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Design & Visual Communications

Design and Visual Communications


Program Description

Students enrolled in Design and Visual Communications (DVC) explore the power of visual messages through analysis and application. DVC introduces students to graphic design as a form of visual communication through the use of type, image, form and color. Students learn fundamental concepts of art and graphic design for continuation in post-secondary education or the workforce.

Through a combination of lectures, demonstrations and hands-on projects, students acquire an understanding of design elements, design principles, color theory, typography, drawing, video editing, web design, animation, user experience design and digital photography. Using industry-standard software programs, such as Adobe Creative Cloud, students plan, design, and produce print and digital media for a specific purpose and audience in formats such as magazines, advertising, websites, animation, and more.

Through engaging classroom critique sessions, students will develop communication and presentation skills that will strengthen their reading and writing ability. Students will be ready for prospective employers and college recruiters by compiling their work into a professional digital student portfolio.

Students become Adobe Certified Associates (ACA) in Photoshop and Illustrator, which can be used toward college or career.

Design and Visual Communications

Course Content

  • Safety
  • Design Elements and Principles
  • Color Theory
  • Typography
  • Digital Photography
  • Creative Process and Problem Solving
  • Mobile Design
  • Advertising Design
  • Illustration
  • Website Design
  • Animation
  • Poster Design
  • Digital Filmmaking & Editing

Significant Points

  • Employment is expected to grow about as fast as the average, with many new jobs associated with interactive media.
  • A Bachelor's degree in graphic design is usually required.
  • Job seekers are expected to face keen competition; individuals with website design and animation experience will have the best opportunities.

Career Tree: Design & Visual Communications

First page of the PDF file: DesignVisualCommunicationsCareerTree2019

Industry Certifications

  • Adobe Certified Associate in PhotoShop
  • Adobe Certified Associate in Illustrator
  • Adobe Certified Associate in InDesign
  • OSHA 10-Hour General Industry
  • CareerSafe Cyber Safety Awareness Training

Possible Career Pathways

  • UX Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Art Director
  • Creative Director
  • Typographer
  • Multi-Media Designer
  • Sr. Level Graphic Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Web Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Photographer
  • Packaging Designer
  • Game Designer
  • Mobile Designer
  • Animator
  • Junior Graphic Designer
  • Creative Assistant
  • Production Coordinator
  • Pre-Press Specialist

Salary Info

Massachusetts Averages:

  • Animator: $34,817/year
  • Graphic Designer: $56,650/year
  • Web Designer: $56,973/year
  • Product Designer: $88,989/year
  • Industrial Designer: $132,362/year
  • User Experience Designer: $109,669/year

National Median Salaries:

  • Graphic Designer: $50,710/year
  • Industrial Designer: $77,030/year
  • Special Effects Artist and Animator: $78,790/year

(Updated 1/18/23)


College Partners

  • Bristol Community College
  • Central Maine Community College
  • Middlesex Community College
  • North Shore Community College

Advisory Committee Partners

  • LexMedia
  • VistaPrint
  • Signs by Tomorrow
  • Sign Logic
  • Cricket Media
  • The Graphic Group
  • AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Artists) Boston chapter
  • Professional Designers
  • Professional Photographers