Westwood College Bachelor of Science in Game Art & Design Degree

The world of computers and gaming is always developing new technologies, programs and applications for entertainment, challenging people across the globe to live in virtual worlds full of monsters, warfare and even a princess or two, and defying the laws of physics. Video games are created by a team of individuals working for companies like SuckerPunch, Naughty Dog, RockSteady Studios, Nintendo or Sony who are committed to producing the finest quality interactive entertainment and games for public consumption.

Westwood College Bachelor of Science in Game Art & Design provides the academics and educational experience for those pursuing a career in game software development and design as a 2-D conceptual artist, 3-D character builder, 3-D object modeler, interactivity designer or background artist. The Bachelor of Science in Game Art & Design from Westwood College Online is offered as a “fast track” program, enabling students to complete the requirements for their Bachelor of Science degree in as little as three years. This program helps to eliminate stress and create flexibility for current life, work or family commitments plus the Westwood College Bachelor of Science in Game Art & Design gives students a rapid entrance into a new career in the video game industry.

Online Game Design Schools offer courses in character animation for games, character development and setup, fundamentals of 3D, game analysis and playability, game design process and special effects for games. Upon completion of the program, students will have developed professional-quality 2D and 3D art assets, and will be able to apply digital animation skills, as well as execute a game development project production timeline.

Video game development requires experts in game art and design, development and programming, game quality assurance (bug testing and fixing), multi-media, music, illustration among other skills. At an entry-level position, those with a Bachelor of Science in Game Art and Design from Westwood College can expect to make an average salary of $50,000 annually, and the job growth in this industry is expected to continue to grow at an average pace, despite the high competition rate in the field.

The demand for new video games utilizing latest technology and trends in video game design, programming and graphics is high, including games for computers, gaming systems and mobile devices. A career within the video game industry helps fulfill the needs of the serious gamer while also providing a means for a satisfying career.

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Advertising, Food and What We Eat

There are countless advertisements on television, in magazines or on the radio that encourage people to eat a certain food, try a new restaurant or follow a new diet. The experience of dining and eating is more than a way to keep the body fueled and in motion, but is also a way to socialize, celebrate and otherwise make connections with others, just by picking up a fork. Advertising food, grocery stores, restaurants and political or industrial, nutritional organizations is a huge business that can influence people from a very young age. Thanks to the work of educated advertisers, children can recognize the logo of fast food restaurants as easily as they recognize shapes and letters, and the impact of advertising to this demographic can have a life-long health and wellness impact.

When Cookie Monster began eating fruit over cookies, parents began to take more notice of what types of foods were being advertised to children. With concerns over childhood obesity growing, parents turned to the advertising industry as a large scapegoat for their own food choices and what was being offered to children in kitchens across the country. The number of these ads certainly overshadows the push for vegetables and healthy cooking, but advertisers and food-related corporations are taking notice and beginning to not only offer healthier choices in restaurants but also steer ads toward the aspect of “choice” when it comes to eating.

The old story of the woman who sued McDonald's over a cup of coffee, and won, is not a story that promotes truth in advertising. Most people assume coffee will be hot, unless it is “frozen,” or “iced,” but a lawsuit entailed that had little to do with the advertising and more to do with actual policies of McDonald's and the responsibility of the customer. That is not the only lawsuit that has made news in light of advertising and its claims, or assumptions, that a customer will exercise common sense, as will a company. The company that makes Nutella is currently being sued for its claims of a healthier breakfast treat. The company may not actually be stating that their product is, indeed, healthy, but that it can disguise the taste, texture and overall aversion to healthier choices, like whole-grain bread. Advertising food, while a lucrative industry, certainly has its down side.

New and different methods of imparting a food product to the public will always evolve as technology, taste and trends emerge through the years. For the advertiser who takes responsibility for their product, healthy or not, and understands the busy lifestyles of people who may not have time to dissect nutrition labels or exercise caution in other methods of ingesting food, the industry can provide a creative and fun outlet that helps shape the lives of people for years to come.

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Westwood College Associate of Science Degree in Graphic Design

Graphic designers are needed in every industry, and at every level of experience, in order to visually represent businesses, organizations and corporations in print and online advertising and marketing campaigns. Graphic design continually re-invents itself as it keeps up with the latest technologies, trends and various needs of businesses. Graphic designers communicate with images, animations or other visual elements in all areas of marketing, branding and advertising and as such, the need for new and innovative graphic designers will always be high.

