Vis.Com Units

Mr. Sarabia | Periods 2 & 4 | fall 2018

Unit 1 - Introduction to the class

The purpose of this unit is to introduce the rules, norms and expectations, basic procedures and the assignment calendar for the class. Most importantly, we address and answer a fundamental question: Why is this class important? We discuss how Visual Communication has been and continues to be a fundamental feature of human society, as well as a skill that can be studied and developed, giving students an advantage in the 21st century. Furthermore, students understand that in contrast to other classes where subjects are typically presented as entirely separate disciplines, all subjects are actually interrelated. Therefore, in this class we look at art, science, history, language, psychology and design in relation to the discipline of Visual Communications and technology.

Unit 2 - The Science of Visuals

The purpose of this unit is to explore the basic physical phenomena and biological mechanisms that make vision and visual communication possible. The students read and do research to learn about the nature of light, electromagnetic radiation, the mechanism of the human eye, and the psychological process that allow us to interpret visual information. Students explore how our psychology plays an important role in creating what we perceive, which often times may not reflect reality.

Unit 3 - The History of Visuals

The purpose of this unit is to explore the ways in which Visual Communications in the form or art and writing have played a fundamental role in the development of human civilization, society and culture since antiquity. Students research and present on the most important cultural and technological innovations of the past 30,000 years such as the development of writing, the printing press, and the digital revolution. As these innovations have allowed us to better communicate visually, they have also allowed us to build ever more complex social structures that affect, guide and inspire our lives today.

Unit 4 - Careers in Visual Communications

The purpose of this unit is to expose students to the wide array of lucrative careers that fall under the Visual Communications & Technology umbrella. This unit emphasizes the infinite possibilities of making a living fusing creativity with technology. And yet, students find that whatever field of study they pursue in the future, the skills that are valued in the Visual Communications field are invaluable in every other work or educational environment: the ability to communicate clearly and confidently, the ability to innovate and solve problems, the ability to perceive a situation from different angles and see things others may not, etc. In addition, students get a taste of what it is like to be in a Visual Communications field by founding their own hypothetical design firm. Students in the past have taken what they learned in this unit and began actual freelance businesses on their own.

Unit 5 - Current Issues in Visual Communications

The purpose of this unit is for the students to analyze current issues and consider the effects of emerging technology, discuss media as it relates to modern society, and to understand how modern advertisements function as rhetorical devices. Students also have a chance to reflect on some of the major themes in this class by engaging in the art of academic research and writing an argumentative essay.

6 - Artist Tools & Principles of Design

The purpose of this unit is to explore the principles of design, which include: composition, lines and grids, color theory, balance and symmetry, scale, negative space, typography, layering, etc.. Students analyze visual artifacts including the work of other artists, graphic design examples, photographs, and product schematics. They then deconstruct these examples, breaking the compositions into their particular design elements. Students then use the newly learned principles of design to create their own visual communication artifacts in a series of exercises in which they apply each of these concepts.

Unit 7 - Design Portfolio

The purpose of this unit is to give students the opportunity to reflect back on their work in the class. Also, in the Visual Design or Visual Communications field, an employer will always require a portfolio to assess the skill level and talent of their prospective employee. If a designer is freelancing, they will also need a portfolio of their work to showcase their abilities to their prospective clients. Hence, this unit is designed to provide students with an opportunity to create a portfolio that showcases their work if they decide to pursue a career in this field. This unit focuses on the conventions and processes to create an impressive digital portfolio.