PUB5350EN - Visual Thinking and Design Principles in Global Cultures

Course description

Complex data has been translated into many visual forms across the world in order to facilitate understanding of its content. However, not every transformation turns out to be effective. To compose a visual message and improve universal communication, design practice is needed. This course introduces the strategies of visual thinking as an efficient method to convey messages globally. It covers the fundamentals of visual communication and applies graphic design principles in the context of diverse media using ethnography.

How this course benefits students

Ethnography is the scientific description of the customs of individual peoples and cultures. Students learn how to creatively visualize what it is that should be communicated and develop it into a design that potentially reaches different parts of the world.

Why this course is important

This course sets the stage for other digital courses to start the design thinking process. Design principles hold the key to visual thinking and communicating using ethnography. Learning how to research the customs and styles of different cultures and applying them to the design process.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Prof. Kelli Papiernik, Professor of Print Media & Publications

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

As scripture creates a visual in the reader’s mind, each reader has a separate image that they have created. Creating designs throughout different cultures that are biblically based can give a clear understanding of the message of Christ.

Missionally driven

The mission of this class is to use visual thinking from a biblical perspective and apply design principles to form evangelistic works of art for all around the world.

Contextually informed

Using exercises of visual thinking to understand the communication in different countries that are involved in design. Incorporating digital applications to apply design principals and to see it to a printed outcome.

Interculturally focused

Exploring different methods of communication to reach people around the world through designs of their cultures. Using cultural differences to bring a universal visual of a concept.

Practically minded

Students learn different methods to achieve similar goals. Research, inspiration, and cultural awareness can all play into the roles of visual thinking. Using these tactics and applying design principles can produce powerful works of art.

Experientially transformed

The course uses the student's experience and unique needs as the gateway to visual thinking. By using hand drawing methods and using different mediums, students create visually pleasing creations to display their design principles. Trying new methods and learning different cultures around the world only enhances the student’s design outcomes.