Jun 03, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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TCM 2060 - Communication Graphics for Professionals

3 lecture hours 0 lab hours 3 credits
Course Description
This course is for students who want to effectively communicate concepts and data visually. Students will design, develop, and integrate graphic aids into reports and professional presentations. They will apply principles of visual design (information hierarchy, contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity) to create tables, charts, graphs, and other technical (and non-technical) graphics for maximum effectiveness and clarity. Students will learn how to identify areas of reports and presentations that would benefit from custom graphics and use relevant processes and tools to create these graphics. This iterative process involves creating multiple versions of graphics, starting with low-fidelity sketches, moving on to medium-fidelity graphics, and finally to high-fidelity, digital graphics. (prereq: COM 2001  and sophomore standing) (quarter system prereq: GS 1002 or GS 1020H or GS 1002E)
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Design and develop graphics that apply principles of visual design (i.e., information hierarchy, contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity; appropriate use of line weights, fonts, colors, textures, space utilization, and aesthetics)
  • Analyze situational, contextual, and audience characteristics and apply this analysis to the development of useful graphics
  • Sketch simple and more complex concepts and ideas using basic lines and shapes 
  • Identify report text that would benefit from or require graphic illustration and prioritize information that should be included in graphic illustrations
  • Identify the ​appropriate contexts for low-, medium-, and high-fidelity graphics 
  • Identify and adhere to conventions of introducing, placing, and referencing report graphics 
  • Select and utilize widely available manual and digital graphics tools appropriate for the type of graphic being created

Prerequisites by Topic
  • College-level writing skills
  • Familiarity with technical/workplace communication documents and formats

Course Topics
  • Visual design principles (information hierarchy, contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity)
  • Elements of design (color, shape, value, texture, size, space, line weight) 
  • Digital tools and manual tools for creating graphics
  • Sketching basic shapes (including freehand and using hand-held tools such as rolling rulers and protractors)
  • Iterative nature of design (creating and refining low-, medium- and high-fidelity graphics)
  • Adapting complex graphics (e.g. “chart junk” or Google Street Maps) for clarity and context of use; avoiding information overload by distinguishing between beneficial features of report and presentation graphics
  • Data literacy principles (as applied to using data displays effectively)
  • Enhancing technical descriptions
  • Integrating graphics into report text and presentation content (introducing, labeling, captioning, documenting sources)

Kimberly Baker

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