Welcome to Our New Department Website

The information you need should be easy to find and easy to understand. Our goal is for the website to be functional, focused, and packed with information. Details about the specific areas of study and their differences are front and center and so are your steps for how to get started. 

“Compared to the old site, this version should make it much easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for.”

Josiah Spence, Interim Department Chair

Tour the Website

Check out the Student Experience page to discover why it’s so awesome to be an ACC Riverbat. This page can answer all your questions about classes and student life.

Visit the Programs page to discover the degree program and future career path best suited to your unique skills and interests. Maybe you’re curious about the difference between Graphic Design and Visual Design. Or perhaps you’re wondering what UX stands for. This page holds all the answers.

Ready to dive in? Then look to our Get Started page to get a breakdown of your next steps for enrollment, registration and more.

A Fresh Design

As designers we know that function and beauty go hand in hand. Our students are the future of design, so we embraced a forward-thinking aesthetic that is both clean and friendly.

“As well as putting information about our programs front and center, the new website is more visually refined, friendlier, and more contemporary.”

— Josiah Spence

New Program Identities

To make navigation easier, we wanted to visually differentiate each program so that anyone can identify them at a glance. Finding a way to distill these multifaceted subjects to a single icon that expresses their full scope was a challenge, but in the end, we decided that shape and color were the obvious choice.

The simple and almost child-like nature of geometric forms makes our programs feel accessible and welcoming. The radiating colors from the central shape also evokes the layered ways in which design filters through every aspect of our daily lives. 

The next step was to decide which shape goes with which program.

Something that jumped out was that the triangle shape reminded us of the point of a pencil, especially if we used our yellow color — perfect for Illustration! Pretty soon, other mental associations led us through the other shapes.

— Josiah Spence

Graphic Design

A square recalls paper and layout grids — key elements of Graphic Design.

Visual Design

A circle represents the fluid nature of designing for screens — the basis of Visual Design.

User Experience

A diamond reflects the many intersections of knowledge within User Experience and mimics the angles of the letter X in the UX abbreviation.

Graphic Media Production

A pentagon’s many facets are a nod to the detail-oriented precision of Graphic Media Production.


A triangle suggests the point of a pencil, a nod to traditional illustration tools.

New Fonts

The headings are set in Inter by Rasmus Andersson, a neutral but friendly typeface designed with screens in mind. In many ways, it’s reminiscent of classic sans serif typefaces designed for signage. It doesn’t scream for attention, but greets the viewer with open arms.

The relatively tall x-height and minimal contrast between strokes makes Inter easy to read at all sizes — an ideal typeface for screens.

The body type is set in Hoefler Text by Jonathan Hoefler. A transitional serif typeface, Hoefler manages to convey both the elegance of more traditional serif faces and an openness that pairs well with Inter. It has enough character to impart a sense of class but is subtle enough to get out of the way and let you read.

Hoefler text was designed with screens in mind, maximizing readability by pairing a vertical stress with a moderate contrast between strokes.

For over 30 years our students have been inspiring us with their innovation and creativity. To meet your needs, we constantly evolve, whether that’s innovating curriculum to meet new industry standards or streamlining information so everything you need is at your fingertips, we always look to find better ways to serve you. Our ultimate goal is to help you jumpstart your career in the dynamic world of Visual Communication. We hope this website can be a springboard for you to do just that.


New VisCom Student? How to Get Started

New to ACC?

Are you looking to start taking design classes? Or maybe you’d like to learn how to use tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign? You’re in the right place!

If you’re new to ACC, then your first step in order to take classes is to submit an ACC Admissions application here. Once you have completed that process, you will receive your student ID which you’ll need to log-in to the Self-Service portal to register and pay for classes.

You can explore all of our Visual Communication class offerings on the online course schedule.

Not sure how to register? Here are step-by-step registration instructions.

Find out more about:

Other related questions can be directed to Admissions and Records. You can find their contact information here.


Spring 2019 Portfolio Show

Graduating students of the Visual Communication Department’s Graphic Design program were showcased on May 16 in the Spring 2019 Portfolio Show. The show was a great success with guests from the professional design community as well as family, friends, and faculty turning out to share in the celebration.

The show marked a milestone for the students, a culmination of years of preparation as they worked their way through the program. Finally, after years of hard work and perseverance, they were able to share the fruits of their labor on their final evening together before Commencement. We’d like to offer a sincere congratulations and best of luck to all our graduates with all their future endeavors!

