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VCD Unit 3 AOS 1.5 Communication design analysis

Analyse communication design.

Outcome 1

(Full Outcome statement for the six part Area of Study)

On completion of this unit the student should be able to;

  • Create visual communications for specific contexts, purposes
    and audiences that are informed by their analysis of existing visual communications in the three design fields.

What you will do

This task is from the field of communication design. 

This is the fifth task in the six part Area of Study 1 in Year 12 Visual Communication Design.

In this task we look at examples of communication design and identify components  and begin to describe them in detail.

There will be three different analysis tasks. One for each design field. Each task will increase in complexity.

Read below for instructions.

Quick menu

Model answer

Samples to be posted as they become available.
 
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Learning intentions

Learning intentions should be set at the commencement of each unit, then at regular intervals during the task.

Read through the content on this page. Discuss what you think could be learnt and form them into three 'learning intentions'.  Use sentences like, 'I will learn about making 3d drawings', or I will learn about 'media codes'.

Write your three learning intentions.

For advanced learning intentions, go with 3 different levels. 

  • 1 - What you will learn. (For example, the media code of camera describes the techniques camera operators use to record a scene)
  • 2 - How what you will learn can be used to create meaning or structure. (For example, camera techniques are combined with sound and/ or editing to create suspense).
  • 3 - How could your understanding of the learning be extended or related to other learnings. (For example, the use of camera has changed over the years and the invention of digital formats have allowed anyone to become cinema photographers)
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Success criteria

Success criteria should be negotiated between students and their teacher. The class group agrees about what is successful completion of the task. Identification of success criteria is done at the commencement of each unit, then at regular intervals.

Now that you are familiar with what you will learn in this task, it's time to lock in how you will be able to demonstrate that you know it, or can do it. 

Write three success criteria, using sentences like the examples in the next column.

I will demonstrate that I have mastered the learning by;

  • 1 - I Can identify all of the camera techniques used in the selected clip.
  • 2 - I can use a camera to film clips in the ways I have identified.
  • 3 - I can explain how camera is combined with other codes to create meaning in a narrative.
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Overview of designs

In this task we will get ready to respond to short, exam style questions on analysis of communication design. Much of the content of this section will be drawn from book covers by contemporary Australian designers. Some will be other visual communications when needed.

Warning

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Note about tasks on this page

This page contains multiple tasks designed to build students' skills in analysis of visual communications in the field of Communication design.

It is not intended that students would complete every task in the time provided prior to the formal assessment task.

How to analyse

As discussed in my page on analyzing visual communications, there are several aspects of design we discuss that backgrounds who a visual communication is intended for, why it was made and where it will be seen.

Click on the image at right to visit my page on Techniques for analyzing visual communications

We will work through tasks that reference this page.

Audience

By now you will have a strong handle on defining audiences for visual communications by referring to a range of characteristics. In this section I will turn that on its head a bit by asking you to describe how designers have met their briefs and targeted for audiences already defined.

Click on the image at right to visit my page on Audience.

We will work through tasks that reference this page.

Examples for audience questions

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Nadia Backovic

(https://www.nadabackovic.com/ book-series/non-fiction/)

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Imogen Stubbs

(https://www.imogenstubbs.com /fiction)

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Imogen Stubbs

(https://www.imogenstubbs.com/ non-fiction)

The Vandemonian War

Britain formally colonised Van Diemen’s Land in the early years of the nineteenth century. Small convict stations grew into towns. Pastoralists moved in to the aboriginal hunting grounds. There was conflict, there was violence. But, governments and gentlemen succeeded in burying the real story of the Vandemonian War for nearly two centuries.

Reference

(https://www.hardiegrant.com/au/ publishing/bookfinder/ book/the-vandemonian-war-by-nick-brodie/9781743793114)

Afterlight

Afterlight tells the story of Sophie Teague, who after her parent’s death has started being haunted by a ghost, which she calls Eve. Since starting at a new school, for a fresh start, these have become more often. Eve sends her visions of a task which she must complete. These tasks are leading to something that Eve wants Sophie to solve. At her school Sophie comes across Jordan, who unbeknown to her shares her ability and will be the one to help her solve the mystery.

Reference

(https://www.theguardian.com/ childrens-books-site/2016/mar/31/ afterlight-rebecca-lim-review)

Benaud

In Benaud, Brian Matthews offers a personal appreciation of Richie Benaud: the dashing exponent of leg spin, innovative captain and prolific writer about the game, but also the intensely private individual. From backyard games in the 1950s and an encounter at Old Trafford to Benaud’s heyday in the commentary box—via the Benaud family home in Parramatta and ancestral home in France—Matthews traces the contours in the life of one of the greats.

