Visual communications program sees new concentrations

The College of Liberal and Creative Arts has added three new concentrations to their visual communication program: graphic design, illustration and studio art. Dr. Martyna Matusiak, associate professor of art at West Liberty shared some more information about each concentration and her own thoughts.

Matusiak says these concentrations are not new, separate majors. Visual communication design was the initial major; however, with these new concentrations, the name will change to just visual communication. “We have visual communication without the word design to encompass everything we have to offer,” explained Matusiak. Students can major in visual communication, and then choose graphic design, illustration or studio art as their specialty.

All of the concentrations have a studio core, and all students will be required to meet the studio core requirements regardless of the concentration they choose to pursue. After students complete the studio core, “they will have sophomore portfolio review and they will finish with their senior capstone project,” said Matusiak.

According to a flyer provided by Matusiak, the graphic design track focuses on “the art of communication through images and typography in a wide range of print or digital applications and settings.” This concentration aims to prepare students in the current convergence between business and creativity. Graphic design teaches students how to plan and create visual content to communicate ideas and messages. “It is professionally specialized to connect users or consumers or brands, ideas and information through creative visual thinking and storytelling,” as described in the flyer.

The studio art concentration provides students with the opportunity to pursue studio art professionally or a studio art related degree. Students who choose this concentration can choose between 2D or 3D.

The illustration concentration integrates studio art with digital technologies to freelance business practices needed for a career in the commercial art field. “Illustration students will develop skills to create original, effective and audience-appropriate illustrations using various techniques required to develop their own visual style,” according to the flyer. Additionally, the illustration concentration will prepare illustrators with the Entrepreneurship Certificate, which will help prepare them for self-employment or the workplace.

Matusiak says she is “really excited to have so many options,” and looks forward to the possibilities presented with these additional concentrations. “We are excited as a college to create a more natural way for a student to progress. We are able to see strength and weaknesses and guide them as a group,” shared Matusiak.

For more information about the new concentrations being added to the visual communication program, please contact Dr. Martyna Matusiak at [email protected]