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Visual Communications Careers

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What Is Visual Communications? How Is it Used?

Design is everywhere you look: logos, websites, business cards, advertisements, brochures, billboards, product packaging, posters, magazines, books, newspapers, greeting cards, playbills, matchbooks — the list is virtually endless.

Is “visual communications” just a fancy way of saying “graphic design”? Not really. The old-guard field of graphic design focused on translating the conceptual to the visual using a variety of 2-D media. Emphasis was on creating the form of the message using photos, illustrations and more.

Visual communications includes other types of communications beyond the print medium of the old graphic design industry. One example is the design of interactive computer presentations that integrate video, animation, sound, stored images and text.

By its problem-solving nature, visual communications is about combining the “why” of the message with the “how” of the medium for a specific purpose and audience. It provides the form of graphic design as well as the function of why this particular medium (printed material, website or other) best suits a particular message.

Career Areas

There are many jobs and job titles in this field, depending on your interest, skill set and continued education, including:

  • Advertising artist or copywriter
  • Animator
  • Artist
  • Desktop publisher
  • Digital photographer
  • Graphic designer
  • Illustrator
  • Layout artist
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Print specialist
  • Public relations specialist
  • Web designer
  • Web developer
  • Webmaster or Web administrator 
  • Salaries and Projected Job Growth

    According to America’s Career Infonet, related occupations offer these average salaries in Texas:

    Job Hourly Rate Annual Salary Projected Growth Through 2022
    Artists and related workers$21.51$44,700+21%
    Graphic designers$20.10$41,800+18%
    Multimedia artists and animators$25.07$52,100+18%
    Public relations specialists$25.34$52,700+21%
    Web developers $30.02$62,400+26%