Reference

(https://www.textpublishing.com.au/ books/benaud-an-appreciation)

tasks 1

1.1 Understand story

Read the synopsis for each of the books shown above

1.2 Define audience

Referring to three audience characteristics define the audience for book each based on the synopses shown above.

1.3 Identify features

Identify specific features of the book covers that demonstrate that the designer has met the brief in targeting the audience you defined.

Purposes

Whilst visual communications made in the fields environmental and industrial design are usually intended to depict buildings or objects, or to inform audiences about specifications, those made in communication design share a broader range of purposes. VCAA VCE VCD identifies seven purposes for visual communications. These are identified and discussed in the page linked below.

When analyzing visual communications it is acceptable, and sometimes even preferable to identify more than one purpose. However, despite there being many more reasons or purposes for visual communications that are not listed in VCE VCD, for example, to decorate, it is not acceptable to refer to those not included in the list of seven.

Click on the image at right to visit my page on Purposes.

We will work through tasks that reference this page.

tasks 2

2.1 Practice purposes

Complete the four questions in the practice section at the bottom of my page on Purposes for visual communications.

Contexts

Visual communications are designed to function in specific locations. The location is called the context. Read through the page.

Click on the image at right to visit my page on Contexts.

We will work through tasks that reference this page.

tasks 3

3.1 Practice Contexts

Complete the four questions in the practice section at the bottom of my page on Contexts for visual communications.

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Aesthetics

And function

Our next section will deal with discussions of the characteristics of visual communications in communication design. This kind of work is called visual analysis. We will deconstruct presentations to see how aesthetic qualities are built and discuss how this supports the ways visual communications function.

Elements and principles of design

Visual communications are constructed from careful use of selected elements of design according to principles of design. In order to explain how they engage target audiences and communicate ideas and information, we are required to identify dominant elements of design, describe them and explain how they assist in communication when arranged according to principles of design. Students are required to know the elements and principles of design.

Click on the image at right to visit my page on Design elements and principles.

We will work through tasks that reference this page.

Examples for elements and principles of design

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Allison Colpoys

(https://www.jackywinter.com/ artists/allison-colpoys/ gallery)

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Imogen Stubbs

(https://www.imogenstubbs.com /fiction)

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Imogen Stubbs

(https://www.imogenstubbs.com /fiction)

tasks 4

4.1 identify elements

Identify and describe several dominant elements of design in each of these three book covers. Refer to language on my page of elements and principles of design in your descriptions.

Or try these targeted questions for one book cover each;

  • Describe the use of colour, line, shape, texture, in one visual communication.
4.2 Identify and describe type

Identify and describe the type used on each of the book covers. Identify typographic adjustment techniques used. Discuss the relationships between type and image. Refer to elements of design in your answer.

4.3 Describe balance

Identify the kind of balance used on each cover. Describe how it has been created by referring to components in each image.

4.4 Explain balance

Identify the kind of balance used on each cover. Explain how it aids in the communication of ideas – making reference what you imagine the title of the book to mean.

4.5 Describe figure-ground

Describe the kind of figure-ground relationship in each book cover. Identify the components that create it and refer to elements of design that create contrast.

4.6 Describe cropping

Identify where cropping has been used in a book cover. Describe it. Discuss how the use of cropping assists in the communication of ideas.

4.7 Describe hierarchy

Describe the use of hierarchy in each book cover. In your answer discuss the reading order by referring to the most dominant component, the next subordinate and lastly to a diminutive one.

4.8 Identify other principles of design

Identify and describe where the principles of design, proportion, scale and pattern could be applied in an analysis. Write a brief sentence for each.

Materials, methods and media

In the analysis section above we have really identified and described what we have seen in visual communications. However, the elements and principles of design are not all that bears on the appearance of visual communications. There are three other components that strongly form the ways designs express ideas. These are the materials that the visual communication is made on, the method used to make it and the media the images are made with.

If you are not familiar with the definitions flick back to my page link shown below.

Click on the image at right to visit my page Year 11 page that includes an explanation of Materials, method and media used in Communication design.

We will build our skills on the three images below. The first stage will be simply to identify and describe. I suggest we tackle each of these actions separately first. We will unpack discuss and explain in the Aesthetics section later.

To identify,  say what the material, method and media are.

To describe, explain the characteristics of each and maybe touch on how they were used. Referring to the order in which they are applied or layered is often helpful.

I have chosen these three book covers particularly because they each use both manual and digital methods in their construction. Identify and describe both in the table below.

I will complete some squares to start you off. Remember when you complete these examples, concentrate your focus on the topic of analysis. Try to refrain from discussing elements and principles of design.

