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Meet Joe Bautista of The Center for Visual Communication in Northridge

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joe Bautista.

About 10 years ago, Professor Dave Moon and at the time Adjunct faculty Joe wanted to provide an experience and opportunity to their creative students beyond the classroom. They also wanted to challenge themselves to research and learn new methodologies in design that they knew they were not going to be able to do by just teaching classes. By creating VISCOM – The Center for Visual Communication and with the support of their Provost at the time Dr Harry Hellenbrand, they were able to create an on-campus, student-run creative agency that provides design for brands and experiences. They work at the intersection of Technology, Culture, Business and Education – collaborating with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and professionals.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
About every 2-3 years we need to adapt to our student needs and to advances in technology. But for the most part it’s been smooth. We have been able to continue to grow and produce top notch talent every year and great work. Some of our biggest struggles deal with funding/support and the politics of the University, but we turn our struggles into positives as it forces us to always be moving forward.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Our students creatively collaborate with our clients to solve their business challenges through strategy, art, design, and technology. The Center for Visual Communication (VISCOM) is CSUN’s on-campus, student-run creative agency, providing design for brands, experiences, and time-based media for a wide range of regional, national, and global clients. VISCOM combines teaching and research when our students, faculty, and industry professionals work together on real-world projects to support education and career preparation. The thing we are the most proud of would be our alumni and our team that have gone on to be leaders in the industry. They are now coming back to VISCOM to hire our recent grads, refer client, and provide project leads. We are unique in that there is nothing like this in any university that we know of.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Our plans for the future is to continue to evolve by adding a more in-depth approach to design by incorporating brand strategy. Founded by Professor Dave Moon, RADIUS 2.0 is another on campus agency that focuses on brand strategy. RADIUS and VISCOM work together to do research and marketing strategy to help clients have the most successful design and branding campaign. We also are starting to grow in variety by incorporating students from all kinds of different majors. We hope to continue this by having more students from different departments like the Humanities, Computer Science, and Business.

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