Visual Communications Design

The Purdue University Visual Communications Design (VCD) program develops students as problem seekers and solvers with the capability to plan communication strategies and form effective visual products. The curriculum is structured to prepare students for a profession that is evolving rapidly and influenced by computer technology advances. Students are prepared to master the technical and conceptual skills involved in typography, image generation, visual structure, color design, and composition. The program provides students with a broad background and thorough understanding of both medium and message, so that they can combine words, ideas, and images in original ways to convey information and promote idea to targeted audiences.

What's Next


Upon completion of the program, Visual Communications Design majors may choose to enter a field directly or indirectly-related to their major. Student experiences have included:

  • Design Production Artist
  • Web Solutions Developer and Designer/Web Graphic Designer
  • Graphics Designer
  • Visual Communications Specialist
  • Visual Designer
  • Graphic Artist


All Purdue University College of Liberal Arts majors prepare students with the skills identified as contributing to professional success: communicating and listening well, an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view, creative thinking and problem solving, a collaborative mindset, the ability to synthesize complex ideas and communicate them clearly, and a Boilermaker work ethic.

Within the field of Visual Communications Design, students develop skills that are applicable to many different careers. These skills may include, but are not limited to:

  • Training with many different branches of design, including Graphic Design, Graphic Art, Web & Multimedia Design, Packaging Design, Branding Design, Design Education, and Marketing Communications.
  • Creating work that conveys a visual message and communicates to a given audience.
  • Interacting with clients to discuss and determine layout design.
  • Producing designs, concepts, and sample layouts, based on knowledge of layout principles and aesthetic design concepts.
  • Using computer software to generate images and artwork, such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop or Autodesk AutoCAD.
  • Developing graphics and layouts for product illustrations, company logos, and Web sites.

What's Next

Visual Communications Design majors may choose to enter into the workforce using the skills they have acquired at Purdue. Past graduates have gone on to:

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