Mission & HIstory
FourDesign is a faculty-led, student-run design studio in the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech. We work with local, regional and national clients to develop well-designed, strategy-based branding and marketing materials that help them build stronger relationships with their customers.
Under the guidance of industry professionals and Virginia Tech design faculty, FourDesign’s select team of student designers consistently bring an energetic, fresh approach to every project. Our studio operates like any professional design shop — except that we’re staffed entirely by communication design students. Our design services are fee-based and each project is estimated based on specific project requirements.
FourDesign’s team of 10 student designers is carefully selected each semester via portfolio reviews and interviews. Once accepted, students earn three hours of class credit as well as a monetary stipend. But more importantly, they gain experience working in a real-world studio environment where they can practice crucial job skills such as client interaction, presentation-making, time management and personal responsibility, all in a collaborative, team based setting.
Originally branded as “Visual Design Studio 4”, or VDS4, FourDesign got its start in 2001. The success of an interdepartmental project suggested that Virginia Tech could directly benefit from an internal organization that facilitated collaboration between faculty and students and provide professional, service and research opportunities within design.
The studio itself gained official Service Center status in Fall of 2004. The studio generated sufficient production revenues that year to cover all costs of moving, construction and space preparation and closed the school year in the black. By the close of the Spring 2007 term, close to fifty interns had benefited from the VDS4 experience and the newest graduates were already finding strong starting positions, and Summer 2007 marked the first summer of year-round operations.
As of the Fall of 2009, VDS4 was rebranded internally to “FourDesign”, an alteration meant to bring the four pillars of our mission (Education, Outreach, Research and Exhibition) to the forefront of our operations. With offices located in Henderson Hall, the team of interns and faculty advisers is currently focusing on strengthening their relationship with downtown Blacksburg, its associated merchants, and departments on campus as the opportunities FourDesign could help them explore broaden as the University continues to grow.
“Working with the entire FourDesign team was great! From beginning to end, I experienced nothing short of great customer service and a inexhaustible level of professionalism and dedication by the staff. I was impressed with the creativity and skills of everyone involved. They delivered on their promise and I will use them again in the future as I have opportunity to do so.”Dave Close | Virginia Tech Horticulture
“They were the height of professionalism, with regular communication, flexibility, receptivity to feedback and prompt delivery.”Matt Wisnioski and Marie Stettler | Science and Technology in Society
How to Apply
General Internship Information
The FourDesign internship utilizes a 10-12 hour work week in the studio for 3 hours of academic credit or internship credit depending on class status. Work schedules are set up at the beginning of each semester, with the team members covering office hours of 9am to 5pm each weekday. A weekly group meeting is arranged according to staff schedules. In return, interns receive excellent professional experience, and an opportunity to build their portfolio, develop award-winning designs, and work in a collaborative team environment.
A team of skilled designers make up the core of FourDesign. Designers are expected to produce high quality, professional work for a variety of clients in and outside of Tech.
You must be available during the scheduled meeting time.
You must be a student in the Virginia Tech School of Visual Arts
If you have a concentration in Studio Art: Minimum Sophomore Level
If you have a concentration in Visual Communication Design: Must have completed the first semester Introduction class (ART2575)
Letter of intent
The application process occurs once toward the end of each semester. Please look for postings around Henderson for more information and deadlines. Or feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
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