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.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Online - - TBD $540.00 30 Register

Instructional hours: 15

For online offerings, registration may close up to two business days before the course begins. Your course begins on the first date listed and ends six days after the last date listed. The interim dates/times are not your actual online class times.

What will I learn?

On completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • 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 will I learn?

  • Group assignments
  • Independent writing assignments
  • Extra reading
  • Online research and discussion groups

How will I be evaluated?

Evaluation methods may vary, but you will be evaluated using standard university evaluation approaches, such as a combination of examinations, projects, labs, papers, case studies, assignments and individual and group participation. An A to F letter grading scale will be used. To qualify for a certificate, you must successfully complete the program courses with an overall minimum B average.

Textbooks and learning materials

There is a recommended text for this course. You are responsible for purchasing the text, which is available in print and e-book formats. All other course materials will be provided online.

Recommended text:
Robin Williams; The Non-designer's Design Book, 4th Ed; Peachpit Press, 2014. ISBN 978-0133966152.

Hardware and software requirements 

We deliver this course using SFU's online course management system, Canvas. You will receive course details and Canvas access instructions on the first day of the course. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.

No design software is required for this course.

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