Bachelor's Degree in Visual Communications: Graphic Design

Visual Communications Graphic Design

In recent years, demand for skilled employees in the creative professions has risen dramatically. As technology develops and its potential applications in the workplace increase, the need for Visual Communications graduates continues to grow. The Visual Communications program has a proven record of producing graduates ready to meet this ever-evolving demand.

If you are looking for a major that will prepare you for professional success in a creative field, Visual Communications at Cazenovia College is the place for you. The program leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts and offers concentrations in Advertising Design, Graphic Design, Web/Interactive Design, Illustration/Animation, and Visual Communications. Student may wish to pursue more than one concentration within the program.
The Visual Communications: Graphic Design concentration allows students to focus on design for print media. Print media can include brochures, corporate identity systems, packaging, environmental graphics, book design, magazine design, newspaper design, etc. The curriculum specializes in the design and production of varied print media, but it also offers courses in web design and illustration, which are skill sets that a designer would be asked to collaborate with, contract for hire, or conduct themselves. Instruction is geared toward preparing students for future employment in a corporate art department, ad agency print creative department or design and printing businesses.

Student Learning Goals:
•    Teach students to solve communication problems visually, to partake in conceptual message development, and to achieve personal creative excellence;
•    Help students understand and respond to the cultural influences that shape various audiences, messages, client needs, and design decisions;
•    Develop proficiency in classic media as well as fluency in new technologies; and
•    Ensure understanding of basic business practices as designers, including production, project organization, and working in a team environment.

Special Features:
•    Students are required to take two career electives that offer a broad experience within the Visual Communications degree to maximize their professional experience in the field.
•    In their final year, Visual Communications students complete a comprehensive senior project in their area of concentration and in collaboration with a professional contact within the field. These projects and their portfolios are showcased in the College Art Gallery in April. The exhibition is curated by the students, and offers the opportunity for friends, family, and industry professionals to view their creative efforts on a large scale.
•    Students and graduates of the Visual Communications program routinely win regional and national awards for their real-world design work.
•    The VC Club, now a student chapter of AIGA, takes annual trips to NYC during which students have the opportunity to tour advertising and design related businesses and visit with authorities in the field.
•    Internships are an integral part of the program because they provide students with valuable professional experience as well as all-important opportunities for networking. Internship students are placed nationally in corporate or educational art departments, advertising agencies, design and animation studios, and publishing houses.
•    Students spend their entire senior year building print and online portfolios while conducting successful job searches with mentors in the field. These portfolios are widely acknowledged by local industry professionals as the best in the region, making graduates competitive on the job market regionally as well as nationally.
•    Classes are small and taught in seminar/discussion/studio format by well-qualified, experienced faculty members in Reisman Hall, with state-of-the art dual boot computer studio labs.

Career Opportunities 
After graduation students pursue degrees in higher education, go into business as freelancers, or find employment in corporate art departments, advertising agencies, design studios, publishing houses, newspapers, magazines, multi-media and web design businesses, or printing firms.

Students with a BFA in Visual Communications enter a growing job market with many career options. Typical employers would include advertising agencies, multimedia production companies, publishers, design groups and consultancies, magazines, local government, education, television, charities, commerce and local industry.

Positions graduates may seek include:
Freelance Designer Owner, partner, principal of a design business, Corporate In-House Graphic Designer, Editorial Designer for Magazines and/or books, Creative Director Art Director, Brand Manager Book Designer, Print Advertising Director Brand Identity Designer, Prepress operator Package Designer, Publishing Designer Production worker, Print Production Controller/Manager Print Room Manager, Marketing manager, director Layout artist, Broadcast Designer for film or TV Digital Production, Graphic Design for Television Motion Graphics Designer, or Type Designer.