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Visual Communication Students Earn Real-World Client Experience at SCC

student at desk with laptop and notepad

Scottsdale Community College (SCC) has solved the age-old chicken-and-egg question of, “How do I get work experience on my resume if no one will hire me without work experience?”

Recently, graphic design students received real-world experience by working on marketing and enrollment projects for the college. Beyond the classroom experiences of theory and process, students from the Visual Brand Design class, part of the new Visual Communication degree, met with internal client departments to review goals, create concepts and share ideas.


In the “real world,” marketing and graphic design professions have been on a collision course for the last five years. Technological advancements and an increasingly dynamic and fast-paced needs have created a world where modern-day marketing must be visual, and visual design must drive a business goal. In many cases, graphic designers have become crucial members of the marketing team, and marketing has become a staple offering of advertising and design firms.

New graduates need to have a well-rounded education with multi-discipline experience and knowledge. In 2016, Peggy Deal, Program Chair for Visual Communication at SCC, in collaboration with Jennie Jerome, Adjunct Faculty for Visual Communication and Business, decided to do something revolutionary: Create a class where marketing students and graphic design students are paired together in teams to work on a real branding assignment. Thus, Visual Brand Design was born and paved the way for the Creative Branding certificate at SCC.

For the Spring 2020 semester, the clients were departments within the college itself. Students were separated into three teams, and each team was tasked with building a brand for one SCC program: Dual Enrollment, Online Programs or Enroll & Pay. Students were asked to complete an entire communication campaign consisting of background research on their client's department, target audience overview, messaging and brand voice, logo development, printed material, social media advertising, landing page, and email sequences.

The Dual Enrollment Program team was selected as the winning brand and received a letter of recommendation from the client, the Chair of the Business Department, and the Chair of the Visual Communication Department. And what’s better than walking away with a resume-builder than a portfolio piece as well as recommendations?

Study Visual Communication at SCC

SCC offers a comprehensive program in Visual Communication that helps prepare students for either employment or for additional study in this vibrant and relevant field. With an associate degree and three different certificate options available, SCC’s Visual Communication program helps train students on a combination of creativity, technical and production skills, and theory. Industry clearly recognizes the value our students provide with continuous top awards, internships and the big payoff, job opportunities.

For more information visit SCC’s Visual Communication program.


Project Overviews

student designed logo for dual enrollment program

Ela Miranda and Dylan Ewing

The goal is to help teachers and students become educated and engaged on SCC’s Dual Enrollment program for early-college learning. The logo was designed to be fun and engaging for a grade 9-12 student demographic, with the upwards trajectory of the arrow providing visual interest and reflecting a student’s goals for success. The SCC students created a gameboard visual to further engage the target audience and alert them to key milestones.

student designed logo for scc online

Jacee Lee and Andrew

Create a new name and identity to brand SCC’s 100% online courses and programs. “SCC Online” was chosen for its modern sound and would appeal to the more modern student, and the book with WiFi symbol combined conveys a very modern approach. The use of blue signifies trustworthiness, technology and is typically used in other social media branding for a natural tie-in so students feel like they are in a native space.

student designed logo for enroll and pay

Jesca Wales, Jon Carbajal and Sydney Smith

Communicate with SCC students that once they enroll in a semester they need to then pursue one of three options so they don’t get dropped:  pay in full, create a payment plan or utilize financial aid and/or scholarships. The open door visual in the E in the logo design helps encourage students to start the process and shows that SCC will walk with them on completing the enrollment process. The check mark visual indicates that paying for classes has been accomplished and they are no longer in danger of losing their classes.

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