COM 240 Intro to Visual Communication SPRING 15

COM 240
Intro to Visual Communication
MWF 2-2:50 in Fell 52
Course Catalog Description: Introduction to the history, theory, and practice of visual
communication including perception, visual literacy, and media design for multiple
distribution channels.
Which means: No matter what communications-related profession you find
yourself in, a solid understanding of visual communication will be of great
benefit. We exist in a very media saturated, moreover, visually saturated
environment. As professional communicators, it is vital to develop not
just the technical design and software skills, but also the theoretical and ethical
dimensions about the power of visuals. This course is designed to teach you to be
more aware of visuals and the context in which these are presented,
be it pictures, graphics, moving images, text, and in any combination.
We’ll focus on theoretical and hands-on techniques to produce visuals.
The course will prepare you to be visually literate as both creators of
images and as individuals who are constantly consuming images.
Dr. Lauren Bratslavsky
Office Hours:
MW 12:30 - 1:30
+ by appointment in Fell 457
White Space is Not Your Enemy
Available at the bookstore, online,
and Milner Library.
Check out the website accompanying
the book:
Additional readings will be posted on Reggienet (RN).
³³ to become more visually literate; the ability to “read” or
analyze visual media by recognizing contexts of production and
interpretation as well as the ability to create visual media
³³ recognize and apply principles of design and typography
³³ learn and practice software and web skills
³³ evaluate ethical issues arising from the use of visuals
Evaluation will be based on your participation, assignments, and exams.
Participation, 60 pts total / 20%
§§ unannounced reading quizzes
§§ lab activities
§§ show and tell contributions (see Reggienet)
§§ classroom citizenship: you are on time, respectful, and focused on class
Exams, 90 pts total / 30%
§§ 2 exams in week 6 and 10
§§ Final
Assignments, 150 pts total / 50%
details posted on Reggient and in class
Learning Projects
Kiosk Project
Web Portfolio
mini zine
album cover flyer
Grading Scale:
A: > 91.5%
B: 91.4 – 81.5%
C: 81.4 – 71.5%
D: 71.4 – 61.5%
F: < 61.4%
Assignment Expectations:
1) Completed all the requirements and demonstrated a familiarity with course concepts.
2) Used your own unique perspective to complete the assignment in a creative manner.
3) Included, starting with album cover, a short (200-300 word) reflection of how the
assignment turned out. Reflect on how you applied course material and the difficulties
you faced. No reflection or a weak reflection will result in 5% grade reduction. This is not
an attempt to sell me on how hard you worked; this is a reflection about your process
and product. I will not mark you down for being honest.
SCHEDULE subject to change; check Announcements on Regginet (RN)
wk1 Jan 12-16
wk2 Jan 19-23
MLK Day - No Class
wk3 Jan 26-30
Read: Semiotics - RN
Design Elements and Principles
Read: WSINYE Ch 5
Read: WSINYE Ch 8
wk4 Feb 2-6
wk5 Feb 9-13
wk6 Feb 16-20
wk 7 Feb 23-27
Type, continued
wk 8 Mar 2-6
Visual Ethics
Read: Scanned reading - RN
Read: WSINYE Ch1
Visual Comm Theories
Read: Vis Comm Scanned Chapt - RN
Field Trip!
Milner Library Special Collections
LAB: photoshop
Read: WSINYE Ch 7
LAB: indesign
Read: WSINYE Ch 10
Visual Comm Theories
LAB: drawing tools
Read: WSINYE Ch 2
LAB: photoshop
Read: WSINYE Ch 3+4
Review Session
LAB: indesign
LAB: illustrator
Infographics, continued
March 7 - 15: SPRING BREAK
wk 9 Mar16-20
Read: Scanned reading - RN
wk 10 Mar 23-27 Photography
Read: WSINYE Ch 9
wk 11 Mar 30Moving Image
Apr 3
Read: WSINYE Ch 11+12
wk 12 Apr 6-10
open lab + demos
wk13 Apr 13-17 open lab
wk14 Apr 20-24 DUE: KIOSK
wk15 Apr 27- M1 open lab
Finals Week
Comics, continued
LAB: photoshop, animations
Photo Ethics
Read: Scanned reading - RN
LAB: photoshop, manipulation
Read: WSINYE Ch 13
open lab + demos
open lab + demos
open lab
open lab
lab: portfolio setup
open lab
DUE at end of class: WEB PORTFOLIO
review session
final exam date and time to be announced
Emails: Please include COM240 in the subject line. Please be respectful/professional in your communication and I will do the same.
Attendance and Absences: Regular attendance is expected. Attendance means (a) showing up to class on time, (b) preparing for that day’s
class by reading/viewing the assigned materials, and (c) ready to participate in class by asking questions, engaging in discussion, and
completing lab tasks. More than two unexcused absences will negatively affect your participation grade, as will consistent tardiness or failure to
actively participate in class. In the event of student bereavement, please see the ISU policy,
Deadlines: Please have your work in on time, meaning at the start of class the day the assignment is due. Assignments submitted in the
middle of class (either you arrive late to class or submit to the Assignments section on RN after the start of class) will have a half letter grade
deducted. Late assignments, starting after the class period, will have a one letter grade penalty for each day late. That said, if you’re having
trouble with completing the assignment, contact me at least 24 hours before the deadline. Exams must be taken at the scheduled time.
Plagiarism: …. don’t do it. Not only is it against the code of conduct (see B1, Academic Integrity), it is unethical and unprofessional. Plagiarism
means anything from presenting someone else’s work as your own to failing/forgetting to cite other people’s work.
Accommodation Needs and Resources: Any student needing to arrange a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability should
contact Disability Concerns at 350 Fell Hall, 309-438-5853, Please notify me as soon as possible about any
accommodation needs (as in, not the day before an exam or deadline…). Also note that confidential mental health resources are available:
Student Counseling Services, (309)438-3655.