fall term)

VC 241 Advertising Design
3 credits (CS)

Students are required to apply the skills and principles they have acquired in design, typography, and production courses to specific advertising design projects. Creative skills focus on the combination of images and type, and the use of popular imagery to develop a visual language of persuasion. This course requires students to research products and services for which they are designing advertising and present comprehensive layouts for mass communication to clients. (Offered spring term) Prerequisite: VC 140 Typography

VC 242 Graphic Design
3 credits (CS)

This course offers a systematic approach to concept development and the problem-solving process as they relate to graphic design. Students explore the synthesis of words and images in relation to design principles for a deeper understanding of visual communications. Emphasis is placed on how information is communicated and the ways in which typography and image combine to make meaningful and useful messages that are clearly understandable, stylistically beautiful, functional and memorable. (Offered fall term)

VC 274 Imaging Graphics
3 credits (CS)

This course is a continuation of digital skills acquired in Digital Page Layout, but focuses on teaching students Adobe Photoshop. Advanced page design and image manipulation along with pre-press, color separations and color output, file transfer and an introduction to a basic web component will be included. Students will continue to work on portfolio development and visual communication projects using digital media. (Offered fall term)

VC 281 Internship Preparation
1 credit (CS)

This course prepares students for their internship. It provides structured help in preparing, searching, applying, and interviewing for an internship.

VC 293 Professional Workshop/Portfolio Preparation
3 credits (CS)

Topics relating to the business of art are covered, including legal issues, contracts, prices, copyrights and billing. The student assembles his or her portfolio and evaluates work to be included in it. Survival skills are also covered, ensuring a smoother transition from school to the work place. Guest speakers from a variety of businesses that use artists are featured. (Offered spring term) Prerequisite: Completion of the core career courses in Visual Communications.

VC 301 Special Topics
3 credits (CS)
This rotation of courses is an intensive investigation of a specific issue or aspect of visual communication. Possible topics include: corporate identity, global design, package design, 3-D design, type in motion, contemporary field research, digital pre-press and production and agency art direction. (Offered fall and spring terms)

VC 311 Advanced Illustration I
3 credits (CS)

Building on skills acquired in the previous illustration courses, this course focuses on the painterly approach to illustration. Students will concentrate on newspaper, book, and magazine work, producing professional-looking paintings that are suitable for color reproduction in a publication. (Offered fall term) Prerequisite: non-Visual Communications students need the permission of the instructor

VC 312 Advanced Illustration II
3 credits (CS)

The emphasis is on full color and advanced drawing techniques to express meaningful concepts. Students explore the elements of graphic design, the union of word and picture, and sequential art to develop highly interpretive work. (Offered spring term) Prerequisite: non-Visual Communications students need the permission of the instructor

VC 341 Advanced Advertising Design
3 credits
Students explore advanced topics in combining images and type with popular imagery to develop a visual language of persuasion. This course requires students to research products and services to develop advertising campaigns across various media. Prerequisite: VC 241 Advertising Design

VC 342 Advanced Graphic Design
3 credits (CS)

This course involves advanced creative problem-solving for the communication of ideas that interest, inform or persuade targeted audiences. Students synthesize typography, image and graphic elements to create messages with a strong emphasis on formal design values. Through client contact and design-production-printing experiences, the student develops professionally produced material for a portfolio. (Offered spring term) Prerequisite: VC 242 Graphic Design and VC 174 Digital Page Layout

VC 371 Digital Illustration
3 credits (CS)
Students in this course create computer-drawn illustrations for print and multimedia. An overview of several software packages is covered for students to investigate, synthesize, describe, and narrate digital imagery. The course is project driven, reinforcing solid business practices that lead to successful message generation for targeted audiences. (Offered spring term) Prerequisite: VC 274 Imaging Graphics

VC 374 Interactive Graphics
3 credits (CS)

This course will introduce non-linear, interactive, time-based software packages such as After Affects and Flash as they are applied to the visual communication industry. Projects will focus on visual aesthetics and the interaction between time-based media and print media. Students must have advanced skills in Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. (Offered fall term) Prerequisite: VC 174 Digital Page Layout and VC 274 Imaging Graphics

