A big part of learning how to create or improve art and designs is to be knowledgeable on the history and basic mechanics of art in general. This is where the Visual Communication course comes in, which ensures that we have a basic understanding of what art really is and how we communicate with it.
Unlike some of the other classes in IMA, Visual Communication takes a mostly traditional approach, with group projects, tasked assignments, research, and presentations being the main methods of learning. That being said, the Adobe Creative Suite is utilized in many of the assignments, and much of the research relates back to how and why we use our modern software. Research is broken up between all of the students, which then later come together in groups or as a class to share what they found.
Some examples of the topics covered on art history include Ancient Cave Paintings, Mayan, Aztec and Egyptian, Indigenous, Greek and Roman, Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque Art, Dark Ages Art, and more. On the side of art mechanics, covered topics include the elements and principles of art, typography and layout, colour theory, grids, visual critique, visual hierarchies, and hands-on design processes.
Students can expect opportunities to work individually and in groups, with frequent class presentations and research/study periods. There is only 2 tests for the term, and each covers the half of the term’s content that was taught. Being well organized and on task is a must, with note-taking being essential for studying and re-familiarization purposes, as some topics are revisited later on to go more in-depth. On the bottom line, if students can meet all attendance and research requirements, it shouldn’t be too hard to pass with a high mark.
Bringing all of this information together, one can expect to be knowledgeable on general art history and design processes, elements, and principles at the conclusion of the term, and this knowledge will most definitely be helpful in other classes and environments moving forward in the IMA course.