Principles of Visual Design: Introduction

Fall 2010
Principles of Visual Design 2720 - A
Mon, Wed, and Friday mornings from 9:05 to 9:55
Room 318 in the Skiles Building

Instructor: Brian Schrank

Georgia Institute of Technology
School of Literature Communication and Culture

Principles of Visual Design is a studio course in which students develop skills to design with intent, clarity of vision and desired effect. In-class critique and analysis of student work will be rooted in visual and cultural theory. Through readings, lectures and class discussions, students will learn how to be critical of their own work, the work of others and how to analyze interactive and static imagery from various historical and theoretical perspectives.

Attendance is required
A record of attendance and tardiness will be used in determining your final grade. You are allowed three absences. Tardiness will count as 1/3 of an absence. Each absence beyond the third will lower your grade half a letter. Six absences will guarantee a failing grade. It’s up to the student to notify the instructor in case of illness or emergency, in which case the absence will be excused. However notification must occur before or shortly after an absence or it will not be excused. If you miss class, you are responsible for contacting another student and not the instructor to catch up on missed material.

Cell Phones and Mobile Devices should not be audible (including audible vibration) during class. Any student who answers a cell phone during instruction will be excused for the day.

Assignments are due by the start of class on their due date. One letter grade will be deducted for each calendar day the assignment is late, including the day it is due.

If you accidentally set off the alarm, please telephone Kenya in the LCC office during office hours at 404.894.1052 or Georgia Tech Security at 404-894-2500 if after office hours. If you have any technical problems with a LCC lab computer, server or server account, please send an email to LCC Computing Support at Please copy me on this email so that I am aware of the problem. The lab is available for use 24 hours per day, except during periods where the university is officially closed. The lab may be closed over Fall Break and Thanksgiving Holiday. You will need to have your Buzzcard activated to be read in the lab card reader to gain access. You will also need to know the security system code. No food is allowed in the lab. All lab computers are re-imaged regularly and without warning by support staff. Use server space or removable media to store your files. It is your responsibility to keep your files safe. Keep in mind if your files are lost causing your assignment to be late its grade will be docked regardless.

Project #
Grade Percentage
Due Date

"Good" and "Bad" Design Critiques


Image Archive


Creativity Archive


100 Composition Thumbnails




Book Cover


Propaganda Poster


Caricature Assemblage


Professional Personal Website Portfolio


Freestyle I


Freestyle II


Participation in the Class

Every Class


Total 100%

Helping Other Students
(Extra Credit)

See Below*


Vocal Participation During Class is Mandatory
I expect every single student to say something at least every other class. When I am presenting a lecture feel free to interrupt and ask questions or ask me to clarify a point. The most opportune time to participate is in class critiques upon the work of other students. How could they improve their design? If you are shy, consider this a great opportunity to challenge yourself to become extroverted when it is necessary, strategic, or beneficial to you.
*Extra Credit
The Student who has been helped by you must notify me and relate to me roughly how long they helped you and the nature of the assistance. It will usually be technical, e.g., how to do 'X' in Photoshop. The assistance has to have lasted longer than 3 cumulative minutes to be eligible. I reserve the right to deem what will count as Extra Credit and will allocate and award it at the end of the semester.
A student can request accommodations to academic courses either by contacting is/her instructor directly and/or by contacting the Disabled Student Services Coordinator (DSSC). For simpler requests (e.g., changing seat assignments because of eyesight or hearing limitations), the student may want to discuss the request directly with the instructor; however, the student can always request that the DSSC facilitate the accommodations. The DSSC will discuss the accommodation requests with the appropriate Georgia Tech personnel, who will issue a decision, in writing, to the student, to the department or instructor, and to the DSSC.

Color Blindness
A student with color blindness should let me know as soon as possible so I may make adjustments to your assignments and requirements for class.

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