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Visual Communication Design

Photo of Colleen Rose.



Colleen Rose was able to design merchandise for a professional sports team and to work in media and public relations while serving as an intern with Indy Eleven Professional Soccer. Read more here.

Majoring in Visual Communication Design

The Purdue University Visual Communication 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.

Alumni hold positions in several branches of design, including:

  • Graphic Design
  • Graphic Art
  • Web and Multimedia Design
  • Packaging Design
  • Marketing Communications
  • Art Direction
  • Branding Design
  • Design Education
  • Independent Graphic Design Consulting and Operations

Purdue graduates of Visual Communication Design often find themselves in various Junior and Senior roles, as well as, Director, Associate, Coordinator, Manager, and Specialist positions.

The design career horizons are ever-expanding and our curriculum prepares students to earn opportunities in several design facets.

Average Starting Salary: $47,931

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 Communication 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.

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


  • Vomela
  • Eden Media
  • Omnicom Media Group
  • SBC Advertising
  • Australian Gold
  • Adidas Group

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