Visual Communication students are encouraged to be creative while emphasizing strong technical and presentational skills. At the freshman and sophomore levels, students gain a background in design history, theory, and current visual communication practices and then may experiment and develop their own design approaches. Students have the opportunity to learn how to design advertising campaigns, logos, compact disc and other product packaging, posters, publications, web page layout, and more. Visual communication students also develop skill sets to utilize the printing process and produce materials for their portfolios.
All visual communication courses at Wade College are taught in a graphics laboratory/studio using the latest hardware and industry specific software, which is continually updated. The Adobe Creative Suites: Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign are stressed. Typography as it relates to product and the impact on the marketplace is emphasized. Classroom facilities include iMac computers equipped with scanners, laser printers, and online access to databases and the Internet. Students improve their technical and conceptual skills while developing a personal creative vision. All graduating visual communication students at the associate-degree level express their design philosophies in a finished portfolio presented during the Wade College Professional Portfolio Critique. Additionally, students may showcase their work in various art contests and competitions, and have the opportunity to gain experience during markets at Dallas Market Center during the year.
At the junior and senior level, students will be engaged in simulated real world challenges and immersed in a focused curriculum of design thinking, design practice, and innovative technology. The program challenges students with issues pertaining to context, aesthetics, design constraints, social responsibility, and behavioral science. Brand identity, brand marketing, advertising, and web design are a focus. The program transforms students into professionals who can design engaging pieces that communicate effectively across a diverse audience while incorporating a concern for the environment and society at large. The development of diverse skills such as critical thinking, professional procedures, professional practices, and communication skills that include verbal, written, and visual formats will empower students to attain significant positions in the workforce. Electives will address areas like web design, design for small digital media, art direction, and advanced design methodologies. Upon completion of the visual communication program, students should have the skill sets to secure employment opportunities within a visual communication or related field, communicate professionally using appropriate aesthetic principles for the business environment, and make significant contributions to the industry and community by supporting their peers and juniors in a mentoring role. Mastery of the field is demonstrated by all graduating baccalaureate-level students in a formal presentation to the External Advisory Committee.