Visual Communications Careers

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

CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, projects for the Dallas metropolitan area:

Job Title Median Hourly 
Median Annual 
Projected Job Growth in Texas Through 2024
Graphic designer$25.28
Multimedia artist and animator$31.64
Web developers$36.53