VCM1000EN - Intro to Visual Communications

Course description

In the last two decades we've seen an electronic messaging evolution driven by the expansion of advanced technological devices. This "new media" use graphical interfaces to enable a new literacy of symbols, icons, color and images that supersedes text in the transference of meaning. This shift brings focus to the power in the visual communication, and the need for education on visual literacy. This course presents the fundamentals of visual communication and provides a context for understanding the subject matter in historical and present day applications.

How this course benefits students

Students get a new perspective on visual communication and are made aware of visual messaging's power to influence and communicate the gospel, with impact! Younger generations especially, no longer receive information only by hearing or reading words. In our increasingly visual society, images and symbols speak as powerfully, and sometimes more powerfully than words. Lessons merge popular and "low" cultural forms of media and communications, with "high" cultural forms or fine arts, design, and architecture.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Visual Communication
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

Signs and symbols carry immense meaning in the scriptures. We live in the paradigm of visual culture, also focused of signed and symbols. This study enables students to recognize semiotic infrastructure around them and to understand how symbolism is applied to transfer meaning in visual messaging systems.

Missionally driven

Preach the gospel at all times and, if necessary, use words." This ancient maxim, attributed to Saint Francis, may be more relevant today than ever before. In today’s visually oriented culture, we have come full circle in our modes of communication - from a preliterate to a postliterate world. from a focus on communicating with images to using text supported by images. Today the use of images and symbols diminish the use of text. Words are no longer enough. The mode we use in missional work is a choice, based on the needs of the audience we target. Visual communication is old and new. Technological advencement in communication means that we must take time to know and understand the contexts in which we deliver messages. If you are teaching computer language and use to a kindergarten class would you use HTML code? Would these infants understand what you are trying to teach them? It is important to note that these same infants understand and use mobile and web devices better than most older users. How come? Do we become a barrier when we come between the audience and the experience? Visual communication excels in intercultral settings. It is an asset when we look for ways for the converted to express their feelings, and their faith. Visual proficiency is innate. Our eyes are our first line of defence and surival of all our senses. Visual communication is the predominant communication mode, though we often submerge it to speaking, reading and writing the more sophisticated a society becomes. We even have techniques to remind us that "pictures speak louder then words." Then we label a visual revolution "new" when it takes us back to the basics. Some communities don't and won't follow the trends of rapid advancement. As messengers of the gospel we must find proficientcy in all settings. A raibow tells us the storum is over and this sumbolizm is used oftern in messages. This symbol is positive in most cultures. Visual communication helps us understand and to share messages and experiences. Visual communication is a primary mode of communication that has been and is still used very effectively the world over. Sharing the good news of salvation should be readily acceptable in this format.