If you were unable to join us for the show, you can view the online portfolios of this and previous semester’s graduates in our gallery of graduate portfolios. If you are interested in becoming a graduate yourself, take a look at our programs or reach out to our Program Specialist, Kimberly Aland for more information. 


AIGA/ACC Spring 2018 Recap

Spring 2018 was yet another activity-filled semester for AIGA/ACC. In case you missed it, here is a quick recap of our events.

We kicked off the semester in February with a presentation from Anthony & Natalie Armendariz, founders of local design agency Funsize. Anthony & Natalie shared their story in how they came to found one of Austin’s leading digital service and product design agencies. They also discussed the principles behind their business philosophy and the future of digital design. Afterward, they took time for a Q & A session from the audience. We want to extend a huge thank you to Natalie, Anthony, and their team for taking the time to share their experiences and expertise with us! Everyone had a great time and took away some valuable insights.

In April, Professor Frank Curry of the ACC Department of Professional Photography provided a demonstration on photographing both 2D & 3D objects at our event “The World Is Flat: Copywork For Designers & Photographers.” Professor Curry explained some of the foundational ideas behind photography as well techniques to offer the best results regardless of the camera you are using. It was an informative evening and we’d like to thank Professor Curry for his time, as well as hosting us at the Photography Department’s Stonehollow Photographic Studio!

We would like to congratulate our graduating officers, including our outgoing president Thomas Freeman, and thank them all for their contributions and hard work. We will be taking a break from events over the summer, but we will still be holding board meetings to prepare for Fall! In addition, we will also be assembling a new board of officers. If you have ever thought about participating, now is the perfect time to find out what we’re all about. For more information or to be added to the board meeting invite list, contact one of our faculty advisors. Follow us on Facebook for news and updates on all our upcoming events. We hope to see you there!


Spring 2018 Portfolio Show

The Visual Communication Department held a showcase for our graduating students at ACC’s Highland Campus on May 11th. The evening was well attended by guests from the professional design community as well as family, friends, faculty, and fellow students.

“It’s shocking how much the students manage to accomplish is such a short amount of time. The entire class worked feverishly the entire semester towards their goals. It’s at the portfolio show that they get the opportunity to showcase their passion for creativity and design,” noted Graphic Design Portfolio instructor Russell Toynes.

Graphic Design graduate and AIGA/ACC President Thomas Freeman added, “The portfolio show was a fantastic experience. My voice was sore from talking for over two hours, but I loved the opportunity to show people my work and chat with students coming up in the program. I think it’s a perfect end to the design curriculum and a fun celebration. Being in the portfolio class with talented designers was really special, and it was great to see everyone put their best foot forward and show off their hard work.”

The portfolio show also gave the User Experience Design graduates an opportunity showcase their skills. “Industry designers saw our student’s skills first hand by participating in user research activities and interacting with user interfaces, moderated and curated by our UX Design students,” said Instructor Molly McClurg. She added, “The support and turnout from fellow designers in Austin UX Design industry was overwhelming; we look forward to collaborating with Austin’s vibrant UX community as our program and students continue to grow and evolve.”

Best of luck to all our graduates with all their future endeavors! We invite everyone to visit our website for a gallery of graduate portfolios, as well as more information about our department and programs.


AIGA/ACC Fall 2017 Recap

Last semester was a busy one for AIGA/ACC. In case you missed it, here is a quick recap of some of the highlights.

We started off the semester in September with a pair of terrific presentations from Judy Shultz of OK Paper & Theresa Campbell of PIA MidAmerica. Judy discussed the importance of being confident in your work as a designer and communicating with your suppliers and printers. Teresa covered everything from the economics of the printing industry to augmented reality and AI. After their presentations, they held a Q&A session from the audience and Judy raffled off some swag bags from OK Paper! It was a lot of fun and we appreciate both of them graciously sharing their time and expertise with us.

In October we got together to screen Debbie Millman‘s “A Brand Called You.” This engaging and informative video seminar was offered free for a limited time to AIGA members through CreativeLive. (Just one of the many benefits of membership.) I think everyone learned something and it was nice to share the viewing experience, discussing it as a group.

We capped things off in November with a VisCom Alumni speaker panel, asking our guests “What do you wish you knew before graduating?” They shared their stories of starting out in the professional world, offering advice and answering questions. It was great evening and we thank all our panelists for joining us. It was a perfect example of the sense of sharing and community AIGA can foster and there was discussion of making this an annual event.

