Visual Communication Design – Albright College

Visual Communication Design

The visual communication co-major prepares students for professional careers that utilize visual design for client-driven digital and print projects. Deliver logo and branding, promotional materials, publication design, and visual design for web and social media.

Upon the successful completion of the Visual Communication Design co-major, students will:

  • Develop an understanding of visual communication and design practices, values and requirements,
  • Develop skills in using digital design and production tools,
  • Have an understanding of the principles underlying effective communication,
  • Be able to create design deliverables for digital and print that effectively use design principles and digital technologies to create professional-level projects.

Required Courses

This program requires two foundational courses from art and communications, a course in art and design, two courses in communications principles, and three courses in applied visual communication design (8 total courses – including Art 265 as a captured general studies course)

Each of the following:

ART 265 Computer Graphics, Art and Design

Computer Graphics is a combined studio/lecture course providing instruction in the use of industry-standard digital media tools. Students learn from the perspective of an artist and designer the essentials of digital still image creation, graphic design and digital animation. This course not only provides students with a strong technical foundation, but also introduces students to the concepts intrinsic to art and design in the digital age. General Studies Foundations-Fine Arts

DIG 265 Digital Literacy (plans are to retitle as COM 265)

This introductory course offers a broad foundation in digital literacy as it relates to media, communication, and living in a digital culture. Students will critically engage with digital topics through a series of scholarly readings and news articles, reflective writing, and digital assignments using online and mobile technologies. Throughout the course, students will critically examine their experiences with media and digital culture, and examine issues in the contemporary digital landscape.

DIG 270 Digital Illustration & Design (plans are to retitle as COM 270)

Through illustration and graphic design challenges and projects, students will create work for digital applications and print. Upon completion of this course, students should have some experience in digital illustration, understand basic principles commonly used in visual communication design, and have technical knowledge sufficient to professionally prepare basic client projects. Projects usually include editorial and character illustration, information or promotional design, and logo/branding design. Additionally, students will continue to develop their design thinking and identity through interaction with research into visual design influences and reflection upon visual-based communication and expression in the world around them. Students will utilize Adobe CC for completion of projects. Prerequisite: ART 265 or permission of instructor

DIG 325 Visual Design for the Web (plans are to retitle as COM 325)

This course explores the web from a visual design and effective communications perspective. Students will engage the history and aesthetics of web design, and apply design principles to the creation and maintenance of their own website within a commercial content management system. Students will explore aspects of digital design particular to web and online use through lecture and discussion, in-class engagements, and applied projects. The course may additionally consider and incorporate the uses of web, social media, and other digital online tools as modes of visual communication, promotion, and expression. Prerequisite: ART265 or DIG 265 or permission of instructor

DIG 370 Package, Publication, and Promotional Design (plans are to retitle as COM 370)

Through an increased emphasis on design layouts incorporating text, and a focus on the history and application of typography, this course builds upon the student’s previous explorations of illustration and design as creative expression and visual communication. Students will work toward improving design thinking and application through completion of multiple design projects, small group critiques, and immersive reading, discussion, and reflection. Projects include package design, publication design, and information or promotional design. As an advanced-level design course, students will be expected to work more quickly and gain skills more independently than in previous design courses. Students will need to spend additional time outside of class/lab sessions in order to complete projects at the level expected for this course. Students will utilize Adobe CC for completion of projects. Prerequisite: DIG 270, or ART 265 and permission of instructor

One from the following list:

ART 103 Design

Design is an introductory course dealing with the elements and principles involved with the visual organization of two- and three-dimensional space. Emphasis is placed on developing understanding and sensitivity to the components of works of art and creative approaches to composition and uses of color. Developing the ability to articulately critique the work of others as well as one’s own artwork is also emphasized. The course is designed to develop perceptual ability and increased application of creative thinking to the world around us and everyday experience. We will explore design possibilities through the use of observation, speculation and imagination. Increased understanding of use of computer programs in the innovative creation of design is also a primary objective. Conceptual explorations will be made regularly in a journal, which will then selectively be further developed in various media. Throughout the course, assignments will be presented that are involved with the creative employment of the principles of design: repetition, balance, emphasis, movement, rhythm, contrast, pattern and unity. General Studies Foundations-Fine Arts

ART 216 Photography I

This is an introduction to film-based still photography; basic camera operation, developing film, as well as prints in the darkroom. The emphasis is on composition, technique, and experimental photography as a means of visual expression.

ART 256 Modern Art & Design Concepts

This course is designed to give the student an understanding of how the world looks and why. The centerpiece of the course is the German Bauhaus [1918-1933], the most influential design school in the twentieth-century. Modern architecture, which was developed in Europe and in the Chicago School, determined the “look” of the twentieth century and contemporary life. With this modern architecture came new ideas in fashion, graphics, interior design, landscape architecture, and industrial design. General Studies Connections

ART 358 History of Photography

This course explores the early history of photography from its beginnings in the early decades of the 19th century until the present. Considerable attention is given to the question of how photography has impacted the aesthetic, intellectual, and spiritual values of modern civilization, a question that has preoccupied thinkers from Walter Benjamin to Susan Sontag.

Two from the following list:

COM 250 Mass Media & Society

Examination of the historical, social, economic, cultural and political influences that have shaped present-day mass communication and the effects of media industries, contents and processes on contemporary society. Survey of mass communication theories and the interaction of media and society.

COM 260 Critical/Cultural Media Studies (formerly Communication Theories)

This theory course introduces students to communications as a discipline with a focus on how critical/cultural theories are used to examine power and representation in media industries, texts, and audiences. Students will be introduced to tools and perspectives used within critical/cultural media studies, and develop an understanding of how this area of study represents a valuable way of knowing the world. General Studies Foundations-Humanities

COM 317 Public Relations & Advertising Campaign Planning

Introduction to the theory, principles and practices of advertising and public relations through the campaign planning process. Students explore market research, strategic planning, targeted message design, and media selection and scheduling. Study of the influences of advertising and public relations and the role and responsibilities of advertising and public relations practitioners.