The Visual Communication Design (Graphic Design) program is about much more than just designing logos. We teach students how to engage in design thinking and user experience to create meaningful and effective design solutions. We also encourage a broad range of formats and expression including traditional and digital illustration, packaging, poster design, app design, video editing, website development and motion graphics. Students begin with a comprehensive foundation program to learn art and design theory in a studio setting. Then they build on specific interests by choosing to focus on Graphic Design or Illustration.
Visual Communication Design Program Description
The Visual Communication Design (aka Graphic 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 a user-focused, interdisciplinary, problem-solving activity that combines visual acuity with skill and knowledge in areas of communications, technology, and business. Emphasis is placed on the conception, design, planning, and implementation of visual solutions to complex problems in contemporary culture. The visual communication design profession specializes in the structuring of visual information to aid in communications through branding, interactive design solutions for web and mobile, UI/UX, motion graphics, packaging and various print media. In addition, the department seeks to encourage freedom of expression and creativity through the development of innovative concepts with professional execution to help students become conversant in the philosophy and psychology of both historical and contemporary art and design forms.
West Liberty #2 in West Virginia for Graphic Design
Throughout the program, students will “develop a broad range of communication skills in visualization, communication, presentation, writing, and technology. These skills provide an excellent foundation for careers in publishing, graphic design, web design, multimedia, arts administration, copywriting, and specialist careers in the art, design, and digital media industries.”
Visual Communication Design Program Goals
- Develop and implement solutions to problems encountered in all phases of the Visual Communication Design process.
- Create visual communications through the application of design theories and principles to develop effective design solutions.
- Apply typographic skills and knowledge to create effective visual communications.
- Effective use of technologies to create and manipulate graphic design elements in producing a final product.
- Communicate effectively, credibly, and accurately with clients, supervisors, and target audiences by using a variety of media.
- 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.
Work by West Liberty University Graduates
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:
- 4-H Foundation of Hancock County
- ANXIETY AND PANIC DISORDERS PROGRAM – Wheeling Hospital
- Brooke Hancock Family Resource Network
- Echo International
- Grand Vue Park and Recreation Center
- The John Fowles Society –identity system, website, posters, etc.
- The Ohio Valley Museum Consortium
- St. Vincent de Paul Parish – Wheeling
- The Strand Theatre Preservation Society
- Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Wheeling
- Pittsburgh Chapter of the AIGA
- YOUTH SERVICES SYSTEM, INC. – Wheeling
- WLU Center for Student Success
- WLU Division of Music website
- WLU International Students Web Page
- WLU Protestant Campus Ministry
- WV Arts and Crafts Guild Biennial Website
Internships are not required but are strongly encouraged and easily coordinated with the Visual Communication Design faculty. Some of these internships include:
- The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars
- Design and Image Studio
- Center for Educational Technologies
- Challenger Space Center
- Oglebay Institute
- Action Images
- WLU IT Department
- Lamar Advertising