Last but not least, we concluded the semester by electing a new board, with Thomas Freeman taking over presidential duties from now-graduated Cynthia Jefferies. We are extremely grateful to all our departing officers for all their hard work and excited to welcome all of our new officers to the team. We already have some exciting things in the works for Spring 2018, starting with a presentation by Anthony & Natalie Armendariz of local design agency Funsize on February 20. Follow us on Facebook to get the latest updates on all our upcoming events. We hope to see you there!


Fall 2017 Portfolio Show

On December 15th, the Visual Communication Department held a showcase for our graduating students in the newly opened Building 4000 at ACC’s Highland Campus.

Industry professionals, fellow students, faculty, family and friends attended the event to celebrate the accomplishments of these students. For the graduates, the show wasn’t just the cap to a very intensive semester, but to their entire journey through the Graphic Design program at ACC. Their hard work paid off with some impressive displays to share with the evening’s crowd. We’d like to extend our congratulations to all our grads, we look forward to seeing what you can accomplish!   

If you were unable to join us, you can view the online portfolios of this and previous semester’s graduates in our gallery of graduate portfolios.




AIGA/ACC Hits the Lanes

Austin creatives were out for a fun evening at the recent AIGA Bowling Tournament, sponsored by OK Paper at Highland Lanes.

As you can see in this photo, ACC was well represented. From left Dave Toedter, Thomas Freeman, Isaac Lara, Nelly Padron, Shawn McKinney, and Sean O’Toole-Pitts.

Thomas Freeman describes the event,
“While we didn’t take a trophy, I think we can all agree that we had a great time rolling strikes and gutters alike. We had some power players on our team, namely Dave Toedter. I think Isaac Lara wins the award for ‘most innovative bowling technique’ — really loved the behind-the-back-through-the-legs move. Our team was pretty fashionable in our DIY, spray-painted shirts. We recorded all of our strikes with a black X on our sleeves. Some were more marked up than others, but we all had a couple to show off! Thanks to Dave for designing the team logo and for everyone who helped get the shirts painted. Hope to bowl again next time!”


AIGA/ACC: Guest Speaker Oen Hammonds

Oen Hammonds gave an outstanding presentation at the recent AIGA/ACC event. Attendees listened attentively to Oen’s fascinating stories from his career and to his tips for soon-to-be VisCom grads.

Oen is Advisory Designer for IBM Design. Outside his 9-to-5, Oen has taught as an adjunct instructor in VisCom, sharing his design experience and guiding portfolio students. He is currently president of AIGA Austin and he will discuss AIGA, the design industry, as well as provide advice to students and graduates who are getting started in the field with a Q&A session to follow.

The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)  is the oldest and largest professional design organization in America. AIGA/ACC, the student chapter at Austin Community College, was founded to create opportunities for students to get involved in the local design community and foster greater community among peers.


AIGA/ACC Student Chapter Kick-off

Almost 40 people attended the recent AIGA/ACC membership party. Former VisCom student Ben Humphreys got the event started with information about AIGA and described how helpful his involvement with this design group has been to his career. AIGA is the oldest and largest professional association of designers in the world and joining ACC’s student chapter provides opportunities to connect with Austin’s creative community.

The next speaker at the event was Dave Claunch, Founder & President of Liaison Creative + Marketing, who described the state of the local design industry. Dave calls Austin the “most creative town in America” with an excellent economy and a great environment for job seekers.

In a presentation filled with advice and stories culled from his years of industry experience, Dave kept the crowd’s attention with useful tips on how to prepare for a career in design — from training and work ethic suggestions, through stressing the importance of an online portfolio that effectively showcases your best work. In the Q&A following his presentation, Dave had valuable suggestions on how to approach finding a job: what to do and what not to do!

“Getting connected” is at the top of both Ben and Dave’s advice on how to get started as a designer. A membership with AIGA allows designers to create relationships with other designers in Austin while belonging to a national community of more than 22,000 dedicated colleagues. Plus it offers a bevy of opportunities and resources, such as members-only job listings, local and national events and exposure through the AIGA member gallery.

To join the AIGA/ACC Student Group, simply create an account at As a student you can join at the $50/year Contributing level. As you are guided through the registration process, be sure to choose Austin Community College as your student group.

Not ready to commit to membership? Ben suggests volunteering at upcoming AIGA events — an inexpensive way to see what this group is all about.

And be sure to follow the ACC student chapter on Facebook for information about upcoming events:

AIGA /Austin Community College

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact an AIGA/ACC Faculty Advisor:
Breanna Whitener –
or Kim Greyer –

photo credit: Ben Humphreys