Design & Visual Communications

Pathway Overview: The Design & Visual Communications Pathway provides hands on training for students in all facets of the Multimedia Industry including: graphic design, desktop publishing, web design, digital photography, animation & motion graphics, and video production.

Throughout the experience students will create and maintain an in-depth online portfolio that showcases their training to prospective colleges and employers. Also, students following this pathway are automatically enrolled in and compete annually in the SkillsUSA State Competitions.

The environment of the shop is primarily a computer lab setting where students work with state of the art Apple IMAC computers that utilize the latest industry-standard graphics software - Adobe Creative Cloud. Through lectures, software demonstrations and hands-on exercises and projects, students will acquire the skills and knowledge to use the computer and the digital camera, as creative tools to form the foundation of a solid portfolio that could be used to enter the workforce, a certificate/college degree program.

Instructors:Rene Gagnon - Senior Instructor
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Maria Lauer - Freshman, Sophomore & Junior Instructor
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Career Options:Use the Career Tree Graphic below to see all of the exciting career pathways students have access to when they complete the Design & Visual Communications Program.

Skills & Skill Areas:Safety Practices
Preproduction Practices
Principles & Elements of Graphic Design
Advertising Layout & Design Illustration
Digital Photography
Photo Editing
Shoot & Edit Video
Website Design
Drawing & Painting

Pathway Sequence:

Visual Design Discovery
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of design. Students will be exposed to industry standard image editing software and basic design principals and theory in a state of the art computer lab setting.
Visual Design 2 - Sophomore Year - 1 Period Per Day
The focus of the VD pathway is to prepare students for an entry level career or post secondary education in a variety of design oriented programs. Students enrolled in VD 2 will explore the formal elements of design including composition, color, texture, and shape in the form of applied visual problem-solving exercises in which typography and meaningful concept are added in order to shape the work into effective graphic design communication. Students will explore many industry standard software applications during the course and develop a portfolio website.
Visual Design 3 - Junior Year - 2 Periods Per Day
Students enter VD 3 with a solid foundation in the formal principles and elements of design that they now apply to Digital Photography and Video Production. During the first semester students learn how to correctly operate a professional digital camera in both outdoor and indoor studio scenarios. Students use professional lighting, composition techiniques and computer editting to create a well rounded photography portfolio. During the second semester students take the knowledge they acquired in photography and apply it to Video Production projects. Students learn editing, motion graphic animation, audio creation, and camera movement techniques to create stunning video projects.

Visual Design 4 - Senior Year - 3 Periods Per Day
VD 4 continues with building on past knowledge acquired during the students journey in Visual Design with the emphasis on building the students drawing portfolio for entry into a college degree program. Many illustration and drawing techniques are exposed to the students in a wide variety of drawing media; pencil, charcoal, and ink. All students will also have time to form independent projects that focus on the students main area of focus.

Industry Links:For more information on the career outlook for the Visual/Graphic Design industry visit:

Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook

In accordance with the Carl D. Perkins Career & Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006, BMC Durfee High School and Bristol Community College have agreed to offer students at the high school the opportunity to earn and transfer 4 college credits to Bristol Community College upon graduation and enrollment at BCC.

Articulated Bristol Community College Courses:
Computer Design & Visual - ART260 - 3 Credits
Review/acceptance of digital portfolio that includes Adobe Illustrator
Photoshop Digital Photography - ART151 - 1 Credit
Review/acceptance of digital portfolio that includes Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop

*Student must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher to receive the articulated college credit.

BCC Eligible Degree and/or Certificate Programs:
Animation & Motion Graphics Degree Program
Art/Fine Arts Degree Program
Graphic Design Degree Program
Web Design & Media Arts Degree Program
Graphic Design Certificate
Web Design Certificate

Skills USA Prep Tests:

Art/Visual Design students competing in the annual SkillsUSA competitions can use these links to prepare for the district competitions. Visual Design students are eligible to compete in the following competitions:
Advertising Design

Advertising Design Prep Test 1

Advertising Design Prep Test 2

Advertising Design Prep Test 3

Advertising Design Prep Test 4