Visual Design is a design practice that has grown out of Graphic Design and UI Design. There is no known recording of its first usage as a terminology available.
The division between 'fine' and 'commercial arts' can be traced back to around 1885-86 when the term 'commercial arts' appeared in the publication 'Art and Industry: Drawing in the Public Schools' by Isaac Edward Clarke (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Ofﬁce, 1885) and it is to the eventual denigration of the Commercial Arts that we owe the the development of the terms Graphic Arts and subsequently Graphic Design.
The first usage of the term 'Graphic Arts' occurs in 1903 in the book 'Printing in Relation to Graphic Art' by George French (Cleveland: The Imperial Press) and the first recorded use of terms like 'graphic design' coined by William Addison Dwiggins in 1922 in his book “New Kind of Printing Calls for New Design” referenced in the Graphic Arts Section 3:6 of the Boston Evening Transcript 29 August 1922; are now an established part of design language.
In the late 1800's on the other side of the Atlantic a parallel development in the form of "The Arts and Crafts Movement" led by John Ruskin, Walter Crane and William Morris was revitalizing the design arts in England and Europe.
"Their notions of good design were linked to their notions of a good society. This was a vision of a society in which the worker was not brutalized by the working conditions found in factories, but rather could take pride in his craftsmanship and skill. The rise of a consumer class coincided with the rise of manufactured consumer goods. In this period, manufactured goods were often poor in design and quality. Ruskin, Morris, and others proposed that it would be better for all if individual craftsmanship could be revived-- the worker could then produce beautiful objects that exhibited the result of fine craftsmanship, as opposed to the shoddy products of mass production. Thus the goal was to create design that was... " for the people and by the people, and a source of pleasure to the maker and the user." Workers could produce beautiful objects that would enhance the lives of ordinary people, and at the same time provide decent employment for the craftsman". @ Art, Design and Visual Thinking
This is just to give you a little background to a way of thinking and making that pervades everything but the natural world.
Some areas of design practice
Applied arts, Architecture, Automotive design, Biological design, Communication design, Configuration design, Design management, Engineering design, Experience design, Fashion design, Game design, Graphic design, Information architecture, Information design, Industrial design, Instructional design, Interaction design, Interior design, Landscape architecture, Lighting design, Modular design, Motion graphic design, Organization design, Product design, Process design, Service design, Software design, Sound design, Spatial design, Systems architecture, Systems design, Systems modeling, Urban design, User experience design, Visual design, Web design