Plain Graphics and Design
The accessibility of design and publishing software has brought layout tools to anyone with a computer. When done thoughtfully, graphics and design can add considerable impact and insight to written communications. However, the desire to decorate or create flashy designs can overshadow the main objective of plain language communication, which is to convey a message clearly.
Regardless of the type of publication (book, website, report, announcement, etc.), a professional layout is now expected in today’s marketplace. Through this course, you will be able to recognize the components of effective design and the visual elements that are essential to reach your audience. You will also describe the constraints involved in design projects through case studies and discussions.
Instructional hours: 15
Register for a course at any time, with the option to apply to a program later.
- Tue, Feb 8 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Feb 15 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Feb 22 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Mar 1 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Mar 8 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Sep 20 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Sep 27 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Oct 4 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Oct 11 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Oct 18 (self-paced all week)
What you will learn
After completing this course, you’ll be able to do the following:
- Describe graphic design principles that affect readability and legibility
- Classify effective and ineffective examples of graphic design
- Describe the role of a design brief in a design project
- Specify criteria for choosing appropriate typography and imagery to support a clean, accessible design
How you will learn and be evaluated
- Prepare to spend 6–10 hours per week on coursework
- Expect reading, research, writing and other assignments on a weekly basis
- Plan to access the course at least once every few days to keep up with your work and group assignments
You will be evaluated on:
- Participation in discussions
- Group activities
- Final assignment
To graduate with the Plain Language Certificate, complete all the required courses with an overall grade of B- (70%).
No textbook is required. We will provide all course materials online.
Williams, R. The Non-designer’s Design Book, 4th Edition. Peachpit Press, 2014. ISBN 978-0133966152. Also available as e-book.
For online courses, you will need a computer with audio and microphone that is connected to the internet. Canvas is the online system that will be used for the course. For more information and online support, visit Online Learning.
English language requirements
To succeed in this course, you will need an advanced level of written and spoken English. If you are unsure whether your English language skills are sufficient, we recommend you complete the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with the following minimums:
- Overall band score minimum 6.5
- No band below 6.0
- Writing band score minimum 8.0
Please note we can’t refund your registration fees after the course start date if you find your English language skills are not adequate.
If you have questions or concerns about your English language proficiency, we encourage you to contact your local IELTS Test Centre.