Capilano University

IDEA School of Design

Area of Study

Program Information Get Inspired How to Apply Facebook Study Art & Design in Vancouver


About the IDEA School of Design

A career-oriented program for the next generation of creative professionals, with concentrations in branding, illustration and interactive design.


Our Program

Capilano University’s Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication is known for the quality and industry-readiness of its graduates. We are proud of our students’ success in winning provincial, national and international design and illustration awards, and of our program’s excellent record of graduate employment.






Our Difference


Both online and at CapU’s beautiful North Vancouver campus, students are welcomed into a supportive and thriving network of students and graduates. Our program structure is unique, as it offers many all-day classes, ensuring high levels of peer support and faculty attention. 

Our goal is to prepare students for a creative career doing what they love, whether that’s graphic design, illustration, branding, packaging, advertising, interactive design, digital entertainment or concept art. We reinforce career preparation with an immersive eight-week practicum, arranged by faculty for each student in their final year.



Tools & Supplies


Tuition fees include tools and supplies students may keep when they graduate. Examples are laptops, cameras, and substantial art materials for classes and workshops. We also fund student memberships to the top three professional associations in Canada (Graphic Designers of Canada, the Association of Registered Graphic Designers and the Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators) as well as to the Vancouver Art Gallery. Local events, field trips and many other incidentals that can impact a student’s budget are included in fees.

How to Apply



    “As someone who was unsure about a career path and the opportunities available, the Bachelor of Design was exactly what I needed. The program taught me not only the fundamentals of design and illustration, but valuable career lessons that made me feel confident and prepared for the professional world.”
— Graduate: Charmaine Cheng



Virtual Tour


The IDEA School of Design is located within the CapU Main Campus in beautiful North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Surrounded by lush forest, fresh mountain air and many colourful murals the campus offers an inspiring setting. Watch the video for a tour of our dedicated classroom environments equipped with cintiques, flexible workspaces, wet-mediums room and more.



Career pathways

Graduates are highly sought-after in the industry and can be found in many top creative agencies, both in Vancouver and around the world. Others form start-up companies or enjoy their own freelance practices. Graduates are work-ready for a career in communication design, illustration, advertising, branding, UI and UX design, product design, book and editorial design, publishing, marketing, in-house design, fine art, digital media, environmental design and more.



    “IDEA consistently produces a crop of students that outshines the rest of the pack.”
— Hans Thiessen, Rethink



Student Perspectives


As they proceed through the program, students become part of a close-knit cohort. The commitment required of them is high. The IDEA School of Design support our students with smaller class sizes, professional-level technology, and committed instructors. The result is a learning environment that’s equal parts demanding and rewarding.




Open House


Before you apply, we recommend you attend an open house event, where you’ll be able to connect with faculty and students from the Bachelor of Design and share your portfolio for feedback. Specific dates and times will be published on our blog.

How to Apply
Learn more about IDEA



Program Length

4 years


CapU's IDEA School of Design offers a 4-year Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication degree. The curriculum is rigorous and industry-focused and you'll graduate ready to stand out in the competitive job market for creative professionals. In the program, you'll expand your skills, build an impressive portfolio and gain industry experience. You’ll learn your creative strengths and grow the business skills to prepare for a career in visual design. You'll improve your abilities in branding, graphic, or communication design, art direction, illustration, interactive design, UI, and UX design, book and editorial design, publishing, in-house design, digital media, concept art, environmental design and more. IDEA graduates are working in a wide range of fields, plying their trade at top studios and agencies in Vancouver and around the world. Others have gone on to form startup companies and successful freelance careers.


North Vancouver

For More Information

Past winners of the Applied Arts Student Awards

  • 2019 Student Awards Yasamin Abdolvahabi
    Student Awards

    Yasamin Abdolvahabi
  • 2020 Student Awards Diana Guo, Runke Luo, Yuning Zhang
    Student Awards

    Diana Guo, Runke Luo, Yuning Zhang
  • 2020 Student Awards Krista Knudtsen
    Student Awards

    Krista Knudtsen
  • 2019 Student Awards Da Won Kang
    Student Awards

    Da Won Kang