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Visual Communication Design Major

School of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences

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The visual communication design major will help you to develop the creative vision and technical skills for dynamic career paths in graphic design, marketing or UX/UI design, and more. 

Visual Communication Design Major

Offered as both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts degree, visual communication design students share foundation classes that focus on visual art and design. In additional design courses, you will learn how to create compelling visuals, address target audiences, and develop print and digital media through a technical and creative approach to graphic design, web development and photography.

The BFA includes more intensive, advanced visual communication design courses. Students gain admission to the BFA after a portfolio and GPA review after their first year.

BW's proximity to Cleveland offers opportunities for students to network, a wide range of internships and job shadowing connections at corporations, government and nonprofit agencies, marketing and media organizations, and more.

Visual Communication Design Career Opportunities

  • Web Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Marketing
  • UX/UI Design
  • Packaging Design
  • Creative/Art Direction

Program Contact

Erica Lull
Coordinator, Visual Communication Design
(440) 826-2154


Offered as a BFA, BA, and a minor, visual communication design courses prepare you for a variety of employment opportunities in communication.

Visual Communication Design Courses

Integrative coursework helps you to build competencies in critical thinking, creative and technical design, and effective use of digital media and print production techniques.

Visual communication design courses include digital foundations, typography, packaging, motion graphics, print production, website design, branding, and symbology will prepare you to solve client communication needs.

The BFA in visual communication design major prepares students to:

  • Develop a deep understanding and demonstration of design fundamentals, communication principles, and problem-solving strategies.
  • Use the creative process to develop visual and/or conceptual solutions.
  • Work within client briefs or project specifications to design and develop production-ready deliverables.
  • Effectively communicate visually with a range of audiences
  • Cultivate critique skills and the language of critique as it applies to personal or colleagues’ work.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of professional, ethical, legal, and social issues and responsibilities.
  • Apply creative thinking to utilize the appropriate techniques, skills, and tools to create and execute a compelling solution to a design challenge.
  • Understand the value of and produce a high-quality portfolio, resume, and branding materials to interview and continually market themselves as a professional designer.
Course Catalog

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are at the core of BW's visual communication design program.

Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. You can enhance your studies through internships, co-curricular activities and other learning opportunities.

Visual Communication Design Senior Exhibition

The senior exhibition showcases BW visual communication design senior students' (BA and BFA) professional print and digital portfolios. The works visually and creatively communicate each student's brand, emphasizing individual strengths and areas of specialization.

View the virtual exhibition at Fawick Gallery.

Visual Communication Design Student in Art Gallery


You will be required to complete an internship that will allow you to apply classroom concepts in real life. Most students have multiple internships before graduation. The visual communication design program offers diverse, hands-on learning and portfolio-building opportunities to showcase your work. Capstone portfolio coursework will prepare you for your career, equipped with an impressive portfolio book, website, identity and collateral materials.


Independent study offers students enrichment opportunities beyond the classroom for individualized and advanced study. Students work one-on-one with a faculty member.


The Fawick Gallery holds six exhibitions each year that feature work from students and Ohio artists.


Personally and professionally rewarding, student organizations and activities foster career skills, leadership and teamwork.

The Hive Design Group

Hive Design Group is BW’s faculty-led, student-staffed graphic design agency. Students have the opportunity to work on a variety of client projects, which allows them to gain real-world experience and build their portfolio.

Visual Arts Club

The club provides opportunities for students to learn about visual arts and art history to help prepare them for careers in the visual arts or for further study. Members participate in on-campus activities and field trips to regional art institutions.

Digital Marketing Center

A hybrid between a class and an internship, BW's Digital Marketing Center is a student-run, experience-driven agency offering digital marketing expertise to local businesses. In addition to gaining portfolio-building, real-world experience and networking opportunities, students can earn certifications from digital marketing applications like HubSpot and Hootsuite.


The opportunity to experience another culture and gain an international perspective is invaluable to your professional development as well as expands your experience for future career options. Benefits include:

  • Understanding art and design issues from an international perspective.
  • Expanding cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills.
  • Preparing for an increasingly diverse and international workplace.
  • Broadening academic horizons.
  • Improving language skills (although most classes are taught in English).
  • Experiencing a different culture.
  • Building an international network of contacts.


Matthew MoralesMatthew Morales ’23, Graphic Designer, Vedda Printing. "Graphic design courses helped me to learn the importance of seeing flaws in my own work. I’m grateful for coding and website building courses, as I use those skills in my role. For my internship with Hive Design Group, I updated their portfolio, made interactive forms and created ideas for stickers for BW’s art programs."

Taylor BednarskiTaylor Bednarski ’22, Marketing Director, Liberty Home Mortgage. "BW played a pivotal role in refining my skills and offering access to opportunities. I am grateful for the supportive community and transformative experiences that have contributed to my personal and professional growth, including professors, immersive design courses, and leadership opportunities."


Erica L. E. Lull

Coordinator, Visual Communication Design
M.F.A., Kent State University

Erica L. E. Lull

M.F.A., Studio Art, Rhode Island School of Design

Paul Jacklitch

Benjamin Lambert

Assistant Professor
M.F.A., Ceramics and Sculpture, Edinboro University

Benjamin Lambert

Darlene Michitsch

Chair, Department of Art and Art History
M.A., Art History, New York University Institute of Fine Arts

Darlene Michitsch


Erica L. E. Lull
Coordinator, Visual Communication Design
Associate Professor
M.F.A., Kent State University

Paul Jacklitch
M.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design

Benjamin Lambert
Assistant Professor
M.F.A., Edinboro University

Darlene Michitsch
Chair, Department of Art and Art History
Associate Professor
M.A., New York University Institute of Fine Arts

Sara Wichtendahl
Assistant Professor
M.F.A., Iowa State University

Steven P. Ziebarth
M.F.A., University of Cincinnati