Introduction to Visual Communication Design I

DESIGN 3103: Introduction to Visual Communication Design I

Design and application of graphic systems in the production of visual communications within frameworks of theories of communication and signs.
Credit Hours

Prerequisite: Admission to Bachelor of Science in Design - Visual Communication Design program; or permission of instructor.


Symbols & Meaning: Students will conduct research to design symbols systems. The focus will be on identifying and analyzing the basic visual components defining form and meaning in iconology.


By the end of the semester students should be able to:
  • Understand basic visual communication design principles and theories through the development of a visual language; and apply and interpret visual signifiers for the purpose of quick and clear communication without verbal language or spoken words
  • Recognize user/audience perceptions through design research, both quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Become familiar and apply proper iconology terms and their definitions
  • Gain awareness of the historical developments and pioneer figures involved the design of symbols and symbol systems
  • Able to evaluate symbol comprehensibility through user testing methods within the proper context
  • Apply ideation process and methods through the use of sketching, rendering, and prototyping to produce symbols which effectively communicate correct meanings to a designated user
  • Produce professional quality work while employing latest technology
  • Understand and recognize those important perceptual principles which influence and affect human comprehension
  • Learn how to implement plans for graphic-symbol-based wayfinding systems through prospective guideline development

Course Materials

No required textbook readings for this course. Reading material, links and supplements will be provided via Carmen Canvas.

Required Supplemental Materials

  • 1 Black Sharpie Permanent Marker (fine point) 
  • 1 Black Sharpie Felt Tip Brush
  • 1 White Tabloid Sheets of paper (for printing & drawing; can be student shared)

Course Organization

This is a 3 credit hour course that meets twice a week for 2:40 each day

Sample Coursework

Students can expect:
  • Attendance to be taken
  • Activities comprising of lectures, group meetings, readings, class discussions, and project reviews 
  • Project assignments, and small exercises/quizzes will be given

Semester(s) Offered:


Course Filters: