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Director's Welcome | School of Visual Communication Design | Kent State University

Sanda Photo



Dear Students, Parents, and Alumni:

As the acting director, it is my pleasure to extend you a warm welcome to the Kent State University School of Visual Communication Design.

Since accepting a faculty position in 1993, it has been my privilege to work at a place I love and to collaborate with distinguished colleagues, talented staff and extraordinary students. Our faculty members are practicing professionals with impressive publication and exhibition records and prestigious awards for their teaching and creative endeavors. Each brings a wealth of expertise to the classroom and a strong commitment to academic excellence.

The School of Visual Communication Design grows and evolves with technology and culture. We continue to rejuvenate the complexion of our programs to significantly impact the next generation of designers. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accredits our school for the outstanding quality of its curricula, which has produced some of the most talented design and illustration professionals in the nation. Our graduates work as designers at Fortune 500 companies and in leadership positions as educators or researchers. Many are entrepreneurs who have started unique enterprises that began as incubator projects during their years in our school.

Today's employers seek well-rounded designers who possess a wide range of skills that help solve complex visual problems, including design research, branding, aesthetics, and the creation of meaningful images. Our programs provide students with competitive skills by encouraging interdisciplinary approaches to visual communication design, integrating evolving media with design foundations and conceptual development while helping students to create polished, professional portfolios.

Student designers gain real-world experience by working at Glyphix or IdeaBase, our student-staffed design agencies located in downtown Kent. Glyphix is an award-winning design studio within the School of Visual Communication Design that develops creative design solutions for a variety of client needs. IdeaBase is a full-service integrated marketing communications firm that specializes in interactive and print design, branding and user-experience design.

All of our bachelor-level degrees focus on visual communication within a liberal arts education. We believe passionate experimentation is key to our students reaching their potential using 2-D and 3-D design in the following areas: illustration – creating visual narratives; motion design – exploring how moving elements communicate a message; and interaction design – exploring new and existing human interaction possibilities in research and industry. Photo-illustration students use light, cameras and digital techniques to explore, interpret and produce still and moving imagery.

Our graduate programs offer flexible curricula, integrating advanced studio-based learning with practical application and research investigations. Online, evening and weekend courses make it possible for professionals with design-related undergraduate degrees to retool and develop stronger portfolios for today's markets. Additionally, our school conducts hands-on workshops at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC).

A high percentage of our majors participate in the Kent State University Honors College where they enjoy enriched and highly personal educational enhancements and research opportunities. Past research projects have explored how design could reshape Microsoft's mobile recruiting landscape, improve patient comfort during emergency room visits and enhance information retention and recall.

We encourage our students to refine their degrees by studying abroad in Berlin, Prague, Geneva or Florence. Domestic and international students from Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Louisiana to Colombia, China, Kuwait and Uganda continue to bring new, rich voices to our graduate community.

Author Steven Heller, in his text "Becoming a Graphic Designer: A Guide to Careers in Design," listed Kent State's School of Visual Communication Design program as one of the best in North America. Additionally, the Ohio Board of Regents named our school a Center of Excellence among Ohio's universities.

I invite you to learn more about our school, students, alumni and faculty as well as view student works on our website, created by members of our award-winning student design studio, Glyphix, at



 Sanda S. Katila

Sanda S. Katila
Acting Director

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