Welcome to the Grace College Art program! As a future graphic designer, you will gain a strong foundation for a career within the innovative field of graphic arts through our Visual Communication Design major. This major provides you with structured opportunities for the study of visual communication.
The purpose of the Visual Communication Design major is to develop your basic art and design skills, increase your knowledge of technical production processes in the graphic arts industry, and provide functional training on graphics software.
While bringing practical, professional knowledge to the classroom, our faculty serves to encourage and challenge you to be competent in communicating visually and to develop a mature, Christ-centered worldview.
Course Requirements for a B.A. or B.S. in Visual Communication Design Course Requirements for a Visual Communication Design Minor
Examples of courses in this major:
VCD 2310 Visual Communication Design I
An introductory course that uses manual and digital processes to explore visual communication theories and techniques. Relationships between content and social and cultural context will be explored. Prerequisite: ART 2110.
VCD 2510 Visual Communication Design II
This studio design course explores tools and techniques for digital-based imaging, editing, and layout. Utilizing Adobe software, this course focuses on the development of visual skills through digital photo manipulation, illustrative rendering, and graphics file preparation. Technical processes for digital and print production will be introduced. Prerequisite VCD 2310.
VCD 3700 Visual Communication Design III
A computer laboratory course that introduces software utilized for motion graphics and web-based media. Students will develop problem-solving skills through understanding industry trends and technological changes, and apply them to a variety of projects. Prerequisites: VCD 2310 and VCD 2510.
VCD 3420 Typography
A study of letter forms, historical influences, and how type is used as an effective element in context of visual communication design. Prerequisites: VCD 2510.
VCD 3430 Illustration I
This introductory course explores fundamentals of illustrative design principles and how elements are utilized to address specific narrative or expressive problems. A survey of historical and current trends in illustration and an overview of basic business practices are examined. Prerequisites: ART 1200, ART 2110.
The individuals who will challenge you to learn:
Kim M. Reiff, B.F.A, M.B.A, M.F.A
Associate Professor and Chair, Art Department
B.F.A., Indiana University, Fort Wayne; M.B.A., Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion; M.F.A. in Visual Arts, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, California
In addition to her academic accomplishments, Kim Reiff has worked as a marketing communications manager, graphic designer and production manager.
Richard W. Wanjema
Assistant Professor of Visual Communication Design; Program Director for Media Arts
B.F.A. Indiana University, Fort Wayne; M.F.A. The Ohio State University
In addition to his professional career in visual communication design, Richard Wanjema was the recipient of the Outstanding Coleman Fellow Award (2014-15), which is presented by the California State Senate.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
- Graphic Designer
- By combining text (typography) and graphic images, a graphic designer is a professional artist that designs, develops and produces materials for visual communication. From routine production work to industry-wide graphics management, graphic designers with strong art, design and technical skills have unique job opportunities in the vast graphic arts field. Types of industry products include materials for print and electronic publication such as books, magazines, product brochures, way-finding banners, advertising and package design, websites and training resources. The variety of organizations creating graphic materials is unlimited.
- Art Director
- Art directors develop design concepts and review materials that are to appear in periodicals, newspapers, and other printed or digital media. They control the overall visual direction of a project in fields such as advertising and publishing. They decide how best to present a concept visually, so that it is organized, eye catching and appealing. Art directors decide which photographs or artwork to use, and they oversee the design, layout and production of material to be produced. They may direct workers engaged in artwork, design, layout and copywriting. Art directors attend photo shoots and printing sessions, review and approve proofs of materials developed by staff members or vendors, and present final layouts to clients for approval.
- Web Designer/Developer
- A web designer/developer is skilled in both design aesthetics and functional web programming. Proficient in design fundamentals and information systems including 2-D design, graphic design, HTML and CSS, a web designer/developer leads a site-build by uniquely balancing design, development and implementation. Understanding the integration of design and technology, the web designer/developer is responsible for page layout, visual appearance, accessibility and usability of the site, and ensures that the brand standard is maintained. Job opportunities include the dual role of designer/developer, a concentrated role of either one, or as a liaison for client management.
- A webmaster is in charge of maintaining websites for companies and individuals on the World Wide Web. This is a job that requires a wide range of skills and abilities, since many webmasters must do much more than simply write computer code or update links to other websites. The webmaster is ultimately responsible for ensuring that a website is easy to navigate and that it addresses the needs of the client and its customers.
- Art Gallery Director
- A knowledge of art, contemporary craft, craft media and technical processes, and design are needed for an art gallery director position. Knowledge of sales, retail management and customer service are also needed. The art gallery director actively develops a new collector base, including connecting collectors and artists where appropriate. Additionally, a director in this role has the ability to build and effectively manage a team of employees, interns and volunteers.
- City Arts Center Manager
- The City Arts Center manager plans, organizes and executes creative arts programs for a city. This position negotiates contracts and agreements with creative arts organizations and artists within a city and advocates the Arts Program through promotional activities and presentations. Working within the community, the City Arts Center manager coordinates activities with city departments, various agencies, groups and individuals. The City Arts Center manager develops, coordinates and administers the public art program and local grants program.
- Brand Identity Designer
- Brand identity designers create the visual identity, or the branding, for a company and/or its clients. This work includes developing logos, promotional materials and advertising programs that establish and promote a corporate identity. Brand identity designers possess innovation and problem solving skills. Proficiency in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign is common. Typography is a key area in which a brand identity designer should excel.
What others are saying:
The Art Department at Grace provided me with the knowledge, preparation and confidence I needed to get out in the "real world" and find the job that's right for me.
—Matthew Hawley, B.S., Graphic Design, 2010
The professors in the Art Department at Grace are truly wonderful. Their dedication, expertise and Christian character combine to provide students with unparalleled Christian higher education in the visual arts. They have definitely impacted both my artistic skills as well as my spiritual walk with Christ.
—Noelle Fink, B.S., Graphic Design and Art Education (double major), 2012
Grace has made such an impact on my life these past two years. Not only have I grown spiritually in my walk with the Lord, but I have also improved greatly as an artist. My goal is to one day become either an artist for Disney or a conceptual artist for the movie industry.
—Stephanie Johnston, B.A., Graphic Design and Illustration (double major), 2012