Graphic designers can be found in all industries, businesses, corporations and organizations working full-time, part-time, as contractors or freelancers. Educational requirements vary, depending on the type of company or organization, but an Associates of Science Degree in Graphic Design is highly recommended to learn the basics of design, layout and software. Westwood College offers an online design degree program to help students obtain an Associates of Science in Graphic Design Degree. This program works with students and teaches them the fundamentals of design, both web-based and graphic design, drawing and digital illustration, color theory, layout, pre-press, portfolio building and creativity concepts. Westwood College offers this program online to help students maintain their current work or home obligations while continuing to enhance their education.

As a graphic design professional with an Associates of Science Degree in Graphic Design, career opportunities as a graphic designer, web designer, photographer, illustrator, multi-media designer or production assistant open up at a median salary of almost $40,000 annually. Graphic designers can also assist with photo sets and shoots, design coordination, video game production, story boarding, interior design and visual communications as well as perform various design functions for books and magazines. The current interest in ebooks and downloadable content to hand-held and mobile devices is also increasing the job opportunities available to those who hold an Associates of Science Degree in Graphic Design, and those with a love for integrating new technology with design skills can define their own careers.

Since technology is taking the lead in the methods that people receive their news and entertainment, the push for more qualified graphic designers will increase with this trend. Graphic design is competitive field, with many students learning basic design at home, so the importance of the right education to back up talent will be a large decision-making factor in the success of those who pursue a career in graphic design. Graphic design combines creativity and technology meet in graphic design, and with the skills learned in an online graphic design degree program from Westwood College, the only limitations for the student is their own imagination.

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Window Ideas in Interior Design

A home, office, business or other professional or living space typically has at least one or two windows that can use a makeover. Windows are functional, bringing in natural light, soft breezes and even the sounds of nature, and they can also be a way for interior designers to set the mood of a room, lighten up the corporate feeling of an office building or just show a creative side to any decorating project. Certified Interior designers are aware of the power of a window and its "treatment" in terms of curtains, drapes, blinds, shades and even the colors and intricacies of the glass used in the window itself.

Draperies, including curtains are standards of window treatments, and are used to soften up the look of a room through the use of fabrics. They can also be insulating, keeping drafts from chilling a room or space or inhibiting the sun's natural ability to warm a room. While draperies are generally constructed of heavier fabrics, curtains can be made from lighter, more flowing textiles like cotton to sheer polyester or synthetic fibers that filter light while still giving the room the essence of natural lighting. Valances are also commonly used draperies for windows, but are generally an aesthetic component to window design, as their size leaves little room for practical purpose.

Blinds are a common aspect in any home, business or commercial interior design project. Window blinds may even be considered more necessary than a decorative window treatment as they perform the needed functions of light and temperature filtration with a minimal of fuss. Slat blinds, Venetian blinds, miniblinds and vertical blinds are installed with hardware and are considered semi-permanent window treatments. For a combination of style and function, many interior designers choose wooden slat blinds or woven bamboo blinds, giving the window personality without fussy fabric decoration.

Another way to dress up a window without large amounts of fabrics is to install shutters, screens or shades. Shutters give a room and window a timeless feel, while screens and shades can add splashes of color or patterns. These options, while not as easy to change as draperies and curtains, are a favorite of interior decorators for their versatility and style. For the home with large amounts of windows, or the office that wants privacy, replacing standard windows with frosted, beveled or stained glass can make a statement and create a design focus with a minimal amount of work, after the installation.

With the many options available to interior designers to decorate a window, a home, office, or corporate establishment can be transformed from plain to memorable. Using the right window treatments is one of the best and easiest ways to establish the feel in a room through color, style and the ability to control or even manipulate the natural light from the sun. Window treatments are easily changed, compared to many other design elements, and are an important part of any interior decorating plan.

Interested in mastering the art of window treatments? You can earn your Interior Design degree online while maintaining your current career schedule from accredited art schools across the country. With a degree in interior design, there will be no more second-guessing your window designs.

