The Language of Communication Design - 2016

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: Sess 2
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Threaded discussion document (30%) , Assignment 2 - Practical Project (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 2,520.00
International 2,770.00

The unit examines key principles of the language of visual communication, together with issues impacting on production aspects of communication design. The principles of visual communication language underpin all communication design practice in terms of creative development and application to final outcomes, whether print, digital or reproduced in some other form. You will undertake projects that explore the use of visual communication syntax and techniques, engaging with the complex semantics of visual communication. This experience will be the basis for you to analyse and reflect upon current and future practice.

You will develop the following course capabilities in this unit:

  • solve problems and manage the design process for successful outcomes, both individually and as a collaborative interdisciplinary team member
  • justify the significance of visual identity and branding, in relation to commercial entities and their products and services
  • assess your ongoing design practice as a reflective, professional practitioner with a global outlook.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • define and apply concepts of visual language, semantics and syntax for communication design outcomes;
  • evaluate the techniques designers use to communicate with specific audiences, in relation to visual communication semantics;
  • conceptualise a communication design outcome and apply technical design language in its development;
  • validate the concept in relation to key principles and elements of communication design and visual language
  • investigate and assess current trends and predict future opportunities for the development of visual communication media and global design practice
  • Assignment 1 — Threaded discussion document (30%)
  • Assignment 2 — Practical Project (30%)
  • Assignment 3 — Design codes (40%)

This unit is for Master of Communication Design students only. If you want to take this unit as an elective you must contact RMIT for approval.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1The teaching schedule is made up of three modules: Module 1: 4 weeks (weeks 1-4) Analysing visual language Module2: 4 weeks (weeks 5-8) The structu
2Module 2: 4 weeks (weeks 5-8) The structural elements of visual communication
3Module 3: 4 weeks (weeks 9-12) Metasigns and codes
4Review: weeks 12-14

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is not currently a requirement for any courses, but may be eligible for credit.

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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