Program Structure

During the course of studies of the BA in Visual Communication, students acquire profound knowledge of the media landscape, presentation and production techniques and the professional use of the computer as a design tool and communications medium. Beginning with the first sketches, through the presentation of layouts and culminating in production-ready results, the students gain assurance in pursuing their own design ideas. They learn how to solve complex communications tasks independently, present results professionally and defend their design solutions. At the end of the degree program, students are able to assess the significance, strategic importance and function of their contribution to communications as well as the interrelation and effect of communication strategies on economic outcomes and social processes. 

The specialized curriculum begins with lectures and project work in design fundamentals and typography, in spatial communications, corporate design, multimedia and photography. This basic knowledge is expanded and intensified through subsequent modules dealing with a range of topics including multimedia, printed media, advertising and copywriting, advanced spatial communications, animation and illustration. Students are instructed in all relevant design tools and techniques such as scribble techniques, mixed-media, relevant computer programs, illustration, image processing, animation, audio/video composing, basic programming, CAD, modelling, photography and traditional techniques such as offset printing with movable type, silkscreening and bookbinding. Within the framework of workshops and interdisciplinary project work with other departments as well as partners from institutions and industry, students learn to develop and implement design approaches and solution strategies, whilst also gaining practical experience and honing their communications and team skills. A further important component of the degree program is the internship during the fifth semester, which is spent in a graphics design, media, advertising or similar agency chosen by the student.

A basic knowledge of finance, management and marketing is becoming increasingly important to both the freelance and the employed designer. These subjects are taught in “Design and Business“ lectures and supplemented by practical exercises and projects. 

A particular focus of the education at the Pforzheim School of Design lies in the fundamental studies in the fine arts. The students cultivate skills in the areas of painting, drawing, sculpture and still and moving images. This is complimented by cultural studies such as the history of design, art analysis, aesthetics, semiotics and the sociology of cultural processes. These subjects serve to hone the students’ perceptive skills, i.e. the ability to interpret symbols, recognise historical developments and gain cultural knowledge. Many years of experience show that the students thrive on the skills gained from this practical and theoretical knowledge and obtain indispensible ideas for their own career development. The aim is to educate autonomous artistic individuals, who are capable of developing their own perspectives and forms of expression, and who can assume authorship of their own work. 

picture: Harald Koch