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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: Design Voices: An Introduction to Visual Communication (DESI08096)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course runs in semsester 2 on Tuesday afternoons 2pm to 5pm at ECA. The current timetabling information is being updated to reflect this.

A series of lectures introduces the theory and practice of visual communication for design. Guided projects develop confidence in digital tools and how they support both production and dissemination of design. You will learn a range of essential digital visualisation tools and consider both analogue and digital vocabularies in the production of work. You will be introduced to the basics of graphic presentation and layout, there is also guidance on photography, developing websites and social media. You will survey and reflect on your own discipline and the context that work is displayed, discussed and promoted. Brand values and self promotion will also be explored, enhancing your ability to understand and articulate a range of Design Voices.
Course description Lectures range from giving practical guidance and examples in industry to exploring wider aspects of visual communication and the dissemination of design. We reflect on how Design Theory frames the story telling elements of design. Historic and contemporary precedence in communication design is examined and consideration of design futures informs the practical work.

Through practical projects you will explore visual communication within design. Beginning with sketchbook work you will develop digital collages. You will make themed photographic portfolios, zines or leaflets, pdf presentations and finally a design book to enhance your digital skills and explore the relationship of analogue and digital processes.

There are workshop sessions on book/page layout, narrative pacing, sequencing, binding, paper stocks. Sessions also involve book/publication design, page composition, narrative pacing, sequencing and hierarchies of type and image.

Introductory and supportive workshops in Adobe Photoshop and InDesign are scheduled as well as overviews of open source alternatives of GIMP and Scribes as well as other visualisation tools. There is also access to Lyndas online training material to support your learning.

You will develop a portfolio of practical work through the Semester in a range of formats, documenting this via a blog on LEARN which forms your final submission for assessment.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is open to ALL STUDENTS and enrolments are managed on a first come first served basis until the course is full. The course will be open to enrolments from Wednesday 11th September at 11.00 am. Please sign up for the course through your own School (they will advise if this is done via your PT, SSO or Teaching Office). We do not currently keep a waiting list.
Additional Costs Costs of around £30 (depending on independent projects) for printing costs and art materials (Sketchbook, paper, drawing/painting equipment).
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate fundamental understanding of Visual Communication theory and practice.
  2. Employ appropriate digital skills to make design artefacts.
  3. Demonstrate a discerning understanding of graphic development and resolution.
Reading List
Ambrose, G., 2015. Design Thinking for Visual Communication, 2nd Revised edition edition. ed. Bloombury, London ; New York.
Baldwin, J., & Roberts, L., 2006, Visual Communication: from Theory to Practice, Lausanne: AVA Publishing `
Bergström, B., 2008. Essentials of Visual Communication, 01 edition. ed. Laurence King, London.
Bringhurst, R., 1992, The Elements of Typographic Style, Canada: Hartley & Marks
Harris, G.A. and P., 2015. The Layout Book, 2nd Revised edition edition. ed. Bloombury, London ; New York.
Heller, S., 2000. Graphic Style: Victorian to Digital. New York: Harry N. Abrams.
Julier, G., 2013. The Culture of Design, 3rd Revised edition edition. ed. Sage Publications Ltd, Los Angeles.
McCormack, J., DInverno, M., 2012. Computers and creativity. Springer, Berlin ; New York.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and Enquiry
1) be able to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them
2) recognise the importance of reflecting on their learning experiences and be aware of their own learning style

Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
1) be open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
2) be creative and imaginative thinkers
3) be intellectually curious and able to sustain intellectual interest
4) be able to respond effectively to unfamiliar problems in unfamiliar contexts

1) make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding
2) use communication as a tool for collaborating and relating to others
3) further their own learning through effective use of the full range of communication approaches

Personal Effectiveness
1) appreciate and use talents constructively
2) be responsive to their changing surroundings, being both flexible and proactive
3) have the confidence to make decisions based on their understandings and their personal and intellectual autonomy
4) be able to work effectively with others, capitalising on their different thinking, experience and skills
5) be able to flexibly transfer their knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from one context to another
Course organiserMr Harvey Dingwall
Tel: (0131 6)51 5726
Course secretaryMs Georgia Dodsworth
Tel: (0131 6)51 5712
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