Visual Communications Design – Course

Effective visual Communications plays a key role in applied design including advertising, branding, graphic design and visual promotions. It is a way in which organisations communicate a range of short-term and long-term objectives. However, effective visual communications rely on clearly identifying the message to be communicated and ensuring that the message is decoded in the way in which it is intended by the target audience.

This 12-week TEQSA-compliant university course was initially developed at the University of Sydney (Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Design) (2011-2016) and subsequently taught at Orana College, Sydney through to 2021.

The course focuses on key topics and principles of design plus theories of visual perception relevant to the development of effective visual communications. Practical, evidence-based information is provided and the key learning objectives include:

  • Learning styles: How they influence perception and evaluation of graphic design and visual communications
  • The mechanics of visual perception and the role of variations of colour/contrast: The impact on design of visual communications
  • Harnessing Gestalt theories of perception and organization to achieve improved design clarity
  • Elements of design: Colour, light-dark contrast, direction, shape, size, line, texture, typography
  • Design principles and compositional/layout techniques
  • Colour strategies for branding, graphic design and visual communications
  • Data visualization: Using design to enhance communication objectives and avoid misleading content
  • Contrast: Creating/diverting attention, creating focus, mood and ambience
  • Perceptual effects and how to use/avoid these in graphic design
  • Brand personality and design factors: Content aesthetics vs. functionality
  • Enhancing content using storylines and ‘sparklines’  to meet audience needs and communication objectives
  • Social media and website: Key Design factors that support branding and communication objectives

At the University of Sydney, the course has been updated and continues to be offered online as per this link.