VC 375 Designing for the Web
3 credits (CS)

This course introduces the basic issues involved in creating a Web site. Students learn principles of screen-based design, how to use information architecture to create content, essential Web software and computer technology, design principles as they pertain to the Web, and how to publish a site. Emphasis is on important concepts central to the construction of a successful Web site, such as the role of dynamic content and non-linear navigation. (Offered annually) Prerequisite: VC 274 Imaging Graphics

VC 384 Visual Communications Internship I
3 credits (CS)

Students begin their careers in a professional work environment while earning credit. Internships consist of off-campus fieldwork based on a learning contract signed by the student, agency supervisor and faculty sponsor. An orientation session is required prior to fieldwork. Work is supervised by the program fieldwork director and the faculty adviser. A written evaluation of the experience is required of the student and agency. The student develops a written document that synthesizes the internship and academic activities. (Offered spring term) Prerequisite: Residency requirement of one semester and junior status

VC 388 Package Design
3 credits (CS)

This course offers students the opportunity to progress from determining 2-D design solutions to planning, analyzing, and evaluating solutions for 3-D graphic design problems. It requires students to create 3-D prototypes that emphasize 3-D Graphic Design theories while practicing principles and elements of design relating to packaging and display design, digital design, construction, and brand identity. A history of packaging, regulations for packaging, designing brand labeling, and point of purchase design and construction are topics that will be explored. Prerequisite: VC 174 Digital Page Layout

VC 475 Advanced Designing for the Web
3 credits (CS)

This course is the second in a series of two courses that introduce students to the basics of designing for the Web. Students learn Web software and CMS such as Dreamweaver and Wordpress and as well as design principles for screen based applications and customer usability. Prerequisite: VC 375 Designing for the Web

VC 484 Visual Communications Internship II
3 credits (CS)
Students begin their careers in a professional work environment while earning credit. Internships consist of off-campus fieldwork based on a learning contract signed by the student, agency supervisor and faculty sponsor. An orientation session is required prior to fieldwork. Work is supervised by the program fieldwork director and the faculty adviser. A written evaluation of the experience is required of the student and agency. The student develops a written document that synthesizes the internship and academic activities. (Offered fall term) Prerequisite: Residency requirement of one semester and junior status

VC 492 Senior Portfolio
3 credits (CS)

Senior Portfolio is the first in an advanced two-course series that focuses on the professional practices of visual communications. Students create a personal brand and a portfolio book that showcases their best work and defines their particular area of interest within the visual communications field. Topics of research include the role of the designer in contemporary culture, design responsibility, ethical and professional practice, professional networking, defining the roles and job positions of visual communicators, and implementing a personal professional strategy. The goal of the course is to prepare the student to enter the field. Students are required to network with professionals to get feedback on their work and to explore several production methods for their portfolios.

VC 493 Advanced Senior Portfolio
3 credits (CS)

Students build and refine their portfolios to a professional level in preparation for career placement. They explore employment opportunities, examine career goals, and write and design their resumes and self-promotional packages. Students explore the business side of their profession by learning how to develop professional relationships; understand contracts and other business documents; negotiate and estimate fees; start, manage, and market a business; address ethical and legal issues and present their portfolio. (Offered spring term) Prerequisite: Completion of core courses in Visual Communications

VC 498 Senior Project
3 credits (CS)

This is the first term of a linked two-term capstone course in Visual Communications. Students propose and initiate work on a major creative project and a related research paper that link students’ academic experiences and their professional goals. Over the course of the semester, each student meets with an active professional from the field of Visual Communications. This professional contact provides valuable and appropriate feedback for the student toward his/her work and career plans. (Offered fall term)

VC 499 Senior Seminar
3 credits (CS)

This is the culminating term of a linked two-term capstone course in Visual Communications. Students complete work on a major creative project and a related research paper that link students’ academic experiences and their professional goals. During the final weeks of the course, each student has an oral defense in which he or she presents the year’s work to a committee of faculty and professionals. Over the course of the semester, each student meets with an active professional from the field of Visual Communications. This professional contact provides valuable and appropriate feedback for the student toward his/her work and career plans. (Offered spring term) Prerequisite: VC 498 Senior Project