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Pictures and words. The essential elements of the visual communication arts. Think about this! Practically everything we use and see has been touched by the hand of a graphic designer, a web designer, or a photographer. Next time you’re at a restaurant, check out the menu a little closer. When you read the paper tomorrow, give it a second look. Look at the way the pictures and words are presented on the page. Or the next time you take a drink from that cola can or bottle. Where do you suppose that symbol or logo came from? Your favorite music CD’s, your movie/video covers, your favorite TV shows, movies, the Internet, your favorite T-shirt, even the license plate on your car…all emblazoned with graphic images from the hand of a designer, a photographer, or a web designer. The fact is, graphic images are used to enhance everything from brochures, posters, publications and packages to websites, films and television.

In the next century, designers, photographers, and web designers will be in even greater demand. Prospective employment opportunities include advertising agencies, photography studios, design studios, news media, public relations firms, marketing firms, corporations, interactive studios, television, films, department stores, and the Internet. More and more avenues of communication are opening with ever increasing frequency. This means higher demand for graphic images that will help sell products, communicate needs, and provide information.

To create these images, you’ll need the ability to visualize or form a picture of your ideas and prepare them for printed or electronic reproduction. In order to visualize them, you’ll need certain skills. Drawing, problem-solving and idea development, along with technical expertise in composition, layout, typography, digital imagery, and computer graphics will be essential skills for a career in the visual communication arts.

The Communication Arts Technology Program at Jefferson Community & Technical College offers an Associate in Applied Science degree with three distinct tracks: Advertising Design, Commercial Photography, and Webpage Design, as well as certificates in Digital Media and Digital Video. Students are guided by real world professionals working in the design, photography, and web design fields. Classes have been structured to simulate the realities of typical business situations.

Students are taught basic skills in the first two semesters, giving the student a strong foundation. These skills are enhanced in advanced courses in the next two semesters preparing the student for professional entry level opportunities in their chosen career field. Finally, students present a final professional portfolio of their most outstanding work to be judged by professionals in their chosen major field of study.