Welcome to Vis.Comm

The purpose of this class is to introduce the students to the fundamental principles and technical skills used in the field of Visual Communications. Student use sophisticated graphics software to create visual models as they learn about the science of light and the biological mechanisms that make vision possible. Students develop their verbal and visual communication skills as they create presentations on the history of Visual Communications, how human art and expression has progressed from antiquity to modernity. They engage in research and writing as they analyze current issues related to technology and media. They deconstruct modern advertisements and explore how these ads function as rhetorical devices. And finally, students apply the principles of design and expand their technical skills as they create their own projects of visual communication and consider a potential career in the Visual Communications and design field by creating a design portfolio.


For this class you will need your own flashdrive. We use flashdrives to turn our projects in to be graded. When you are choosing a flashdrive, please find an affordable item. Often flashdrives get forgotten or lost and as long as it's over 2GB, which most are we will not be needing anything fancy.

As in any other class, you will also need to come prepared with a pen, pencil, and something on which to take notes.

Recommended Text

by Ellen Lupton & Jennifer Cole Phillips

ISBN-10: 161689332X

Much of the theoretical framework for the Design Principles we discuss in class come from this engaging and accessible text. explain the key concepts of visual language that inform any work of design, from logo or letterhead to a complex website. Through visual demonstrations and concise commentary, students and professionals explore the formal elements of two dimensional design, such as point, line, plane, scale, hierarchy, layers, and transparency.

Grading Policy

  • Projects will be turned in every Friday via Flash Drive to the main computer.
  • The only file formats accepted for grading are .jpg, .pdf and .mov
  • Projects will be graded every Monday.
  • Any project that is turned in later than the Friday cutoff will not appear on the grade book until the following week.
  • A project will lose 1/5 of its value ever week that it is late.


Visual Communications is a Projects Based Course, which means you will have to complete a considerable number of large scale projects in order to pass the class. Most of the projects have multiple components and each part must be completed in order to receive a grade. Projects may take between one and five days to complete. When we start a new project you will know how long you have to finish it. You will complete an average of 30 projects per Term.

* If you are absent, you have a grace period of one week to submit your project for full credit. You do not get extra days to finish your project during our regular class sessions, but you are free to come in during lunch or after school to complete any projects you may have missed.

This class subscribes to a few common sense norms in order to create a positive and nurturing learning environment for all students. Please visit the Class Norms page for more details by clicking above.