Skip to content | Change text size

VCO1303 - The language of graphic design

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Art and Design


Not offered in 2007


In this subject students will study the work of innovative visual designers from Modernism until the present. They will analyse how designers use pictorial images and words to convey meanings; and how they achieve this by employing a form of visual language equivalent to written language. Through studying design solutions created in contexts ranging from mainstream graphic design and advertising through to socio-political messages and imagery made by non-designers, the students will develop a referential understanding of the potential of visual language for designers. They will then be required to apply this knowledge to the making of designs employing similar problem-solving strategies.


On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. understand the breadth of communication elements used within graphic design including metaphor, juxtaposition, parody, wit and humour;
  2. understand the development of modern graphic design and its associated conceptual and intellectual development;
  3. clearly understand the language and grammar of visual communication;
  4. utilise a thorough comprehension of this language in the execution of their own projects;
  5. observe and employ occupational health and safety appropriate to studio practice.


Investigation project: 40%; design application: 50%; small studio exercices: 10%

Contact hours

4 studio hours and 8 independent study hours per week.


Must be enrolled in an Art & Design course