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Westwood College Online Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Multimedia

Website design is technologically and artistically demanding career that requires creativity, marketing experience, project management, graphic, layout and other design skills. Web designers utilize Internet mediums to convey the mission of beneficial organizations, give businesses a way to reach clients and customers or just entertain and educate the public. Web design requires the development and refinement of design and layout skills as well as the knowledge and application of new web and Internet technologies, helping to achieve an online site that encourages an end user to take action.

Companies hiring web design professionals vary, as many different businesses hire an in-house web designers for various website projects. There is also a high demand for web design professionals in advertising agencies, web development, design and publishing companies, including printers that are looking for professional web design graduates in order to ease the transition from a standard, paper publishing format into electronic publishing like eBooks and ways to enhance books with multimedia for e-reading devices like the Kindle.

Westwood College Online offers a Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Multimedia program that offers core curriculum to help with project management, critical thinking, logic, communications and workplace challenges, as well as specialized courses in web design, multimedia, illustration, search engine optimization and new media. Upon completion of the Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Multimedia program, graduates will be able to demonstrate project planning skills as well as design concepts in XML, HTML and WML. Graduates will also be able to apply skills that can translate into certification in Adobe products, such as InDesign, Dreamweaver, Illustrator and Photoshop.

According to PayScale.com, the average salary for graphic and web designers is $38,000-$40,000 annually. Those with a Bachelor of Science in Web Design make an average of $4,000 more annually than graduates of a Bachelor of Arts program. Job competition for web design professionals is about average, plus, it offers many options, including consulting, freelancing and the ability to work from home as well as employment in various industries. Average career growth for web design professionals is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics .

Web design professionals lead the way for new online design concepts that help businesses and organizations succeed. The career options that a Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Multimedia from Westwood College Online offer are varied and help creative and skilled individuals find a place to utilize their digital design and layout skills. Web design professionals give businesses and corporations new options and ideas to increase the reach of their online, and real-world brand, and as more and more businesses continue to rely on a company website for business growth, the career field of web design will continue to remain stable and welcoming to new graduates.

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Open Source Web and Graphic Design Programs

The cost of many professional software applications or investing in an online design degree to get a professional on staff to solve your software needs can be astronomical for business owners. Even businesses that require only a few web or graphic changes are confronted with the prices of software suites, like Adobe, that offer countless uses for the professional web or graphic desinger, but may seem like a huge investment when it comes to simple graphic manipulations or website changes. Largely due to these costs, people and businesses are turning to a more cost-efficient solution in order to fulfill their web and graphic needs: the use of open source software.

Beyond being free, open source software enables the user to view the code that was used to create and compile the program. While this may be of little to no concern for many people who just want an economical solution to high-cost software, by keeping the source “open” to the public, the possibilites for editing the programs and adapting them to the needs of individuals or businesses are numerous, giving more control over how a company's business runs through its various channels.

Open source programs and applications are available for all types of computer and Internet applications. Many websites run on open source applications like WordPress or Joomla, both of which can help eliminate the need for a standalone web editing program as they provide easier solutions to website maintenance. If a web editor is still needed, then programs like Bluefish, Amaya or KompoZer (formerly Nvu) both provide the necessary framework for computer-oriented website design, development and updates. Replacing graphic programs like PhotoShop or FireWorks with open source software is established through programs such as Gimp (or GimpShop) or the web-based Picnik. Illustrator, a program for computerized illustration, can be replaced with Inkshop for animation, Pixen gets great reviews.

The downside to many web or graphic design open source programs and applications is the lack of motivation to provide technical (and customer) support. Because programmers are not compensated for their time and effort through the sale of the software, technical support tends to be the lowest priority. If there are questions about the software and how to operate it, or any technical issues, much of the support provided is through community-based forums and other discussion sites on which other users impart their experience regarding a problem with the software. Many times, these community members are willing to help provide solutions, but there can be a risk of running into trouble with people who, intentionally or not, give bad advice that can have catastrophic effects on a computer, website and business.

For the economically-minded business, web or graphic designer, a suite of open source tools can be the solution to eliminating overhead costs while still providing professional web or graphic design. With the abundance of open source programs available, even the pickiest of web or graphic designers can have a fully-functional, professional tool for design that allows for higher profits, incredible designs and maybe even a little computer-based rebellion in the face of the corporate world.

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