Compendium of Design

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Visual Literacy: A Conceptual Approach to Graphic Problem Solving


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Visual Literacy: A Conceptual Approach to Graphic Problem Solving
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28 May, 2000
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The process of visual communication runs throughout our daily lives, whether its as simple as a traffic light or as complex as sign language. Many people find learning the underlying principles of visual communication a very personal venture, though most graphic design and illustration teaching methods focus only on technical facility, ignoring the need for personal and innovative thought in visual communication. 


This text proposes that the repertoire of principles and techniques needed for effective visual communication cannot simply be taught, but must be developed through hands-on experience with broad-ranging visual problems. To this end, the book presents 19 challenging visual problem assignments and over 1000 pieces of solution art executed by the Wildes' students. Each problem shows the actual assignment sheet given to the students, along with detailed analysis of the problem's underlying intent and special notes that will be of particular interest to instructors. Specific design principles that are reinforced include framal references, negative-positive relationships and cropping techniques. The results give an idea of the solutions that can be achieved with this teaching approach.

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