Examples for materials, methods and media

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Allison Colpoys

(https://www.jackywinter.com/ artists/allison-colpoys/ gallery)

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Imogen Stubbs

(https://www.imogenstubbs.com /fiction)

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Imogen Stubbs

(https://www.imogenstubbs.com /fiction)

Identify table

Title

Foreign Soil

Keep Me Posted

Look At Me

Designer

Allison Colpoys

Imogen Stubbs

Imogen Stubbs

Materials

Heavy weight paper stock.

Identify materials here.

Identify materials here.

Methods

Identify methods here.

Identify methods here.

Painting used for the background image. Digital method used for composition of type and image.

Media

Identify media here.

All digital-based applications used such as Photoshop to process the background image, Illustrator to create the small vector design stamps, and InDesign used to compose the type and images.

Identify media here.

Describe table

Title

Foreign Soil

Keep Me Posted

Look At Me

Designer

Allison Colpoys

Imogen Stubbs

Imogen Stubbs

Materials

The heavy weight cover stock has a matte finish. This creates a deep black.

Describe materials here.

Describe materials here.

Methods

Describe methods here.

Describe methods here.

The painting has flat areas and parts with visible brush strokes. The central figure is cropped as she exits and enters the frame, like in a film strip. The bottom section is composed to align with the base line in the lower type.

Media

Describe media here.

The paper image has been post produced so as to retain the rippled effect from the photo. The stamps look like icons as they are simplified or stylised icons. Some tone has been used to create a 3-d appearance. They have been applied over the paper and rotated slightly. The type is layered over the paper. However, a blended layer effect has been used to make the type seem as if it follows the ridges in the paper.

Describe media here.

tasks 5

5.1 identify table

Create the same table as shown above. Identify the materials, methods and media used in the three book covers.

5.2 Describe table

Create the same table as shown above. Describe the materials, methods and media used in the three book covers.

Aesthetics

The term aesthetics refers to the visual effect created by elements and principles of design and the materials, methods and media used in a visual communication. It is in this section where we discuss and explain components of designs to inform readers exactly how they form and communicate ideas and meaning to an audience. The way something looks is termed it’s aesthetic qualities. That is, the result, or the summary of this discussion. Aesthetic qualities are often identified, described and/ or discussed in connection with the function of a design, as the visual quality of a visual communication is usually intended to support its function.

Click on the image at right to visit my page on Aesthetics.

We will work through tasks that reference this page.

Examples for aesthetics

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Imogen Stubbs

(https://www.imogenstubbs.com /non-fiction)

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Zoe Sadokierski

(https://zoesadokierski.com/books/tales-from-the-tower)

tasks 6

6.1 Discuss elements and principles

Discuss how elements and principles of design have been used to communicate ideas in the 'Influenza' book cover.

6.2 Describe aesthetic quality

Describe the aesthetic quality of the 'Influenza' book cover and explain how it has been used to communicate ideas about the disease.

6.3 Describe aesthetic quality

Describe the aesthetic quality of the 'Tower' book cover. In your answer refer to dominant elements and principles of design.

6.4 Describe methods

Identify one method used in the 'Tower' book cover. Explain the role of this method in creating the aesthetic quality.

Function

The term function can be used interchangeably with purpose when discussing examples of Communication design. The function of visual communications in this field is supported by;

  • Elements and principles of design; how they contribute to the function
  • Materials, methods and media; how they contribute to the function

Our analysis will centre around these two components.

Examples for function

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Lego illustration

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Jetstar logo in context

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Kakadu National Park Map

(https://parksaustralia.gov.au/ kakadu/plan/getting-around/)

tasks 7

7.1 identify function

Identify the function or purpose of each image above.

7.2 Explain media

Identify the media used in the Lego rendering and explain how it supports the function of the illustration.

7.3 discuss elements and principles

Identify one dominant design element and one dominant design principle and discuss how they support the function of the Jet Star logo

7.4 Discuss colour and hierarchy

Discuss how colour and hierarchy have been used to support the function of the Kakadu National Park map.

Techniques for gaining attention and maintaining engagement of audiences

As with most visual communications there are specific ways designers engage their audiences with visual language. As book covers are intended to assist in the selling of a book these designs need to attract attention and maintain the engagement of audiences.

Click on the image at right to visit my page on Techniques for engaging and maintaining audience attention.

We will work through tasks that reference this page.

Examples for gaining and maintaining audience attention

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Nadia Backovic

(https://www.nadabackovic.com/ book-series/non-fiction/)

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Nadia Backovic

(https://www.nadabackovic.com/ book-series/non-fiction/)

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Jenny Grigg

(http://www.jennygrigg.com/ book_covers1.html )

tasks 8

8.1 identify element

Identify one elements of design and explain how it has been used to gain the attention of audiences in one of the book covers.

8.2 identify principle

Identify one principle of design and explain how it has been used to maintain the attention of audiences in one of the book covers.

