Visual Communication (Graphic Design)

Visual Communication Design students learn to combine communication and technology with design and business to create powerful visual solutions. Students become adept in analyzing communication problems and inventing beautiful and appropriate solutions that respond to human needs and improve the quality of business, government and everyday life. Course content deals with a variety of visual communication design problems related to the community, society, industry, commerce, and advertising. Attention is given to the development of a well-rounded, representative, and quality portfolio.

Career options for visual communication designers include a wide range of areas such as traditional print media, magazine and book design, corporate marketing communications, branding, packaging design, exhibition and environmental design, motion graphic design, website design, interface design and more.

Visual Communication (Graphic Design) Department website

Sample of Related Skills

  • Understand software utilized in the creation, dissemination and documentation of graphic design work 
  • Demonstrate competence with the principles of visual organization, including the ability to work with visual elements in two and three dimensions; color theory and its applications; and drawing  
  • Apply knowledge of the principles of visual organization to conduct formal analysis of artworks   
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of media, technologies and equipment applicable to their area of emphasis. This includes environmentally responsible practice  
  • Integrate skills in studio practice, theory, analysis, media and technology to address a variety of art problems, independently and in collaboration with others  
  • Demonstrate through public exhibition the capability to produce work that provides visual solutions to organization’s communication problems 
  • Understand design problems related to the community, society, industry, commerce, and advertising 

Popular Career Paths

Advertising Designer: Involves creating graphics and layout for print, web, billboard, etc. advertisements

Freelance: Entails utilizing one’s network and resources to contract with individuals, companies, or organizations to complete project-based assignments

Print Designer: Involves ensuring print on a page is attractive and ready to print using typographical and technical skills

Web Designer: Entails coupling creativity and design skills with technical coding skills to design and build webpages 

Jobs to Consider

Places to Seek Employment

  • Art and Film Companies
  • Large Corporations
  • Marketing Agencies
  • State, Local, & Federal Agencies
  • Manufacturing Companies
  • Publishing Companies
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Technology Companies
  • Universities and Colleges
  • Public Relations Firms 

Job and Internship Search Resources

  • Americans for the ARTS - job bank with careers in the arts 
  • ArtSchools - online resource for portfolio preparation for college and employment opportunities 
  • Creative Hotlist - online search engine geared towards career development in the art fields 
  • Coroflot - online resource for the "creative world at work" featuring job listings board, portfolio advice, groups, and general career advice  
  • National Art Education Association - premier electronic recruitment resource for the profession, includes job listings 
  • theCreativeloft - job listings for individuals in creative industries 
  • Upwork - resource to connect freelancers with job opportunities

Career Exploration Hub

Employment Strategies

  1. Identify areas of interest related to your major so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields. 
  2. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent studies, internshipspart-time jobsstudent organization involvement, or volunteering
  3. Register for Hire Jayhawks and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information. 
  4. Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field. 
  5. Practice interviewing on your own or by conducting a mock interview at the University Career Center. 
  6. Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest.
  7. Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant to your career goals. 
  8. Complete an independent study to gain advanced research skills. 
  9. Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school. 
  10. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest.