XD4005 - Principle of Visual Design

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What will I learn on this module?

You will learn and apply the principles of visual design relevant for Interaction Design students. These include principles of typography, semiotics, design styles and movements, grid systems, photo composition and manipulation, communication theory, colour theory and information design. You will be given the opportunity to design a printed and a digital version of a publication.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a mix of lectures, technical demos, seminar group discussions and tutorials. Formative assessment will be provided through seminars, tutorials or formal presentations.

You will be given a brief at the start of the module and you will be expected to work throughout the module towards a final design solution. The weekly content delivered will enable you to develop a range of visual design skills that will help you answer the brief. The final deliverable will be a print and digital version of a visual communication piece (for example this could be a magazine, book, poster). More specific details of the requirements (format, size etc) will be available in the design brief. You will also be asked to submit a sketchbook that documents your design process (research, ideas generation, design development, refinement).

Each week is structured around a theme – for example one week we might focus on how to use type, while another week is focused on how images are used to communicate a message. Each week will start with a short lecture to introduce you to the topic, covering a range of historical, contextual and practical knowledge. There is usually an in-class exercise to help you explore some of the principles introduced in the lecture and technical support sessions. The rest of the sessions will be spent discussing your project and helping you make progress in the project brief.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your module tutors will be your main support for this module. Any questions directly related to the module should be directed to them.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Knowledge of graphic design principles, methodologies, standards and practical theories that underpin contemporary visual communication.
• Be proficient in the appropriate use of industry standard graphic design software and design techniques in physical and/or digital environments.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Demonstrate evidence of creative thinking through iterative exploration and communication of multiple design ideas through visual examples and presentations

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Develop the ability to reflect on, evaluate and respond to feedback through sustained engagement with the module.

How will I be assessed?

For this module you will be assessed on-
1. How well you have understood and applied design principles in your final solution.
2. How well you have selected the most appropriate tools and techniques to create effective and appropriate visual communication design.
3. The quality of your final designed solution – taking into account how creative it is, how appropriate the design is to your intended audience and the quality of the finished piece.
4. How much you have demonstrated a level of professional practice based on your engagement in the module, your response to feedback and in your design development of your final pieces.

The marking criteria are as follow:
1. Your understanding and application of Visual Design principles as evaluated by your submitted pieces.
2. Your level of proficiency in the selection and use of industry standard software and practices.
3. Evidence of creative thinking through iterative exploration and communication of multiple design ideas through visual examples and presentations.
4. Evidence of sustained and continued engagement and progress throughout the module.

A summative assessment will be carried out through presentation and/or submitted 2D design artefacts. You will be asked to respond to a set brief, showing your development (for example in the form of a sketchbook) through to a final design solution. Formative verbal feedback will be given throughout the module and written feedback will be given at the end of the module.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info


Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2021

Fee Information

Module Information

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