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Introduction to Visual Communication





Credit Hours


Covers fundamentals for conveying visual information in effective and clear ways.

This course provides the fundamentals for conveying visual information in a way that is effective and clear. Through a deep understanding structure and context of content, students will learn to apply visual elements, techniques, and principles crafting effective visual messages.

Learning Objectives

Students will understand the techniques and elements they have to manipulate as designers, and equally demonstrate the ability to apply them to the creation of clear visual messages.

Learning Outcomes

Through weekly and in-class assignments, students will apply techniques covered to craft effective visual messages

Format & Grading

The class meets for the full day. The morning session will consist of project assignments, homework critiques, and lectures. The afternoon session will start off with either a continuation of the morning critique or additional lecture and in-class exercise. If there is no exercise, studio time will be used to start homework assignments, closing with an evaluation session.

A constant stream of effort throughout the semester in the form of assignments and class participation will be the basis of grades. Each week students will be required to do something new to demonstrate cumulative knowledge throughout the semester. Timeliness is critical; late assignments will be marked down one grade. Also, due to the cumulative nature of the work, there will be no mid-term or final project. There will be 2-3 formal opportunities in the semester for a face-to-face feedback session to let you know how students are progressing.


There are two types of assignments: weekly and in-class. Weekly or bi-weekly assignments will focus on the main topic at hand. Students will be introduced to the basic elements of Communication Design in the first third of the semester. Then, students will apply these elements using techniques and principals to actual real-world content. Afternoon, in-class assignments (aka ‘Quick Fire’ exercises) will augment that week’s topic or complement it. This will allow students to get real-time feedback during class before tackling the larger assignment for that week.

Enrollment Restrictions

No prerequisites. This course is only available to Institute of Design Foundation students.