CGD 218 CGD/218 CGD218 Visual Literacy in Business Complete / Entire / Full Class

Week 1

CGD218 Week 1 DQ1

Using Visuals to Communicate

Regardless of where you work or what your career is, learning how to communicate effectively and professionally is important if you want to succeed. Further, learning how to successfully utilize visual media in your communication can dramatically enhance the effectiveness of your message.

As you will learn, preparing and packaging visual communication is critical to the success of the message being delivered! Take a moment to read the instructions for your final project in Week 5. Throughout the next five weeks, you will work on preparing a message of your choice, through the use of effective visual strategies.

For this discussion, identify at least one specific message that you might communicate in the workplace – one that could benefit from the use of visuals. (Note: This can be in either a past, current, or potential future workplace.) For instance, maybe the message involves typing up job-aids and sending them out to your colleagues. Or perhaps it involves delivering a presentation to your boss on your department’s achievements for the previous quarter. Or, maybe it’s related to designing an advertisement for your own business.

Whatever you choose to communicate, address the following items in your post:

The Evolution of Media

Over the past several decades, communication media have evolved significantly. In addition to communicating messages through books, newspapers, and magazines, we now have the ability to communicate through blogs, websites, and social media like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Now, more than ever, the average person is capable of creating and distributing professional-looking visual communication. This supports what your textbook identifies as perhaps the most significant change; these “new technologies are forcing journalists, advertisers, PR professionals, and entertainment executives to relinquish their role as ‘gatekeepers’ of information (P.21-22).

Taking a look at one of the professions listed in this quote, or even your own profession, reflect on how the role of “gatekeeper” is being redefined, given these new technologies. What are the benefits and challenges associated with this change, both from a business perspective and a social perspective? Are there any ethical concerns associated with this shift?

This journal entry should allow you to thoroughly reflect upon what you have learned thus far in class, and provides you an opportunity to relate this learning to your professional and/or personal experiences. Your journal entry may be written in a more informal style, with a focus on clearly conveying your ideas. APA formatting elements are not required for your journal entry, but you are expected to adhere to conventional rules of grammar, sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation.

Why is Visual Literacy Important

Watch Brian Kennedy’s TedTalk: Brian Kennedy: Visual Literacy and Why We Need It  (, and address the following questions:

  1. Compare and contrast Kennedy’s definition of visual literacy with the textbook’s definition. 
  2. Explain how visual literacy can be considered a universal language.
  3. Examine how visual literacy can impact communication and global understanding.

Your paper should be 1-2 pages in length, excluding title and reference page, and formatted to APA style.

Week 2

CGD218 Week 2 DQ1

Typography in Business

Oftentimes, we can’t avoid using words to communicate messages. And sometimes, we’re even limited with the visuals we can include. So, how can we make our messages as clear and aesthetically pleasing as possible? Incorporating typography can assist us in this… especially in the business setting. Take a look at the following documents and examine how strategic use of typography and white space has affected the second document.


Now, select one of the documents below, and utilize typography and the information in the Practical Typography Tutorials ( website to improve the way it communicates its message.

Keep in mind the differences between display type and text type, and be sure to consider the two elements of readability and legibility and as you complete this activity. Then, post your revision to the discussion forum as an attachment for your classmates to see. Describe at least one editing choice you made, and explain why you made it.

CGD218 Week 2 DQ2

Bauhaus Manifesto

Your textbook describes design in light of the Bauhaus manifesto.

According to the Bauhaus Design History  (, what was so new about the Bauhaus modern art school “was its attempt to integrate the artist and the craftsman, to bridge the gap between art and industry.” It goes on to explain that “mass production was the god, and the machine aesthetic demanded reduction to essentials, an excision of the sentimental choices and visual distractions that cluttered human lives.”

Keeping this in mind, explain the concept of design in your own words. Compare and contrast it with art, and explain how “cluttering” a design with unnecessary elements can have a potentially negative impact on the message it bears. Finally, depending on the first letter of your last name, use the Web to find at least one visual communication piece (e.g., a website, an advertisement, a logo, etc.) that either exemplifies Bauhaus’ concept of design or does not. Then, describe why.

Last Name:
A-L: Find a visual communication piece that exemplifies Bauhaus’ concept of design
M-Z: Find a visual communication piece that does not exemplify Bauhaus’ concept of design

Final Project- Step Two

Last week, you discussed a possible message to communicate in your final project. For this assignment, you will develop an outline that clarifies your message and expands upon it, filling in any gaps that either your classmates identified in the discussion forum, or you identified over the past week.

Your outline should include the following elements: 

Week 3

CGD218 Week 3 DQ1

Photography and Composition

When considering magazines like National Geographic, or social media like Pinterest, it becomes evident that photography plays an instrumental role in visual communication. However, creating an impactful photograph is not always easy.

Your textbook explains the importance of design and composition in successful photography. For this discussion, locate a photograph (either on the Web or in print) that strategically uses at least three elements of design (e.g., balance, color, asymmetry, etc.). Then, paste a link to the photograph (or, if it is in print, upload a scanned copy to the discussion forum or the web), and explain which elements are utilized, and how they affect the overall impact and message of the photograph.

Possible Resources

CGD218 Week 3 DQ2

Motion Pictures

Like photographs, motion pictures are a significant medium for visual communication.

Watch at least three of the documentary trailers, below:

Documentary Trailers

Based on the trailer, what do you think the intended message of the documentary is? What are motion pictures able to do that photos and still images cannot, and how does that impact the message being communicated? Can you think of any ethical concerns or controversial issues related to the use of motion pictures as a communication medium? Explain.

