Open doors to creative careers across a spectrum of industries- AOD’s futureproof Graphics and Visual Communication Programme
The process of creating and sharing information using visual elements and media, a degree in graphics & visual communications, in essence, helps one learn about the graphical forms of messaging and communication – reflecting the dynamic changes of the world around us. As one of the most valuable 21st century skills, a qualification in graphics & visual communications opens up a range of career options across a broad spectrum of industries – from graphic design and advertising to web design and multimedia. Advertising art directors, animators, concept artists, illustrators, interior and spatial designers, and game artists are all visual designers; seemingly different, yes, but all essential to the functioning of our increasingly digital world.
While many opt to pursue their creative ambitions abroad, it also serves to remember that career success can most definitely be achieved from within – and in turn contribute immensely to the country’s economic, social, and intellectual upliftment. Additionally, in our globalised economy, graphics & visual communications is valuable currency with which to impact international audiences from afar.
Several of the Academy of Design’s own graduates can testify to the relevance, impact, and job prospects that come from having invested in a solid education in visual communications.
“Advertising is a powerful tool, and when mixed with design, can help agencies visualise concepts better and put the experience of the consumer first, while pushing to help bring visual communication that helps businesses grow,” says Jonathan Joseph, 2018 AOD BA (Hons) Visual Communications Design graduate and now Founder & Creative Director of design studio Brandberg. “Campaigns that are created with good design at the forefront allow the message you want to share to be driven with emotional value that appeals to your audience – because you understand the visual language to use and the appropriate medium to deliver it in.”
Corporate assignments aside, professional visual communicators will also often find themselves working on projects with social, economic and environmental significance, where both skillset and interdisciplinary critical thinking prowess are put in use to inspire positive engagement and even drive social change.
“The designer I am today is the result of what I’ve experienced throughout my life; may it be as a student of design, rushing across the streets of Pettah to complete assignments; as a designer working for diverse brands; as a friend and as a son of an artist who taught by example – the best inspiration in life is the people I come across and how well I listen to their stories,” mused Malika Jinadasa, 2017 graduate and now Art Director at TBWA in Sri Lanka. “This, I believe is key to creativity, as my designs are a reflection of society, its cues and structure, hoping to make a difference in the way we see the world.”
The Academy of Design’s BA (Hons) Visual Communication Design programme introduces students to the role of a professional designer as a visual thinker, versatile problem solver, innovator, and positively disruptive change maker. Students at the pioneering design institution will be guided on the development of concepts, research, experimentation, analysis, and critical awareness, while also being encouraged to hone their own unique design personalities. The programme provides a fully rounded experience in graphic design while also allowing for specialisation in the areas of branding, publishing, or image-making – producing creative practitioners that are not just well-equipped with both interdisciplinary and specialist knowledge, but also confident in contemporary practice, and passionate about changing the world for good.
“Completing the visual communications degree at AOD has helped me in many ways in the advertising industry,” Lashen Peiris, 2016 graduate and currently Creative Lead at Home of Performance an advertising agency based in Dubai. “I learnt how to ideate – both independently and with a team, effective brainstorming, mind mapping, design fundamentals and even how to create a brand from scratch. These things helped me bring something valuable to the table from day one, and I now know what to do next when it comes to pitches and even day-to-day work in the industry.”
The 3-year Graphics & Visual Communications programme is one of the academy’s most sought after, for the breadth of career opportunities and job security the course –and university connections- provides post-graduation. As with all BA courses offered at AOD, this programme too is affiliated with the globally-ranked Northumbria University, UK; giving students the opportunity to pursue a world-class design education –as well as graduate with an internationally-accredited degree- from right here in Sri Lanka.
Led by an experienced and passionate international faculty, students across all disciplines at AOD get to benefit also from an address at the iconic Colombo Innovation Tower (CIT) –with its A-grade infrastructure and facilities- and the inspiring community of design practitioners and businesses it also serves. The university’s broad portfolio of industry affiliations and partnerships means that students are additionally afforded several opportunities to showcase internationally as well as work alongside respected industry professionals.
“My design journey began at AOD,” said Tehani Walpola, 2017 graduate and now Design Lead at boutique advertising agency Magic Mango. “This three-year journey in visual communications provided both, local and global exposure that helped me open up to new possibilities and learning experiences, along with amazing lecturers that pushed me to step outside my comfort zone; bringing out my true potential.”
“AOD has been the foundation of my design journey and has paved the way for achievements such as the opportunity and great honour of being chosen to represent Sri Lankan talent at Spikes Creative Academy 2019 in Singapore,” she added. “The education and experiences at AOD definitely helped advance my skillset and industrial knowledge, therefore elevating my career in design.”