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Visual communication design is the communication of information and ideas through visual representation. It touches our lives every day in forms such as corporate identity, packaging, web sites, books, magazines, movie titles, promotional materials, logos, posters, exhibitions and signage, to name a few. The visual communication design BA and BFA tracks at NKU are designed to develop each student as a creative, sophisticated visual communicator, an engaged design citizen, and a strong, critical thinker. Through a sequentially structured course of study and a wide variety of creative experiences, students develop their design voice as well as their career and personal goals based on their strengths and interests. Graduates are employed widely in the professional design community in a range of competitive and respected organizations and positions.




Located on the third floor of the Fine Arts Center, visual communication design has both computer labs and traditional studio spaces, we are wired for success in an Apple Macintosh environment. Students have access to high quality input and output devices, including digital projectors, flatbed and slide scanners, and color and black-and-white laser printers. The labs are outfitted with the latest versions of industry-standard software. There is also a letterpress facility to honor historical processes where students can work out ideas for artist bookmaking, design and printmaking.


Design Program Details

Checklists & Procedures

Admittance Review

The visual communication design tracks require admittance via a competitive portfolio review — after the foundations and introductory coursework sequence has been completed — during the middle of the sophomore year. A student must pass this review to be eligible to continue taking courses in the graphic design program. 


BFA • Visual Communication Design Track

The BFA is a professional degree, recognized as the entry-level degree by the visual communication industry and the National Association of Schools of Art & Design. The BFA degree gives graduates a competitive advantage in the marketplace because of its advanced, specialized coursework, in-depth portfolio development, the senior capstone project and exhibition, and a design internship requirement. Students apply for this degree during their junior year with another, more developed portfolio.


BA • Visual Communication Design Track

The BA is a general studies degree, teaching the student about design from a broad point of view. This degree requires either a minor or an area of concentration outside of the visual arts, expounding upon the general studies thrust of this degree.


Design Faculty

Maren Carpenter-Fearing
Maren Carpenter Fearing
Assistant Professor
Office: FA 304 | (859) 572-5848
Julie Mader-Meersman

Julie Mader-Meersman
Office: FA 302 | (859) 572-5670

Hans Schellhas
Hans Schellhas
Associate Professor
Office: FA 301 | (859) 572-7740
Michael Tittel
Michael Tittel
Office: FA 304 | (859) 572-6659


Career Paths

Careers in visual communication design are ripe with opportunities. The 21st century multi-media explosion along with the emergence of the web, smart phones and digital tablets has created opportunities for designers and artists like never before. Business and cultural organizations across the planet need compelling visual content for these modern technologies. Combined with new technologies such as motion graphics the creative class is helping to revolutionize our world. Here are possible paths your NKU Art & Design education will prepare you for...

App Design

Art Director

Art Lecturer/Visiting Scholar

Arts Management

Arts Organization Administrator

Brand and Identity Design

Creative Director

Design Director

Design Strategy

Digital Designer

Digital Imaging

Digital Product Designer

Environmental Design

Exhibition Designer

Experience Design

Fabric and Textile Designer

Font Designer

Graphic Designer


Information Design

Interaction Design

Interface Design

Motion Design

Multimedia Designer

Package Design


Professor of Art/Design

Publication Design

TV/Video/Film, Cinematography

User Interface Designer

Urban Graphics Designer

Visual Designer

Web and Digital Interface Designer