Communication and Media Studies 236

COMS 236: Publication Planning and Design

Prerequisite: None

Credit Hours: (3)

Principles and practices in planning and producing publications such as magazines, newsletters, and newspapers for print an digital delivery. Introduces publishing tools and technologies and covers theories of typography and visual communication.

Detailed Description of Course

Producing periodical publications -- newspapers, magazines, newsletters, reports and digital publications -- involves a consideration of basic design principles and a variety of skills ranging from content planning to layout to writing to selecting and manipulating visual elements such as photos, information graphics and digital assests. Increasingly it involves an appreciation for the changing nature of information delivery.

Design principles for any publication or work of graphic art involve such considerations as perspective, balance, proportion, sequence, unity, and contrast. These principles are qualitative issues at play in any individual's work, and students are encouraged to understand them in light of their own aesthetic standards and apply them to their own creative efforts.

Technological tools provide a means by which any person, even those who claim to have no artistic talent, can plan and execute designs in a clean and effective formats. Programs employed in the lab include the msot current tools and technologies.

The changing nature of media technology and the role media technology has played in social upheaval are considered theoretically, employing critical, empirical and historical viewpoints. The main focus of the discussion of changing media technology, however, is on a practical level and is designed to help students anticipate the next generation of technology.

Detailed Description of the Conduct of Course

Students meet for three hours of laboratory and lecture per week. They have access to the computer laboratory after hours. Lectures involve instruction in basic design principles and the changing nature of media, as well as skills in planning, curating and creating content. Lab sessions allow students to put publication planning and design principles to work on practical projects.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:
1) Understand the basic principles of visual and typographical communication and the integration of visual, typographical and interactive elements in publishing.
2) Think critically, creatively and independently to plan and produce publications for a defined audience.
3) Learn how technology influences communication design and production and the theoretical implications of new media paltforms.
4) Understand how to produce a professional publication using current tools and techniques and to intelligently select among tools available.
5) Articulate legal, social and ethical considerations as they realte to publication planning and design.

Assessment Measures

Grades will de determined through a combination of assignments, assessments and projects.

Other Course Information



Review and Approval

February 22, 2018
Revised 2013, Clay Waite, Chair