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Communicating Visually


This is an introductory practice-based short course. You will be exploring the fundamental  aspects of two-dimensional design. The main emphasis will be on developing an understanding  of the visual language of design through digital experimentation. You will learn about the visual  elements of design, principles of design and all other compositional theories and laws. Analytical and critical thinking skills will be developed alongside with the application of all the Design Principles and Laws.

Course Objective

  • Identify the construction of a visual composition through understanding the relationships  between the elements of design. 

  • Develop strategies and concepts using principles of design and other compositional Laws.

  • Apply digital skill to produce a work of art 

  • Present and communicate a variety of strategies to evaluate creative problem-solving process. 

  • Evaluate and critique works of art during critique session by using art terminology learnt  during the course.

Teaching Methodology

  • Workshop with hands-on exercises

  • Workshop on Design Software

  • Presentation and Peer Critique

  • Group discussion 

  • Lectures

Course Outline

Session 1 in-class: 

  • Introduction to Visual Communication 

  • Brief Project 

  • Lecture: Element of Design and Principles of Design 

Session 1 Homework: 

  • Conduct Visual Research on Project Brief  


Session 2: 

  • Lecture: Gestalt Laws, Golden Rules and White Spaces • Digital Workshop: Adobe Illustrator 

  • Project discussion 

Session 2 Homework: 

  • Generate ideation sketches  


Session 3: 

  • Lecture: Typography Rules and Colour Theories • Digital Workshop: Adobe Illustrator 

  • Project discussion 

Session 3 Homework: 

  • Create digital outcome


Session 4: 

  • Fine tune digital outcome 

Session 4 Homework: 

  • Complete Project digital outcome 


Session 5: 

  • Prep for Presentation 

  • Group Presentation by Participants

  • Debrief on the Short Course 

About the Trainer

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Shirley Lim has over 20 years of creative industry experience in the area of conceptualisation, art  direction and design. She had worked as an Art Director and a Designer from international  advertising agencies, design houses to publishing house.

With a Bachelor of Communication Design and a Master of Art Education, Shirley is currently an  Associate Lecturer with Nanyang Technological University (NTU), teaching design and visual  communication in School of Art, Design and Media (ADM) and School of Electrical and Electronic  Engineering (EEE). 

At the same time with Singapore University of Social Science (SUSS) supervising graduating cohort and teaching advertising in School of Business. 


She has also conducted Professional Design Workshop for adult learners from various industry  including HPB, BCA, CAAS, Ipos, MOM, MINDEF, PA, MSF, MHA, CPF, TTSH, WSG … etc. 

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