Visual Communication Design

Graphic Design Degree - Visual Communication Design Degree - West Virginia WLU

Jesse Lenz (2010 Graphic Design graduate) is now a professional illustrator with work in major publications, like this piece, in the December issue of Wired Magazine.


Visual Communication Design Program Description

The Visual Communication Design degree program has as its philosophy the understanding that education precedes design. Therefore a bachelor’s degree with the general studies component is essential to a broad understanding of other disciplines as well as professional support courses. The Visual Communication Design degree curriculum prepares students for employment opportunities in the rapidly changing design field by nourishing their abilities and creativity to become visual explorers. In addition, the Visual Communication and Graphic Design classes give students a good foundation in traditional image making as well as digital technology.

Visual Communication Design is an interdisciplinary, problem-solving activity that combines visual sensitivity with skill and knowledge in areas of communications, technology, and business. The visual communication profession specializes in the structuring of visual information to aid communication and orientation.  In addition, the department seeks to encourage freedom of expression and creativity, to instill the spirit of fine craftsmanship, to develop skills and competencies in the various art media and techniques, to help the student become conversant with the philosophy and psychology of both historical and contemporary art forms, and to provide elective art courses for those students interested in art either for enrichment or vocational purposes.

Visual Communication Design Program Goals

  1. Develop and implement solutions to problems encountered in all phases of the Visual Communication Design process.
  2. Create visual communications through the application of design theories and principles to develop effective design solutions.
  3. Apply typographic skills and knowledge to create effective visual communications.
  4. Effective use of technologies to create and manipulate graphic design elements in producing a final product.
  5. Communicate effectively, credibly, and accurately with clients, supervisors, and target audiences by using a variety of media.
  6. Apply effective business practices and project management skills appropriate to his/her position in the graphic design field.

Graphic Design Facilities

Special facilities for this program include a Visual Communication Design classroom with fifteen Macintosh computers, with Internet access, projection system, storage area, and a professional quality laser printer. The Art Program also makes use of a painting/drawing studio, sculpture studio, twenty five-seat lecture room, ceramics studio (located in the Annex building across campus), The Nutting Art Gallery and a printmaking lab. Digital Media Design majors also have access to a Midi lab, state of the art sound recording studio, state of the art television studio and Media Arts classrooms. We are in the process of building a photography studio and darkroom on the second floor of the Student Union. These new facilities will be used for the Photography courses, 3-D Graphic Design, Graphic Design III, Animation courses and the WLU Photography Club.

Graphic & Visual Communication Design Internships

Another strength of the WLU Art program is accessibility to many possible internships. As part of the required practicum in their upper level coursework all students work with real world clients. Recent clients include:

  • Brooke Hancock Family Resource Network
  • 4-H Foundation of Hancock County
  • WLU Protestant Campus Ministry
  • WLU Center for Student Success
  • WLU International Students Web Page
  • WV Arts and Crafts Guild Biennial  Website
  • Grand Vue Park and Recreation Center
  • The John Fowles Society –identity system, website, posters, etc.
  • Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Wheeling
  • The Ohio Valley Museum Consortium
  • The Strand Theatre Preservation Society
  • St. Vincent de Paul Parish – Wheeling
  • WLU Division of Music website
  • Echo International
  • Pittsburgh Chapter of the AIGA

Internships are not required but are strongly encouraged and easily coordinated with the Visual Communication Design faculty. Some of these internships include:

Infographics created for the WVDEP by Megan Bumgardner