TDN2002 - Communication design theory - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Art, Design and Architecture

Organisational Unit

Department of Design


Mr Dion Tuckwell

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This unit covers significant theories and readings specific to the discipline of communication design. The histories of print- and screen-based communication are studied, with particular consideration given to the social and technical changes that have influenced the development of communication design. Theories of communication, readability and authorship are considered. A particular focus lies with the technologies of typography and the evolution of the written word. Students will develop an appreciation of the history of the discipline and its social significance, in order to better understand contemporary communication design.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. understand the history and the prehistory of communication design;
  2. critically discuss different perspectives on the social significance of communication design;
  3. recognise historical and theoretical references in contemporary works of communication design;
  4. articulate an informed position in relation to key issues in communication design discourse; and
  5. analyse and discuss the social or disciplinary significance of works of communication design.


Written assignment (2000 words): 30%

Essay (3000 words) including class presentation: 70%

Workload requirements

One 1-hour lecture and one 2-hour tutorial plus 9 independent study hours per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)