Fall 2023 - IAT 102 E100

Graphic Design (3)

Class Number: 7267

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 4:30 PM – 7:20 PM  2023-09-06  2023-12-05
    SRYC 3140, Surrey



Introduction to fundamental design principles for visual communication. Organized as a continual interplay of theory and practice, students will examine historical, philosophical, perceptual and semiotic approaches to understanding graphic design, and will explore principles of form, such as structure and composition, hierarchy, form, color, space, scale, typography, and legibility and readability through hands-on projects. Traditional time-based and interactive media forms will be compared and contrasted.


This course lays the foundation for upper-level design courses together with Spatial Design (IAT 233) and Information Design (IAT 235). Through these courses, you will acquire the design foundations necessary for all other design classes.


  1. Be able to communicate visually through sketching and iteration.
  2. Be able to solve visual design problems by choosing, organizing and manipulating formal visual elements such as form, type, composition, colour.
  3. Utilize principles of visual design to communicate clear messages across digital and non-digital forms.
  4. Interpret the multiple potential meanings of visual designs by taking into account cultural, affective, symbolic and historical contexts.
  5. Understand how the different kinds and constraints of media (digital and non-digital) affect how visual designs are understood.
  6. Be able to observe, identify, communicate, explain and critique considerations of visual design using appropriate methods and terminology.


  • Critique quiz 5%
  • Reading reflections 10%
  • Sketching exercises 10%
  • Group projects 30%
  • Individual projects 45%


This course uses the SIAT standard grading scale for final letter grades:

Letter grade Percentage range
A+ 95% to 100%
A 90% to 95%
A- 85% to 90%
B+ 80% to 85%
B 75% to 80%
B- 70% to 75%
C+ 65% to 70%
C 60% to 65%
C- 55% to 60%
D 50% to 55%
F 0% to 50%



For this term you will need access to:

  • A laptop or tablet
  • A sketchbook and writing utensils
  • Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator (it is #[em not] required you purchase this software)


Readings will be available digitally through Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.