8.3 identify method

Identify one method and explain how it has been used to either gain attention or maintain the engagement of audiences in one of the book covers.

8.4 identify visual language technique

Identify one technique of visual language that has been used to gain the attention and maintain the engagement of audiences in one of the book covers.

8.5 explain visual language

Explain how visual language has been used to communicate ideas in one of the book covers.

Discuss the connections between existing visual communications and design decisions for design practice.

In the next task we will be designing a free give away ticket to promote an exhibition on Kakadu, a graphic for the side of a tram and a package for a model Segway.

It is important that we are able to take away knowledge from looking at the visual communications in this task.

Following are two questions to help you process your leaning and inform your last project in this Outcome.

You will be asked to explain how you are creating hierarchy and how you have managed your colour scheme in the next task.

tasks 9

9.1 building hierarchy

Identify which one of the book covers has the biggest size difference between the biggest type and the next biggest.

Collect a picture of it. Annotate the sizes in percent. Largest is 100%.

Using a computer application set two lines of type using the same percentages. Print them.

9.2 Working colour

Many of the book covers use a cohesive colour scheme where there is a uneven balance between warm and cool colours.

Choose one cover and analyse the percentage amount of warm and cool colours by creating a group of squares to represent the color scheme graphically.

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Assessment task

Your assessment task for this section of the outcome will be an exam conditions short answer test.
Sample questions

By now you will have completed lots of practice questions for this component of this SAC. But, if you want to see what they will look like in the test, some samples are printed below.

The  dotted lines (...) refer to the images that will be included in the test. You may not have seen them before.

The marks shown are an indication of marks as they would appear on your test.

1 Analyse the audience characteristics, purpose, context and features of visual communications in relation to relevant design field.
Sample questions

Describe the target audience of … by referring to two audience characteristics. In your answer refer to features in the image to support your answer. (4 marks)

Identify the purpose of … and explain one choice the designer made referring to either the elements and principles of design, to support this purpose (3 marks)

Identify the context of … and explain how the context helped shape the design, by referring to one choice the designer made (3 marks)

2 Analyise how design elements and principles, materials, methods, media, convey ideas, information or contribute to the function in visual communications from each design field.

Explain how visual language is used to gain attention, maintain engagement of audiences in existing visual communications.

Sample questions

Identify one dominant design element and one dominant design principle in ... and explain how they work together to covey ideas or information. (4 marks.)

Referring to ..., explain how the designer has created hierarchy in this visual communication. (2 marks).

Referring to dominant elements and principles of design in ..., describe the aesthetic qualities of this visual communication. (2 marks)

Describe the aesthetic qualities of ... and discuss how they contribute to its function. (4 marks)

Referring to ... identify one method used and explain how it has been used to convey ideas in this visual communication. (3 marks)

Referring to ..., describe one decision made by the designer in relation to one specific media. (2 marks)

Making reference to the target audience, explain one technique the designers have used to gain attention and one technique used to maintain engagement in ... In your response provide evidence from the image. (4 marks)

Making reference to the purpose of ..., explain how visual language has been used to gain attention in this visual communication. (3 marks)

3 Discuss the connections between existing visual communications and design decisions for design practice.

Sample questions

Identify the presentation format of …. Suggest an alternative presentation format that could be used by adapting the same content. Explain two changes that would need to be made to the design or layout. In your answer refer to one design element and one design principle. (3 marks)

Referring to (set of ….) identify and explain two elements of visual language that have been used across the set to maintain consistency (2 marks)

tasks 10

10.1 Active revision

Choose appropriate examples of communication design and complete the practice questions above in timed conditions. Use 1 minute per mark.

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Evaluation and deeper learning

In this section we will think about the learning we have done. We will review the main topics and evaluate our learning. Follow the steps in the tasks shown here to prepare your folio for presentation and grading.
What have I learnt?

Take a moment to read through the content on this page. Reflect on what you have been introduced to and what you have learnt first time.

Putting it together

Find where you wrote up what you thought the success criteria might be. Check that you have done something for all of the steps you wrote down.

Check the assessment criteria below to see if you have prepared your work for each criteria. If not, take the time to complete it.

Hand up your work on the due date as instructed.

tasks

Evaluation and deeper learning
Complete the evaluation, deeper learning and rating tasks as shown above.
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Assessment criteria

Below is shown a broad indication of the evidence a student should show.

Click here to download a complete assessment rubric for this task

The extent to which the student identifies and explains:

  1. Characteristics of audiences that influence visual communications, including age, gender, interests, location, socioeconomic status and cultural background

  2. Characteristics and functions of design elements and design principles
  3. Connections between existing and created visual communications

  4. Use of appropriate terminology.

Please note:

To achieve good marks in criteria based assessment you must remember to include some work for each part of the task required. Spread your time evenly across the task.