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If you have a creative flair, a passion for design, and an eye for engaging and impactful visuals, consider a career in visual communication. Visual communication is a fast-emerging career option with immense growth potential across all channels, including print, broadcast, and the web.
Humankind has expressed itself through images since the beginning of civilisation. Studies show that visuals can communicate complex ideas more effectively than words.
Present-day visual communicators connect with their audience through the power of images in a variety of visual formats, such as drawings, photographs, illustrations, graphics, animations, and GIFs.
Visual communication is defined as the use of images and symbols to communicate ideas. It explores the concept that visuals accompanying text have greater power to communicate, inform, or educate the audience than words. Visual communication relies mostly on two-dimensional images and uses popular visual aids as the medium of expression.
Visual communication includes signs, drawings, illustrations, commercial art, graphic design, animation, industrial design, and digital resources such as memes and GIFs.
Doesn’t the image of a burger oozing cheese tempt more buyers than a wordy description of the product? This is because images are evocative and speak directly to the heart.
Humans are predominantly visual creatures. Research shows that the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Images trigger emotions and provide a more immersive experience than the spoken or written word. They are stored more easily in long-term memory, thus making recollection and retention easier.
That is why businesses bank on commercials to advertise their products and drive conversions. Visual communication is extremely important in any business because images impact consumers at an emotional level and help them retain the information longer. Visuals convey messages with more speed and clarity than pages of text.
Organisations need different types of visual communication, depending on the content to be communicated. Visuals help businesses stand out, personalise their brand, and engage with employees and customers. Some common visual communication types are –
BSc in Visual Communication is a 3-year undergraduate degree course. It offers training in essential visual communication skills that will enable the student to make a career in creative fields such as photography, web designing, and advertising.
The subjects and syllabus that you study in a visual communication course differ according to the college and specialisation that you choose. However, some core subjects that reputed colleges offer are –
Elective subjects include, but are not limited to –
You are eligible for BSc in Visual Communication after passing your 12th grade or HSC examination (!0+2) from any stream. Most colleges ask for a minimum of 50% as a passing percentage.
Some colleges consider the 12th-grade scores for admission, whereas others require students to pass an entrance exam and interview before the admission process.
Although it is a relatively new career path in India, there is plenty of scope in the visual communication field, and it is slated to grow in the coming years. Cutting-edge innovations in technology and new avenues of creative expression have created a paradigm shift in the art market. New jobs are created almost daily.
Visual communication is a vast domain that covers multiple specialisation areas, from typography to digital photography to game art. Myriad job profiles require visual artists, such as films and television, advertising, web design, mobile design, and social media platforms.
You can easily find your niche with the right mix of creativity, tech-savviness, and hard work.
There is a wide range of jobs in visual communication across various industries, such as advertising, education, and entertainment, both in India and abroad. Visual artists can work as multimedia artists, graphic designers, art directors, and design educators. Below are some popular job options after BSc in Visual Communication –
According to the Department of Labour statistics, graphic design is one of the fastest-growing fields in the country. It is an extremely versatile sector with numerous job openings across print, broadcast, and digital media.
Graphic designers use software to create the visual components of advertisements, marketing campaigns, company brochures, websites, UI and UX interfaces, and more. They select the layout, typography, colours, and styles for print and digital products.
Web designers work in tandem with web developers to create visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces. They have good technical skills and a fair knowledge of programming languages, along with creative abilities.
App designers design applications for mobile phones, tablets, and computers. Depending on their niche, an app designer may create online games, food apps, health apps, weather apps, maps and navigation programmes, and a lot more.
Photojournalists capture powerful and expressive images of people, places, and events to document facts or to tell a story. They commonly use photo editing software to enhance their content.
Video editors work in the film, television, and advertising industries. They edit, rearrange, and enhance video clips or footage for an artistic effect or storytelling.
Art directors oversee the artistic aspects of design projects such as films, publications, and commercials. They typically head a team of designers, communicate with clients about the design requirements, brainstorm ideas, and determine the design specifications.
Visual communication in advertising includes illustration, creating brand logos and product icons, packaging design, advertising campaign visuals, brochure design, and more.
Design educators teach the theory and application of design in design learning institutions. Educators have a master’s degree in design and practical experience in fieldwork.
Communications managers design and oversee programmes to promote a business and its products and services. They use their visual communication skills to create appealing marketing materials, interactive web content, or social media posts.
Visual communication course fees vary according to the institution and can range from INR 30,000 to over INR 5,00,000 per annum.
The course curriculum for visual communication also varies with the college of choice. However, most colleges offer some core subjects and a few electives.
The core subjects are usually topics related to communication, photography, art, aesthetics, and various design methods. The electives include focused and job-specific subjects such as film art, photojournalism, virtual reality, and event management.
The salary of a BSc in visual communication in India ranges from INR 2.4 lakhs to INR 16.1 lakhs, with a national average of INR 6.1 lakhs per annum. Your salary will depend on the number of years of experience, your area of expertise, your skillset, and the employer.
To ensure a successful career in visual communication, you should be able to think creatively and work on your technical skills. You should also build a sound understanding of your target audience and their needs, along with a knowledge of contemporary design trends.
Apart from creativity, technical expertise, and hard work, here are a few tips that will help you excel in your visual communications career -
Here are a few things to consider while choosing a college for Visual Communication –
Although most reputed colleges offer similar core subjects, the electives are more focused and job-oriented and may vary with the institution. Make sure that the college offers the subjects of your choice.
It is a good idea to check the college website for the staff credentials before you decide to take admission. Visual communication is application-based, so it will help if the educators have some industry knowledge and technical expertise.
Visual communication course fees vary widely across various institutions, so be sure to choose a college that does not unduly strain your pocket. Find out what is included in the net fee amount. Also, consider additional expenses such as transport, accommodation, your course toolkit, and miscellaneous expenses.
The college needs good infrastructure with well-equipped studios, WiFi connection, software, hardware, and other provisions. It is best to visit the campus, talk to existing students, and check out the infrastructure before making a decision.
The college’s affiliation is an extremely important factor to consider before applying for admission. Is the college affiliated with a deemed university? Should you wish to study further, will you be able to pursue your post-graduation in Visual Communication based on this degree?
Visual communication is a dynamic field and calls for practical application of design. Most reputed colleges offer a few months' internships to provide students with hands-on job experience. Look for a college with a sound internship programme and connection with reputed employers.
Find a college that sets up placement interviews with reputed companies at the end of the course. While you can land a job through other channels, having a head start at the outset can work wonders for your career in visual communication.