graphic design snowbird main art

Visual Communication Design

“. . . Rend Lake College's program is truly an advanced study in design. The basis of graphic design that I received at RLC was beyond what most 4 year programs offer. My background at RLC has given me the upper-edge. . .” - Sara Barnett (2013 GRD RLC Graduate & Stephens College transfer student)

If you are looking for a thriving career that grows with you and challenges your creativity, let Rend Lake College get you started by enrolling in our Visual Communication Design program! We have degree and certificate options.

Designers decide the most effective way of getting a message across in print, electronic, and film media using a variety of methods, such as color, type, illustration, photography, animation and various print and layout techniques.They help to motivate, inspire, inform, and communicate ideas, concepts and brands by visually problem solving for a particular audience. Designers use a variety of visual solutions and computer software, such as Adobe applications, to develop and create their design solutions. Designers are instrumental in the creation of:

  • Layout & design of magazines and other publications
  • Promotional displays
  • Product packaging
  • Advertising and marketing materials
  • Logos and signage
  • Web sites, video, mobile applications and other multimedia

Degrees & Certificates in Visual Communication Design



Associate in Applied Science Degree

Visual Communication Design includes planning, analyzing and creating visual solutions to communication problems. Graphic designers use print, electronic and film media while using a variety of methods such as color, type, illustration, photography, animation and various print and layout techniques. Graphic designers develop the overall layout and production design of magazines, newspapers, journals, corporate reports and other publications.They also produce promotional displays, packaging, marketing brochures for products and services, and logos for products and business, and develop signs/ signage for systems for design, interactive media, multimedia projects and may also create the opening and closing credits of movies and television programs. Surveys of area businesses indicate a demand for graduates of this two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree program.

► Total = 67 Hours

Fall Semester (18 Cr. Hrs.)

Spring Semester (19 Cr. Hrs.)

Third Semester (18 Cr. Hrs.)

Fourth Semester (14 Cr. Hrs.)


1 Prerequisite course(s) may be required based on test scores.

GRAPHIC DESIGN — Certificate

Occupational Certificate

Gainful Employment Information

► Total = 33 Hours

First Semester (9 Cr. Hrs.)

  • GRD 1201 Introduction to Graphic Design (3)
  • GRD 1202 Typography and Color Theory (3)
  • GRD 2201 Adobe Essentials I (Quark/Illustrator/Photoshop) (3)

Second Semester (9 Cr. Hrs.)

Third Semester (6 Cr. Hrs.)

Fourth Semester (9 Cr. Hrs.)


Occupational Certificate

This certificate will prepare individuals with the necessary skills for entry-level positions in the area of Web Design. The curriculum emphasizes a general knowledge of design elements and principles, typography, color theory, beginning and intermediate Adobe software training, web design applications and mobile platforms in a hands-on learning experience in the laboratory classroom.

Gainful Employment Information

► Total = 18 Hours

First Semester (Fall) (9 Cr. Hrs.)

Second Semester (Spring) (6 Cr. Hrs.)

Third Semester (Summer) (3 Cr. Hrs.)


Occupational Certificate

The Graphic Technician certificate program prepares students for employment requiring design responsibilities in a variety of organizational settings. The curriculum partners the necessary knowledge of design techniques with skills needed to be successful in business settings through enhanced communication skills and a working knowledge of office systems software.

Gainful Employment

►Total = 39 Hours

First Semester (9 Cr. Hrs.)

Second Semester (9 Cr. Hrs.)

Third Semester (12 Cr. Hrs.)

Fourth Semester (9 Cr. Hrs.)

MOTION DESIGN — Certificate

Occupational Certificate

The Motion Design Certificate provides a fundamental knowledge of digital imaging, video, and motion graphics. Students begin with 2D and 3D fundamentals, imaging, and design. Students then study the aesthetic and design aspects of digital media with focused courses in graphic design and advanced imaging. Students explore how to animate in digital video, After Effects, and Adobe Premiere Pro. Motion Design professionals may pursue careers that include video production and post-production, visual effects, advertising, web applications, graphics software, architectural design, 3D modeling and simulation, and scientific research or visualization.

Gainful Employment Information

► Total = 30 Hours

First Semester (12 Cr. Hrs.)

Second Semester (12 Cr. Hrs.)

Third Semester (6 Cr. Hrs.)


wynn iamawarrior 1 column


Program Outcomes

Graphic Design

  • Demonstrate the basic understanding of elements and principles of design. •
  • Analyze a design problem through the design process.
  • Construct oral, visual, and/or written critiques upon analysis of a design.
  • Demonstrate concepts of a final product of visuals and typography utilizing oral presentation of work and a written design brief.
  • Communicate effectively as individuals and collaboratively about design concepts.
  • Prepare, design, and implement media for use by service bureau.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in graphic software applications for the completion of a design.


Articulation agreements document a pathway between Rend Lake College and the following schools for the academic program(s) listed. Rend Lake College has entered into articulation agreements with these four-year institutions in order to enable students to transfer smoothly to those institutions provided the agreed-upon coursework is completed. See an Academic Advisor for more information.


Faculty & Staff

Dean of Applied Science & Technology
Phone Extension: 1292
Building: Advanced Technology Division
Office: 138
M.S. & B.S., Southern Illinois University
Graphic Design Professor
Phone Extension: 1716
Building: North Oasis
Office: 110
 M.S.Ed. & B.A., Southern Illinois Univ. Carbondale | A.A., John A. Logan College 
Computer Networking Professor
Phone Extension: 1798
Building: Advanced Technology Center
Office: 183
B.S., Southern Illinois University Carbondale | A.S., Rend Lake College | A.A.S., John A. Logan College 
Administrative Assistant | Applied Science & Technology Division
Phone Extension: 1261
Building: South Oasis
Office: 139
A.A. & A.S., Rend Lake College | A.S., John A. Logan College

Applied Science & Technology Division
Phone: (618) 437-5321 Ext. 1261
Address: 468 N. Ken Gray Parkway, Ina, IL 62846 Attn: Applied Science
Fax Number: (618) 437-5677 Attn: Applied Science

1098T online promo sq