Visual communications artists use graphic design, digital imaging, computer graphics, photography, sketches, software programs, and other tools to convey messages and defined ideas. While advertising and publication design are two of the biggest fields for visual communications artists, they are also growing in demand in the interior design industry, industrial design, and software design. So in addition to advertising agencies and publishing companies (books, magazines, newspapers), visual communications artists can find employment at technology firms, interior design firms, and industrial design companies.
If you’re interested in becoming a visual communication artist, you’ll need talent, experience, and a degree. Fortunately, visual communications programs are plentiful at most traditional colleges, art and design schools, technical schools, and community colleges. An associate degree or minor is visual communications may be enough for certain entry-level positions, but most employer’s prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
In the State of Wisconsin, a number of top schools offer excellent programs for aspiring artists and designers. Just a few of the best include Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), Lakeland College, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and Viterbo University. Continue reading to find out which schools are tops for aspiring visual communications artists, and what they have to offer.
Wisconsin Visual Communications Schools
According to the most recent report by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Wisconsin is home to 84 Title IV colleges and universities. This includes the top schools for visual communications artists. Scroll through the list below to review the state’s best options for aspiring visual communications artists.
Viterbo University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Visual Communications, Digital Media, Graphic Design, Studio Art; B. F. A. Studio Art with Concentration in Design & Technical Production, Drawing, Graphic Arts and New Media, Interdisciplinary Studies, Photography, Printmaking; B. S. Communication Studies with Visual Communication Focus; Minor Art
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee - Degrees Offered: B.A. Studio Art; B. F. A. Design & Visual Communications, Digital Studio Practice, Film, New Genres, Photography, Painting + Drawing, Print and Narrative Forms, Video; M.A. Studio Art; M.F.A. Film, New Genres, Studio Art, Video; Minor in Art
University of Wisconsin Whitewater - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art, Electronic Media, Graphic Design, Multimedia Digital Arts; B. F. A. Art, Design & Technology, Graphic Design; B.S. Media Arts & Game Development (MAGD) with Visual Design Emphasis; B.A. Media Arts & Game Development (MAGD) with Visual Design Emphasis; B.A or B.S. Media Arts & Game Development (MAGD) Communication/Gaming; B.A. or B.S. Media Arts & Game Development (MAGD) Technology Emphasis; Minor in Art, Art Studio, Arts Management, Media Arts & Game Development (MAGD) with Visual Design, Communication/Gaming Emphasis, Multimedia Design, Multimedia
More Visual Communications Art related programs to consider:
- San Francisco & Online
- Winter Park, FL & Online
Employment and Salary Trends for Wisconsin Visual Communications Artists
According to the latest report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (March 27, 2012), the state of Wisconsin is home to 32,900 artists and designers. This includes visual communications professionals, multimedia artists, graphic designers, art directors, and more. The population of the “artists and designers” group as a whole has increased since 2002, when the state was home to 31,040 artists and designers. Salaries have increased (greatly) as well. The average salary for Wisconsin artists and designers is $42,470 up from $34,470 in 2002.
Because visual communications artists work in a variety of fields, employment and salary information varies. The following information should give you a good idea of what to expect in several common fields for visual communications artists.
Art Directors: Wisconsin is home to 520 art directors up from 340 in 2002. They average $68,850 per year, up from $56,540 in 2002.
Graphic Designers: In 2002, Wisconsin was home to 3,450 graphic designers with an average salary of $37,290. Today, the state is home to 4,320 salaried graphic designers with an average salary of $42,320.
Interior Designers: Wisconsin is home to 810 salaried interior designers. They average $45,050 per year. In 2002, the state was home to 1,110 salaried interior designers. They averaged $34,390 per year.
Media and Communications: Wisconsin is home to 140 media and communications professionals. They average $45,760 per year.
Multimedia Artists & Animators: Wisconsin is home to 430 salaried multimedia artists and animators, down slightly from 480 in 2002. They average $47,990 per year, up from $42,460 in 2002.
The Badger State is home to a large number of advertising agencies and other creative firms, technology companies, publishers, and design firms. While employment opportunities may be found in many cities and towns across the state, some of the most lucrative positions can be found in Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay. Also worth looking into are Kenosha, Racine, Appleton, Waukesha, Oshkosh, Eau Claire, Janesville, and West Allis.