Visual Communication Today

Visual communication is just about everywhere we look. Reflect on the visuals you’ve seen in your daily life over the past couple weeks, and the messages they’ve communicated (e.g., TV commercials, billboards, magazine ads, web ads, websites, product packaging, photographs, etc.). Do any stand out in your mind? If so, why do you think they were so effective in getting your attention? Are there any trends you are noticing specifically in today’s media?

This journal entry should allow you to thoroughly reflect upon what you have learned thus far in class, and provides you an opportunity to relate this learning to your professional and/or personal experiences. Your journal entry may be written in a more informal style, with a focus on clearly conveying your ideas. APA formatting elements are not required for your journal entry, but you are expected to adhere to conventional rules of grammar, sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation.

Using Photographs from the Web

Today more than ever, photographs and other visual media are at our fingertips. Whether it’s through Google Images or Flickr, we have endless visual media available for us to use. Or, do we?

Watch the video Copyright Basics  ( Then, in a 2- to 3-page paper, examine the benefits and challenges associated with having so many visuals available to us today. Describe the possible ethical and legal implications of using these photos, and explain how these issues can be avoided.

Week 4

Week 4 DQ1

Brand Identity

As stated in your textbook, “branding is equated with everything from creative strategy to logotype design. It is said to exist through sophisticated color palettes, product packaging and service trademarks. Some marketers insist that branding is corporate image. Others align it with cohesive marketing communications, positioning, slogans or taglines.”

For this discussion, select a company and create a mood board that visually conveys its brand identity. Your mood board should include images of at least four of the elements (e.g., logo, color palettes, product packaging, slogans or taglines) described in the quote above.

Your mood board can be created through Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Glogster  (, or Adobe Photoshop (converted to PDF). Once it is created, post it to the discussion forum as an attached file or a link. Describe the elements you included in your mood board, and explain how each one contributes to the overall brand identity for the company you’ve selected.

CGD218 Week 4 DQ2


The textbook explains that, although counterintuitive, advertising should not focus on the product or service being sold, but should rather focus on the needs and desires of its target market. It quotes Michael Newman (2003) stating:

“Don’t tell me about your manure, tell me about my flowers”

View the advertisements, below. Then, select three and explain if and how you see the above concept in action. Describe what product or service each of the three ads is trying to sell (e.g., manure). Then, explain what you think each ad is actually selling (e.g., a beautiful flower garden). Finally, describe whether you can think of any ethical concerns related to this approach of communication.


Final Project- Step Three

You should now have a strong outline for the message you plan to communicate in your final project, as well as a good idea of how you want to incorporate visuals. This week, locate at least five possible visuals that you might utilize for your final project (e.g., photographs, drawings, video clips, screenshots, etc.), and add them to your existing project draft. Be sure to reference any visuals that you did not create. Then, 1-2 pages, explain why you selected the visuals you did, how they support your intended message, and what reaction or results you hope to gain from the use of these visuals.

Week 5

CGD218 Week 5 DQ1

Social Media

Social media can have a significant impact on a company’s success (both positive and negative). What are the pros of social media, and how do you think they can be harnessed to promote effective communication? What are the cons, and how do you think they can be avoided, to prevent a communication disaster? Identify one example that illustrates effective use of social media, and one example that illustrates ineffective use of social media.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your peers. How does their analysis compare to yours? Do you agree that the examples they identified appropriate represent the effective and ineffective uses of social media? Explain.

CGD218 Week 5 DQ2

Reflecting on Visual Literacy in Business

Review the concepts we’ve covered in the past few weeks of this course, and list five take-away’s. Explain why the five take-away’s are relevant to you. Then, describe at least one concept that is either still unclear to you, or one you’d like to explore further.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your peers. How are their take-away’s different from yours? With regards to the one concept they identified as unclear or would like to explore further, can you offer any additional insight, resources, and/or clarification?

CGD 218 CGD218 Week 5 Assignment Final Project Using Visuals to Communicate a Message

 Final Project: Using Visuals to Communicate a Message
Assignment Instructions: Visual media can have significant impact on how effectively a message is communicated. Appropriate and strategic visuals can inspire the audience, lend clarity to a message, and, in general, say things that words alone cannot. 

For this project, use the concepts you’ve learned in this course to effectively apply visuals to a business-related message. Below, you will find just a few examples of how visuals can be utilized to communicate a message in the business setting. Feel free to choose one of these examples, or select one that is not listed. 
Examples of Business Communication
How Each Example Might Look for Your Assignment
Presentation on department achievements 
PowerPoint slides with visuals, and associated speech in the Speaker’s Notes section at the bottom. 
Print advertisement for your own business 
Word document or PDF version of an advertisement, complete with appropriate image(s), composition, typography, and company logo. 
Training materials on your job responsibilities 
Word document or PDF version of job instructions, using typography, composition, and relevant images to promote clarity. 
Company website 
Word document, PowerPoint, or PDF “mock-up” that illustrates what you would want your website to look like. Complete with appropriate images, effective composition and color usage, company logo, and shapes representing where the buttons would be. 
Informational brochure for a corporate event 
Word document or PDF version of the brochure, containing appropriate visuals; typography; effective design, composition, and color scheme; as well as with relevant information on the event. 
Throughout each of the five weeks of this course, you will decide on a message to communicate, determine the most effective platform or medium for that message, and select the most appropriate visuals to support the message. Note that each visual should be referenced. 

Then, in week 5, you will finalize your communication piece and submit it along with a 3- to 5-page paper explaining the rationale behind your communication decisions.