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BFA in Visual Communication Design

The Department of Engineering and Design and the Department of Art offer an intercollegiate Visual Communication Design program founded on four major concerns: developing the highest levels of individual creative performance and professional education; providing courses for all students which develop ability in both technical visual communications, as well as important core skills in the area of fine art; giving students a greater cultural and historical understanding and aesthetic appreciation of the function of design in the arts and in the world around them; and functioning as dual centers of emphasis and resource for the visual arts, visual communication and technology in the cultural activities of both the university community and the community at large.

Both departments are committed to working together to give students access to current technologies in the area of visual communication design, as well as experience in developing the necessary visual skills provided by studio art areas such as drawing, painting and sculpture.

The program ends with a three quarter senior year intensive studio experience for the preparation of portfolios for job placement or graduate school application. This includes midterm faculty review of student work, quarterly outside professional review and a final exhibition as the completion of the student portfolio of work.

Prior to declaring the BFA major, students must apply to the program by submitting a portfolio and academic transcripts. Application is recommended at the end of the sophomore year to help ensure that appropriate junior year courses are selected. Students need not be in the BFA to take DESN or ART classes, with the exception of the senior year three quarter class DESN/ART 470. This course requires previous acceptance into the BFA degree program.

Note: there is no foreign language requirement for BFA students.

BFA in VCD Advising Form

Academic Year 2017/18

BFA in VCD Graduation Application

Academic Year 2017/18

BFA in VCD Application Packet

The 2018-19 VCD BFA application is available and can be found at the link below.

For reference and preperation use only 2018-2019 VCD BFA Information and Application

What will I study?

Drawing, Typography, Basic Design, Color Design, and 3D Design

These introductory courses serve as your foundation for advanced study. Learn to depict the size and shape of objects, the basic design concepts for 2 and 3 dimensional works, and how to manipulate letterform for communicative purposes.

Visual Communication Design, Studio Art, and Printmaking

Begin the lifelong process of refining your creative and perceptual problem solving skills through this series of core classes. You will combine theoretical study with applied projects to develop a visual and verbal vocabulary for the creation of complex, yet cohesive visual systems.

Computer Graphics, Color Management, and Electronic Prepress Production

Enhance your computer graphics and technical skills as you learn to professionally produce and edit text, graphic and continuous tone photographic images using industry standard software applications.

Web Page and Digital Media Design

Plan, design, produce, and deliver logical, but visually effective web pages and digital media using current industry software.

History of Art, Design, and Technology

Discover the historical context of your work as you study the history of art, and the evolution of design and technology.

Senior Capstone and Exhibition

Put it all together in these two advanced classes. Through a series of weekly critiques, an intense design team based project, and an individual exhibition, you will supplement and refine your body of work in preparation for taking your place within the design community.

Course List

Required Courses (99 credits)
ART 107 Basic Design (5)
ART 207 Color Design (5)
ART 213 Art in the Humanities (5)
ART 300 Drawing (5)
ART 303 Digital Art I (5)
ART 307 3D Design (5)
ART 360 Printmaking (5)
ART 401 Life Drawing (5)
ART 431 History of Contemporary Art (5)
DESN 216 Digital Foundations (4)
DESN 243 Typography (4)
DESN 259 History of Design (4 )
DESN 263 Visual Communication Design 1 (4)
DESN 363 Visual Communication Design 2 (4)
DESN 368 User Experience Design 1 (4)
DESN 366 Production Design (4)
DESN 368 Web Design 1 (4)
DESN 463 Visual Communication Design 3 (4)
DESN/ART 471 Senior Exhibition (1,1,1)
DESN 490 Senior Capstone (5)
DESN 495 Internship (3-7)
TECH 393 Technology in World Civilization (4)

Electives (9 credits)
Design Elective (4)
Studio Art Elective (5)

Note: Including University requirements, the above program requires a minimum of 180 credits, or an average of 15 credits per quarter for a 12 quarter, four-year program. The 180 credits are based upon the following assumptions:
a. Students will have satisfied University Competencies (ENGL 101 and CPLA 100). If this is not true, then the student will have to complete up to six more credits of classes (See University Competencies in the catalog.)
b. Art in the Humanities (ART 213) fulfills EWU’s Fine Arts core requirement.
c. Technology and World Civilization (TECH 393) fulfills EWU’s International Studies requirement.
d. Senior Capstone (TECH 490) fulfills EWU’s Senior Capstone requirement.

Emphases / Concentrations:

  • have the ability to solve visual communication problems, including the skills of identification, research and information gathering, analysis and generation of alternative solutions;
  • have the ability to draw on thoughts and ideas in relation to an art historical timeline, apply contemporary concepts in design to their own work and articulate and discuss art within our own culture and the art of other cultures;
  • have basic skills to create a response to visual communication problems, including an understanding of the principles of visual organization/composition, information hierarchy, symbolic representation, typography, aesthetics and the construction of meaningful images;
  • have an understanding of multimedia tools and technology, including their roles in the creation, reproduction and distribution of visual messages;
  • be able to describe and respond to audiences and contexts that communication solutions must address, including recognition of the physical, cognitive and social human factors that shape design decisions. Students will have an understanding of basic business practices, including the ability to organize design projects and to work productively as members of a team;
  • create a cohesive body of work on a level appropriate to entry into both graduate schools and design professions and have the have the ability to defend their portfolio work both orally and in written statement.

Interesting courses I might take:

  • Digital Photography
  • Technology and World Civilization
  • History of Design

What could I do with my degree?

  • Art Director
  • Designer
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