Communication Design Theory

An in-depth introduction to communication design theory, this course examines theoretical perspectives of design practice within the larger discourse of design and visual culture. Communication models, the nature of representation, the dimensions of context, and semiotics are explored through critical readings in key documents from the early decades of the twentieth century to the present.

Designers generally focus on the generative question of “how?” How do solve a design problem? How do we organize information visually? How do we use a medium to communicate an idea?

This course presents the formative theories which help us to understand the “how” of visual communication and also explores the critical theories that explain the “why” within historical, cultural, and social contexts.

When we begin to look closely at philosophical, ethical, social, historical, political, and aesthetic questions in the field of design, our ability to think creatively and critically expands. We practice and experience design in a global community. Reflecting on the design field within the context of our community helps us to become better designers.

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