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Visual Information Design


IMC 635

Workload:   Intensity level 3 out of 5 (8-10 hours per week)

Visual Information Design (IMC 635) is designed for a general audience – you don’t have to be a designer or an artist in order to benefit from the course content. You will be required to do some analysis of visual communications, however, as well as produce some visuals for assignments. Nothing beyond general computer skills are necessary to complete these assignments.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of IMC 635, students will be able to:

  • Explain the mechanics of visual perception and memory
  • Identify and describe core principles of visual design
  • Build and utilize storyboards and layouts
  • Understand the role of imagery and abstraction in content
  • Define and explain the concept of visual literacy's importance in society
  • Develop skills in designing visuals for print and online use

Course Topics

  • Understanding the Shape of Content
  • Exploring Space – the Initial Frontier
  • Applying Unity and Harmony in Design
  • Using Form Factors to Reveal Context
  • Creating Thematic Unity With Storyboards
  • Deploying Effective Typography and Color
  • Designing Purposeful Informational Graphics

Instructor Insights


  • 0:00 - Introduction
  • 4:53 - Unique Characteristics of the Course
  • 7:09 - Software
  • 7:54 - Top 3 Takeaways
  • 9:56 - Workload and Course Intensity
  • 11:05 - Tips for Success
  • 12:34 - Teaching Style
  • 15:55 - What Defines You as a Teacher
  • 17:55 - Favorite Aspect of Teaching in the Program

What is the most exciting part of this elective?

We peek behind the curtain at what makes visual information design work and how effective it can be as a tool for designers and non-designers alike.

Each week builds on the previous one to help students gain a deeper understanding of visual perception and memory. We explore graphic-design elements and the trifecta of graphic design: layout, color, typography, then show how to integrate these elements to craft powerful and effective visual displays.

The emergence of digital and mobile makes a foundation in the power of images and the basics of design a valuable addition for IMC students to include in their quiver of skills.

What skills will someone take away from this course that can be applied to their career?

A working base for how images and memory function. How color, layout, and typography can be used to break down an image or a graphic display, as well as how to use these elements when creating your own displays.

We also explore the power of verbo-visual messages and how to apply them to create representational, abstract and symbolic content. You’ll take away tools such as layout grids and the basics of effective information graphics that can serve you no matter what kind if position you eventually land.

What careers/job titles might require skills from this course?

  • Creative Director 
  • Advertising Representative 
  • Marketing Manager 
  • Publications Director 
  • Business Development 
  • Graphic Designer 
  • Web Developer 
  • Art Director


William Pitzer
Profile: Pitzer