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Visual Communications

Turn your creative side into a career. Earn degrees in graphic design, interactive media (web design), and multimedia arts. Take classes in photography, illustration, motion graphics & animation, and filmmaking.

Potential Salary$40,000

topics Arts Communications

Skills & InterestCreativity

CareersArt & Communications

LocationSalem Campus


Why choose program or class?

Our focus is to prepare you for a career in the graphic arts. Successful completion of the program will equip you with –

  • Print and digital portfolios of your work
  • Practical, hands-on experience with the digital tools of designers
  • Resume showing real-world experience
  • Personal logo and branding

Visit the Visual Communications Web site for more information »

Learning Environment

Our small class sizes allow for one-on-one critiques with instructors and lots of personal attention. You'll find our instructors are passionate about what they teach. You'll be teamed with students who are equally dedicated to their class work. We have two amazing Mac labs with wonderful technical support and the latest software.

Ours is an intense and demanding program. You will be challenged and you will smile as you work harder than you ever thought possible. The program is a great launching pad to wherever your creativity takes you.

What will you learn?

You will learn the technical skills as well as the teamwork and creative problem solving essential to your career. You will develop skills in graphic design, layout, typography, photography, and Web design while attaining an AAS degree. Classes in illustration, photography, animation and filmmaking will open new possibilities for expanding your creative abilities.

Aptitudes and Skills

  • Critical thinking about design
  • Visualize finished design
  • Distinguish colors and typefaces
  • Artistic skills
  • Creativity and problem solving
  • Computer skills and ability to learn new technology
  • Make visual comparisons and see slight differences in shapes and shades
  • Knowledge of design, typography, photography, printing and electronic media including internet communications
  • Command of language to present information and ideas clearly
  • Make decisions based on experience
  • Work quickly and accurately
  • Organizational and time-management skills
  • Respond constructively to suggestions

See Course Sequences for more information.

What will you do?

Your training in visual communications gives you a wide range of career options –

  • Graphic design
  • Web design
  • Production designer
  • Prepress professional
  • Multimedia production
  • Filmmaking
  • Advertising
  • Illustration
  • Photography
  • Animation

Job Outlook

Graphic design employment is expected to grow 10-15% over the next 5-10 years. Creative individuals with technical expertise are limited only by their skill and capacity for work.


    The Graphic Design degree emphasizes ideas and creativity above all else, while also providing a firm technical foundation in software and production.

    Classes in design, drawing, photography, typography and layout form the basis for design as you learn to solve communications challenges. Class content integrates work in icon and logo design, and image-making with print and interactive projects.

    Courses of Study


    Earn a degree in Graphic Design with an Option in Interactive Media. You will develop skills in –

    • Web design
    • Visual design
    • HTML/CSS coding
    • Process

    You will also be exposed to core graphic design skills, including typography, layout, and illustration. You will produce a digital and printed portfolio of work, including a portfolio website and résumé in preparation for entering the job market.

    Courses of Study


    Enter the dynamic world of media arts as you study photography, filmmaking, and motion graphics in the Visual Communications program.

    The AAS degree in Multimedia Arts is a unique path of study that is mostly separate from the other degree tracks within the Visual Communications program. Students earning this degree will take courses in photography, motion graphics/animation, and filmmaking.

    Courses of Study

    Starting the degree track with a cohort of other students in the fall, all Multimedia Arts students take the initial software class (joined by other VC students) before diverging into degree-specific classes. Along the way, students have a number of opportunities to work on real jobs, collaborate with other students within the other degree tracks, and experience a range of cutting-edge media equipment, facilities, and techniques.

    All of this coursework culminates in a demo reel or staged exhibit that ranges in form and media depending on the student’s area of focus. This capstone experience is a way to introduce you to the local business community, and is held at the end of spring term your final year.


    Visual Communications has a great selection of classes covering many aspects of modern photography, including –

    • Digital photography
    • Studio photography
    • Documentary photography
    • Portraiture photography
    • Photo Illustration
    • History of Photography

    While most of our classes are taught using digital SLRs (single lens reflex cameras), we also offer several traditional black-and-white film classes.

    Classes Include
    • ART265 Photography 1
    • ART266 Photography 2
    • ART267 Portrait Photography
    • ART268 Documentary Photography
    • ART237 Photo Illustration
    • ART202 History of Photography
    • ART142 Intro to Photography

    Receive hands-on learning in both traditional and digital illustration processes and techniques from practicing industry professionals. Classes in illustration include –

    • ART Photo Illustration
    • ART238 Intro to Illustration
    • ART239 Intro to Digital Illustration
    • ART240 Advanced Digital Illustration

    For students interested in our filmmaking, we offer three courses, all taught by professionals in the field –

    • FLM 265 Documentary Filmmaking
    • FLM 266 Narrative Filmmaking
    • FLM 268 Advanced Filmmaking

    We recommend you provide your own video camera that records HD video and has an external microphone jack. However, we do have a limited number of video cameras for group use.