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What is Communication Design

by 21 Jul 2023Education

Our Bachelor of Arts in Communication Design is intended for individuals with a passion for creative and strategic thinking, problem-solving and crafting communications through a visual language in innovative ways that cut through the clutter in a world that bombards us with an overload of information.

Through practices like brand development, packaging, information design, editorial layout and advertising, students are enriched with the sought-after ability to transform complex ideas into unique strategies and captivating design solutions. The process of creating effective communication design involves strategic business thinking, using market research, creativity, problem-solving, and technical skills and knowledge such as colour theory, page layout, typography and creating visual hierarchies. 

It is the physical (2D and 3D) and digital design that seeks to attract, inspire, create desires and motivate people to respond to messages and make an impact. It ranges from brand building to supporting sales but also includes changing behaviours, promoting a message, or disseminating information. The responsibility of a communication designer is to develop the relationship between the viewer and the visuals. 

Communication designers translate ideas and information through a variety of media. Their particular talents lie not only in the traditional skills of the hand but also in their ability to think strategically in design and marketing terms, in order to establish credibility and influence audiences through communication.


“CTCA is a great institution that celebrates design, diversity and innovation. It’s also located in one of the best design hubs in Cape-Town.” Yamini Jain, Communication Design Graduate

“Quality of teaching and guidance is very good and the advantage of the CTCA is that the lectures are still currently in the industry and can tell or advise us to take some necessary steps toward any goal we are looking to achieve.” Buhle Nkalashe, Communication Design Graduate

“CTCA offered and taught me the knowledge and skills that I would need to use when working. The lecturers were always willing to help and offer with assistance be it academically or personally.” Tash Bundiparsad, Communication Design Graduate


Clayton Sutherland

“Make mistakes! I have a passion for design and saltwater. Curiosity, tenacity, bravery and failure are the necessary ingredients that create the best portfolios and work that wins the odd industry accolade. I draw on a variety of experiences of being an Art Teacher, Art Director, Designer, Academic Head at Stellenbosch Academy, Faculty Head at AAA School, ceramicist and author of two Visual Communication degrees. I love what I do and if I’m not perusing type on menu’s or shrugging on neoprene, I’ll be getting my hands dirty with some terracotta.”

Clayton is the Programme Coordinator of BA Communication Design and Senior Lecturer in Communication Design at the Creative Academy. He is serving on the Academic Committee, contributing to Curricula Design and the marketing and recruitment of the Academy.


• 41 Loerie Awards
• Ad focus Students Portfolio Awards 2019, 2018, 2016
• Art Directors Club Portfolio Night Awards 2015, 2014
• Pendorings Overall Best Student Award 2019, 2016
• D&AD Graphite Pencil 2018
• ADC NY Student Awards Merit 2018, 2019 

Wiehan De Jager

“Apart from being a lecturer at the Creative Academy since its inception, I am a senior visual communication designer, illustrator, art director and artist, specialising in producing visual aids and communicative media elements to clients from diverse industries around the world. With nearly 20 years of experience, I consider myself a conceptual explorer and visual interpreter via artistic expression, a print, paper, mark-making, typography and packaging fanatic. I am a communication design specialist, consultant and teacher with award-winning results.”

Wiehan is a Senior Lecturer in Communication Design and Illustration at the Creative Academy.


• SABS Design Achievers Awards finalists 2009, 2008, 2007
• DMA Assegai Awards winners 2009, 2008
• MCC Packaging Competition 3 finalists 2019, 5 finalists and 1 Bronze 2018
• Loerie Awards 6 finalists 2020, 2 finalists and 1 Bronze 2009
• Pendoring Awards 2 finalists and 1 Bronze 2020 

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