Delgado A-Z: Visual Communications Program

By: Nancy Sharon Collins
The visual communications program (VISC) in the Arts and Humanities Division at Delgado Community College’s City Park Campus is on the move!

This small and intimate department of four full-time graphic arts instructors and practitioners is aggressively repurposing itself with the goal of being in the forefront of the digital age.

The VISC program at Delgado provides an active learning environment where students with diverse backgrounds and goals develop the industry-specific skills needed to become successful practicing designers or progress to programs offering advanced degrees.

The program offers professional skill development that reflects current trends in graphic design and fulfills the professional expectations of the industry, local employers, the College, and the community.

Metal printer's type used to be stored in wooden cases

This obsolete photostat camera fills an entire room
Whereas skills once known as "lettering" and "paste-up artist,” "commercial artist,” and making "camera-ready art" or operating a "photostat camera" (they are huge and take up an entire room but are definitely not digital!) were once necessary to this vital field, software such as the Adobe Creative Suite, Macintosh computers, digital scanners and cameras are the tools of the trade today. And the visual communications program at Delgado is one place to learn how to use these tools.

A selection of traditional graphic design tools
Computer-based graphic design is now standard practice
"We're an evolving program. It started off as a commercial art program teaching illustrators how to illustrate. It then evolved into a split program, commercial art and graphic design, before evolving into a straight up graphic design program with some illustration," explains Tedd Walley, VISC department coordinator.

Print colors may still be selected using printed samples
A sample of Sabon typeface

So, what about that big, old photostat camera mentioned earlier? Well, that big, old dinosaur is still in the photography lab, but its days are surely numbered. Stay tuned to this blog and we'll let you know its progress.

VISC is a highly collaborative field that shares its achievements

Related items of interest by and about Nancy Sharon Collins:

Delgado Newscenter story about the VISC typography class

Posts about New Orleans and graphic arts at Neenah Papers’ “Against the Grain” blog



A story about Collins’ work as a stationery designer

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