Learning
Visual Communication Design

 

Visual Communication Design

Why Study Visual Communication Design?

Visual communication design can inform people’s decisions about where and how they live and what they buy and consume. The visual presentation of information influences people’s choices about what they think, what they need or want. The study provides students with the opportunity to develop informed, critical and discriminating approaches to understanding and using visual communications, and nurtures their ability to think creatively about design solutions. Design thinking, which involves the application of creative, critical and reflective techniques, supports skill development in areas beyond design, including science, business, marketing and management. The rapid acceleration of the capabilities and accessibility of digital design technologies has brought new challenges to visual communication design practices. Through the consideration of ethical and environmental sustainability issues, students are able to make informed choices that affect current and future practices. The study of Visual Communication Design can provide pathways to training and tertiary study in design and design-related studies, including communication, industrial and fashion design, architecture and media.

Structure
The study is made up of four units.

Unit 1: Introduction to visual communication design

Unit 2: Applications of visual communication within design fields

Unit 3: Visual communication design practices

Unit 4: Visual communication design development, evaluation and presentation

 

Each unit deals with specific content and is designed to enable students to achieve a set of outcomes. Each outcome is described in terms of key knowledge and skills.  

Outcomes
Outcomes define what students will know and be able to do as a result of undertaking the study.

Outcomes include a summary statement and the key knowledge and skills that underpin them. Only the summary statements have been reproduced below and must be read in conjunction with the key knowledge and skills published in the study design

 

 

Unit 1: Introduction to visual communication design

This unit focuses on using visual language to communicate messages, ideas and concepts. This involves acquiring and applying design thinking skills as well as drawing skills to create messages, ideas and concepts, both visible and tangible. Students practise their ability to draw what they observe and they use visualisation drawing methods to explore their own ideas and concepts. Students develop an understanding of the importance of presentation drawings to clearly communicate their final visual communications. Through experimentation and exploration of the relationship between design elements and design principles, students develop an understanding of how they affect the visual message and the way information and ideas are read and perceived. Students review the contextual background of visual communication through an investigation of design styles. This research introduces students to the broader context of the place and purpose of design. Students are introduced to the importance of copyright and intellectual property and the conventions for acknowledging sources of inspiration. In this unit students are introduced to four stages of the design process: research, generation of ideas, development of concepts and refinement of visual communications.

Area of Study 1
Drawing as a means of communication

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to create drawings for different purposes using a range of drawing methods, media and materials.

Area of Study 2
Design elements and design principles

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to select and apply design elements and design principles to create visual communications that satisfy stated purposes.

Area of Study 3 
Visual communications in context

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to describe how visual communications in a design field have been influenced by past and contemporary practices, and by social and cultural factors.

 

Unit 2: Applications of visual communication within design fields

This unit focuses on the application of visual communication design knowledge, design thinking and drawing methods to create visual communications to meet specific purposes in designated design fields. Students use presentation drawing methods that incorporate the use of technical drawing conventions to communicate information and ideas associated with the environmental or industrial fields of design. They also investigate how typography and imagery are used in these fields as well as the communication field of design. They apply design thinking skills when exploring ways in which images and type can be manipulated to communicate ideas and concepts in different ways in the communication design field. Students develop an understanding of the design process as a means of organising their thinking about approaches to solving design problems and presenting ideas. In response to a brief, students engage in the stages of research, generation of ideas and development and refinement of concepts to create visual communications.

Area of Study 1
Technical drawing in context

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to create presentation drawings that incorporate relevant technical drawing conventions and effectively communicate information and ideas for a selected design field.

Area of Study 2 
Type and imagery in context

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to manipulate type and images to create visual communications suitable for print and screen-based presentations, taking into account copyright.

Area of Study 3
Applying the design process

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to apply stages of the design process to create a visual communication appropriate to a given brief.

 

Unit 3: Visual communication design practices

In this unit students gain an understanding of the process designers employ to structure their thinking and communicate ideas with clients, target audiences, other designers and specialists. Through practical investigation and analysis of existing visual communications, students gain insight into how the selection of methods, media and materials, and the application of design elements and design principles, can create effective visual communications for specific audiences and purposes. They investigate and experiment with the use of manual and digital methods, media and materials to make informed decisions when selecting suitable approaches for the development of their own design ideas and concepts. Students use their research and analysis of the process of visual communication designers to support the development of their own designs. They establish a brief for a client and apply design thinking through the design process. They identify and describe a client, two distinctly different needs of that client, and the purpose, target audience, context and constraints relevant to each need. Design from a variety of historical and contemporary design fields is considered by students to provide directions, themes or starting points for investigation and inspiration for their own work. Students use observational and visualisation drawings to generate a wide range of design ideas and apply design thinking strategies to organise and evaluate their ideas.

Area of Study 1
Analysis and practice in context

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to create visual communications for specific contexts, purposes and audiences that are informed by their analysis of existing visual communications in the three design fields.

Area of Study 2
Design industry practice

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to discuss the practices of a contemporary designer from each of the design fields and explain factors that influence these practices.

Area of Study 3
Developing a brief and generating ideas

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to apply design thinking in preparing a brief with two communication needs for a client, undertaking research and generating a range of ideas relevant to the brief.

 

Unit 4: Visual communication design development, evaluation and presentation

The focus of this unit is on the development of design concepts and two final presentations of visual communications to meet the requirements of the brief. This involves applying the design process twice to meet each of the stated communication needs. Having completed their brief and generated ideas in Unit 3, students continue the design process by developing and refining concepts for each communication need stated in the brief. They utilise a range of digital and manual two- and three-dimensional methods, media and materials. They investigate how the application of design elements and design principles creates different communication messages and conveys ideas to the target audience. As students revisit stages to undertake further research or idea generation when developing and presenting their design solutions, they develop an understanding of the iterative nature of the design process. Ongoing reflection and evaluation of design solutions against the brief assists students with keeping their endeavours focused.

Area of Study 1 
Development, refinement and evaluation

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to develop distinctly different concepts for each communication need and devise a pitch to present concepts to an audience, evaluating the extent to which these concepts meet the requirements of the brief.

Area of Study 2
Final presentations

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to produce a final visual communication presentation for each communication need that satisfies the requirements of the brief.

 

Assessment

Satisfactory Completion
Demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit.

Levels of Achievement 

Units 1 and 2

Emmaus College students complete graded Assessment Tasks and Semester Examinations as part of the Assessment process for Units 1 and 2.  

Units 3 and 4

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority will supervise the assessment of all students undertaking Units 3 and 4.

School-assessed coursework, school assessed task and an end-of-year examination:

Unit 3 School-assessed coursework 25%
Units 3 and 4 School-assessed task 40%
Units 3 and 4 Examination 35%